x360a Q & A - Two Worlds: The Temptation
Written Monday, May 12, 2008 By Dan WebbView author's profile
We managed to steal yet some more time today of TopWare Interactive's James Seaman. This time, focus switched to the upcoming sequel to Two Worlds, The Temptation, published by SouthPeak Interactive and he was more than glad to answer a few questions for us.
Topic of conversation revolved around improvements in the series, the mixed reviews on the original game and how they used it as a driving force with the new title. Check out how it went...
Hi, for the folks back home, can you please introduce yourself and your role on the team?
I’m James Seaman, Managing Director of TopWare Interactive, which is a fancy way of saying that it’s my job to make the game as good as possible.
Two Worlds: The Temptation was originally set to be additional content for the Two Worlds title. What was the reasoning behind making it a fully fledged title?
Once we had laid the groundwork for what we were about to undertake, we took a step back and realized the scope of the project. We were going to build a new engine, and create a game that was just as large as the original Two Worlds. At that point, we realized that The Temptation was much more than an expansion, and deserved to be a game in its own right.
The original title was met with mixed reviews. What have you learnt from the first title that you will carry over in to this new title?
That there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Everyone on the team was so excited to be working on a role-playing game that we tried to incorporate every little idea into Two Worlds right up until the end. The result was a game that had its share of uneven parts. With The Temptation, we’ve clearly delineated what we are and are not going to do with the game from the start, and we’re sticking to that throughout the development process.
Are there any defining new features in the Temptation title that you are particularly proud of?
Plenty, but only a few I can share with you at this time. The thing most people will see right off the bat is how much the game has improved graphically, especially the characters. I’ll be the first to admit that many of the people in the world looked a little weird. We’ve completely overhauled the face mapping with The Temptation, so the residents of Antaloor will look much more realistic.
Can you give us some more info on how you’ve “completely revamped” the combat system of the title?
Basically, we’re giving players more active control. There will be active blocking, it will be easier to incorporate special attacks, and combat will be less about button mashing. In all, combat will be a more involved and rewarding experience.
The announcement press release mentions “intricate missions”, can you give us more of an insight in to how you’ve achieved this?
You bet. With the original Two Worlds, we felt we fell into the fetch quest trap a little too much, so this time around we’re doing everything we can to avoid that. Many of our quests will have multiple options and solutions that work independently of one another. This means that you don’t necessarily have to talk to a specific person to get clued in, and in fact, some characters may play off one another during a quest. This new structure allows us to pull off things like murder mysteries and bargaining in a much more meaningful way.
Considering all the negative feedback you received about controlling the mounts in Two Worlds, do you regret making it so you are controlling the rider instead of the horse? Will Temptation look to fix this?
I think every game designer has regrets attached to every video game ever made, so we try not to get hung up on past failures. Instead, we’ve taken players comments to heart, and are working make improvements based on that commentary. Mounted combat is one of the things seeing major change. The mounts themselves will be able to deal with terrain better, and not get stuck in odd places. We’re also making attacking from a mount less about guesswork, and more about skill.
Will we be seeing a bigger world this time around or just more substance within a similar sized world?
The Temptation actually explores the eastern reaches of Antaloor, beyond the Drak’ar Desert. In total, the world will be larger than that presented in the original game.
It must be tough for the team to hear all the criticism regarding the game early on. Did you use that as a driving force to make Temptation a far better title?
Absolutely. We actually don’t have a problem with criticism as long as it’s constructive and attempts to offer a solution. Anyone can say, ‘This game sucks!’ Those kind of comments you gloss over, but when someone takes the time to point out faults and give examples of how things could be improved, we’re all ears.
Are we likely to see a pre-release demo for The Temptation?
I can’t say for sure, but my guess right now would be no. We weren’t able to do this with Two Worlds beforehand because it was simply too hard to boil a huge game into a capsule sized demo, and I have a feeling things will be the same this time around. That said, once the game shipped, we were able to go back and put together a demo.
Do you plan on releasing additional content for the Temptation title like you did with the original? If so, have you looked far enough ahead as to what it might entail?
We’d like to, but for right now we just have to worry about finishing up The Temptation.