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ArcaniA - A Gothic Tale Producer Q&A

GamesCom 2009

This Q&A was released by JoWooD and is answered by Philippe Louvet, producer at Spellbound on ArcaniA - A Gothic Tale. Philippe has previously been working on Neverwinter Nights, Dungeons and Dragons, Alone in the Dark, Unreal Tournament....
I. ArcaniA - A Gothic Tale is the 4th iteration of the Gothic series, weve seen some videos and images at E3, could you please tell us at which stage is the game?
Since E3 we took some higher ground to maximize the great game we have in our hands . We refocused the entire production on the core elements of the game and we will have a beta version of the first fifth of the game in september. We are in the process of finishing this first 'chapter', we're working on the combat and magic system. We're polishing the quests and translating the texts to work simultaneuously on English and German versions We will use this first version to test the game play with different user groups all over the world. We aim the game play to be enjoyable on consoles and are working in this direction, but dont worry well have many surprises on PC too...
II. The Gothic series is famous for its storyline, its high level of interaction with the environment and other in-game characters, what importance are you giving to the combat system in the game?
Combat is our main focus, among others of course, but we want the combat system to be the most important part of the gameplay of the game. The combat system will be completed in septembre Tacting will be important and using the right 'tool' in the right condition too. Youll be able to fight in melee, at distance, with both conventional weapons and powerfull magic. But being able to fight your way through the game will not be enough, you'll have to be clever too....
III. In terms of storyline, can you give us more details on its links with the previous Gothic titles?
The story starts 10 years after the last episode, the previous nameless hero has become King Robar III. The story uses different elements that have been introduced in the previous games. Some old friends will be there too. Some mysteries will be explained...
IV.Will our favorite characters be back in the game?
There's a lot of known characters from the Gothic universe that will be present,. I can tell you that youll get support from some of your old friends, Diego, Lester, and Milten. Well have much more from the Gothic franchise, some we want to be a surprise, some we are not yet sure of... But NPCs will definitely play a very important role in the game, having their individual behaviours, but also group behaviours, that can change dramatically. They can be really unpredictable, and shall be well managed
V. Who is the hero, and what is he fighting for?
That's a difficult question to answer without spoiling... The hero is a new nameless hero, he comes from Feshyr, a small and peacefull island. One day, he has been sent in a mission by his mentor, and when he came back it was to see his village burned to the ground. After mourning his friends and familly he decided to go after the ones responsible of this massacre, and finds out their trail back to the large island of Argaan. From this day, he wont be mister nice guy anymore, he is a strong, determined and charistmatic young fellow, who will grow throughout the game, to face his fate.
VI. Do you already have some information you can share on the creatures well meet?
There going to be a lot of humans to fight with, around 15 different types of animals and for the moment we're having 25 unique type of monsters (plus some with variations). Each of them having different powers and special attacks.
VII. We saw a few environments during E3,can you share with us more details?
Well, the game is set on an island, but there's a lot of different environment on this island. There's high mountains, beaches, jungles, swamps, big and small cities, and of course, dungeons !! There's also some interesting stories to find in the terrain...
VIII. How the quests will be structured?
We want to avoid silly quests, our quests will involve the player and make him feel he's really a hero. There will be multiple possibilities to complete a quest, and sometimes different choices to make. The main word here is freedom.
IX. Risen is to come out later this year, how do you plan to differentiate ArcaniA from it?
By making a very high quality. We are not focusing on competing against this or this other title, we believe that achieving the highest quality possible is going to make ArcaniA stands out from the vast cloud of games, and will lie the ground for a long and successfull serie of games. Positioning our game with high quality, a strong combat system, a large free environment, a strong hero, and an appealling Gothic universe is the way to bring an attractive game for action-RPGs fans, but also to more mainstream gamers
X. We heard that the release of ArcaniA may be moved to 2010, can you confirm, can you explain us the reasons behind this delay^?
Has I said before, since E3 we stepped back a little and decided to make the better game we can, this means that we need to take the time required to achieve this goal. We want the game to be tested by users, we want the game to be very well tuned and polished. Gothic is a franchise that needs to be pursued with high quality games, and we think we have in our hands this high quality game that can bring the franchise further on PC, but also on consoles. In order to bring the best of the best to our fans, and more largely to the gamers community, we thought it was key to give to ArcaniA the time needed to be one of the best Action-RPG title of 2010.

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