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Interview: Dungeon Siege II

Aranna exposed in our exclusive interview with Gas Powered Games' Kevin Lambert

The original Dungeon Siege was an intriguing, highly playable PC RPG from Chris Taylor's Gas Powered Games. Dungeon Siege won many deserved plaudits and awards back in 2002 for its splendid graphics and all round RPG goodness and was subsequently followed up by expansion pack Legends of Aranna before all went strangely silent on the Dungeon Siege score.

Well now work on a sequel is well underway and we recently took an extensive delve into Dungeon Siege II, with a full hands-on play test and preview which you can check out here.

However now we've also managed to rattle the chains of Kevin Lambert, lead designer on the game and here he tells us the very latest on what Gas Powered is planning for part deux, before the game is released next month.

First off, could we get a brief overview of Dungeon Siege II for those unfamiliar with the game? How has the land of Aranna changed from the original game?

Kevin Lambert: Dungeon Siege II is a party-based action RPG whose experience is characterized by beautiful environments, a deep character development system, engaging combat, and great loot. The sequel takes place about one hundred years after the original Dungeon Siege where a new evil has risen into power. This time, rather than starting out as a farmboy/girl, your main hero starts out as a mercenary fighting for the army of a powerful employer. I won't spoil the story, but the hero's journey will take him or her much farther than ever expected.

What key lessons learned from the development of Dungeon Siege are affecting Dungeon Siege II?

Kevin Lambert: One of the most important lessons we learned from the original Dungeon Siege is that it takes an unbelievable amount of content to make a good RPG. We've continued that trend by increasing the size of our development team and by adding even more content to Dungeon Siege II.

What refreshing gameplay elements is Dungeon Siege II bringing to the RPG genre?

Kevin Lambert: In addition to some of the more fun elements like pets and chants, we feel that Dungeon Siege II offers a refreshing take on party-based action in an RPG.

Dungeon Siege II is being built on a new engine. What are some of the cool features in the game that come as a direct result of this new technology that you've developed?

Kevin Lambert: One of the biggest new features in Dungeon Siege II is the flick scripting system. This system allows level designers to easily create interactive and non-interactive scripted sequences that work in both single-player and multiplayer.

Dungeon Siege was imbued with a quirky sense of humour. Is Dungeon Siege II the same?

Kevin Lambert: Dungeon Siege II is a little darker then the original; a little more grown up. But with the inclusion of pets and of party members who speak and occasionally banter amongst themselves, DS2 still maintains a few lighter elements.

Can we expect Dungeon Siege II to be as action-heavy as Dungeon Siege, have you gone down the same route with the sequel in this regard?

Kevin Lambert: Definitely. In fact, you can expect DS2 to be even more action-heavy than the original Dungeon Siege.

One criticism levelled at Dungeon Siege by gamers was that combat could get repetitive. Would you agree with this, and if so, how is this issue being resolved in the sequel?

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