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Interview with… Questorion.

Since this is our first issue, we thought “Hmmm who should we interview.  It has to be someone big.  Someone with a persona bigger than big to match the awesomeness of our newspaper and be worthy of our first edition.  Who should we ask?”

The usual names were bandied about.  You know, God, the Pope, Mother Teresa (but then we remembered she died and since taking up her afterlife, her price for an interview is off the planet) and finally decided that Mr T would be cool.  So here is the interview with…… what was that… nosurely not….

We were able to sit down with Mr T and talk about everything you wanted to know but were too scared to ask.  However, his answers were so obscure, we got stalled at a grammatical disorder that stood in the way of our awesomeness.  While we now find it difficult to bring to you, our readers, an honesty to the intensity of Mr T’s interview we decided to postpone it until we could.  Please be assured that we are currently working on the problem and a resolution is pending

In the meantime, because we care about our readers, for your reading pleasure here is an Interview with Questorion, the Project Leader for the Dragon Age mod, Dark Times: the Confederacy of Malkuth, a person who we think is perhaps just below Mr T on the awesome scale, but awesome all the same and someone who can speak the Queen’s English the way we, the masses can understand. 

Tell me a little about the game?

Dark Times is an expansion to the single player Dragon Age Origins story.  It contains a narrative that unfolds over the course of Five Acts, each of which is going to be released as a separate mod.  It takes you to a land beyond the Uncharted Territories known as the Confederacy of Malkuth, where your Warden searches for a cure to the taint.  It adds new companions, new quests, new powers and a whole lot more.  While I could spend massive amounts of time talking about it, I’d prefer it if peoples first experience with the mod is when they play ACT I.  Since we are in the final stages of production on it and will soon be having an open beta testing phase before its release, players will be getting a chance to find out about the game firsthand in the near future.

What is the history of the story?

The history of the story begins with the basic desire to see more community made content the wonderful game that Bioware made in Dragon Age Origins.  Beyond that, the seed which lies at the heart of story behind DT:CoM was the desire to add new and vibrant land to the world of Thedas…

Was the initial story your own thoughts alone or a collaboration with others?

While the initial story was indeed a product of my imagination, every step of the way there have been talented individuals who’ve dedicated their time to make sure that each and every idea was actualized in the best possible way.  Overall, the making of DT has been an interactive and fun collaboration between peers.

How long has it been in production?

I began recruiting dev members about 6 months ago. 

Was it always a Dragon Age add on or was it originally for another game that you have shifted over to DA?

While certain elements of the narrative predate Dragon Age in the fact that there have always been elements I’ve wanted to see in a fantasy rpg, the focus has always been to tell a story within the world of Thedas.

What have been the milestones to date that you have reached?

The latest news is that we are preparing ACT I for release in the near future. We hope to have ACT I ready for release by October at the latest, although there will be an open beta starting towards the end of September.

Are you happy with the progress that has been made to date?

Without a doubt.  Each and every single day the project moves forward.  Even though sometimes it may not progress as quickly as we’d like…the process is enjoyable and we are having fun doing it.

What has been the most difficult situation with the game’s creation that you have faced?

Learning how to use the toolset.

How did you overcome it?

Having the patience to spend the time it takes to figure the darn thing out….and being lucky enough to have talented team mates who are capable of doing the things I cannot.

What do you dislike at present about the game, its progress, the toolset?

Honestly…while we’ve had our ups and downs…I’m actually pretty happy with the state of things at the moment.

What do you think ppl will like about the game?

Hopefully, everything!  Seriously though, I have a feeling that the character of the Lethe may become a fan favourite.

What do you think ppl will dislike?

That’s hard to say…one thing that bothers me is that people will not be able to play it all at once.  The initial idea was to release it all as one giant module but the size and scope of the project is such that our latest build which included all the acts was 1.9 gigs.  The decision to separate the Acts and release them over the course of time will most certainly frustrate some players who want instant gratification.  Each Act does have a resolution but there are indeed pieces of the narrative that players will just have to wait for the next act to experience the resolution of.

So what decisions with the game do u think are the most difficult?  Cutting a character, quest etc

Casting VO…there hardest part of this process has been trying to find the right voice for the right character. 

How do you find working under the pressure of being a leader in the games production?

I love it.  There’s nothing I’d rather be doing with my time than working with the DT:CoM dev team to try and make the best addition to the game that we can.

How have you coped when faced with conflict within the group if there has ever been any?

Try to remind everybody that a) it’s only a game…b) real life situations must always come first and c) it’s important to have a sense of humor about yourself.

What do you look for when recruiting staff?

I look for Imagination and dedication, the two components which are essential to telling a great story and finishing any creative project. Toolset knowledge is a plus…but that’s a learned skill…without imagination and dedication….nothing ever gets done.

How do they measure to your own performance?

I’m in awe of the work my peers have put in on this project.  Without them it would not even be conceivable.

Which part of the game is least to your liking?

Database errors…Lol…there were way to many of those in the initial days of working on the mod.

What would your strengths or weaknesses be?

Dreaming big.  It’s a strength and a weakness.  Sometimes you have to realize the limitations of what is actually possible compared to what you’d like to accomplish.  However, the DT dev team is willing to help actualize those dreams.

Do you find networking within the gaming community a help or more of a hindrance?

I think it’s definitely been a help.  If it weren’t for BSN, I’d never have met the talented and dedicated people who I work with on a daily basis to tell this story and make the mod.

How do you choose who to network with?

I try and connect to anyone who seems friendly and respectful of others.

What is the best advice you can give a new person to the modding industry?

Don’t be afraid to ask questions.  Be friendly.  Respect the creations of others. Always remember that the process is supposed to be fun…not work.

What is the worst advice you can give a new person to the modding industry?

I would never try and give bad advice, but the one thing that should be avoided is giving up on your dreams.  If you want to learn how to mod…be willing to take the time and make the effort required to actually do so. 

After the Add on is completed can players look forward to additional expansion mods or will it be time to move on to new project entirely?

Well…since it’s being released as 5 separate Acts, and there’s a planned DLC nearly finished.  You should be hearing from us for quite some time.

What is your favourite food?

Caffeine.  Is that a food?  It should be.

Find more about Caffeine here 🙂

Our thanx goes to Questorion for taking the time to answer our questions.  It was a great interview and we hope you enjoyed reading it as much as we did doing it.  Next edition, an interview with….. well you will just have to wait and see 🙂

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