Post news RSS Mr.Nixon's Interview for Voice of Wasteland

An interview with me was published on Voice of Wasteland Magazine. The full version of it is in this news.

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There was an interview with me for Voice of Wasteland made before Greenlight. The full version of it is in this news.

Voice of Wasteland: It is always interesting to learn about a work from its author. What is After Reset RPG to you?

Mr.Nixon: It’s my favorite hobby for now.

Voice of Wasteland: Cult CRPGs are mentioned in promo materials (Planescape: Torment, Fallout, Baldur's Gate). Are you developing a role-playing game for the hardcore fans of classic?

Mr.Nixon: Indeed. The target audience for After Reset PRG is personally familiar with these cult games.

Voice of Wasteland: As far as we know, you announced in 2011 that your new project – After Reset – is an MMO card game. How did you come up with the idea to create this post-apocalyptic world, and why did you change the development vector of the game dramatically?

Mr.Nixon: I was a Dungeon Master on NWN PWs for a long time, giving priority to adult role play (like in the Game of Thrones series). I’m therefore used to making a start from history, from characters, from setting. Over time, I wanted something more; I wanted to create my own adult realistic setting. You may ask why I chose sci-fi post-apocalyptic fiction. Well, I didn’t choose it, rather, it chose me - frankly, this setting, this world appeared in my dream and continues to appear from time to time. I'm rather summarizing and comparing with modern scientific data than inventing.

The next logical step was to choose the game genre as a way to getting the player immersed in this setting. Initially, the choice fell on MMO card game. I think this was probably due to commercial reasons - the development cost is low enough; browser MMO game business grew rapidly at that time together with the micropayment market; game demand exceeded supply. At that time when single RPGs for PC were regarded (and also regarded today) as one of the worst areas for investment of time and money in the game industry.

However, once, I asked myself what After Reset should be to me. Should it be a business or a favorite hobby? Well, the choice fell on the latter. After that, the "financial toad" headache and dealings with the "marketing devil" ceased to excite me. I simply started to do what gives me pleasure, straight from my heart and with dedication, slowly perfecting every moment as I imagine it.

As an encouragement, it turned out that others liked what I was doing and this inspired me to do more.

Voice of Wasteland: Like most post-apocalyptic games, Fallout does not aim at realism, offering worlds with many pardonable (or not very pardonable) blunders. You have repeatedly stressed that you are putting emphasis on realism. Why are you so confident that players will like the uncompromising coloring of realism?

Mr.Nixon: I think that the attractiveness of the games comes from the fact that they switch us from this world to a new one, allowing us to take a break from this world (like a dream does). For a player to immerse himself in the world of the game, to feel empathy for the characters, and take the plot seriously, he must believe what is happening on the screen.

Besides, adult players are always somewhat concerned whether the game is worth the time spent and start thinking what they will gain from playing the game. I think a realistic experience could serve as a nice bonus here. For example, if you could cook meth, make weapons, explosives, drugs, electricity, engines etc in the game, you will be doing these improvised, based on real recipes, ingredients, proportions (at least in the director's cut of the game version). And, assuming apocalypse occurs (God forbid) in reality, you will remember how to repeat this in reality better than your school program ;)

Voice of Wasteland: What is After Reset RPG? An extensive game sandbox interspersed with the main storyline or a strong plot upon which everything rests?

Mr.Nixon: That's a very good question. At present, we have the following:

A) The main storyline. It is variative and with different changing plot drivers. Based on my experience, its oral presentation takes about 8 hours.

B) The message (main idea) that compels the player to think after completing the game. It is fitted into one sentence. I cannot reveal it for now because it follows from the main storyline very unexpectedly. However, I can say that only few very old games resorted to this message.

C) The setting with geographical, social, economic, military, and historically significant components in a particular region of the game action, and global factors influencing it.

So, I would like to embody a sandbox with complete freedom of actions, but with a constant feeling of breathing the story behind one’s back. You can run away from the plot but it will find you at the right time and the right place. Just immerse yourself in this world and have fun. I see Baldur's Gate as the starting yardstick for me here. And in terms of the global map of the world, Fallout 1-2, whose distance and movement speed will, however, be limited by the character's water supply, is its perks and skills.

Voice of Wasteland: The S.A.C.P.I.C. role system is inspiring. Could you give more details about its features? Is it possible to complete the game without adhering to classical builds? Will the slightest errors prove costly during buildup?

Mr.Nixon: S.A.C.P.I.C. features are not inferior to those of DnD (edition 3.5). They were only complemented with things classical for Fallout. The features were adapted to sci-fi and improved, based on my experience, as a DM'a. For example, Charisma is no longer that attribute by which all others are promoted. As another example, the Chance-to-hit using a cold weapon does not depend on Strength but on the character's Agility.

I think there would be no need to recreate the character. As the saying goes, God created man Colt made them equal. You can be a high-level bounty hunter, but without long-range weapons at a distance of 15 feet, you have no chance even against a beggar with the commonest automatic weapons. Besides, your character’s level or build does not protect you against ridiculous accidents and epic fails (remember beloved Fallout 1-2).

Voice of Wasteland: Are there many companions we would meet on the way to our hero? How important will their impact be on the gameplay? Could you please in one or two sentences describe 1 or 2 team members in general terms. I would also like to know whether there are tasks assigned to companions.

Mr.Nixon: Currently, we have four companions in our plans. For me, Planescape Torment is the benchmark when it comes to impact on the gameplay and development of relationships with your companions.

One example of the companions is Ivy, which is the first companion that you will meet on the way. It is her "Wake up, Commander", her voice that awakens you as the main character at the very beginning of the game. If your character has low intelligence, then Ivy for you may remain as a "spirit" or "voice in the head" till even the end of the game. If your intelligence is in order, then you will know that Ivy is a Virtual Intelligence - the communicative operating system of your implant CORE-7. With respect to Ivy, I think many of the older fans of Planescape: Torment will find analogies with Morte.

I apologize that I can’t give much details concerning companions. I would only say that each of the companions is a separate "book" the pleasure of reading which I would like to leave to the players.

Voice of Wasteland: How long will the storyline of the "basic" version of After Reset RPG last (without an additional content that depends on an amount exceeding the required Kickstarter)?

Mr.Nixon: Frankly, I haven’t calculated yet. But completing the game even with 5 settlements will take at least 3 days of continuous game play. It won't be possible to descend quickly on the map down to San Francisco, taking a weapon in an encounter with Hubologists and complete the game within 15 minutes ;)

Again, the co-op mode earlier mentioned, together with an indecisive power leveling value, should allow one prolong and develop pleasure for more than a day.

Voice of Wasteland: You mentioned that before the release, bakers will be able to evaluate the introductory "prequel". If possible, please specify the duration of the prequel. Will this decision not exhaust you?

Mr.Nixon: It has already exhausted me. Our concept arts rated everything high - without exception. Instead of the prequel, we will release an art novel "The Fall of Gyes", which will tell the same plot of the prequel: what happened to the bunker in which your character of the game recovers himself. The short story is already in the plotting stage.

Voice of Wasteland: In an age of casual and frankly entertaining works, your game is intended for an adult audience. Please, could you explain your choice?

Mr.Nixon: Do what you love and do it well. The rest will follow.

Voice of Wasteland: Which game subject do you think is destined to become a symbol of After Reset RPG?

Mr.Nixon: That's a very good question. To be honest, I haven't thought about this yet. But now I will surely do so. Maybe the classical variant - the helm of antagonist’s Power Armor.

Voice of Wasteland: The first screenshots of the game pleased the fans of post-nuclear wastelands due to their almost native landscapes. It's no secret that many of the developers of modern post-apocalyptic games choose greenish hostile vegetation as the basis of the surroundings. What do you think is the reason for such a fashion?

Mr.Nixon: I can assume that the European and American gaming industry is a way of showing modern shaders, textures, animations, features of expensive engines acquired for development. For European developers, this is closer as there are no deserts in Europe. From the point of view of scientific extrapolation of the effects of disappearance of people from the planet, it is also considered that nature and vegetation would require only 100-150 years to erase nearly all the traces of our civilization.

Voice of Wasteland: Your last non-commercial project Fallout D20 ceased to exist without receiving adequate attention from the community. What kind of experience did you acquire from working on amateur Fallout D20 Online?

Mr.Nixon: I acquired experience on building the game mechanics, on modeling, texturing, programming, writing quests-dialogues-descriptions, level design, graphic design, and location sound design.

Voice of Wasteland: Apart from computer games, which works of art inspire you?

Mr.Nixon: I’m inspired by most of the works of Robert Sheckley and Roger Zelazny. I would like to thank Vlad Copp for his stories in the Assembly Model. I think they subconsciously had a certain influence on the work.

Voice of Wasteland: What would you like to tell readers interested in your game?

Mr.Nixon: I would say thank you for your interest. For me, it really matters what you think and write about the game and your attitude towards it. The game is developed "for the soul". We don't buy fake likes neither do we catch up bots in forums. We don't give ads and we don't deal with other marketing things. We are truly motivated by few positive words on forums from you our potential players. Once again, thank you to Alexander and Voice of Wasteland that you found us and gave us the opportunity to talk about After Reset RPG.

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