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Planescape: Torment - Interview with Colin McComb @ Polish Fansite Grimuar Sferowca

by Aries100, 2013-01-06 19:22:22

Colin Mccomb from InXile Entertainment has been interviewed by Polish Fansite Grimuar Sferowca.  The original Polish version is here.  Colin Mccomb is also the lead for InXile's as-of-yet unannounced sequel to Planescape: Torment and a writer for Wasteland 2.
In the interview Colin talks about what he's been doing in the game industry, what he thinks of Planescape: Torment, he also comments on the end of Planescape: Torment.
Some story spoilers for Planescape: Torment is at the end of this interview, so read
at your own risk.

Here's a quote about which is more challenging - writing for games or writing books:

GS: You've written books, you've written games - which poses the bigger challenge? Do you prefer to create worlds that come to life solely in the reader's imagination or interactive ones offering the support of graphics and sound?

Colin: They're both challenging, but in different ways. Still, I think I'm going to have to give the edge to CRPGs, because in addition to developing compelling characters, an interesting plot, and narrative threads for other supporting actors, you need to develop a game that reacts to the player's choices. Is the protagonist going to make certain choices? You'd better think about those choices, and about how far you're going to allow the player to go down that path. This is one of the questions we had while developing Wasteland 2: how evil do we want to allow the player to be?

Here's a quote about where he finds his inspiration:

GS: It is said that creation comes from inspiration. Could you list some of the things that inspire you and stir your creativity? Have any particular works - literary or otherwise - proved to be a lasting influence on your own style and imagination?

Colin: Roger Zelazny has been a favorite of mine throughout my life as a fantasy reader. I started reading his "Chronicles of Amber" when I was in 7th grade, and have been reading or re-reading his works ever since - that's about 30 years of Zelazny reading, if you're keeping track. His work covers fantasy, science fiction, and all the places in between - as a speculative fiction writer, he was daring, imaginative, and deeply thoughtful, not to mention possessed of an incredible style and verve.   But I do like to take inspiration from everything that I come across, whether it be painting, photography, music, sculpture, or simply living.

Here's a quote about Planescape: Torment:

GS: According to many, Planescape: Torment is a game not to be played but to be read. It wouldn't be an overstatement to claim that some of the game's individual storylines offered more "story" than many of today's cRPG productions in their entirety. What has happened to the narrative aspects of games in the recent years? In an era of fully animated dialogue sequences, can the narrative still prove a vital element of gameplay?

Colin: Part of the problem, I think, is that players have come to expect voice acting and animated cut-scenes and a host of other expensive goodies that must be planned, developed, and implemented well in advance of the game's completion. While planning is an important element of any development process, the incredible lead time and cost of modern dialogue takes a real toll on improvisation and inspiration during the development process. That said, I also believe that narrative does continue to play a vital role in gameplay, and developers like Obsidian and InXile prove that people are hungry to see narrative in gameplay.


Source: RPG Codex

Information about

Planescape: Torment

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released