Weekend Confirmed 95 - Ken Rolston, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning

By Garnett Lee, Jan 13, 2012 11:00am PST

Two game design heavyweights lend their voices to the show this week. Weekend Confirmed welcomes the legendary Ken Rolston, lead designer on Morrowind and Oblivion, who is currently working on Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. Big Huge Games' lead combat designer Joe Quadara also joins us. Together, they provide new insights from the creator's side in our ongoing discussions around Skyrim and storytelling within large-scale open world role playing games. Of course, the conversation naturally then turns to the approaches they took with Reckoning, and we get into some detail about the upcoming game. There's much more as well with news and your comments from last week's show before we wrap it all up with Finishing Moves.

Weekend Confirmed Ep. 95: 01/13/2012

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If you're viewing this in the GameFly application, you can play Weekend Confirmed Episode 95 directly.

Weekend Confirmed comes in four segments to make it easy to listen to in segments or all at once. Here's the timing for this week's episode:

    Show Breakdown:

    Round 1 00:00:00 to 00:29:13

    Whatcha Been Playing Part 1 00:29:47 to 00:58:46

    Whatcha Been Playing Part 2 00:59:44 to 01:28:13

    Listener Feedback/Front Page News 01:29:17 to 02:00:27

Thanks to our special guests, legendary designer Ken Rolston and lead combat designer Joe Quadara (@bazooie).

For the latest on the game, watch the Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning Facebook page.

Original music in the show by Del Rio. Get his latest Album, The Wait is Over on iTunes. Check out more, including the Super Mega Worm mix and other mash-ups on his ReverbNation page or Facebook page, and follow him on twitter delriomusic.

Jeff Cannata can also be seen on The Totally Rad Show. They've gone daily so there's a new segment to watch every day of the week!

Follow the Weekend Confirmed hosts on Twitter, too! Garnett Lee @GarnettLee, Jeff Cannata @jeffcannata, and Xav de Matos @xav.

Remember to join the Official Facebook Weekend Confirmed Page and add us to your Facebook routine. We'll be keeping you up with the latest on the show there as well.

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  • I'd like to give my 2 cents about the whole 'gamer-guilt' thing.

    I used to have a very busy career in the music industry. I worked for over 10 years performing in a band and we toured internationally. Some people would describe this as really successful and fulfilling but with the amount of time I had to spend away from my family (one year I spent a single month at home) and the shallow nature of the music industry I found myself completely burned out.

    As an avid gamer since childhood I found gaming to be one of the constants in my life and as my apathy for music turned into bitterness and cynicism I found gaming to be a very grounding aspect. One thing a lot of people don't realize about a touring lifestyle is that you have so few friends. As you constantly move around you never get the chance to build up a home base and network of close friends and although you're constantly surrounded by people those interactions are tied to and sustained by your career.

    So, I found that the relationships I developed with my friends on XBOX Live were more meaningful and bonding than a majority of people offline. They were people I could always spend time with despite location or timezone. And I found that the accomplishments of 'real life' to be hollow and numbing. People in the music industry just want to have a lot of drugs and party and there was little comfort in creating music since that process was extremely commercialized and governed by all sorts of external pressures; it's hard to maintain artistic creativity when you have a deadline to write 40 hooks/songs in a certain time frame.

    So you might imagine that accomplishing something in a video game carried as much weight, if not more, as anything that was happening in 'real life'. I enjoyed a lot more meaningful friendships on XBOX Live than in 'real life'. I remember one point I was ready to go on stage and I found myself thinking "man, I really wish I was playing Halo 3 with my friends instead of being here" and that was a shocking thought to have because it wasn't laced with any sense irony. I really and honestly would rather have been playing XBOX.

    To wrap things up, I left the industry, moved back to Australia with my family. I ended up moving to a city close to a number of my XBL friends and a bunch of them met me at the airport and I spend a lot of time with them these days. And I'm now out of contact with almost all of my associates from the music game. I'm not trying to say that the music industry is a terrible place because my experiences were my own but I think the thing that is really telling about this sense of gamer-shame is that while I don't have a single piece of memorabilia displayed in my house from my band days, I have print on my wall that is a screen-cap from Halo 3 myself and 3 friends all piloting Ghosts, commemorating the proud day that 4 of us achieved a particularly difficult achievement.

    I really believe that video game accomplishments can carry just as much weight as anything else in life. I also believe that video games can provide us with social interactions as strong as any others in life and they can certainly paint memories as vivid as anything else in life.

    Thread Truncated. Click to see all 6 replies.