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Interview with Don’t Starve: Reign of Giants’ Seth Rosen - N4G


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As part of their Indie Month Spotlight, N4G has a few interviews and articles about Klei. 

 

You might even find some interesting tidbits about Don't Starve Together!

 

 

 

Don't Starve reigns as one of the most interesting titles in recent years, offering more in the ways of the experience and focusing on the journey rather than being a means to an end. Klei Entertainment's Seth Rosen (Designer/Programmer) elucidates some of the finer points of Don't Starve, communities on both PC and console, and what's next for our morbid little dudes and dudettes in the vast wilderness. Special thanks to Klei's CM, Corey Rollins! 

 

Check it out

 

Part 1 

http://n4g.com/user/blogpost/indiemonth/528284

 

Part 2

http://n4g.com/user/blogpost/indiemonth/528283

 

And check out the spotlight here:

 

http://n4g.com/user/blogpost/indiemonth/528286

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Interesting, you had 15 players on one server? With the sizes of DS' worlds, I can imagine you'd run into someone every 5 minutes or so. If your aiming for 32 players (possibly) on a server at one time, I would consider making maps bigger.

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Interesting, you had 15 players on one server? With the sizes of DS' worlds, I can imagine you'd run into someone every 5 minutes or so. If your aiming for 32 players (possibly) on a server at one time, I would consider making maps bigger.

 

Who says we didn't?

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I'm excited for you guys getting all this recent recognition. Bigfoot yesterday, SethR today. It's beyond well deserved. Great Company, Incredible games.

 

You guys are like Don't Starve. Uncompromising in the wilderness of Game Development! Please continue to keep up to your high standards. You guys kick @ss and take names.... like any good Great developers should!

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Who says we didn't?

Just a quick question JeoW. If someone chose to play with only one person, will they in any way be at a disadvantage to someone who plays in a larger group of people?

I'm excited for you guys getting all this recent recognition. Bigfoot yesterday, SethR today. It's beyond well deserved. Great Company, Incredible games.

You guys are like Don't Starve. Uncompromising in the wilderness of Game Development! Please continue to keep up to your high standards. You guys kick @ss and take names.... like any good Great developers should!

Can't say how true this is. The sky's the limit :)
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Just a quick question JeoW. If someone chose to play with only one person, will they in any way be at a disadvantage to someone who plays in a larger group of people?

Can't say how true this is. The sky's the limit :-)

 

The idea is that the person running the server would have things setup the way they like it. So if you had just a 2 player game, you would set things up to how you would like to play in a 2 person world, easier or more difficult. 

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Who says we didn't?

So if the worlds are getting even bigger, will this effect performance on older machines? I only ask because recently I was in a thread that discussed issues keeping up with the games memory requirements. Will there be a, "Draw Distance" that stops the game from rendering or remembering things outside of where the player is currently looking? (Has to be in there already) Better yet, will the memory of the game such as which grass tufts/twig sprigs/berry bushes have been harvested (Just as an example) be handled client-side or server side?

Will the only thing handled client side in regards to keeping track of the world be the map and where the player has been? With the rest being handled by the server?

I want to know for one of my friends lower end computers. Thanks.

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The idea is that the person running the server would have things setup the way they like it. So if you had just a 2 player game, you would set things up to how you would like to play in a 2 person world, easier or more difficult. 

 

Obviously I don't know what changes you guys have in store, but I think having specific Player Number Vs. World presets would be nice for newer players, or veteran players who don't know how to balance the game (aka, me).

 

... I learned you can make a cup from a potato. Thanks Seth! 

 

Someone hack Seth's profile, give him the title "Potato Drinker".

 

It must be done.

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So if the worlds are getting even bigger, will this effect performance on older machines? I only ask because recently I was in a thread that discussed issues keeping up with the games memory requirements. Will there be a, "Draw Distance" that stops the game from rendering or remembering things outside of where the player is currently looking? (Has to be in there already) Better yet, will the memory of the game such as which grass tufts/twig sprigs/berry bushes have been harvested (Just as an example) be handled client-side or server side?

Will the only thing handled client side in regards to keeping track of the world be the map and where the player has been? With the rest being handled by the server?

I want to know for one of my friends lower end computers. Thanks.

 

Ooh, this one I want to know.

 

I can say that having a bigger world currently seems to make my computer jittery at the moment, so maybe some changes will be in store :o

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There was one part of the interview that gave me a little...well, pause. The comment about the characters...

 

Sometimes that process includes making up some additional back-story for the character (i.e. Webber's history as a young boy who survived being eaten by a spider and now lives inside of that spider, together as one), but other times it's simply a matter of answering a question like "what does the most stereotypical Canadian lumberjack look like?"

 

 

The mention that characters just have 'some' back story to justify their existence; as if it is just a minor thing or are just made up on a whim. Most of us want the depth to the characters that Wilson and Maxwell got; they are just as important as they are and that comment made me feel they will never get the limelight that they need.

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There was one part of the interview that gave me a little...well, pause. The comment about the characters...

 

The mention that characters just have 'some' back story to justify their existence; as if it is just a minor thing or are just made up on a whim. Most of us want the depth to the characters that Wilson and Maxwell got; they are just as important as they are and that comment made me feel they will never get the limelight that they need.

I was saving reading these for later since I'm so busy, but I'm really not that surprised by them saying that - they have deadlines to meet  to make sure the update gets out on time - and leaving characters so bare-bones like that leaves them to get filled up later. You could say they're STARVING for character development!

I want every character to have that much story development too as I care about them very much - and why is just as important as who what and where if not more so - but with what we have for now I think we should be fine. The real difficulty would be somehow tying each character to new gameplay elements with new updates or DLC - personally I'd just prefer it if Klei got their animators to do some "MEET THE..." videos a la Team Fortress 2.

It would be a good way to explain their backstory in how they got there without new gameplay elements - just understand that animating that ONE Forbidden Knowledge trailer probably took Months upon Months of time. Art Direction, storyboarding, musical direction, animation/in-betweening, sound design, writing, you name it. Making sure every single thing in that trailer was where it needed to be.

To have that happen for every single character, we need to demand it - and we need to be patient. It also doesn't help that trailer was completely devoid of dialogue - giving exposition tends to get alot harder without it.

I wish Klei luck though in giving what the people want! : )

 

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The idea is that the person running the server would have things setup the way they like it. So if you had just a 2 player game, you would set things up to how you would like to play in a 2 person world, easier or more difficult.

As simple as that. Cool :)

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I'd even take puzzlers like the Charlie/Maxwell (which are we ever going to see the final act for that? AKA after the Intermission? D: ) in the sense that if we want this stuff, we have to work to get it. 

Or the Intermission could be one out of a few in which they go through how Maxwell found each character. We don't need to repeat Forbidden Knowledge, but I would be interested to know just why he chose Wilson. 

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The mention that characters just have 'some' back story to justify their existence; as if it is just a minor thing or are just made up on a whim. Most of us want the depth to the characters that Wilson and Maxwell got; they are just as important as they are and that comment made me feel they will never get the limelight that they need.

 

I vote we ignore this part of the interview and continue to count on Klei to give us real backstory. Eventually. Soon™.

 

 

I'm sure it will happen one day, right?

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I was saving reading these for later since I'm so busy, but I'm really not that surprised by them saying that - they have deadlines to meet  to make sure the update gets out on time - and leaving characters so bare-bones like that leaves them to get filled up later. You could say they're STARVING for character development!

I want every character to have that much story development too as I care about them very much - and why is just as important as who what and where if not more so - but with what we have for now I think we should be fine. The real difficulty would be somehow tying each character to new gameplay elements with new updates or DLC - personally I'd just prefer it if Klei got their animators to do some "MEET THE..." videos a la Team Fortress 2.

It would be a good way to explain their backstory in how they got there without new gameplay elements - just understand that animating that ONE Forbidden Knowledge trailer probably took Months upon Months of time. Art Direction, storyboarding, musical direction, animation/in-betweening, sound design, writing, you name it. Making sure every single thing in that trailer was where it needed to be.

To have that happen for every single character, we need to demand it - and we need to be patient. It also doesn't help that trailer was completely devoid of dialogue - giving exposition tends to get alot harder without it.

I wish Klei luck though in giving what the people want! : )

I'll be more than happy to be Klei's official backstory writer; just to shut me up.

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The last thing I wanted to mention is that we're pursuing using dedicated servers for Don't Starve Together. This will make it so that the world that you're trying to survive in has a history to it in a way that can't happen in the single player mode (because we delete the world when you die in that mode). You'll be able to find skeletons from fallen friends and foes and even characters that you've played in the past. I'm expecting some cool environmental storytelling to organically happen because of that persistence. 

 

 

But if playing a Reign of Giants version, the skeletons would be hammered for Bone Shards...

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The mention that characters just have 'some' back story to justify

their existence; as if it is just a minor thing or are just made up on a whim. Most of us want the depth to the characters that Wilson and Maxwell got; they are just as important as they are and that comment made me feel they will never get the limelight that they need.

Well, just because the majority of the characters have the most basic backstory now, doesn't mean they will never have a more detailed backstory in the future. It's likely that the game's poster boys Wilson & Maxwell also began as simple character archetypes, and Klei were creating their backstories on the fly. I doubt they came up with the whole Forbidden Knowledge and William Carter thing beforehand.

So there's always a chance that they will decide to flesh out someone else.

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yes he had drank too much potato water that day 

My Polish and Rusian ancestors agree he had much too much Wodka :-)

 

Well, just because the majority of the characters have the most basic backstory now, doesn't mean they will never have a more detailed backstory in the future. It's likely that the game's poster boys Wilson & Maxwell also began as simple character archetypes, and Klei were creating their backstories on the fly. I doubt they came up with the whole Forbidden Knowledge and William Carter thing beforehand.

So there's always a chance that they will decide to flesh out someone else.

I'm still trying to wrap my head around: "There was this boy, and a spider swallowed him, and he survived as a boy with a spider merging, but he died. So when you bury his skull...the one human skull...he comes back as a man-spider hybrid." There better be a [CENSORED] good story explaining a plot hole as big as the ships in Battlefield Earth

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