Who was there: Curt Schilling, founder of 38 Studios; Ian Frazier, lead systems designer; Joe Quadara, lead combat designer; and several hundred fans eager to see the developer's first title.
What they talked about: After a brief introduction by Schilling that set the stage for the public debut of 38 Studios' upcoming title, the mogul ceded the stage to Frazier and Quadara to showcase the role-playing game that's being developed by 38 and Big Huge Games. Frazier walked attendees through an extensive demo of the game, driven by Quadara. The demo was basically the same one we recently saw at this year's Game Developers Conference, although it was accompanied by the soundtrack of excited cries from the audience who were clearly happy with what they saw. Following the playable demo and a fly-through of a variety of different areas in the game that spanned traditional woodland towns to much more foreboding vistas, the team fielded questions from the audience. The team's answers offered up additional bits of info on various aspects of the game. A question on swimming in the game revealed that while there will be swimming, there won't be underwater swimming, although there will be dive points where you'll be able to go underwater to collect items. A targeting question revealed that there's a soft lock system for combat. A question on difficulty was answered with the revelation that there will be a difficulty slider in the game. The answer for a question on how many major classes will be included in the game was a cryptic "a lot." The subject of morality revealed that the game won't have a set system of good and evil that includes a traditional morality meter; instead, some of the world choices you make will have an impact on your adventure. Other info of note from the panel included word that there will be an absorption ability for mages and that the game will feature some level of control customization that will let you choose between different presets. The massive game is set on just part of the world of Amalur, which is being groomed to be a cottage industry supporting toys and comics if the interest is there from the masses. Following the question and answer session, Schilling raffled off five autographed T-shirts.
Quote: "We want this game to kick ass."--Curt Schilling
Takeaway: Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is a game with an ambitious scope and some genuinely interesting gameplay elements that fans of the genre will appreciate and newcomers won't be intimidated by. The development team's impressive collection of talent certainly seems to be ensuring the game starts out on the right foot, with the crowd offering enthusiastic and positive reactions to the various game features on display. The game's 2012 release date affords the team some much-needed time to polish the experience and live up to the potential we see in it.