Dragon's Dogma director Hideaki Itsuno has posted a new developer blog over on Capcom Unity discussing his inspiration for the Pawn System in the action-RPG.
In the game, players will be able to borrow other players’ Main Pawns and use them in their own party. Lending one’s pawn out to other players will cause that pawn to improve and gain new knowledge of enemy weak points and dungeons, and players will be able to “educate” pawns and choose the way they want their pawns to act.
According to Itsuno: "I used to frequent BBS boards as a passive viewer, until one day I decided to actually write a post. Before then, I would just check the board once a day, but after that I was so eager to see a response that I started checking ten plus times a day.
"So I thought to myself, 'how can I bring this feeling to a video game?' If I could just do that, players’ eagerness to play that game each day would leap tenfold."
He goes on to say the Pawn System in Dragon's Dogma brings this idea to life, and at one time he was considering allowing players to rent out their these player-controlled avatars.
"The player would control that avatar in his game, but when rented out to someone else, it would be AI-controlled," he explained. "But this would mean that while your character was being lent out, it might be doing things you wouldn’t want it to do. Then I realized, if it was an AI-controlled character for both players (the lender and the borrower), then that AI would have a consistent life of its own, which would actually contribute to a feeling of connectivity between players sharing a character."
In addition, the ability to rate pawns, give them presents, and exchange strategies and quest information have been worked into the pawn system. Itsuno said this will allow the user to play freely without "worrying too much or being strapped for time. "
Dragon's Dogmas will release on PS3 and Xbox 360 March 27 in the US and on May 1 in Europe.