Neverwinter Nights 2 Interview

Article Index

Eschalon: Book II

Developer:Obsidian Entertainment
Release Date:2006-10-31
  • Role-Playing
Platforms: Theme: Perspective:
  • Isometric,Third-Person
Buy this Game: Amazon ebay
Judging by the barrage of screenshots, concept art, 3D renders, and other media we released for Neverwinter Nights 2 last weekend, Obsidian Entertainment's RPG followup looks to be shaping up to be one of the major highlights of the year.  The game is still at least six months away, though, so we wanted to check in again with the guys at Obsidian to see if we could glean a little more information to hold us over.

Since the talented developers are known for the characters they've created in previous games like Fallout, Planescape: Torment, and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II, we thought it would only be fitting to direct our questions in such a way that we could learn more about the protagonist we'll be controlling this time around - and lead designer Ferrete Baudoin gives us the answers we were looking for:

GB: How intricate will character creation be when we fire up Neverwinter Nights 2 for the first time? In addition to the standard choices we've come to expect from Dungeons & Dragons CRPGs (gender, race, class, etc.), will there be any other optional traits or abilities that we can give to the main character?

FB: Creating a Dungeons and Dragons character has a lot of fun choices you need to make. It can be an involved process to create just the right character for you. In Neverwinter Nights 2 you make all the standard choices plus you get to select a background for your character. Backgrounds represent what you were doing before the adventure, and they have an effect on how you're perceived by other people in your home town. And if that's not enough to entice you, they are almost like a free feat so everyone should enjoy them.

If this sounds overwhelming, don't worry. We'll also have the handy recommend feature like the first game, so character creation takes as long as you want it, really.

GB: Tell us about the protagonist's background and what purpose he or she serves before the game begins. How will they find themselves becoming involved and ultimately end up being the center of the adventure?

FB: The protagonist's background is really in large part up to you. You make your own character so you pick your race, class, skills, and other things. But no matter what you're a villager of remote village of West Harbor, and have been your whole life. You wind up adventuring because you (and your village) are being threatened, and you're the one to fix it.

GB: Will the protagonist have any ties to famous Forgotten Realms characters we may know of? Or are they completely independent from any previous encounters we've experienced in the setting?

FB: The protagonist doesn't have any ties to famous Forgotten Realms characters we want to leave it open enough that people can fill in the blanks of their character background. The funny thing is a designer can tell the tightest story by nailing down more and more about a character's background. At Obsidian we're trying to stay close to our Dungeons and Dragons' roots and making it so you have a lot of control over your avatar.

GB: Do the main character's primary goals become evident early in the game? Or will these change as the game progresses?

FB: The primary goals shift over the course of the story. Initially it's a mixture of finding out what's going, saving your village, and saving your own skin (the last even a chaotic evil guy can rally behind). But as you learn more the goals get more intricate. It builds upon itself.

GB: How would you compare and contrast the protagonist from NWN2 to the likes of Fallout's Vault Dweller, Torment's Nameless One, or KotoR II's last Jedi?

FB: I think our protagonist is closest to the Vault Dweller, because there's nothing overtly special about you. What makes you special are your mission, your choices, and decisions. And maybe some stuff happens along the way that ups the ante, too.