C&V:What are the main differences this time round?Although there are currently no announced plans to bring Black and White 2 to the Mac, given the success of the original, it is safe to say we could see the sequel on the Mac. To read the full interview, follow the link below.
Barnes: Of course, the improvements in technology really allow us to do much more in B&W2, but our major target in Black & White 2 is to make the game epic. We wanted to increase the scale and the 'feel' of the game by including majestic cities, vast armies and powerful storylines. No longer will people ask, 'Can you find my sheep?' but will instead pray for survival for war or for victory. We've been inspired by the single-mindedness and the faith you see in such films as Braveheart and the Lord Of The Rings series.
We also wanted to make the people in B&W2 more important to the player. Instead of popping in and out of the adventure, many will be loyal and constant, and will change as the tale unfolds. These people will raise armies, pray, live for you and even die for you. They'll have their own stories and plots, and these will as important to the player as he or she wants them to be. Of course, being a Black & White game, B&W2 always gives the player freedom and control over events, so if that means the player wants to execute all those humans closest to him or her, so be it!
C&V:How have you enhanced the creature/pet aspect of the game?
Barnes: The villagers are much more advanced and lead more significant, varied lives, which actually gives the Creature a greater purpose. So of course he's the ultimate unit in battle, but he has a renewed, vital role as the ultimate defender and nurturer of your people.
As well as improving the way you teach the Creature, we've boosted the Creature's abilities and intelligence. You can hand over the control of whole armies to the Creature, allowing him to command your troops in battle. He will form his own tactics based on his experiences.
We see some interesting side-effects of this AI. When we first took a Creature into battle, he had no concept of war and kept on healing anyone who got hurt, even those who were shooting arrows into him!
The player's Creature can also defend and build up great cities. His skills at town management and analysis of the surrounding situation make him a much more valuable member of a town. Of course, that's assuming you haven't taught him to be too evil.