IGN's Neverwinter Vault managed to tap Ossian Studios' Alan Miranda and Luke Scull for a Q&A about their Mysteries of Westgate adventure pack, now that it's finally been released to the masses.
How has the delay influenced the Ossian team? Has it been discouraging? Would the team still work on further ventures for NWN2 with this in mind? Maybe you are already?
Luke: Has the delay been discouraging? Sure it has. Eighteen months is a very long time, and not just in game development that's a fair chunk of life to be sat around waiting, especially when it's a debut commercial project that carries the hopes of a studio on its shoulders. Would the team still work on further ventures for NWN2? Yes, I believe they would the passion in the Ossian team for the game and the community still burns strong. Throughout the frustrating months of MoW's delay, team members were working hard on their personal projects, or else lending advice and help to other community members. Many on the Ossian team have invested hundreds of hours into NWN2 outside of their personal work on Mysteries of Westgate. Some of us have been contributing to the Neverwinter franchise for over half a decade.
Alan: There is no doubt that to have your game shelved for 18 months before release, while details have to be worked out on your publisher's end, is discouraging. But Ossian made the best of it and I'm proud of our team's resolve and patience through that time. The Ossian NWN2 team that made MoW is still very much together. In fact, it is bigger now. :)
A major distinction in Mysteries of Westgate seems to be the alignment issue. Many games tout the (you can play the evil side!) option. You really want the player to have the freedom to make any choice in their adventures. What other games or examples of this type of storyline served as guides for your decisions in the story?
Luke: I've played a great number of CRPGs, and the short answer could be all of them, to some degree. Less vaguely, Athkatla from Baldur's Gate 2 had a large impact on the story. It's the archetypal city adventure. It gave the player character a goal and let them go off and achieve it however they saw fit. There are certain hooks that are alignment-neutral and allow an (anything goes) approach. We utilized some of these in Mysteries of Westgate. Additionally, some of our choices are, to quote a term that's already at risk of being beaten like the proverbial dead horse post-Witcher, shades of grey.