Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer Interview

Iron Tower’s The Depository presents another Mask of the Betrayer interview, this time with lead designer Kevin Saunders.

The controversial spirit meter. What are your thoughts on this feature, the implementation, and the media “uh, I think dis game is broken” reaction?

I’m glad we did it. I liked taking a significant gameplay feature and entwining it with the story. I liked that we tried something a bit different. And I liked how we used it to, in a way, address the problem that the “immortal party members” caused. (One of the goals behind the spirit-eater mechanics was to place a price on resting, increasing the importance of the decision to use or not use spells and abilities.)

Eric Fenstermaker, who is currently working on our Aliens RPG, was the designer in charge of the system and I think his implementation was excellent. You can blame (or credit) me with the decision to do it and for its high level goals as a game feature. I think we made it “easy” enough (see question 7 =) ) that even players who weren’t thrilled about it could enjoy the game. And quite a few players did like it.

All things considered, it certainly looks like it wasn’t the best decision I made with regard to MotB. =) But I don’t know that it was a mistake (and I’ve made plenty in my career) and I certainly don’t feel it was a terrible one by any means.

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