|Interview with Matthew Edwards|
Interview conducted with the Rambling Dwarf Balin on 8/9/99.|
Flabs: So, when did you first come across the game called 'Realmz'?
Balin: The first time? Probably off a demo CD somewhere. I never really paid it much heed (spelling? oh well) until I got it off the demo CD that came with one of my programming books (those things are fun if only for the software that comes with them.)
Balin: Before that it was just a sort of... yah... ok... I'm getting killed... I can't hit anything... sort of game.
Flabs: Hehe. So what hooked you?
Balin: Actually, I've no idea. I had probably just started getting into the whole RPG thing...
Flabs: Ahhh. So, are you working on any scenarios?
Balin: Currently? I'm working on a sort of 'Large Bywater' thing. It's off and on. I'll pick up Divinity for a couple of hours, put in some more terrain (I haven't started on the APs yet) then quit. Anyway, it spans a continent (in 6 give or take installments no less) and allows you to roam around doing good or evil as you wish. I'm planning on making it really complicated with the time encounters etc so that the world actually changes around you (ala Exile III).
Flabs: Sounds like the scenario with the most sequels yet! Why did you decide to break up your scenario into so many parts?
Balin: Ha. Actually, I would have preferred to keep it together, but it was about the time I was planning it that I first herard about the 20 land level maximum limit. That really put a damper on my ideas until I thought, 'Well why don't I jbreak the thing up into 'provinces', add a continent wide government, and distribute it as separate pieces?' Luckily, races and castes will carry over scenarios so if race.. say 19.. is the same in one scenario as in another, the character should work in both.
Flabs: Wow. What a long response. Now I know why they call you the rambler ;)
Balin: Heh. I was just thinking that too.
Flabs: So, what inspires you to make these scenarios? What inspiration do you draw on?
Balin: Hmm... I don't really know. I love things like Realmz and D&D, etc. I'm a big fan of Tolkien too. I like the way he almost created an entire world's mythology and history just for the writing of several books and a study in linguistics. I like to create, I guess.
Flabs: Ahhh. Another D&D fan. Seems like many of us Realmzers are.
Flabs: Okay, another question. When you run into so-called 'Divinity-block', how do you get past them and work on your scenario?
Balin: Usually, I go away and do something else for a long time (maybe a couple of weeks). When I come back I'm usually able to continue on. In my first scenario, I got so frustrated by lack of plot ideas that I just scrapped it completely. Time anyway. Lot's of away time.
Flabs: So, when did you decide to go about creating the famous "Balin's Taven", and where did you get the cool music?
Balin: Balin's Tavern was yet another of my "It-looks-interesting-and-I'm-dying-to-try-it" projects. I wanted to try my hand at creating and web mastering a real, live web site. I had done a Marathon page previsously, but it had never really got off the ground (there are too many mediocre Marathon... well... were too many sites already). Realmz/Divinity was a relatively small market where I felt more people would probably visit... If you create it they will come (providing people actually know it's there and your product isn't completely awful.) I'm rambling again.
Balin: The music is just the Zelda: Link to the Past ending theme. I got it off some poor Zelda music site somewhere. It's been around forever. I should probably change it. Yeah, so do I. My FF3 midi collection is itching for some air time too, though.
Flabs: Ahhh. I like that song.
Flabs: Okay then, let me ask one more question before I formally end the interview. If you could change one thing about Realmz, what would it be?
Balin: Ohoh. One thing... Difficult question... I would probably...
Balin: (Rats. I can think of at least 3)
Balin: ...remove the 20 land level limit for a start. Add a real talking engine, and add animation to the game. That's 3 but...
Flabs: Heh. I agree with you the animation point. That's what I would change about Realmz, if I could.
Balin: Yeah. I see Realmz and I think: This could be really, really cool if he would walk instead of telepotrt out of one square and into another. It would add story expressiveness. If you could get NPCs to move around like the people in Final Fantasy games, for instance... The size would be incredible too. You'd have to sell it on CD.
Flabs: Whoa! Think of the graphic work! That would be horrible! I would never be able to design another monster, character, or graphic again!
Balin: That's true. I hadn't thought of that... Drat.
Flabs: Well, thank you for your time!