When you say "early on in Reckoning", are we talking about when it was pre-Reckoning, pre-38?
CC: Yeah. And I think, in prototypes, in trying to figure out how to make an RPG, there's things that we're not doing now, and I think that's consistent for any studio. We learned and we changed our plan. Like I said, you have to learn to be agile. You have to be willing to say, "This isn't working. We want to make something the players will love, so let's change plans.
But pretty early on, you honed on the idea of having this world-building department. It seems the idea is to have an intersection point where everything comes together.
CC: Yeah. I think that's the real heart of it. We can't build individual parts. None of us are building our own sliver of the game, and then putting them all together expecting them to work. We're all connecting to each other. We're all building one thing, collectively. It has to feel cohesive in all of its parts. That's sort of the philosophy of the whole project.
You talked about a little bit ago about how combat came to the fore at a certain point in the game's development. I'm assuming that's something that arose through iterative processes -- there was a certain point where you realize that combat was becoming an important part of the game.
CC: Yeah. I wouldn't say it was a point. It was more of a... Maybe for other people it was. Maybe for the design director, or upper management, it really was at that point. For the rest of us, it was this thing we learned in stages. It got more and more fun, and more and more exciting. As the audio guys built the impact of the hammer and the effects playing off of it, like we're going, "This is really getting cool! I've never played something like this before. This is really exciting." And it energized the team around it.
Earlier, you were very clear on using gender-inclusive language, like boyfriend, girlfriend, guy, and girl, right? Fantasy has a lot of female fans.
Do you think about that?
CC: I think so. We've got a team of three world builders. One of them is a female, and she's incredible. She's so great at her job. She brings a unique skill set, a unique look of things, and I think that's something we have to think about, not only in just who's building the game, but who we're building it for. You've got to pay attention to your demographic, and I'm thrilled that more and more women are playing these games. I think it's great.
If you look at fantasy novels, particularly in the '80s, it was a place where a lot of women struck out. And I think it was also a place where socially liberal ideas were explored. You definitely see that again, going into BioWare, and making sure that different sexual orientations are explored in their narrative and their audience. Do you feel the same way about exploring different options in this world?
CC: Well, I won't speak to that aspect of Reckoning. I'm not the best person to answer that big of a question, but I think... It makes all of the sense in the world that people are wanting to explore that, and push that. Like I said, the female creators, of course that's happening. And it's great that it's coming along. And in fantasy, like you said, it's been happening for a really long time. So, games are probably just catching up a little bit.
As a manager, do you feel a need or an interest in recognizing, or pulling forward, the work of women? In terms of getting more women into the game space.
CC: I'd love to. I mean, at the end of the day, you hire the best people for the job. Some of them are going to be women, some of them are going to be men. You don't want to choose based on either. You want to choose the best talent. Some of the best talent really is women. Some of it is men. We're really fortunate to have the incredible women we have working at Big Huge Games.
I think of women being an integral part of fantasy, but I don't as clearly think of women being as integral part of game development -- not because they're women, but just because that's how things have been.
CC: I think for a long time it's been a male-heavy industry. I actually taught night classes at the Maryland Institute College of Art for the last couple semesters, and a few of the Big Huge Games artists do. And that's really interesting because those classes that are very video game-centric have become more and more female, to the point where my last class I taught had 16 women and two men in it. The females in the class were just incredible. That's really going to have a significant impact in the industry. These women are going to do incredible things.