Project Eternity Interview

Gamasutra is offering an article-style interview with Josh Sawyer, the project director for the Kickstarter-funded Project Eternity, which goes over on the differences between the niche and the mass market, how having to design a game for more people helped modern RPG designer to consider the mechanics of their games more, and a few other things.

Here's a snip:
"This has been bugging me a lot lately," he says. "In the past few years there's been a trend toward designing games with mechanics for people who don't like those mechanics, and it blows my mind... I look at a lot of mechanics, like 'hey, let's write dialog for people who don't like to read!' You were writing with the assumption that they do want to read some of it, right? If people don't want to read, why are we writing? And if people don't like combat, why do you have combat in it?"

Certainly it's possible that dialog that's too long or requires editing could be a problem for some players, and a balance always needs to be struck, and proper pacing always needs to be employed. A system like Mass Effect's, where players are rewarded with XP for reading lore, strikes Sawyer as a little odd: Players that enjoy lore will read it anyway, and players that don't like reading lore will quickly flip through as with any other chore just to get the points -- and still won't read it.

Generally the audience for the Project Eternity style of game does like to read, and appreciates a rich base of lore as well -- and the Obsidian team will focus on those players, rather than make adjustments for a perceived modern audience that is presumed not to want certain features.

"When it comes to games like this that are crowdsourced for an audience that is very passionate... we can cater to niche audiences like that," Sawyer says. "We can design for the people that already like this stuff, and that is okay. Not everything needs to be made to reach a mainstream audience."