Interview with Obsidian's Feargus Urquhart -- Page Two

GP: The last expansion had to kill the devil, it's kind of hard to build on that--so what are you planning to do for the story?

FU: Our story isn't approved yet so we can't talk much about that, but you will start from the first level, and it's going to be a whole new story. There will be characters that are from the first Neverwinter that are Forgotten Realms characters, but we'll tell a different story. It won't be connected to the first Neverwinter game.

GP: Are you planning to change the henchmen system in any way?

FU: It still will use a henchmen system. Is it going to be two or three or four we're not sure yet, we're guessing three, just based on how well it'd control. We wanted to keep the henchmen system for a variety of reasons. For one, because that's the way it was in the first game. Another reason is because we really want to make the story about the central character, and sometimes when you have a party it dilutes who is the central figure in the story. However we do want to involve the henchmen in the story much more. They're going to come and go in the story, much more than they did in Neverwinter. There will be parts of the story where henchmen join with you automatically. There will be henchmen available because of something you did or didn't do, and won't simply be waiting in a room for you to talk to them. That's a big thing about this game that we don't want to do--that everything is waiting in a room for you to come in and make it happen. We wanted to make it seem, or be that everything is going on even when you're not looking. Also, we're looking to see how to make it easier to control them. In combat we want to make them do specific things--it could be that a fighter attacks your target, or a cleric comes and heals you. We're also looking to have a context-sensitive help button, where a thief comes to open a chest that's locked, or somebody helps you in combat because an enemy is kicking your ass--we think that'll make it seem like the henchmen are doing more.

GP: For multiplayer, will there be new modes or new type of gameplay?

FU: No I don't think so. I guess there's two different modes for multiplayer--well maybe three--there's you and your friends playing module, there's the DM Client, where somebody will DM for your game, and the third would be playing persistent worlds, doing things more MMO-like. We also want to really look at the DM Client and see if there's more than six people using it, and if people still want to see it featured. For the persistent worlds we want to make it easier for them, by allowing more people per servers--some people have a six server cluster running a big world, and we want to make it easier for them. There's no FPS modes or Onslaught or anything like that, I guess in this case it's about refining of what Neverwinter's already about.

GP: Changing the subject, since you headed both Fallout 1 and 2, do you have any thoughts on Bethesda taking on Fallout 3?

FU: I'm cool with it. I mean that's why I didn't want to leave Black Isle for so long because I wanted to make the next Fallout, and knew if I left that I couldn't make Fallout. It's one of those things that I want to wish them the best of luck--Fallout fans are the worst fans there are. I'd still like to make another Fallout, but something that worries me is whether or not making another Fallout makes sense. It was cool and a lot of fun seven years ago, but is it pertinent anymore? Both of those games sold about 500-750,000 games--it's not a blockbuster, but still pretty good for a game like that--would still that many people buy it? It's a different market now--that was around the last time that people can ship sleeper hits--it's hard to have a sleeper hit now because if something doesn't sell in two weeks Walmart wants its shelf space back. I think it's tough. My personal opinion is I don't think that Bethesda will make a game that's like a Fallout 3. I had an argument on some forum recently and said that having another Fallout game in another way of playing would be great. I don't think Interplay's game--I haven't played it so I can't say--but the reviews weren't that great. Would I like to make another Fallout? Yes, but I don't go out and search for it.

GP: What games have you been playing recently?

FU: Sometimes I play games that I hear are bad just because I don't want to believe it--I'm playing Space Colony, which came out about a year ago and am really enjoying it. Other games are Jak and Daxter 2, the World of Warcraft beta. One of the developers that are close by is Swinging Ape, and they did Metal Arms: Glitch in the System, so played that. I was playing Lineage II but kind of got off of that.

I've been wanting to play Full Spectrum Warrior, but was told the tutorial takes an hour and a half and you can't save it, so I've been reluctant to start on it. I am interested in those kind of games though--they're not my favorite, but I'm interesting in seeing if we could do a more modern kind of RPG, and those kind of games are how modern gunfights and story are done right now. I want to see if we can take that and come up with something interesting. We're not going to be doing a squad-based RPG, but I guess I can say that it'd be a modern RPG.