IG – Of all the games you’ve worked on in the past, from Black Isle to Obsidian, which ones are you most proud of and why?
JE – This might sound strange, but I don’t really take pride in games as a whole. I’m glad when people enjoy certain aspects of games I’ve worked on (for example, the reputation system in Fallout: New Vegas, the UI in Icewind Dale II, or the hand-to-hand combat system in Alpha Protocol), but once I get the vibe that something’s worked, I file it away and focus on the things that didn’t work. I hope I never reach the point where I’m proud of the work I’ve done. I think that if I reach that point, I’ll stop pushing.
IG – Many of the games you worked on used versions of the Dungeons & Dragons rules. What is your opinion on how that translated into video games and what experiences from that do you feel are affecting the systems being designed for Project Eternity?
JE – Translating a turn-based game into real-time is a challenge, but I’m glad we didn’t have to do it in reverse! A lot of rules slide over without much difficulty, but others get complicated (e.g. Attacks of Opportunity). And because you’re simulating virtual rounds, the pacing can feel really awkward in real-time. For Project Eternity, I’d like to keep the overall feeling of pacing and management, but we don’t need to be bound by rounds or the timing rules of the AD&D games. This should allow the characters to feel more responsive to commands and to have more flexible timing windows for the use of abilities.