We - RotA-Game.de - got the chance to bandy some words with Charley Price the Lead-Designer of Liquid Entertainment and Rise of the Argonauts and Sam Cordier the Global Communications Manager of Codemasters at the Games Convention in Leipzig. They agreed to exclusively answer some questions we particularly acquired from our community. Following you'll find the result.
RotA-Game.de: Hi Charley! Could you introduce yourself to the visitors of rota-game.de and tell us a little bit about Liquid Entertainment?
Charley Price: Sure! My name is Charley Price. I'm the Lead-Designer of Liquid Entertainment why we obviously show Rise of the Argonauts. As the whole Liquid Entertainment is a company in Pasadena, California back in the States and we're focused on delivering games with extremely immersive experiences that are telling and compelling stories that the player really have an impact on.
RotA-Game.de: Which games would you compare with Rise of the Argonauts and why would you compare this games with it?
Charley Price: That's a great question. I think we're going to create a new experience with Rise of the Argonauts. We really try to deliver a true Action-RPG. A lot of Action-RPGs that have been come before were really a big action game with a little bit of RPG or a RPG with a little bit of action and in Rise of the Argonauts we want to capture both angles of that. So, you know, we go through and say that the combat in the game - we really looked at games more like Ninja Gaiden or Devil May Cry - is sort of heavy action games. The goal there is that the action feel tactile and satisfying so we wanted to that the player feel lethal. But on top of that beyond - you know what they doing in Ninja Gaiden and Devil May Cry - because our collision system in the game is so robust that the combat really feel different when you actually sit down with Rise of the Argonauts you really feel like an epic hero, you really feel lethal. You know that every enemy is a couple of hits away from death in every given moment if you get in the right position to hit him. From the action perspective we looked at a lot of those types of games and from the RPG perspective we're looking to a lot of the great RPGs that have been come out in the past. Look at our dialogue system and everything else. It is conformable to Mass Effect. We also want to capture cinematic aspects and give the player choices that really have impact. But again even in that instance we want to raise it up on an another level. Every single choice you've been making throughout the game is aligned with one of the gods. So every choice you make impacts your character progression as a whole. We try to forge our own path.
RotA-Game.de: Is there content in the game your very proud of?
Charley Price: Wow, I could go on and on and on. There is tons of content in the game I'm proud of to be honest. We started the game off with the beginning your wife is assassinated and you're hunting down the assassins - it's cool, we took basically the temple where you getting married which looked out over Jason's entire kingdom - after he goes back and kill the assassins and brings his wife back to it (the temple). And as a sort of an epic active warning he bricks up all the walls and turns it into this mausoleum in her honour. So he takes this sacred place to him and turns it into a place dedicated to his wife and dedicated to her memory. That's the place that is always on his mind wherever he goes throughout the journey ultimately he come back.
I think Medusa is very cool. Medusa kind of sums up a lot of the themes we have throughout the game again of blending Action-RPG. It's a massive creature facing of against huge scale and everything else. But at the same time it's a RPG. This isn't just an action game. You can make choices. You have the choice to kill Medusa or destroy the statue that represents her vice. It's all interwoven with the story and the gameplay choices you have ... whether you try kill and redeem her. You might make that choice from a tactical perspective as a combat gamer or make that choice from another perspective because you'll learn about Medusa and all throughout the island. She is telling you the story. Either you might be angry and decide that she deserves to die or you might be more forgiving. Based on that choice that's the term whether Medusa lives or dies and what kind of Argonauts you'll bring along the way. Every single junction we go through and give the player meaningful choices that have an impact.
RotA-Game.de: Why did you choose Achilles, Atalanta, Hercules and Pan beside Jason for the maincharakters?
Charley Price: We really want to give the player a good sense when you're are going to build a team - I mentioned the X-Men of the ancient Greece - compelling diverse characters in both hands, how they fight but also their personality. And one of the really cool things about the Argonauts as a whole is that they play each other in a really interesting way. For example Hercules is obviously kind of a big massive guy who tear peoples in half. He is Jason's Friend ordering him beforehand. So he empathise with him a lot more. He is Jason's confidant. Pan is a lot more intellectual and travelled around the world earlier. He is hundred of years old and so he has all the experiences. But see this moments with you choose Hercules and Pan with the heaviest moments in dialogue if you walk up on deck aboard the Argo. Hercules is listing all the creatures he fought during his labors and Pan is listing other sorts of bizarre fantastic creatures of Greek mythology and you really get a cool sense how these two characters are building a relationship and how they interact as friends and how the relationship grows. Each one of the Argonauts is different and they bring a different type of flavour to the party. Pan has obviously seen a lot of the world, he is wise and experienced, Hercules is Jason's friend from beforehand. Achilles is the arrogant guy who is really full of himself, the champion of Mycenae so he has a competitive relationship to Jason. Atalanta never left her own island, she was raised be centaurs, so wherever you go she seen the world for the first time. So obviously Hercules is big massive and rude, Achilles is sort of equaling dervish with blade, Atalanta has her bow and Pan is a little bit more a sort of a spell caster. So in combat all different roles will awe. The key was that every character has a reason and is diverse to each other.
RotA-Game.de: Is the choice of the companions going to have a specific effect like interaction witch NPCs? How distinctive will this be?
Charley Price: Well, depending on which Argonaut you will bring on which island it will only have an impact on combat and conversation you'll have with various people. If you bring Achilles with you, he doesn't trust anybody, he is really out for himself and that changes the way the conversations will proceed.
If you are walking around with Hercules everybody immediately recognizes, he is twice as big as every other person, so they immediately recognize that you got Hercules on your side. So every Argonaut will have its own and unique flavour so Jason will be influenced in different ways.
That's a lot of replay value as well. Going to that island with this two Argonauts is a great difference to going to this island with two other Argonauts.
RotA-Game.de: Is there a tutorial in the game?
Charley Price: At the very beginning of the game we don't introduce the mechanics. We don't like the term tutorial because an tutorial immediately goes through and brings in mind the images of reading through pages and pages of dialogue. So we have a tutorial as a seamless introduction into the gameplay experience. I mentioned, when you going through and chasing down the assassins throughout your palace. You start off just with your shield and disarm an Ionian so you get a spear. You go from room to room and gearing Jason up in the first 10-15 minutes. And that's how we wanna teach the player. We wanna be seamless, we wanna be immersive, we want that the player to constantly being engaged in the middle of the action.
RotA-Game.de: Will it possible to use the weapons of enemies?
Charley Price: The individual items and weapons that Jason gets throughout the game are all going to be acquired from a dramatic and meaningful event so every item has story significance. So none of the items will simply looting from the bodies of dead enemies.
RotA-Game.de: Will a special edition be available?
Sam Cordier: We are looking at a SE. I think we will do some in some territories but we have to think about it and make sure it is right for the audience. We will let you guys know. In fact you might be the first to know.
RotA-Game.de: What do you think about the game being mentioned as a mix of God of War and Mass Effect?
Charley Price: God of War is more like an action platform game but it is actually an awesome game and Mass Effect is an awesome game too, so it is a great compliment to say that this is was Argo is. Again ... we try to create our own experience. Our combat is more lethal than what you see in a God of War and it really stands apart from what you see in the Greek setting. And in case of Mass Effect we try to realize a more meaningful dialogue system because in the most games it isn't significant. So we give you the possibility to make a choice that have an impact on the story.
Sam Cordier: Both of this games are excellent games and if we're compared to them it is a very good compliment but we hope to forge our own way through that as well.
RotA-Game.de: Which system requirements do we have to expect? Will the game work on older PCs or is it an high-end game?
Charley Price: Obviously the game was really looks good on High-End PCs but we want to make sure as many people can play the game as possible so this ain't gonna be a game that requires PC technology to run the game. That's really our goal.
RotA-Game.de: Is there going to be an achievement system?
Charley Price: You mean achievements like the Xbox 360 Live system?
RotA-Game.de: Yes, but I also heard about an achievement system on the PS3 like trophies or something else.
Sam Cordier: Trophies is something we're looking at because it's PlayStation and it has come after beginning of development. So we have to look and be careful about how we implement it to make sure that it does work for the PlayStation 3. So maybe it will be something that we're looking for in the future but at the moment we will probably not.
Charley Price: But one thing that we have in the game is the deed system which functions in many ways like an achievement system so if you go and do cool things throughout the game. That will be recorded so you can dedicate it to the gods. So you can spend or invest it into how your character gonna grow up. And it is possible on all platforms.
RotA-Game.de: Is it possible that there will be a Multiplayer like Capture the Flag, Deathmatch etc. as downloadable content in the future?
Sam Cordier: No, for the Future, very possibly. We think about it. There are things we could do, maybe this, maybe that. There is a lot we can do. For the moment Rise of the Argonauts is a singleplayer-experience, it's a story, it's an epic action story. You play the role of Jason, you wanna rise Jason, build him up, feel the connection with Jason and other Argonauts, but you play the story of Jason and that is how we want to make sure it stays. The story is the story and you want to experience that story. We wouldn't add Multiplayer to it, maybe we would have to cut something out and that's not fair to the story Liquid wants to tell.
RotA-Game.de: Can we expect any kind of downloadable content after the game is half a year old?
Sam Cordier: We can't answer that question right now.
RotA-Game.de: Is it possible to play the PC Version of RotA with a gamepad like the Xbox Version?
Charley Price: Yeah, you can go through and plug in a USB-Xbox360 Controller - so this is it actually what we were doing in the presentation - so you can play with the controller or keyboard and mouse.
RotA-Game.de: Thanks for the interview.
Charley Price: My pleasure.
Sam Cordier: My pleasure, too.