E3 2010: Feargus Urquhart Interview

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GB: I don't know if you can talk about Aliens: Crucible, and I assume "Crucible" was going to be the final subtitle... is there any chance of that project getting picked up again?

Feargus: It was the internal subtitle and I'm not sure if there was ever an official name for the game. I thought it was turning out really good, but I don't think we would make it at this point. I think the last milestone that we did was a great milestone and I think it was showing a lot of progress. But, we've moved on from that. What's great is that our internal engine, Onyx, is what we built for Aliens and it's now being used for Dungeon Siege III.

GB: So all that time and all of those resources weren't lost.

Feargus: Not at all, no. Not at all.

GB: So are you heading down the same path as the first two, where the world was loaded in on-the-fly?

Feargus: Yeah, yeah.

GB: What about a toolset? Dungeon Siege had a huge modding community.

Feargus: Yeah, there was I played a number of them. There was that ultimate total conversion, and then there was Lands of Hyperborea (I think that was the name) with a different set of rules that I really enjoyed playing.

GB: I don't think the community has died out completely yet, either. Some modifications have been in development for years.

Feargus: Yeah, I know. So for Dungeon Siege III, we're not looking at releasing the toolset. We do know that it's an important thing, but our toolset is very different. Still, it's something we're going to continue to consider. I'd like to for the future, because I love releasing tools for the modding community like we did with Neverwinter Nights 2.

GB: So how long has it been in development?

Feargus: Since early 2009. We've been working on it quite awhile now.

GB: At this point, how many separate teams do you have at Obsidian now?

Feargus: We really have about 2½ teams - how it worked is that in early 2009 we had to lay a number of people off from the Aliens team, but then a lot of the Aliens team went on to do Fallout. And so we shifted about forty people immediately onto that. At that same time, we were already starting to ramp down the Alpha Protocol team which was the impetus for the growth of the Dungeon Siege team. As we stopped working on Alpha Protocol in late summer of last year everybody transferred over either to a private internal product we're making right now - which I want to talk to you about soon - or they went to Dungeon Siege III.

GB: Looking forward to hearing what the internal project is all about. On a similar note, what's happening with The Wheel of Time?

Feargus: So the arrangement there, which is kind of explained in the press release, is that Red Eagle Games wants to do it. They have the license to do it, and we'll be the developer if it all comes about. What they're doing is they want to actually be the publisher of it, not just the guys holding the license.

So, what they're doing right now is, in essence, putting together a whole business around The Wheel of Time games. Not just one game, but multiple games. And they are talking to people about creative ways to fund all of these, and then distribute them through a publisher.

GB: So you haven't actually went into full scale development with anything yet?

Feargus: No, we haven't at all yet. What we're doing right now is just continuing to talk to them about the game and kind of figure out what we're going to do, and then as soon as they're able to get funding, we can start moving forward with development.

GB: Is the plan to make them an RPG series?

Feargus: Oh, absolutely. Yeah.

GB: I assume there will be an emphasis on adventure elements, too.

Feargus: Exactly. Obviously The Wheel of Time is a huge story. A giant world. Millions of characters and thousands of pages of history. That's why they're talking to us, because it's absolutely an RPG.