Basilisk Games' Thomas Riegsecker Discusses Eschalon: Book 1
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story
Gamebanshee has released a new interview with Basilisk Games' Thomas Riegsecker about the recently released PC version of Eschalon: Book 1, the company's debut title in a planned trilogy of "old school" fantasy RPGs. The interview covers the history of the game, challenges in developing Eschalon, and criticisms of the game's storyline.
GB: What would you say are the game's strongest points? The Mac version of Eschalon: Book 1 is currently in beta testing and is planned for a December release. The full Q&A is available at the site linked below.
Thomas: I think its strongest points are that it is easy to get in to yet it has a deep character build system. It has a storyline that even the most cynical players are telling us is interesting. And finally, as I mentioned, it’s not some radical new take on role-playing. We made a game that is built right from the foundation of many great RPGs of the past so it is instantly familiar to most players.
GB: Would you say that the game's main plot is a little cliché?
Thomas: I think you are referring to the “amnesia hook” that we use to start the game off with. While that bit is not too original, we definitely take the story in a fresh direction after that. What surprises me is that we managed to stay away from the “savior of the world” plot unlike what every single commercial RPG still uses, and people still comment that our amnesia hook is overused. All I can say to the critics is: play the game and then comment on it. Saying a story is weak when you’ve only read the first page isn’t very fair.
GB: A few RPGs - mostly action-based titles - are into player-driven choices with long-range effects. For example, you can side with one party or faction and that choice will affect how matters play out in the future. Are there any notable examples of this in Eschalon: Book I?
Thomas: Well, you mention the act of siding with a party; there are not really different factions in Book I to side with. Most RPGs have clearly defined good and evil sides, but Eschalon’s story is full of questions and enigmas, and you never really know who is good or evil. Book I is really a personal adventure, yet by the end of the game you are given a choice that can affect the world, without necessarily becoming a hero of any kind regardless of your choice.
In terms of short-range player-driven effects, things like being polite or rude to people, killing innocent NPCs, and stealing property can come back around to affect you later in the game.
GameBanshee: Eschalon Book 1 Interview
Eschalon: Book I
Buy Eschalon: Book I
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