Piranha Bytes doesn’t let players have access to the ships in Risen 2: Dark Waters straight off the bat, in order to keep them from being overhwlemed by the world’s size.
“We wanted to go out to sea to create an exotic and tropical pirate game,” Piranha Bytes’ Björn Pankratz said of the unusual decision to include seafaring in the game.
The designer explained that players begin with a tutorial on a small island which is overrun by monsters, before traveling to a larger one with two settlements. Shortly afterwards, the game’s scope opens out dramatically.
“When you join the pirates you can reach the coast over here by ship,” he said, indicating the other side of the map.
“Here you get to command your own ship, so you can travel to the other islands.”
“It was the usual struggle of making it neither too big nor too small. On the one hand, you’ve got to create a world big enough to make it plausible that you require a ship. On the other hand if it’s too big it gets boring.” colleague Michael Hoge added.
“We used the islands to put certain structures in place. At the start, players are told to go to island A, and Island B – then suddenly, you get your ship, and you can get to island C, D, E anf F in any order.”
Piranha Bytes used a terrain engine for the first time, as the size of the game world made hand crafting landscapes – and the accompanying headaches that result from small manual adjustments – impractical.
Risen 2 is scheduled to release on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 some time in 2012. Watch the full developer diary below.