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11.06.2009 12:29 [Interviews (english)] Interview about Modding Tools and Collector's Edition
pcgames.de: How's the development of risen going? In which state of development is the game and do you think, that risen will be released before the turn of the year?
Björn: The development is going fine. We're still at the bugfixing process and the finetuning of the combat system so that risen will offer a real good gaming-experience. The strategy investing time the game needs completly works out. Never was a game of Piranha Bytes so well tested and balanced before.

pcgames.de: Gothic 3 was full of bugs. And the community went mad, so how do you take care that Risen will be bug-free?
Björn: With the strategy I've just mentioned. Taking time for testing and balancing. The saving- and loading time are already optimized and the buglist gets smaller every day. We were able to play the game in the first month of the year through. Normally it takes 3 month between the date of the first playable version and the gold master. But we have taken a lot more time, because all people who are involved in the developing process agree with the fact, that in this last 20% of the process round about 80% of the games quality is comming up.

pcgames: Ok let us take a closer look on the game. Is it possible to continue the game after seeing the end credits?
Björn: Risen has a determinately beginning and ending. We want to tell a deep and interesting story and so we don't chose the direction of developing a never ending role play game with some story scraps and changeable characters who are based on leveling.

pcgames: Can you name the savegames on your own and will they be seen in the explorer with that name?
Björn: Yes

pcgames: A question for our soundtrack fetishist: Are the soundfiles available as a mp3 in the installation folder?
Björn: No, but we're considering to put the soundtrack in the collectors edition

pcgames: In regard to the multi-platform development of risen: Will there be different interfaces? Can you tell us in which way they're different from each other?
Björn: Of course are the interfaces different and each of it was developed, adjusted and optimized for each platform. Because of the xbox360 and pc similar resolution, our changes primally tend on the combat systen, which needs to be adjusted for the controller. Furthermore the handling of the menu, which needs to be ajusted to the controller too.

pcgames: And what's about the modding tools for the community? It don't has to be an all-embracing editor, a collection of some tools with a short documentation like they were in gothic and gothic 2 would be enough for the most fans.
Björn: We're thinking about that at the moment

pcgames: Ok lets focus on the hardware. If I want to enjoy Risen with high graphics, what system do I need?
Björn: We're still testing the Hardware, so we cannot give you assured information about that. But a dual core is as important as enough working memory (according to your OS). And of course a graphic card which level of performance is similar to a geforce 8800.

pcgames: What is your engine capable of, which features stick out?
Björn: The world of risen is really varying and so it needs a huge amount of different textures and shader. We're working with a shadersystem which is quite similar to the technology used in the unreal 3 enginge. So we come up with round about 2000 shader models 3.0 based on 1700 different variants of texture.

For a realistic and imposingly presentation of the world, Risen uses basically cleverly worked out techniques of lighting. So FULL HDR Lighting is the basic model of illumination which allowes especially constraty pictures. Relating to the shadows, we're using variance shadow mapping, it's a technique, which is only used in some high end titles and offers notably soft shadows. As an additional effect of lighting, we implemented screen space ambient occlusion. This raises the realism of the risen. This technique, which was only used in games like crysis or gears of war 2, is near to a true global illumination.

pcgames: Why will Risen only be released for the PC and Xbox 360 and not for the ps3
Björn: The xbox360 architecture is closer to the pc. A simultaneous development for both systems allowes multifarious synergy effects. That wouldn't be possible for a PS3 development in that way.

Interview in German done by PCGames.de
Translation by OnKeLDead