With Silver Style's The Fall - Last Days of Gaia approaching its release date, we wanted to check in with the development team to get some updated details about the game. Luckily, we were able to track down Carsten Strehse, lead designer of The Fall and CEO of Silver Style Entertainment, to learn more about the gritty RPG. Read on:
GB: How is development coming along on The Fall, and what aspects of the game are you currently working on? Are you still on track for a third quarter release date?
Carsten: Right now the The Fall is about 90% done. We're adding a few additional ideas and quests here and there, but mostly it's about testing and balancing the game. And yes, Q3 is still what we're aiming for.
GB: Can you detail how character creation and advancement will work, perhaps by providing a sample of what will happen when a player begins a game or gains a level?
Carsten: The initial character has average abilities and skills. The ability set consists of strength, charisma, intelligence, agility dexterity and constitution. The skills include Survival, Driving, Speech, Medicine or the specialization in a certain weapon class to name some of them. The player gets to adjust the body size and life experience of the main character at the beginning among other things. The former will affect the abilities. A robust character, for instance, is naturally stronger, however, will lose on the charisma side of things to balance it out.
Life experience is referring to what your character has done in his/her past and is related to the skills. A students of Martial Arts will receive a Close Combat bonus, but may not be of help when you're in the need of a good doctor. Of course, in addition to that you also have points you can distribute manually.
For each skill there is a set of talents that can picked upon reaching a certain (skill) level. Survival experts may learn a better way to cook meat (more HP restored) to refine this particular specialization. Later on one can also obtain the knowledge on more efficient approaches to set up a camp, which affects the regeneration of the party in a positive way. Skill levels and character level advance independently and you may get to choose a new talent while the character level stays the same and vice versa.
GB: Tell us a bit about how inventory management and trading amongst the party will work in The Fall. Will encumbrance be a factor, or will characters be able to carry as much as they want?
Carsten: Encumbrance is the most important factor even if the slots are limited. The stronger you are the more equipment you can carry. If you character gets ahold of a backpack he'll have more slots to put stuff into.
GB: How important will equipment be to a character, and will a majority of the equipment be purchased or simply looted while adventuring?
Carsten: Equipment in The Fall is as important as it basically is in most RPGs. The player can swap or steal items. Some merchants will provide equipment in exchange for quests you handle for them. Of course, you'll also be able to get weapons and items from defeated enemies. And which of these approaches will dominate? Well, that simply depends on how you want to play the game.
Some of these items have more than one purpose and can also be combined to create a new piece of equipment or upgrade one of them. Granted you characters are skilled enough. The most basic example of this would be a laser pointer that can be attached to a weapon in order to improve your precision when it's dark.
GB: Does the six character party maximum in The Fall include the main protagonist, or is it possible to recruit six characters aside from the primary character? If a player decides to drop an existing NPC to recruit a new one, will the discarded NPC stay at the spot the player removed them or will they return to the original area they were acquired?
Carsten: Yes, the number includes the main character. If one of the other characters decides to leave the party for whatever reason, he or she will return to the place where you originally met them.
GB: Have you decided on a total number joinable NPCs that will be available to a player throughout the game? Will any NPCs refuse to join a player, based upon his or her previous actions or perhaps because of another NPC that is already in the party?
Carsten: Altogether there will be 15 characters that can join your venture. You're not going to encounter all of them if you don't explore the world of The Fall. They don't mind becoming a member of your group, but different past and attitudes might lead to tension between certain party characters. The player will occasionally encounter situations in which you have to take care of arguing persons. If one of them gets really annoyed and if you don't make it to calm him or her down and maybe provoke that character even more, you're running the risk of losing that character.