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10.03.2013 12:00 [Interviews (english)] Interview with Mattias Filler (Part one)

General Questions

Are you still in contact with your former colleagues from Piranha Bytes? Can you still rely on each other? Do you help each other, e.g. with searching for a new job? Or with advice? In short: Is there still a form of professional and social feeling of companionship between working Piranhas and Ex-Piranhas?

Yes, of course. With some of the guys I share the circle of friends and we meet every now and then.
There was something special about Piranha Bytes. We haven't just been workmates, we're friends. We're still there for each other at the professional level, too.

If PB invited you for a new project, would you accept or decline?

Now, I'm only just get away! So, today I wouldn't, but on principle, I'd be glad to realise a project with the guys again.

Would it be realistic if all Piranhas which left the studio over the years for different reason came together again and made a dream-game for the old Gothic fans?

Sadly, this isn't quite realistic but it is a nice wish. I would appreciate something cool happening to the “Gothic“ - brand and me being part of that.

Games industry

How much has changed in the games business since the first Gothics? Which changes are negative and which positive, in your opinion?

Absolute amount of games has increased from manageable to unbelieveable. Positive to mention is that games slowly (in Germany) but certainly (worldwide) are regarded as industrial and cultural goods. This leads to better job offerings for developers. For gamers, there has never been a larger choice, negative to mention in this process is the junk with witch we are filled.

Is there a recipe for guaranteed success of a game? How can people finally make the best RPG of all times?

No. If there was one, everyone would use it and all games would be same “perfect” - how boring. A game grows during his development and that's good. In principle, there are promising strategies to develop a successful game, of course, my experience is: A strong vision is best entrance for a good game.

What do you think about the newest Witcher game (The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt) from CD Project Red in Poland? It reminds us a little of your great plans for Gothic 3 which were then only realised partially and with a lot of problems for both you and the gamers.

think that can not be compared. The guys know what they're doing and they are experienced enough to avoid such mistakes. Have faith in them, they'll manage that!

In the past, Piranha Bytes was known for maximum closeness to the community. But now they have maximally distanced themselves from their community. It seems as if they do not even look at their faithful fan base. Where do you think is the problem? Is the developer or the publisher responsible?

I think it is not true, that PB has “maximally distanced themselves from their community”. Yes, we don't write personally to everyone who has gotten in trouble any more but we couldn't accomplish that no longer, these times are over. It has become less but even now, I'm still looking at the forums constantly.

How much do developers depend on their community and how far do they have to go in order to satisfy them? Do they have to fulfil almost every wish of their fan base to please their potential customers? Or is better to experiment to the last remaining buyer for artistic ambitions? Or even tap into new target groups because the old ones are just dinosaurs anyway?

Developers aren't bound to anything except to thereselves and to their idea (and to the commitments on which they agree, of course). It is one point to act on suggestions of the community but it is a completely different one to change the ending of a game because the fans don't like it. Here I've made an experience as well: Whatever you integrate, there'll be the guy who likes it and there'll be the other one who'll think that it's bullshit. Development of games should happen independent of thoughts of groups of buyers. Create a game you would like to play yourself. That's the maxim.

Games as a hobby

What games have you played lately and which ones did you like most? Mostly RPGs? What do you currently play?

At present, I've lots of joy in playing LA Noire. Hitman Absolution, Mass Effect 3 and Dark Souls are waiting to be played finally. In between, I like to play a round DefenseGrid or Magic or I've a look at a demo version. The last huge game in which I've invested a lot of time was Skyrim. Sadly, I do not have enough time to play extensively.

Are you interested in fan modifikations? Or do you not care about the future of old PB games? If not, what do you think about projects like the G3 questmod, the content mod or the still developed Community Story Project?

Honestly, the first mods I had been playing with great enthusiasm. This had ended some time and now I'm completely out there.

When was the time you played Gothic? What emotions did you have during that? Or are you never pulled back to that masterpiece?

It has been years since I'v played one of the Gothic games. Above all, it is funny but I also see very quickly the shortcomings and bugs. Sometime, we've to play it again with some of the other PBs and thereby to spill the beans … when we've all gotten long gray beards.

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  written by MisterXYZ