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During the Leipzig Games Convention, Kai Rosenkranz of Piranha Bytes was kind enough to squeeze us in his tight schedule and gave us an interview together with six brandnew and exclusive screenshots showing vile creatures of the different worlds in Gothic 3.

World of Gothic:
What did you think about the (negative) reactions towards the first version of Orcs in Gothic 3. Something like "They don't have a clue.."? Did you start to alter the design of the Orcs due to these negative reactions or was the design still under development?
Kai:
Bloodflies and Lurkers
Primarily we thought that the community couldn't envision our reasons for redesigning the Orcs. These pictures with our first versions of Orcs have been published in various magazines at a very early stage of development. However, at this stage is wasn't clear which part the Orcs in Gothic 3 should actually play. This means we thought that if the players were given more details on what we have in mind with the Orcs they would understand that this redesign makes sense even for those who criticized it in the first place. Our attitude was kind of "Wait until you've got the game". In fact the Orcs have been slightly alternated so that they look a bit different compared with the covers of game magazines some time ago. However most of the basic design remained.
World of Gothic:
Why does the armor not consist of multiple parts?
Kai:
Fight scene in Myrtana
We want to offer a natural game with a wide range of freedom. A game where you can decide and fashion as much as possible by yourself. But we didn't want a game with a character who can be dressed up like a doll. When you choose an armor you usually want a reasonable protection for a certain situation and for that it is sufficient to click on the armor-suit which best meets these requirements. In our opinion the free combination of all parts of the armor would be a feature that is funny maybe for the first few times but would grow old fast when you have to change every part of armor every time. This means we opted for the more convenient way because it makes more sense in our game.
World of Gothic:
Will it be possible to deactivate the depth of field blurring effect?
Kai:
This will definitely be possible. I for myself will probably play the game without this blurring effect because sometimes it is just beautiful to have a panoramic view of the most remote mountain tops. This feature is especially nice for creating screenshots. However, everyone who doesn't want this feature will be able to deactivate it.
World of Gothic:
Will there be a way to change the looks of the hero individually (except for changing the screen resolution)? For example longer hair as one of the people of Nordmar, various tattoos, or a nice beard as Paladin?
Kai:
The general looks can be changed by wearing different armor or by wearing certain items which slightly influence the looks but there won't be a construction kit to choose the type of hair etc.
World of Gothic:
We suspect you have noticed a small company on the other side of the pond who has developed a RPG named... just a sec (peeks on his notes) «Oblivion». Has anyone played it at Piranha Bytes. Did you like it? Have you discovered game elements that served as inspirations or things you want to avoid?
Kai:
Gargoyles in Varant
Yes, we have played Oblivion and it was fun to play it. I have to admit that I didn't play it for very long but then again I haven't played any game for a considerable amount of time in the last few years. The last games I played from A to Z were the old Lucas Arts adventures. Today, I always want to get creative again after playing a computer game for a few hours and then I prefer to continue working on Gothic. Some members of our team played Oblivion and I know that their reactions to certain features have been very positive. By the way, I've also heard that there are people in the Oblivion-team who have played Gothic and that some features have also inspired their work on Oblivion. So we take it as some kind of appreciation for Gothic. However, both games have their own style and reason to exist. It's also interes sting to note that during the recent PR tour in the USA (where Gothic causes no such hype as in Germany therefore the press feedback carries more weight and authenticity for us) many journalists told us Gothic looks much better and is more fun to play than Oblivion. Remarks like this make us smile although we think that Oblivion is a very good game.
World of Gothic:
Bethsoft obviously had similar objectives for the development like you. However, you've come up with different strategies to reach your objectives. In Oblivion for example, there are extra levels for rooms in houses in order to keep the number of NPCs in particular areas of a city manageable. They neglected to adjust the intensity of the light to the time of day (day/night). This limits interactivity and atmosphere. What is your solution and how would you assess it compared to Oblivion?
Kai:
Templeguard
We already tried to create a lively world that looks like one single piece in Gothic 1. Due to technical limitations we had some areas that required a special loading sequence e.g. when entering a dungeon. In Gothic 3 however, we have a technology that is tailor-made and theoretically we are able to show all these things. For example, one will be able to look through a window inside a house. That's a feature that provides an additional batch of realism. Theoretically, it is possible to run from Nordmar into the desert, from the north to the most remote point in the south, without having to face a loading bar. This has already been appreciated in Gothic 1 and I think that players of Gothic 3 will be again pleased by this feature.
World of Gothic:
In our forum appeared some questions concerning your source of inspiration for certain names in the world of Gothic: e.g. if Jharkendar comes from Jarkend a city in China or Rhademes from Rhadames (a commander in the opera Aida). Can you tell us how you came about these names or others in Gothic?
Kai:
Frankly I cannot tell you much about that because these names come from the storywriters of our team. I once asked them about this because I was also interested in how they make up these names. Our storywriters Mattias Filler, Michael Hoge, Stefan Kalveram and Björn Pankratz draw their inspirations from many different sources. They have a certain knowledge concerning other role playing systems like DSA and from this experience they have a certain feeling for names that are suitable for medieval/fantasy worlds. I think they have such a good imagination that they don't have to look up historic documents or maps for names. I don't know if these cities or the commander in fact were the origin for these names but I could imagine that they created them all by themselves.
World of Gothic:
In our forums users often post stories that they ran into Shadowbeasts or Wargs at night and how scared they often were by those encounters. Also things like sneaking past these creatures to reach Sagittas cave have always been quite exciting. In a preview to Gothic 3 (computerandvideogames.com) they reported that only animals with similar strength will roam certain places so that players won't have to deal with unpleasant surprises. Is this true?
Kai:
No, it's not true that only monsters with roughly the same strength will be met in any given area. Opponents won't be arranged by monster types but in a way that they are placed reasonably within the game. For example in the woods one will encounter creatures that can be expected to be found in a forest. But they are not reduced to a certain level of difficulty or a group of monsters. Quite the contrary. There is actually a wide range of creatures in all districts.
World of Gothic:
Last year on the cgsociety-message board, André Hotz mentioned you had considered using the Gypsy4 system of «animazoo» for motioncapturing purposes. What exactly was the reason you needed to buy a motioncapturing system and why in particular did you decide on GypsyGyro-18? What were the defining properties that set this system apart from the others?
Kai:
Wolf in Nordmar
I don´t know exactly what led to the purchase of precisely this system. Our animations programmer, André Hotz probably took a look at a variety of different systems along with Horst Dworczak, the man who pulls the strings behind many visual aspects of the game.
Since every situation needed to be portrayed in a sensible fashion, we needed an enormous quantity of very realistic "human" animations. Hence, we had a choice between working through the entire volume of animations in an external motioncapturing studio, the drawback of this being a high organisational and monetary commitment, or using our own system. The former choice would have had the advantage of having somebody there with us to help maintain and guarantee a certain standard of quality. Studios always have some kind of recording supervisor along with tech support, should questions arise or something go awry.
Night in Nordmar
You don´t have that kind of service with your own system. Despite that, we decided on the latter scenario because we plan to use it excessively in future products. Thus it is an investment which will definitely prove its worth in future projects we plan to do with Piranha Bytes.
Gypsy-Gyro is a magnetic motioncapturing system. You don´t need a big room with infrared cameras to use it, but simply a laptop and this suit here. A small room is sufficient for the process. We did most of the motioncapturing in our homely rec room. Everything from battle animations through interaction with objects right up to random animations and, naturally, the cutscene animations, since those are especially easy to integrate, due to the cinematic surroundings in which you know exactly what is supposed to happen in a particular moment and the animations, which follow a strict, linear choreography.
In short: We used this system in almost every part of the animations process; the exceptions being, of course, four-legged animals and certain animations which we couldn´t recreate in our rec room such as swimming, sliding down slopes etc.. Our animations programmer André had to do those on his own in the end.
World of Gothic:
There are a lot of weapons many of us may have grown fond of (e.g. Uriziel or Beliars Claw). Will we come across them again in Gothic 3?
Kai:
Again there will againbe many special weapons with unique names and a particular meaning in the world of Gothic. But we won't meet Urziel and the like again from former Gothic games. We have a completely new world with new people and quests. You can reasonably expect that our hero took some of his former weapons with him but you won't be able to find Uriziel in any chest.
World of Gothic:
In most clips creatures/monsters express no "warning signs". Aren't we going to hear the familiar clucking sound of Scavengers again in Gothic 3?
Kai:
Not all animals have them. In Gothic 2, all animals had the same AI. In Gothic 3 this is a bit more sophisticated. Some animals will always warn before they attack, others will warn only when they feel like it and yet other animals will never warn you but attack immediately.
Therefore, it's not true there are no "warning cries"; there won't be a standardized behaviour either that one can expect from every creature. In G3, it's more customized and distinct and depends also on the given situation that changes from game to game.

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