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15.04.2009 03:00 [Interviews (english)] Interview at the RPC 2009 by +locust+
Our forum member +locust+ had the chance to speak with people from Piranha Bytes and Deep Silver about RISEN. He kindly provided us with his minutes taken from memory in form of an "improvised interview".

The translation from german to english was done by staff member foobar.

My RPC report is for those who are interested in a few extra infos beside the official announcements. I had the luck to chat with some nice people from PB and DS.

Since my report also includes some maybe confidential information, I won't reveal the names of my informants and also the fotos of them will not be published. But do not expect too much. After all, I'm no intelligence agency.

I hope I can satisfy your curiosity without spoiling too much...

+locust+: Identification with work

PB: We are all passionate gamers. We play regularly, not only RPGs but often. We love what we do and know what we do! RISEN is something special for each one of us. Everyone is fully involved in his area and strives to provide a perfect result. Also, we currently have no other concept in mind like some speculated. We solely concentrate on RISEN.

+locust+: Workflow in comparison with Gothic

PB: A lot has changed since Gothic. The entire workflow has been restructured completely. With G3, when we discovered we could not handle the whole thing, especially the enormous amount of data and all the more in the available time, it was already too late. Then some of us had to put on blinders, close their eyes and go through with it, somehow it'll work out. At the end, the single parts were thrown together and we realised with consternation that many things did not fit together. Well, the rest is history...

Ralf: Sorry, I'm only here privately, my work is done almost completely. I only visit my PB colleagues and enjoy this great RPC atmosphere. Oh yes, my comic. Well, it's not done yet... except for chapter 1... :-)

+locust+: Arguments for RISEN buyers after Gothic disaster

PB: Won't happen again... hahaha... Ok, seriously. We have much better control over the entire project. We communicate the single, internal parts of the team right from the start. Everything is checked back immediately. We have regular meetings and also "bilateral" talks between the employees. The recollection of our strengths is one thing. Apart from that, we also directly integrated some proposals or wishes from the community as well as let ourselves get inspired by current titles of our rivals. Though RISEN looks to be rather bright and colourful on the current screens, this is only one part of the world. We tried to create a thrilling atmosphere through the entire game without everything looking identical. Dark, cheerful, bright, grim, relaxed and frightening areas will alternate in RISEN, and the typical PB flavour will be sensible everywhere.

+locust+: Do you want to say something about the current Gothic development; Jowood, Trine Games or Spellbound?

PB: Basically, everything has been said already. The guys from Spellbound are very abled and competent people. They will surely create something special. Other than that, we as PB cannot say more.

+locust+: And personally? Just your opinion as human and user?

PB: Hm, well... I cannot say that I am concerned about it because I don't have this strong emotional bond, but I can imagine that many people are disappointed about it and I understand it. We were not entirely innocent after all, even though we did not have the matter in our hands at the end. As long as the people like it, I don't have a problem with it and wish good luck to all who are involved.

+locust+: How is the relationship to the publisher?

PB: Superb!

+locust+: That's what we heard about Jowood, too, at first. And we all know how that ended.

PB: Well, ok... It is a very cooperative, creative and especially VERY professional and motivating collaboration with DS. We hear the line "When it's done" almost more often from DS than from our own team... hehe...
Oft course, we also have more or less strict milestone deadlines but we're still good on time because, like I said, everything is organised much tighter and more effectively. That way, we can look much more stress-free towards release.

+locust+: Apropos release date!

PB: Sorry, but that's probably the most closely guarded secret between us and DS. Officially, DS only says: 2009.

+locust+: Ok, that's clear... and inofficially? Can you at least narrow it down?

PB: Hmm... ok, second half of the year.

+locust+: A bit more precisely?

PB: Third or fourth quarter.

+locust+: You don't say. C'mon, I won't tell anyone ;-) [ note from translator: liar ;-) ]

PB: One moment, I have to check this with DS..., all right, but only between the two of us... we're aiming between the third and fourth quarter but always remain flexible. ;-)

+locust+: So, October 2009?

PB+DS: You said that.

+locust+: Bullet points about gameplay, design and technology
  • A very winding, convoluted, very alive looking world.
  • Many interactions with environment possible.
  • Much less numbers, tables and direct hints, instead things will become clear through dialogues, observation and listening.
  • Despite the dense story and tight golden thread, much freedom remains and game almost never appears tube-like.

PB: We will reward explorers. We created many points of interest. The storyline will pull you through the game and never abandon you, but you are kept on a long leash so that in your perception, you have maximum freedom.

  • No silly reputation system anymore, no illogical processes. Finally, a satisfying theft system. Sneaking, exploring, lockpicking, trap disarming, riddle solving, etc...
  • Nice interface, good looking colourful icons, detailed and practical.
  • At that time, the preparations for the sounds recordings were running. The should have started by now.
  • Lipsync is yet to be included
  • A "Marvin" mode will definitely exist, but it'll probably have a different name and work differently.
  • Complex quest system. Many possibilities to solve quests because only certain main criteria have to be fulfilled to complete the quest. Everything else, for example, how you get those criteria fulfilled, is left to the player.
  • Sound/Music: Rarely orchestral anymore, more single instruments, very depending on mood. Harmonic blends, very lively and dynamic.
  • Combat is under constant development. Will probably remain under construction until the end.

+locust+: What about the "RISEN substance"? What does the story allow in comparison to Gothic? Are sequels, prequels, addons, etc. planned or possible?

PB: We do not think about sequels, that much is clear. After all, that depends on our success, especially the fans, the community and the buyers in general. And the publisher has a word to say about that, too. But those things are possible, of course. We made the story similar to Gothic. First, we created an independant, consistent universe. Then we picked one part of that world, made a spacial delimitation, and developed the story in detail. In RISEN, you will have the feeling that there is more than what you currently see or think to know about the world. This is very important because it enriches the player with a diffuse abundance in his gaming experience. RISEN will fascinate beginners as well as "veterans", that I say deliberately.

+locust+: System requirements

PB: Difficult to say something about that right now because it will change in the optimisation phase. But what I can tell you is that on my working PC, an Operon 1.4, 3 GB RAM and GeForce 8800, our "extended alpha version" looks very nice and is playable. Of course, high-end computers will be rewarded by having higher resolutions with sharper textures, cool effects, large viewing distance, multicore-optimisation for smooth presentation of all game-relevant areas, both graphical and code-based.

+locust+: Thanks for the interview and have fun on the RPC.

PB+DS: Thanks, you too and Good Bye.