Two Worlds Interview

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Two Worlds is an extremely ambitious project that is the collaborative effort of Topware Interactive, Reality Pump, and Southpeak Games (who will help in publishing the title in North America and Europe). The game looks to be a very in depth RPG for both the PC and Xbox 360, and has been in the works for quite some time. As the game is finally nearing completion and is due for release at the beginning of August (the interview questions regarding release dates are slightly inaccurate due to delays in correspondence), I had the chance to ask questions to James Seaman, Managing Director at Topware.

 


Tell us a bit about yourself and what you’ve done for Two Worlds.

My name is James Seaman and I’m the Managing Director of Topware Interactive, which essentially means I oversee the project and make sure everything runs smoothly between all the departments.

The game was recently delayed until May in Europe. Will this also delay the North American release, and if so, when can we expect it?

The game will be releasing in this spring in all regions. From the very early stages of the game we were set to make something that would leave gamers speechless. The game is at the point where it could probably be released with great reviews, but it’s not where we want it. The extra time is going to be spent honing the unique qualities of the game, the details that are key to making an RPG everything it needs to be and more. In addition to the odds and ends we’re polishing up, we’ve also decided to add some MMORPG features to the online portion. Everything will essentially be the same with the single player, but in multiplayer you will now have the option on the PC of playing it as an MMO. I guess that’s a roundabout way of putting it, but there are some really big things we’re working on to over-deliver for the gamers.


What games have the developers previously worked on, and how have they put that experience into making Two Worlds?

Reality Pump was behind the Earth 21XX series as well as Polanie 2, which was their first foray into RPG games. They’ve used their extensive research in RTS/RPG gaming as well as their passion for the general fantasy genre as a springboard into Two Worlds. There’s a reason why the Earth 21XX is one of the longest running RTS series out there (eight years), these guys really have it down and have done their homework.

You’re working with an entirely new game franchise here. How do you expect the game to compete with established names such as Oblivion and Dark Messiah of Might and Magic, or is the game not that close to these two titles?

Honestly, we feel that Two Worlds is like Oblivion and DMoMM only in the sense that it’s an RPG. The new features weve added in are something that are really going to bring the game to a new level in the genre. From the intense magic and combat systems we’ve implemented to the world that reacts to your decisions, I can’t see Two Worlds in the same peer group as Oblivion/DMoMM or any current RPG for that matter. I think gamers are going to see that immediately, and really find that the game has a ton of features to offer them, let alone the newly announced MMORPG multiplayer mode for PC that we’re working on!

The game is in development for the PC as well as the Xbox 360. What made the team decide to go with the 360 over other consoles?

For us, we’ve predominately developed PC games. With Two Worlds we wanted to focus on something that was a bit more accessible and having it on the 360 was the first thing we needed to do to make that happen. Also, the multiplayer was a big deal for the game, the fact that you can team up and go on an eight player online quest with your friends is a key aspect. It’s all part of over-delivering for the gamers, which is a top priority for us. The 360 comes with the backing of the vast Xbox Live network which is, let’s face it, probably the best online option for consoles right now. Other than the great graphics, I think that’s one of the key reasons we decided to go with Xbox on this title.

I’ve heard a lot about how much motion capture work was put into Two Worlds. Could you elaborate a bit more on that and how this will benefit the final product?

We motion captured everything we could; I mean we were picking little white dots off of things for weeks- We motion captured horses and rabbits for the wildlife, professional fencers and martial artists for combat, and even Olympic swimmers to get that motion correct. For us motion capture was a way for us to make the game as lifelike as possible. One of our goals for Two Worlds is to immerse the player in a realistic and practical way. From the way that your character can influence your surroundings, events, and story of the game to the way that the horses run, or rabbits frolic- everything is made to be as true to life and authentic as possible. It’s one thing to make a game; it’s a whole different beast when you’re creating a living, breathing world.

How will Two Worlds handle skills and abilities? Will there be any “level grinding” per say, or will players be able to progress in other ways?

Of course there will be the core RPG elements like leveling up through EXP and battling, but we’ve got some other really interesting aspects. When you level up your character you’ll be allotted skill points which can then be used to upgrade your characters key skills and abilities. This is where we expanded on the character customization. Lets say you’ve got your heart set on being a Knight and fighting on horseback the whole time, you can pour all of your skill points into Horseback riding, or if you’re a mage you can choose to make one single magic strongest or spread them over a wide range of spells. It’s really all up to you how and where you want to direct your character. Now you might be saying, what if I change my mind? There are characters you can talk to in the course of the game that can (for a price) help you liquidate some or all of your points for reallocation. So basically you’ll always have the chance to go back and try a new route if you’re not happy. Lastly, you’ll also be able to learn new skills and abilities from people as you quest, so there’s yet another dimension to explore.

How does the magic work in the game? Will it handle differently than in other RPGs of this type?

We’ve implemented a very complex, but user friendly magic system that involves arcane magic cards which you collect and then stack to make new spells. I know that sounds like a lot to digest at once, but it’s really simple. Let’s say you have a firebolt card and a strengthen card, you can combine these two to create a firebolt that is much stronger than normal- and can put more cards on top of that to change it even more. On the other hand, you can also take two like-magic types and combine them to create a double strength spell. That’s a really simple view of how it works, but there are a ton of different combinations you can make and almost endless possibilities. That’s not even getting into the various schools of magic you can join and train under. There isn’t any other magic system quite the same and I think the options are one of the key elements that are going to take the game to new levels.

Tell us a little bit about how reputation will work in Two Worlds.

As you know the game will react to the decisions you make as you play through the quest. These decisions will ultimately define your character as a person and everyone in the world will react accordingly. There are different guilds with whom your reputation changes for everything you do. You can become deeply entrenched with one side and gain benefits from this, but you’ll lose out on opportunities from other groups. You can try to play the field and be a friend to all, but eventually you may have to make a decision that shuts you out from a guild. Again, reputation and allegiance is another seemingly small thing within the world that has large implications as the game progresses.

What kind of multiplayer components can players look forward to in both versions of the game?

The online multiplayer will let you join up and create parties of up to 8 players where you can then take on the quests. Actually, what we’ve done is include extra quests you can play just in the multiplayer. So essentially, outside of the single player quest, you’ll be able to take on a number of multiplayer specific quests to complete the game.

How much freedom will players have in the game world? Will there be plenty of quests to take off of the beaten path in addition to ones that advance the overall story?

To quote Scarface- “The world is yours”- it’s up you how much you want to explore and the quests you want to take on. There is a wide variety of side quests and optional missions you’ll be able to take on. Again depending on your reputation, more of these present themselves as you play. That having been said, just because you’re on a side quest doesn’t mean the main quest is on hold, the fact that you’re taking a side quest will ultimately have an effect on the main story, the impact will ultimately depend on the specific quest, but it’ll always be tied together in some way. We didn’t want a situation where players become disjointed from their main goals and get lost and ultimately bored. The game is all about having fun!

Is there anything else you’d like to say about Two Worlds?

We’re putting a lot of work into the game to make it something that will make RPG fans step back and say “wow” when they play. We’ve taken into account what the fans have said about previous games and addressed many concerns that players have had. There’s a difference between developing a game that you think is a good idea, and a game that you believe in. We believe Two Worlds has what it takes to be the best RPG of the year. The interactive storyline combined with the incredible customization of characters is way ahead of anything we’ve seen and we really want people to get into the game and enjoy it as much as we did making it!

 

For more information on Two Worlds, visit any of the following websites:

http://www.southpeakgames.com/
http://www.2-worlds.com/
http://www.topware.com/

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