With Risen 2: Dark Waters set to come out at the end of April, Piranha Bytes' Björn Pankratz, the Project Director on the game, was nice enough to set aside some time to answer questions from the RPGamer community one last time. We sent out the call for questions and several active members on our forum answered it.
If someone wants to jump straight into Risen 2 without playing
Risen, what would they be missing? What does the game do to cater to
Risen 2 takes place in the same world with the same hero as in the
first Risen game. However, since about 10 years have passed in the
meantime, the situation has changed and the Nameless Hero is facing
new adventures and all new dangers.
The barrier to entry for Risen 2 is quite low – newbies won’t
recognize the familiar faces, but they will be presented again and
the story is self-explanatory. That way, for those that know Risen and
those for whom it is new we want to offer an exciting adventure.
| The Piranha Bytes website mentions that the company consists of
about 21 people who actively work on the game. Can you tell us a bit
about how this breaks down in terms of the number of artists,
programmers, etc? Do you outsource any of your content?
The number of staff normally changes during a project. While in the
design phase rather less people are necessary, we expand in crunch
time and towards the end of the project because of the workload. Some
assets, such as certain previously designed objects are also
outsourced, and later re-integrated into the game.
One issue at least one reader had with the original Risen was that,
regardless of how they built their character, they were forced to
fight the final boss with a particular skill-set and equipment. If I
choose to focus on voodoo or ranged combat in Risen 2, are things more
balanced for the end game?
The fact that the player had to wear a particular armor and weapon in
the final battle of Risen was intended through the story and
implemented accordingly. The end of Risen 2 will certainly be
different, but we don’t want to spoil anything at this point.
How many islands will we be able to explore in Risen 2? What's the
expected length for main story only versus 100% completion? Are there
The storytelling is like a book: it has a specific end but each
player’s experience will be unique as they traverse through the
islands. The time to play the game draws strongly on the playing style
of the individual player, the gaming world has become much larger than
in the first Risen though.
What was the story behind the original Risen being refused
classification in Australia? What changed in Risen 2 that allowed it
to pass with an M rating?
Well the answer is not so simple. In the current game there is no smoking and we try to address the topic of alcohol with humor where rum
and grog will heal the player (he’s a pirate, after all). What the
criteria are from the Australian point of view for or against the
rating our publisher knows better than us. We just make games.
RPGamer would like to thank Björn Pankratz for taking time to answer some questions from the RPGamer community. RPGamers can look forward to checking out Risen 2: Dark Waters on April 27, 2012.