Antharion Interview

True PC Gaming is offering an interview with Orphic Software's Ari Rae-Silver, focusing on the potentially Kickstarter-funded RPG Antharion.

Here's a snip:
Some devs admitted their games were too hard upon release because they became experts as they developed the game. Talk about setting the difficulty levels for Antharion and if you faced a similar challenge.

Yeah, that's definitely a potential pitfall, but there are a number of ways to guard against it. For one, good beta testing helps. Also, testing on poorly skilled friends and family early on. But probably the most important thing is to add a robust difficulty setting capable of accommodating the full spectrum of player skill levels. We're doing all three with Antharion. Our difficulty setting scales all the usual stats: health, experience, damage, etc.; but it also scales monster AI, which really helps make the game feel completely different on each setting.


Please talk about developing the art style, level design and music for Antharion.

The art style was originally conceived of by myself back when Antharion was still a one man project. Antharion's style was inextricably linked to the overall design of the game since its inception. The game was always intended to be a massive open-ended world with tons and tons of dungeons. In order to do this, I had to strip away all but the absolutely necessary assets, figure out how many unique version of each I'd need (on the high-end estimate) and determine how long each type of asset would take to produce. Level design is unique to every project and is something that you learn as you go along. For Antharion, it's figuring out the optimal size/shapes of dungeons along with the optimal ratios of monsters to dungeons size and those sorts of things. We have yet to hire a composer to score Antharion's music, but we know what we want and use placeholders while testing in-house.