AMA on the Road

I am currently in Incheon Airport in Korea, awaiting the end of my 8-hour layover so I can finish another journey to Newport Beach and another week of design meetings, pizza, more design meetings, Greek food, brainstorming meetings (you know, where we brainstorm design), Mexican food, and the beach. Except for the part where I leave my family for 10 days (and, you know, kill 8 hours in an airport), I'm pretty excited about it.

But I do have some questions to answer! So let's get to these.

All these questions are from Surface Rlf:
If the player it to be forewarned about possible failure, or chances for that failure - shouldn't that be dependent on level of his skill for that specific task?
So, a low level, beginner thief would not be able to know how dangerous some trap or lock is with any greater precision (this lock looks challenging, duh), while a master thief would be able to evaluate the dangers with more exact precision, presumably knowing the exact type and maker and specific of the lock or trap.
Or at least be able to deduce the potential risks with more precision?
- instead of some global knowledge available to everyone - of that class?
These are cool ideas, and if we had more resources to devote to implementing and debugging this kind of gameplay, I'd put it in Torment.  (I know it doesn't seem all that complicated, but even a small thing like this can increase balancing and debugging time exponentially.) At the moment, pending prototyping and iteration of our exploration gameplay, we're allowing the player to choose how much of the task difficulties they see (actual numbers vs. abstracted numbers (default) vs. none), primarily focusing our resources toward conversations, Crises, and reactivity instead.

Save scumming in usual gameplay may be fine, but what about saving during TB combat?
It's likely this will be possible in Torment (our Crises are planned to be longish, in-depth affairs), so I stand by my statement in this interview. Namely, we are taking care in our design so as not to encourage nor require savescumming, even in TB combat. But for some folks, that's how they want to play, so we're not going to expend tons of resources to prohibit it.

- have you played Age of Decadence?
Sadly, no.

As for [random number generation (a topic dealt with in the same interview)]... isnt that what gives RPG mechanics a very valuable sense of authenticity and believability? Lets look at... Sergei Bubka, at his prime. World recorder and master champion of his sport with no one equal or even close in skill at the time. Did he succeed in every single jump? Furthermore... shouldn't RNG lessen the more skilled a character is and be greater the lower level of skill is? (but never be completely removed?) Seems reasonable and believable to me.
I agree (though as I said in the interview, deterministic can be fun too). Sounds like you'll enjoy Torment's design :-)

Oh, i guess the fact that the player has the option of switching between all those Foci will be excused through narrative - of player being a castoff.
Something like that, yeah :-)

Have a question? Ask me anything.


Matthew MacNish said...

Have fun in SoCal.

Surface Rlf said...

Yeah well, nevermind. Ill just use those in my own game, mr fancy pants!

- just kidding, about the pants.

I mentioned Age of Decadence because there is no saving during its TB combat (which creates all sorts of awesome things, like this: and because it may teach Inxile a few things about it in general. You TToN guys may take a few pointers too, and i say that with full respect towards expertize and experience and capabilities of the new Torment team.

Wasteland 2 also doesnt have saving allowed during combat, or even during random encounters - at all. And i never saw anyone even mentioning it, let alone complain about it.

So... maybe... there could be a few difficulty modes for the game? eh?

Like, "kindergarten easy" for those who want to save during TB combat encounter. And "awesome and great people" mode for me.

Im sure thats perfectly humble to ask for.

Also, i sure hope you meant the Best Korea there... it would be so much cooler. :P

Surface Rlf said...

Thanks for finding time to answer.

Spending resources on conversations, crises and reactivity sounds perfect.

Im sure ill enjoy the new Torment a lot, since before the kickstarter. I got a very good tip, but... cant really reveal my sources... :)

So far everything is going according to the... predictions/plan. Pray continue.