Tyranny Interview

The folks at Red Bull recently chatted up Obsidian Entertainment game director Brian Heins about their forthcoming RPG Tyranny, and the result is an article-style interview that broaches a number of topics from the player's choices around morality to its classless character progression system. A little something from the article:

Moral and faction choices aren't anything new in RPGs, but the other interesting part of Tyranny's pitch is that, for a modern RPG, it's going to be short: just 20-25 hours long for a playthrough. The rationale is twofold. Firstly, if you've tried to juggle Fallout 4, Dark Souls 3 and The Witcher 3 at the same time, you'll have realised that the only way to complete all three is to give up your job and seal yourself in your apartment like a zombie pandemic is kicking off outside. And secondly, making an RPG a quarter of the length of its triple-A competitors means even more branching choices and consequences can be squeezed in.

(Ultimately, we wanted to make a game that people could finish in a reasonable timeframe, and then maybe come back to and play again,) Heins tells RedBull.com of the game's truncated play time. (The amount of time that I can dedicate to 100-plus hour games is very limited. So I want to make a game that I could sit down with for a couple of weekends and finish and have a great experience, and then when I come back to it again, I can make different choices and have a very different experience.)

Tyranny's replay factor will, Heins explains, come down to more than just choosing different factions. Unlike Pillars, Tyranny's character progression system isn't based on classes; instead, there's an Elder Scrolls-ian skill-based structure in which your character will (intuitively) get better at the things they do most like real life, only with more fireballs. The result, according to Heins, is that players who want to run a standard fantasy build your Mages, your Tanks, your Rogues will be able to do so organically by choosing actions that play to those classes' strengths. But if you're feeling more adventurous, you can invest your time in novel combinations of abilities to create your own anti-heroic mish-mash.