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GameSpy invades Troika Games
Our ongoing road tour takes us to another local developer where we demand to see Arcanum.
By - John "Warrior" Keefer

The Troika offices.
It really is convenient to have the GameSpy offices near so many developers in Southern California. It is a great way to get a look at games in development, get quickie interviews and mingle with the staff in their own surroundings.

Today's victim was Troika Games, currently developing the fantasy-meets-steampunk RPG Arcanum. The company was started by Tim Cain, Leonard Boyarsky and Jason Anderson in April 1998 after they left Interplay. The team is best known for their work on Fallout, the futuristic RPG that helped revive the genre in 1997.

Cain and Anderson were kind enough to show Arcanum off to us, while Boyarsky was on a press tour. The game was shown at E3, so we obviously wanted to find out what has changed since then.

Inside the pretty building.
One new development is character schemes that, based on a preset formula, will spend experience points earned. Players can create their own schemes (using a simple text editor), or use the ones that the team has pregenerated.

NPC followers will follow the preset schemes. When you level up, the game will explain how it has spent the points based on the scheme the player chooses. Anderson said the schemes were designed for the people who aren't the hard-core RPGers. "They just want to create their characters and play." he said.

Another development is that the clothes have now been genderized. At E3 ,the women were still in tuxedos. "But now we have matched inventory to appearance," Cain said. "Women now wear dresses."

Jason Anderson
Most of the character portraits are complete, designed by Boyarsky.

"Leonard got many of the portraits from a public domain civil war archive," Cain said. "But three or four people in the company made in as character portraits."

They then proceeded to show us a half-ogre that looked remarkably like artist Chad Moore.

"Sometimes, he takes pictures of people or uses famous models of that time from the late 1800s, early 1900s," Cain said. "We had to change some of the looks because people from that era really looked unhappy."

Next: Characters maintenance ...

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