Fans of the Fantasy RPG genre can look forward to a title that might just become an unexpected hit later this year. Graphically the game looks very promising and the whopping 60 square km will probably keep you busy for quite a while in the world of Antaloor. Next to the single player mode there are several multiplayer modes which is perhaps unexpected in a RPG like this one. This game piqued my interest and I jumped at the chance to ask some questions to Mirek Dymek, CEO of Two Worlds II developer Reality Pump.
Dit is de Engelse versie, je kan hierheen gaan voor de Nederlandse versie van dit interview.
The first Two Worlds game wasn't released on the PlayStation 3, and some people might never have played Two Worlds 1. With the same hero and continuing storyline in Two Worlds II will these players be able to start from scratch and get the story?
Mirek Dymek: Two Worlds II was developed as a complete stand-alone title - so any player who didn't catch Part 1 won't feel lost – he can simply start at the Intro, no problem. At the start of the game, we'll also be presenting a rendered video (and lots of time and effort went into it, I can tell you!) - it summarizes the most important events in the world of Antaloor to date, before flowing smoothly into the current plot of TWII.
We've seen some interesting tech demos from the new motion controller PlayStation Move from Sony involving sword fighting and even shooting with bow and arrow. What do you think of the new motion controller with regard to using it for playing big world RPGs, and is it something that might be supported in Two Worlds II?
Mirek Dymek: The possibilities the Motion Controller gives players are naturally fascinating - its many interactive playing options open up whole new dimensions of playing pleasure, especially in the RPG genre. However, we haven't been able to implement this technology into TWII as yet – yes, that time factor again!... but we'll be definitely be keeping an eye on this technology - after all, more Antaloorian adventures should be coming along, so...
In one of the recent Antaloor Post newsletters (#17) it was mentioned that the only difference between the console versions and the PC version would be the reduced resolution. This left us wondering if the PS3 version will run natively in 720p or perhaps even 1080p?
Mirek Dymek: 720p is the standard resolution for the PS3 version of Two Worlds II.
Detailed environments, realistic lighting and physics - when you add the multiplayer as well, it almost sounds too good to be true. How did you manage to get the studio's first PS3 game up to the same level of quality as the other platforms?
Mirek Dymek: With lots of effort and hard work! OK, that sounds a bit smooth - but it’s true – that really is our main recipe for success. You have to think your way into the characteristics of a console hardware unit - and then try out everything you can to achieve perfect results. And we didn't take the easy way out by using porting - we modified and optimized every single detail of the engine for the PS3 platform. That meant thousands of hours of low-level programming and assembler coding, believe me... but I'm glad to say it was worth all the effort in the end, as you'll soon see!
Can you tell us a bit of what we can expect from the Multiplayer mode in Two Worlds II?
Mirek Dymek: There will be 3 different playing modes in Multiplayer - on the one hand, you have the classic arena modus, where players can face up to one another in various different combat games. Then you have the Quest Mode - that's a little more sophisticated. Here up to eight adventurers can go on a quest search together, in a special map. The tasks are designed in such a way that it's always a similar group with both warriors and Mages and Rangers that's involved. And last but not least we've created a "Settlement Simulator". In this mode, the player can create his own village with individual structures, businesses and inhabitants - and he can invite his friends to his village too! But I better not say any more about this feature... but I will tell you that it's very exciting!
We read that a lot of objects could be lifted, kicked or thrown, and would even react to certain spells. It sounds like a lot to keep track of. How is this handled in Multiplayer, where there could be several players with a Mage or other Spell Caster character class for example?
Mirek Dymek: Objects like this are calculated on the server and updated on client's machines. For short periods of time, they can be calculated on a client's machine and then moved smoothly into the right position when the server update information appears. We use a dead reckoning algorithm for that.
The Two Worlds II map spans an amazing 60 km2, we're not fans of comparing but Oblivion had 41 km2 and already required a lot of travelling with interesting areas sometimes few and far between. How do you keep the players from becoming tired of traveling large distances?
Mirek Dymek: We have two methods of avoiding this - as well as the standard walking/running, players can ride, sail and teleport. Riding and sailing are much faster than walking or swimming - players will be able to see the environment they're travelling in - and actually enjoy their journeys. Well thought-out teleportation is especially important in our huge world. Thanks to fixed-location portals and mobile teleport stones, the player has a very sophisticated "travel network" at his disposal to get from A to B. And we've also implemented literally hundreds of side quests into the game - and these will guarantee that boredom remains an unknown word in Antaloor - even if a quest takes a player all over the vast continent!
We noticed that the sea constitutes a big part of the world, and that we'll be able to sail between islands. Can we expect sea creatures or other enemy encounters on the open sea?
Mirek Dymek: Sailing is only a means of transport in the game - we decided not to have combat on the open sea…
The player customization options seem very extensive. Does this translate to boats and horses, and can you own and customize them as well? Like maybe an extra mast and sail for speed on the boats or armor and cloth banners for your horse?
Mirek Dymek: These features won't be in the Release version as yet. However, we're well aware of the potential of these individual items of equipment - and we'll certainly be providing something along these lines at a later date. At the moment, we're concentrating on the basic game. We want to make it as perfect as humanly possible for the market. Anything else right now would only distract us from these noble intentions…
What do you think of this RPG? Let us know in the comments below. I for one can hardly wait until this game hits the shelves and play for dozens of hours on the couch. An actual release date is as of yet still unknown, but according to rumours the game will come out somewhere between June and September of this year. What we do know is that there will be a special Royal Edition. It includes a 25cm tall model of the Dragon Queen, a 64 page art book, a bonus DVD, a card game, three exclusive in-game items and one exclusive quest, plus the manual and double sided poster with a map of the world of Antaloor:
If you want to know more about the game, check out the official Two Worlds II website. There you can also subscribe to the well designed newsletter; the Antaloor Post.