MMORPG.com interviews Brian Fargo about the new golden age of RPGs.
However, for Brian what really sets apart a good solid role playing game is the story as well as choice and consequence. Building these elements into the world requires a lot of content to be written. Brian explained that it is normally content only certain players will see based on their choices. “You have to make that commitment in the beginning,” he mentioned. Once you know you'll have to produce a deep world, you can begin on a game that will have real consequences. Brian talked about getting the sequence of events right. It is critical for the player to be able to try different things in the beginning and get them correct, then the game starts to draw you in. It is when you keep trying to solve puzzles or combat early on and failing that player quit the game. So getting the balance right from the start is critical.
Story also was a big topic we discussed, especially in terms of a game like Bard's Tale. “The writing humanizes the experience,” Brian stated. In many ways for Brian it is not about the overall story arc in an RPG. It is more about the major individual plot points which sell the story. When those individual moments are so strong, players enjoy the large arc, but remember the epic moments in the game. He says he still gets fans mentioning the berserkers from Baron Harkyn's castle in Bard's Tale, even to this day.