We’ve talked about how They Don’t Make Games like they used to. And there was my exposition on Why I Can’t Go Home Again. Yet it may be that the traditional RPG could make a comeback.

Over on Within Games, they have a fascinating interview with Thomas Riegsecker, founder and lead designer of Basilisk Games, about their forthcoming product, Eschalon: Book I.

From what I read, it seems they have some good ideas, especially in going for content over eye candy. And the quasi-turn-based system sounds interesting.

Of course, we all know many games have looked good on paper and came out lacking in execution. So we should approach this with a certain amount of cautious expectation.

And that brings to mind the question: What, exactly, do we mean by “traditional” or “old-school” RPG?

If we go back to the beginning, to Wizardry and Might & Magic, two features stand out. First, most of the old games were party-based, and second, they all had turn-based combat.

There is no mention of a party in the interview; Eschalon appears to be a solo outing. On the other hand, it does have a form of turn-based combat.

Also, those first games were very heavy on the combat, something which has persisted to this day. From the interview, it appears that Eschalon may not have that emphasis.

My impression is that Eschalon will blend features of the “classics” with some from more modern games. A sort of cross-fertilization, that, perhaps, could breathe some life into a genre gone stale.

Check out the interview (this is a German site, but the interview is in English) and see what you think. And a tip o’ the claw to Coyote, on whose blog I learned about this.

Eschalon Interview on Within Games