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Seite 14: Interview mit Blossom Soft zu Western Lords
NintendoDS Artikel vom 23.10.2005
Deutsch | English
Interview with William Knight, Autor.
PlanetDS.de: Explain what it is you that do for Western Lords
William Knight: I serve as ďthe writerĒ for Western Lords. I do a little bit of everything relating to that job. Right now, the majority of what I am doing is re-writing the script. Before I came to this project, our Producer Elder Prince had already written the main story from beginning to end (an amazing story, mind you), and Iím currently going through the script and giving all of the characters a strong sense of personality.
Itís my opinion that the characters are the most memorable aspect of any RPG. Iíve tried to think of RPGs in the past that have had the most memorable characters, and Iíve recently been playing through those games again to see exactly what it was that made them so memorable. Iíve tried to stay away from the more recent games such as Final Fantasy X and Xenosaga as they use a lot of voice acting to help people connect to the characters; I wanted to stick with games that rely completely on animation and text Ė as our game obviously does as well.
Final Fantasy VII, Chrono Trigger, and Xenogears have been the biggest help in this regard. As I mentioned before, Iím going through our script and trying to inject personality and heart into what our characters say and do, trying to give each character his/her own breath of life without making anything seem forced. Itís very challenging and a lot of fun.
Aside from this, I also work on a little bit of PR as well. Iíve personally been on the phone to Nintendo HQ, and I have engaged in email conversations with various publishers and videogame websites.
PlanetDS.de: Can you explain for us what Western Lordsí Story is all about? Do you think it has an enthralling story? Do you see some connection between WL and Chrono Trigger?
William Knight: Itís hard to sum up the story of Western Lords in a few words. I challenge anyone to look at a story such as Final Fantasy 7 and try to describe it to someone who has never played (if there are any people left who havenít played). Itís very hard to convey just how great the story of FFVII is without experiencing it yourself. Sure, you could say that it is a story about a group of people trying to save the planet, but there is SO much more to it than that. There are so many levels to the story, so many complex relationships and motivations and philosophies.
With that in mind, Iíll say that the story of Western Lords is, on the surface, a story about destiny. Now, I know a lot of people may cringe at this, but let me assure you that we wonít be walking down that same beaten path that so many other games have already taken. Our characters are struggling to stay alive in a world where it would appear that some unknown force is helping to direct them. The events in these characters lives are very trying on all of them, yet they all seem to be moving towards a very specific conclusion. But why? Is this all being guided by some unknown force, by God, by a person? Again, I canít stress enough, there is no room in our story for tired clichťs!
I hate to use the word ďepicĒ in describing our story, because it is so overused, but I canít find any other word that would fit so well.
To draw comparisons between Western Lords and Chrono Trigger, I would say that you will definitely see that we take inspiration from that game for our style of storytelling and our emphasis on character, but I assure you that people such as Masato Kato (one of CTís writers) would be just as surprised by our story as anyone else.
We are all very big fans of Chrono Trigger, and we are not arrogant enough to think that we could retell their story in any fashion better than the original team did, and we wonít try to do that, either.
I will say that it is our goal to surprise players, and to take a lot of tired old story conventions and kick the crap out of them. I think there will be quite a few moments where the player will say ďI canít wait to replay this part of the game again, that was so cool!Ē
PlanetDS.de: Who is your favourite character in WL and why?
William Knight: That is an extremely hard question to answer. I find that my favourite character changes depending on what part of the story Iím working on. The great thing about these characters is that each character has something that you can identify with. Each character has something you can admire and dislike about them. This isnít to say that they are made up of six good traits and one bad trait; these are people that have a lot of stuff to deal with, and they donít always make the choices you would expect of them.
I guess, in a pinch, I would have to say that Bandanna is consistently my preferred character; thatís only because, for the most part, he knows what it means to be a good person, and he wants to be a good person Ė he was basically raised by a sheriff and a priest Ė but from the very opening scene we learn that he wants to murder someone in revenge, and he canít get over those desires. Of course, a whole lot of other interesting stuff happens to our friend, but I wouldnít want to spoil anything!
PlanetDS.de: Do you actually plan to become a novelist in the future?
William Knight: Iíve had two dreams in my life: One is to work on a videogame, and the second is to become a novelist. Living just one of those dreams is a real thrill, but I still wouldnít mind having both!
Iíve got a dozen short stories completed, and Iíve got a couple of novels recently completed Ė though those will likely not be marketed to publishers for a while, so that my full attention can be on Western Lords. Once Western Lords is out the door, Iíll immediately be ready to put my energy into getting those novels onto the desks of some agents and publishers.
PlanetDS.de: Who are your favourite writers?
William Knight: Wow, another tough question! There are many writers that I enjoy, notably: George RR Martin, Chuck Palahniuk, Michael A. Stackpole, Stephen King, Robert J. Sawyer, Nick Hornby -- the list goes on!
My favourite author, however, has to be David Eddings for his Belgariad and Mallorean series. While the stories may not be particularly original (he himself admits that he was deeply inspired by the Lord of the Rings novels), the characters in those books are unforgettable. His characters of Garion, Belgarath, Silk, Polgara, etcÖ are as real as any person Iíve met in my life.
When you read one of his books, you DO NOT put it down until you are finished (and that is hardly an exaggeration). It is my duty to see that Western Lords' story serves in this exact same fashion. My goal is to make the story of our game such that you MUST plug in your DS before you start playing, because from the moment you turn it on, you know youíll want to play longer than the battery will allow for.
PlanetDS.de: What is, for you, the best game with the best storyline?
William Knight: Another tough question! (I promise I wonít say that again this interview)
Again, so many games stand out in my mind. Planescape: Torment is number one. Obviously, Chrono Trigger would follow close behind. Xenogears would be way up there as well (though I would NOT put Xenosaga on there!), Final Fantasy IV, VI, VII, and Suikoden 3 are games Iíve played a dozen times or more.
And, although they are not RPGs, the Metal Gear series, the Soul Reaver series, and the Gabriel Knight PC Adventure games also have incredible stories.
PlanetDS.de: What are your favourite mobile games?
William Knight: Wow! What a hard question Ė kidding, kidding!
I own a DS, of course, but aside from the puzzle games, the Mario 64 port, and Advanced Wars, Iíve been primarily playing GBA games.
So, for my favourites: Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, the Golden Sun games, Metroid: Zero Mission, Metroid Fusion, and Doom 2.
I am very excited for FFIV and VI Ė which were recently announced for GBA Ė and am eternally disappointed that Chrono Trigger still hasnít been announced.
PlanetDS.de: Is there anything you would like to tell our readers?
William Knight: If there is one thing that I want gamers to know about Western Lords, itís that we are all gamers at Blossomsoft. We are NOT businessmen who like games.
We would rather work ourselves to death to make one RPG that people would mention in the same breath as Chrono Trigger, than churn out a half-dozen games that do nothing but pay our bills. Weíve played all the same RPGs as the rest of the gaming public. We know what people like about a lot of RPGs, and we know what people find annoying about a lot of them.
We are firmly committed to finding a publisher who puts quality games ahead of simply making a fast buck.
Elder Prince: As you can see, William is a genuine writer, he wrote one page for each question *laughing* I must add that without William we wouldnít be there making this interview together. Heís a very faithful member helping greatly with this project.