The Broken Hourglass - Interview @ Rampant Games
Indie games site Rampant Games has interviewed Jason Compton from Planewalker on The Broken Hourglass. It's a lengthy article that covers a little of Jason's history and influences through to the game itself:
Rampant Coyote: In a lot of games, it feels like you are railroaded through a story, regardless of what you want to do with your character. How were you able to achieve that balance between story and player freedom?
Jason: Well, uh... (laughs) we’ll just have to see, in part. I know how we think we’re doing it. I’ve always been up front about saying that we are not a sandbox game. We do have a finite and limited and non-random number of things to do in the game. We are not procedural content people. So there’s only so much you can do, and a certain number of things you’ll have to do.
We hope that by making a lot of the decisions about what order to do things in, and to a some extent which path you’ll take to reach those goals open-ended, players won't feel like they're in a box. Not everything has to be solved in a specific way. It’s not just “obtain the sort of blah from the Foozle over here, and give it to this guy, and doing that unlocks the gate.” There are some other … some different strategies to reach the end of some of the major quests, and alternative strategies for many sidequests as well. If anything, from a design standpoint I worry sometimes that we don't have enough plots which just consist of "You meet Party A. They hate you, and conflict ensues!"
We’ll have to see! What I have in my head as enough freedom may not be enough freedom for some players. But I can’t know what we do wrong until people play the game.
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