Owlcat Games was willing to chat at length about their upcoming CRPG Pathfinder: Kingmaker and the design decisions that have went into it, so we fired a handful of questions their way and have published the results in this new three-page interview. As an example, here is one such question and their response:
GB: Why did you choose to go with a real-time with pause combat system for Kingmaker? Were you considering turn-based at any point during development?
OG: Short answer - turn-based combat brings too much attention to itself, while real-time with pause is blending nicely with other aspects of the game. A bit longer answer - we were considering turn-based system for several months into development. It was a long and hard discussion when we were finally decided which way we should be going. Turn-based combat brings a lot of tactical elements into every battle, but it comes at the cost of battles being long. In tactical turn based combat you want each battle to be challenging, a small puzzle to solve - otherwise it becomes boring. So you as developer will struggle with ordinary battles - make them easy and it is boring, make them hard and you exhaust the player. Even if you manage to solve this, turn-based combat will still require a lot of attention from the player and this attention will not be spent on anything else. In our opinion, every system in the game has to be properly balanced to each other in terms of time spent, player attention, complexity and a lot of other aspects and for this game we want players to enjoy the story and characters, participate in governing their kingdom. Real-time with pause still requires tactical thinking on the player’s part but only in the more challenging encounters. You can easily plow through weaker enemies, enjoying animations and visual effects by issuing only a couple of commands. We feel this fits much better into the overall game’s pattern of exploring the lands, meeting new people, and fighting adversaries.