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29.05.2009 14:48 [Interviews (english)] Interview with Mike Hoge (by Piranha Club)
Q: When you got down to work at Risen(events of game will happen in the new world), fans all the same kept you with appeals for to save in this game the spirit of Gothic. I found for myself other term, that I was activiously engraining into mind of your russians fans, - this term is Piranha-feeling. Are you agree with that term? If you do, then can you defines, in what this "Piranha-feeling" envices?

A: Yes, we can. I think - besides all of that - one thing is definitely obvious: this is first of all fashion we built the world and dialogs.
Analogically they are built in Risen, because we strongly tried to make the cogant world and to give player as much freedom as he wants. I think these points are most differential.

Q: Many of russian-speaking fans think that your games are very kindred to them. Why your games are so succssesfull in East Europe and russian-speaking countries?

A: I must to say I don't know it - for my sake. But probably it is because you are not very different of germans, for germans too like our games. Perhaps, russians and germans have many common things. Another idea came to me: translaters must have do their work well, and I think it decide many of that.

Q: Some ones of us think that your characters talk accurately as simple Ruhr miners - acutely and honestly, with brute humour and briny words, because you are from there. How you chats each other in studio, especially in stress situations? Do you resemble to your characters? Or your stories are clear creative fiction?

A: I think dialogs in Gothic are quite harmless than how we sometimes talks in Studio. We want not to shake up anyone by our games.

Q: Mike, I must ask you this question, though it annoy you perhaps. On many of our russians forums rumours that you are Nameless alter ego don't take silent.

A: Yeah, I have already hear it, but it is not true. It can be somehow connect to this only in that I have writed many dialogs for Gothic, and this style was copied in following games. Definitely they have piece of me. But concerning my appearance - it's not true. We had draw at that time near 100 faces, and I choose just this face because it was most acceptable to main character. It did't make for specially.

Q: But many fans found out you in this face. Probably you choose it because it was most like to your face?

A: So, it happen uncosiently. But I even worked out such theory: It's always notably that not care of who did design of face, he definitely injects some trait of him, because he thinks that it's cool. Even if he don't want to copy himself. So simply. If there is some estetic concept of how hero must look, then this probably is even not bad, that such things are happen, unconsciously though. I did not it consciously.

Q: What do you do when you feel great pressure of fans? Do you implement all their claims and wishes, or do you listen their means and do as you want, or you find gold middle?

A: I don't think that we are pressed. A lot of people give us their means, but on forums is nice and quite. We always tried - as we could - to come up to job so way. Some points also pertain to this theme: for example, case with difficult levels and functions of tutors. But on such things we reacts if we can. If we can do this - then yes, of couse.

Q: How do you react to criticism from fans? Do you anger on them saying: ''What is hell? We so try, and these unthankful players don't appreciate it at all!'' Or you search in these notes rational points. Can interested fan ideas inspire you, show you on interesting thought as for example to organise other and another quest or story turn?

A: No, I would't say so. Sometimes reading offers and wishes on forum, I think you must be very careful what you want because many fans which probably give good ideas, but havn't clear concept of how difficult to realise these offers, or if they are acceptable for game.
I think a lot of our decisions - no, every our decision - applies on base of what is good for game. There are no good ideas, but there are ideas that are very good for game, and there are ideas that are not acceptable for game. We considers offers on forums by such way.
And no, we have not anger on criticism. It's quite normal.
I think you must be developer yourself to appraise right how many labour involve to every feature. But I also think that it's good so many peoples think and discuss because this show in what direction they want to see the development of game.

Q: And with fight system was so way? After RPC some testers said that first fights was very easy...

A: As I think it would not good idea to make fight system too easy. Of couse, here all is vice versa rather we are taking support(not critisism) from people that give us strenghts and thought of we are on right way because in our team there is different means. Someone says: ''Let we do that way, other - of that way. I myself think that fight system must be more difficult a bit to there was to learn. And not only. We wanted
to get what we did in previous games of Gothic serie and with count of critisism of our publisher Deep Silver that fairly noted we should make interface a little more teachable. As I think, G1 was good game, but its interface was not optimal. There were many players who think it is normal then, but there were ones who hardly adaptive to it. But there were ones who even didn't accept it. And I think we found good way to realise the system which was in previous game, to be lucid, to be learning well. We are glad to that, and I think, fans will be glad too.

Q: After my analys of all offers and wishes of fans in different forums, I can do following inference. Most of your ''first-hour'' fans account themselves hardcore gamers. That's why they overreact the fact, that in Risen there are tutors, points, map with marks. They think to play in Risen too easy, that all will be ok if these ''tutors'' to be turn off. That's why I must send you a big offer of russian fans to make such option if it possible.

A: Yes, these things will be. There is a question how it is warrantable.
Does turn it in good or bad game? This make game more comprehensible. And more quick a little, but we have option to be turn off, and ones who want play so, can do it.

Q: Another question: are there in Risen difficult levels which we can choose in begining? Many of your russian fans don't worry about quality of story, quests, characters, and now graphics in Risen. They are waiting realise with impatientness and hoping that it will be free from bags.

A: Definitely we will do 3 degree of difficult. On easy level game will not claim many from you. And on most hard level you perhaps can play if you already know games of Piranhas. We plans to do so. Besides that, we have not complete this yet, that's why I can say nothing about final version.
We will leave to us near month to do tunes. We already have came through the game and found that degree of difficult which are acceptable to normal - easy levels. Now we must find out how we can do all more hard, and this is depened on characteristic of NPCs.
And a bit - of monsters behaviour, but firstly it depends on given damage.

This Interview was taken by elind
Original: Piranha Club Interview
Translation: SonnedreS