“We were talking to Square for quite awhile,” Feargus Urquhart, CEO of Obsidian said while introducing Dungeon Siege 3. “You make RPGs, we make RPGs, it would be great to see what we could do together. And they really wanted to start getting into Western RPGs. And, so it kind of all ended up fitting together.”
Square Enix gave Obsidian the task of reviving the Dungeon Siege series after they purchased the rights to it from Gas Powered Games.
Since Obsidian and Square Enix have been conversing for some time, I asked Urquhart if there was any franchise other than Dungeon Siege 3 they would like to work on.
Urquhart snickered and sarcastically said, “Chocobo Racing.” He followed up with a more serious response, “If I could come across everything that I played I would have to go with Chrono Trigger. I think Chrono Trigger was one I really enjoyed.”
And how would you make Chrono Trigger more of a Western RPG?
“It’s tough because a lot of the Japanese RPGs have very specific functions for everything. There is very specific item progression, very specific class progression, very specific everything. I think… I don’t know I’d have to think about it,” Urquhart pondered.
While I put Urquhart on the spot, Nathan Chapman, Lead Designer, jumped in with an answer. “I think we’re going with Chrono Trigger because it has elements of a Western RPG. It’s more open, it’s still mostly linear, but there are parts you can explore more,” said Chapman. “There are lots of differences, like you can beat Lavos at different parts of the game and you get different endings based on that. There are obvious answers like dialogue trees and all of that good stuff. The seeds are there for that kind of development.”
“I think it would be fun to take the setting of a Japanese RPG, which is a weird mix of fantasy and sci-fi mashed together and make a Western RPG out of that,” Urquhart chimed in. “I think that would be cool. I mean it’s kind of Star Wars, that’s kind of what Star Wars is a fantasy in space. I think that would be interesting.”
Chapman continued, “In terms of the Japanese RPGs that I find really cool is the style. That’s something that, especially the Japanese Square games, the style permeates everything. The super high production values. The characters…”
“Gigantic swords,” Urquhart cracked.
“Gigantic swords, something we’ve taken from them. All of that stuff is really cool,” Chapman concluded.