The
38 Studios / Big Huge Games crew officially pulled the wraps off of
href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/2454">Kingdoms
of Amalur: Reckoning

at an
entertaining href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/events/sdcomic-con/2010">San
Diego Comic-Con panel Thursday
afternoon. The cross-platform, single-player RPG takes place in Amalur,
the fictional world envisioned by bestselling author R.A. Salvatore
that also serves as the backdrop for host of unannounced titles and
products from 38 Studios, including the upcoming MMORPG codenamed
href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/883">Copernicus.




Reckoning is something of a prequel to Copernicus,
preceding it
appreciably in the 12,000 year timeline of lore laid out by Salvatore
and others for the IP. One major theme of the game will be the Well of
Souls and the world-changing implications surrounding something that
MMO players tend to take for granted: resurrection of the fallen.


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In the real word, ideas and discoveries might have a tremendous impact
of their own accord, but it’s often the reaction to these
events by the community and social establishments that multiplies or
hinders the force of the impact. It’s much the same in
Amalur, and Salvatore explained that part of his role is filling the
writers with a sense of how profound a discovery resurrection is in
Amalur, that it’s a “big deal” and much
of the game’s immersiveness comes from how NPCs are reacting
to the events unfolding around them.



The second member of Schilling’s dream team to speak,
Executive Producer Ken Rolston explained how he hopes to lead players
down the rabbit hole with gameplay in like manner to his previous two
blockbuster Elder Scrolls titles, Morrowind
and Oblivion
Vast narrative and open world were two of Rolston’s key
words, but he didn’t use them lightly. Vast narrative means
essentially that the story frames a world that gives you the sense it
contains more interesting stories than anyone could ever tell. Rolston
cited Buffy and Battlestar Galactica among others as examples of vast
narrative.


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Open world, according to Rolston, is a much more unsettled phrase. In
his view (and to paraphrase him), open world means the world has a
central conflict that you never really want to resolve (because
you’re having too good a time), and
never really have to due
to the wealth of other interesting and worthy content the game
provides. Additionally, Rolston hopes to clean up the
“clunky” presentation of today’s RPGs
and, short of making an action game, borrow elements from the action
genre to “increase the pace” of the combat
gameplay. Unfortunately, and with Rolston’s apologies, the
team isn’t quite ready to show combat gameplay yet.



By far the most animated member of the panel (pun intended) was Todd
McFarlane, whose tabletop parries and thrusts drove home another one of
Reckoning’s core concepts: “combat
theater.” Feeling that combat looked far too unnatural in
most games - the A -> B -> A of stance, swing your
weapon, resume your previous stance found in most swords and sorcery
games - McFarlane showed us the less formulaic actions that people step
through, illustrating how this plays out in game. He also explored the
concepts of mass, scale, and bone structure, explaining that
characters, items, and animations in Reckoning would essentially act
their weight and add a layer of realism to the game that’s
seldom or never been seen before.



To get the full impact of what Curt Schilling, R.A. Salvatore, Ken
Rolston, and Todd McFarlane had to say about Kingdoms
of Amalur:
Reckoning
, fans of the game
(and the upcoming MMORPG) will want to
check out our feature length video from the 38 Studios panel at San
Diego Comic-Con 2010. Click below to enjoy!



[video]http://video.tentonhammer.com/amalur/SDCC10-KoAR_Panel.flv[/video]





To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016

About The Author

Jeff
Jeff's interest in online games stretches back to organizing neighborhood Unreal tournaments as a teenager, but when a college roommate introduced him to EverQuest, an interest became an obsession. Jeff joined the Ten Ton Hammer team in 2004 covering EverQuest II, and he's had his hands on just about every PC online and multiplayer game since.

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