Interview with Raphael Colantonio CEO of Arkane Studios 0

RECENSIONE di La Redazione  —   29/05/2003

[***dati incompleti: scheda gioco o num immagine mancante***]

RPGPlayer: Will there be more options in the dialogues or will this aspect remain the same as it is in the first version?
Colantonio: "Dialogues will remain plain and simple. Our players liked this aspect of first chapter and we want to keep it like that. Maybe we will put more options when the plot is implied, but essentially the approach must be simple. This is very important to us, not to let the player get himself lost in never ending dialogues."

RPGPlayer: The magic system was quite controversial, some loved it, some did not like it at all. How will it change in Arx 2?
Colantonio: "Some players found it hard to cast spells in real time with the runes system. So we decided to split the magic system in two schools, one of the “snake women” and one of the classical wizards. The first will be more simple and plain and you will not have to cast runes in real time. In this case the spells will be different and a little less effective. The schools will be balanced, one is easy but the spells are less powerful, the other is difficult but the effects of its magic is much stronger. The player choses the school of magic at the beginning and cannot change it any more during the game."

RPGPlayer: From a technical point of view, will the graphic engine be renewed or simply corrected? What will be the new features?
Colantonio: "The engine is going to be totally renewed. We already have a very powerful renderer that uses the pixel shaders, the normal mapping ecc, ecc. All of this makes the textures and the objects much more detailed. I can’t show it to you right now but the result is really amazing."

RPGPlayer: Once the game is released, will you also provide an editor to let the players build their own aeras or will you keep the same structure of the first epidode which is complete in itself?
Colantonio: "It is hard to give an answer at the moment. We would like to, but that function would take a long developing time and we are bound to the publisher’s choices for what concerns the release of the game and how much can be invested on programming such functions."

RPGPlayer: When will be Arx Fatalis 2 released?
Colantonio: "It is too soon to tell."

RPGPlayer: What about online RPGs? Would you try some? Would you like to make one?
Colantonio: ": I played a lot Ultima Online, almost two years. This game really became part of my life. I am not much attracted by other online games because they all seem to have the same base system. This year I found some kind of levelling out, all the new games are the same as Ultima Online except for the graphic. I think it is about time that a new mmorpg is released. I am more attracted to non-mass rpg online like 1942 Battlefield, you connect and play you game without spending all that time that an mmorpg requires ."

RPGPlayer: Let's talk about the E3, is there any game that impressed you much?
Colantonio: "Half-life 2, Doom 3, Deus Ex 2 e Thief 3, these are the most impressive games i've seen"

RPGPlayer: So you don’t think you ever will work on an mmorpg?
Colantonio: "Those games need a totally different kind of work to be programmed. We are interested in multiplaying but it should be more like 1942 Battlefield, mass rpg is not for us at the moment."

RPGPlayer: Thanks for interview and for your time, see ya in Italy!
Colantonio: "Thanks you!"

[***dati incompleti: scheda gioco o num immagine mancante***]

Versione italiana - Videointervista - Audiointervista

RPGPlayer: What are the main differences between the x-box version and the PC version of Arx Fatalis?
Colantonio: "The x-box version is being released almost a year after the previous one. During this year we heard all of the players’ considerations and also found out many faults of the PC version. So we were able to fix these faults and now Arx Fatalis is much easier, while the PC version was quite hard to play. What is more, we have applied the graphic specifications of the x-box like for instance the pixel shaders, and so on."

RPGPlayer: So we can say the x-box version will be better than the PC version?
Colantonio: "Actually, it is..After a whole year of work it is logical that the x-box version will be better. If they had been released at the same moment, they would have been the same."

RPGPlayer: Did you find it hard to adapt Arx Fatalis to the control system of the x-box pad?
Colantonio: "At first it was quite a challenge to transfer the PC control system.on the x-box pad. When the job was done, we understood that we could do it in a different way for the PC version too, avoiding the sepearation between the interactivity and pre-look. I can announce that we will use this new technique for Arx 2, too."

RPGPlayer: So let’s talk about Arx Fatalis 2. Some say that part of the game is set outdoors. Do you confirm?
Colantonio: "Yes, it’s true. In Arx fatalis 2 we will go back into the past of Arx, much earlier in time than the first episode. So we will discover how Arx was before Arx Fatalis 1. The game will be consequentily set both in dungeons and outdoors. This allows us to underline the contrast between the dark, oppressive environment that you find uderground and the other one, sunny and nice."

RPGPlayer: Will this influence the gameplay? I mean, with all these changese the game will be more varied?
Colantonio: "Yes, exactly."

RPGPlayer: Some complained about the fact that Arx Fatalis 1 was a bit too hard for the average player, especially for some puzzles. In Arx Fatalis 2 will you keep the same level of difficulty or will you reconsider it?
Colantonio: "I think it’s true that the game showed some difficulty but we didn’t have the time to test and balance the final release. The x-box version will be more friendly to the average player, as I said before. Another fault in Arx Fatalis 1 was that the missions were not too clear and some players did not understand what they had to do to go on. This time we will make the purposes of the game more clear. We also will allow the players to complete the missions in many different ways, according to what they prefer, a more tactical or direct strategy. So the game will follow the style of the player, and it will seem more real."

RPGPlayer: How about the interaction between the player and the NPC, will it be more elaborate?
Colantonio: "Yes, the artificial intelligence of the game will be corrected and improved. The NPC had 3 or 4 standard reactions to the player, but in Arx 2 we will focus on this aspect. We wish to put new tactics in the game, for example 2 NPCs attacking the player at the same time, or allow the NPCs to flee and hide, and so on."