Tyranny Developer Diary #1: The Vision of Tyranny

For the first developer diary blog post for Tyranny, Obsidian game director Brian Heins penned a write-up on the game's core vision. Making the player feel important from the very beginning and making the "evil" decisions more nuanced was a priority for this game, according to the developer, especially given the fact it focuses on choices and consequences:

A lot of RPGs start you out as the weak or inexperienced character who becomes more important and influential over time. This parallels how your character grows in strength and power as they gain levels, so it's a structure that works well for RPGs. For Tyranny, we wanted to play with that concept. Does the player need to start off weak in order to feel more powerful later in the game? We decided to make the player important from the very beginning of the game, from the very first interaction with an NPC.

We didn't want you to be the .rrand girl of Evil'. If you were just a grunt or a lackey, your ability to influence or change the world would be limited, and your responsibility for the fact that evil won would be reduced.

This required us to design our quests and content to reinforce this at every turn. We didn't want you being approached by random NPCs asking you to rescue their cat from a tree. Your choices shape nations, and the quests had to reflect that.

Many RPGs are great at letting you be the hero, the beacon of strength and hope for a world facing imminent destruction. They're not always great at the opposite side of that coin. I am disappointed when I play games where the (evil) choice requires me to act like a psychopath, murdering everyone in front of me. Sometimes that's fun, but it's very limiting when it's the only option. Especially when the game punishes me for making those decisions.

Considering how many interviews have discussed the premise of the game, I'm personally more interested in the next developer diary, which will apparently focus on the game's basic gameplay systems.