Eurogamer: How much equipment and variety can we expect? Is there a crafting system in the game?
Dirk Hassinger: Two Worlds doesn't feature crafting, but we have come up with a neat way for managing your inventory. In a standard role-playing game you're bound to end up with duplicate items. Normally these would be useless, but in Two Worlds you can combine them to make a more powerful version. And we've made sure the interface is intuitive enough to do this with a couple of button presses. Basically, this makes the treasure hunting aspect of role-playing games much more fruitful for you.
Eurogamer: How will mounted combat work in Two Worlds, and why do you think so few games have previously included it?
Dirk Hassinger: It's extremely difficult to do mounted combat properly and keep it satisfying for the player, but we've worked out our own solution and it works amazingly well. We have various levels of horse riding skill so that the better you are, the more effective you'll be fighting on a mount. High-level players will be able to shoot arrows with the same accuracy as they have on foot. They can even dual-wield bladed weapons if they wish!
Eurogamer: Large and sprawling games can often become impersonal over time. Will we build relationships and adventure with other non-player characters in Two Worlds? Will it be a game that appeals to our emotions?
Dirk Hassinger: There are recurring characters you'll form relationships with, but the real personal emphasis is in the main plot; a quest to find your missing sister!
Eurogamer: Two Worlds will be one of the first games to offer a persistent world-style multiplayer option. How much extra life will it breathe into Two Worlds and exactly how is it all going to work?
Dirk Hassinger: The multiplayer mode is going to be really special, both on PC and Xbox 360. We're going to implement two distinct modes. One will be a hub area where players can form teams, chat, trade and set off on instanced mini-quests. The other mode will be a straight player versus player arena. We're overflowing with ideas of how to innovate in the competitive side of things. We've already mentioned horse races with an in-game gambling system, although the rest will have to stay under our hats for now.
Eurogamer: The online mode for Xbox 360 was only recently confirmed, and it still isn't clear whether it will offer the same amount of detail as the PC version. Why has it been so difficult to bring the persistent world option to console?
Dirk Hassinger: We're striving to make the 360 multiplayer as close to the PC version as possible. The issue isn't a technical one by any means.
Eurogamer: Do you see Two Worlds as a pioneering game in the genre?
Dirk Hassinger: Definitely. No one's ever tried to bring a free-roaming single-player RPG together with a fully-featured multiplayer mode before - although this is due more to ambition than innovation. Two Worlds is pioneering through innovation using some unique features, such as our item combination system and data streaming technology - there aren't any blank screens for loading when entering buildings. We think this kind of subtle advancement makes the game world more persistent in your mind. The suspension of disbelief is enhanced, which is a critical aspect of your experience.
Eurogamer: What's next for Reality Pump?
Dirk Hassinger: In a nutshell, extra content for Two Worlds. The team has so many ideas that we could keep expanding through downloadable content for the next decade. We're also looking at the possibility of Two Worlds on other formats, but official word on that will have to wait!
Dirk Hassinger is vice president of business development at Zuxxez, the company responsible for publishing the game in Germany and the US. Two Worlds is due out in UK in early August, and will be published by SouthPeak.