13 de Mayo de 2021
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Interviewing Feargus Urquhart, CEO, and Ryan Rucinski, Senior Producer of Obsidian Entertainment

Obsidian Entertainment | En Español | Comment the interview

Palafoxx and Immortality - Let us speak a bit about Obsidian. How did it come to be?

Feargus - The five owners of Obsidian had been working together at Black Isle Studios for a number of years and just thought it was time to start our own company. After making that decision, I turned in my resignation at Interplay and the other owners did as well over the next couple of months. We were fortunate in that we were able to immediately start talking to publishers about making games and within a few months had signed a deal with LucasArts to create Knights of the Old Republic 2 (KotOR2). It was particularly fortunate because it meant the the seven of us, a couple more guys from Black Isle had come over by then, could move out of my attic and into a real office.

P and I - Years ago when Black Isle and Interplay ceased to be, we feared for Bioware and the whole PC roleplaying scene. How were those times for you? What made you come back to try it again (and succeed)?

Feargus - Well it was one of the reasons that I left Interplay/Black Isle at the time. Interplay was moving away from PC RPGs and I wanted to continue to make them. In particular, Interplay lost the rights to make Baldur's Gate 3, which we had been working on internally for a couple of years at the time. As for coming back, I don't think I ever really left. Our first game, KotOR2, was a console game, but it was also very much a PC style RPG.

P and I - Obsidian has so far developed two games, both made with BioWare engines or modifications to the engines. Also, the two games you made are sequels to BioWare games. Why did you decide to go for sequels to this games instead of creating "your very own"?

Feargus - Doing sequels is a great way to start a company since the question of what the game is going to be has already been answered. That makes sequels less risky and means that publishers are less worried about working with a new studio. However, given the option of make something entirely new or getting to make a game like Neverwinter Nights 2, I would still have a hard time choosing between the two. I suppose that I just don't think that sequels are necessarily less creative than creating something entirely new. In the end, whether the game is a sequel or not, a game ends up being good solely based upon how you make it and what you put in it.

P and I - Speaking of sequels... what about Baldur's Gate III?

Feargus - Well, as I said, we've already done that once. :) I actually don't know Atari's specific plans for BG3, but I know that Baldur's Gate is important to them and that it enters into their thoughts about new products all of the time.

P and I - What are you expecting to see with the release of Neverwinter Nights 2 in the player community?

RR - At the time of this writing we are already on shelves. There are some passionate folks out there both pro and con. The one thing that is pretty consistant between them both is that all their comments come from the heart. If they didn't like something they have no qualms about letting us know. A lot of folks are happy with the Single Player Campaign but feel that there is not enough support for the Persistant Worlds. In regard to that, we are continuing to add support for Multi-Player and of course fixing any bugs that need to be addressed.

P and I - What are the more distinct changes between Neverwinter Nights and Neverwinter Nights 2? Can we expect more character interaction?

RR - Oh there is definitely more character interaction alright. Each Companion is no longer the mindless henchman from our Predecessor. They are completely controllable and customizable. If you want your fighter to become a Paladin, the next time he levels up, choose appropriately in the character screen. Another big change is that your companions actually have their own storylines. You don't have to do them but their epic rewards can be pretty impacting on the story. And of course, there is the influence system - If you continually treating a companion poorly, they will likely give you a colorful expletive and leave the party or even worse...Turn on you at an inopportune time.

P and I - With Neverwinter Nights 2 you've changed the Toolset completely. We are a modding community, among other things, and with the old Neverwinter Nights Aurora toolset we encountered a lot of problems in order to translate mods into Spanish, specially the scripts. Did you revise the new toolset, or thought of making it more translator-friendly?

RR - The Toolset is completely localized as it is. However, we have Patch 2 coming out that will support custom TLK tables for the modules making it easier for the end-user to make localization changes.

P and I - A big quality of Neverwinter Nights was the capability to create persistent worlds and multiplayer gaming. However, it seems that in Neverwinter Nights 2 you've tried to strengthen the singleplayer mode. Is this true?

RR - We definitely strengthened the Single Player experience. THis is one thing that we felt would have to do to reach out to new users. We still offer the Multiple-Player options (You can even play the single player campaign in multiplayer) and we are refining and trying to address the needs of the PW seeking folks. For example, people want to quick find a game and jump into it to see if it is right for them but since it has custom content you have to load their modules, etc. We are looking into making this more of an intuitive process with links to where the files would be located. Things like this we are trying to implement at this time, so no promises until they are officially announced

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