Posts Tagged ‘Ragnar-Tørnquist’

Ragnar Tørnquist On The Secret World: Part 2

Seriously, he pops up everywhere.

Yesterday we spoke to The Secret World‘s project lead, Ragnar Tørnquist about the game’s factions, mythologies and more peculiar ideas. Today we get a bit deeper, and dig into the motivations behind it all. Why the recurring themes in Tørnquist’s work? Does he have an agenda? And why does most of gaming not? We have a good argument about the nature of truth, and ask where games are falling short. And then somehow again return to the topic of Ragnar’s death.

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Ragnar Tørnquist On The Secret World: Part 1

Honestly, it's so vain the way he appears in his games like this.

After spending some time at Funcom’s Oslo HQ to see The Secret World, I sat down with project lead Ragnar Tørnquist to chat about the game, the process that led up to it, and how it fits in with his philosophy of gaming. In part one of our chat we talk about the game’s origins, find out why we should care about each of the three factions, how Funcom is able to make games that don’t match the trends, some of the more peculiar and esoteric plans for blurring our realities, and finally how the game is going to inevitably lead to Tørnquist’s brutal murder.

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The Secret World: Factions, PvP Details

Yesterday we spoke to The Secret World project lead Ragnar Tørnquist. He revealed a whole bunch of new information about the urban fantasy MMO of monsters, secret societies and mysterious evil, which is now sounding increasingly awesome: a (sort of?) real-time combat system for PvP, a subterranean city for the secret societies for fight over, and a mutual war against evil and darkness in the real world. Along with the three factions he’s revealed a little about their HQ buildings, the share social hub for each faction, and the PvP impact of guilds, or cabals as they will be known. More promising, perhaps, is an MMO that eschews traditional vertical structure of RPGs, opting for a “horizontal” advancement that will allow people to contribute to higher end PvP stuff from the very start. Yes, there’s every reason to believe that Funcom might finally be on the right track. Read on for our chat with Tørnquist, or go here for our previous interview.

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Interview: Tørnquist On The Secret World

Funcom’s contemporary dark fantasy, The Secret World, is an MMO with a cliffhanger ending. So says its creator, Ragnar Tørnquist. In fact, it’s claims like this that make this one of the most significant MMOs currently in development. Hell, with CCP not having released any details at all for World Of Darkness, this is probably the most interesting forthcoming MMO we’re aware of. Anyway: braving the nightmarish audio confusion of my echoing speakerphone interview setup, Funcom’s project lead took some time out to talk about the game, with its conspiracy theories and modern mythologies, and his feelings about high heels. Of course I didn’t start by asking any relevant questions, and asked about Anarchy Online instead.

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Mystery Is Important: Dreamfall Chapters Snippets


Dreamfall Chapters news comes rarely, and often without detail, but Funcom’s Ragnar Tørnquist has sneaked out a couple more bits and pieces. Bits and pieces he’s quick to stress are unofficial, from him, and not representative of Funcom. First and foremost, that it definitely still exists. In the sense that it hasn’t been given up on. While Funcom is in a bit of turmoil, making a sizeable loss and losing their CFO, it’s good to know that Tørnquist and his The Secret World team (who have a lot in common with his Dreamfall team) are still continuing at full speed. And it’s good to know that the thinking is long-term, and that Chapters is still to come. Now a few more details about how Chapters will work have appeared.

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Ragnar Tørnquist On… Dreamfall & Faith

He's basically her ventrilloquism puppet.

In this final part of our interview with Ragnar Tørnquist, we begin by discussing why he writes female characters for the leads in his games. Then we move on to get to grips with the story behind Dreamfall, the problems with the game, and eventually the roll of faith in Ragnar’s games. We finish by discussing the potential for Dreamfall Chapters. It’s been a while, but just in case the below contains complete spoilers for both The Longest Journey and Dreamfall.

Before we begin, I want to get sappy for a moment. It was a dream come true for me to discuss TLJ and Dreamfall like this. Both games had their flaws, but I will argue until death that barely any other game parallels their storytelling. As the faith model below should show, Ragnar and his team care about story in a way that should embarrass the crap out of most developers. Story matters to me, and I tip my hat to Ragnar and Funcom for letting it matter so much to them.

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Ragnar Tørnquist On… The Longest Journey

Life size! Zoe too.

In part two of our interview with The Longest Journey creator, and project lead on The Secret World, Ragnar Tørnquist, we get down to discussing The Longest Journey and Dreamfall. TLJ is a game that’s very special to me, and one I credit as having affected my life.

What follows is the most involved discussion of the game, and its sequel Dreamfall, I’ve seen from Ragnar, talking about the philosophy behind the game, the messages it contained, what it’s like to have aged ten years and reflect, and not least the news that The Longest Journey started life as a platform game. We’re joined by Dag Scheve midway through, which derails the conversation impressively. And if you look carefully, there’s also some more exclusive snippets about The Secret World hidden in there.

RPS: How old were you where you when you started developing The Longest Journey?

Ragnar: I was 25.

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Ragnar Tørnquist On… Storytelling

Zoe had her Readybrek that morning.

A few months back, before the release of Age Of Conan, I took a trip to Funcom to finally meet The Longest Journey creator, Ragnar Tørnquist. Having keenly followed his career since the wondrous The Longest Journey, he’s someone I’ve always wanted to interview. So at last given the chance, we sat down to chat… for over three hours. The results are now to be seen, and in this first part we begin by discussing the nature of MMOs, and then spend a lot of time talking about the role of the Storyteller in gaming, before finding out how Ragnar tried to get swearing into a Spielberg-endorsed kids’ game. (Portions of this interview previously appeared in PC Gamer).

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The Secret World’s Secret Screenshots

Excuse me, could you tell me where I can find the nearest brains shop?

Two screenshots of Funcom’s next MMO, The Secret World, have appeared. Semi-officially put out, they’re from Funcom’s quarterly report, and they’re confirmed as for real by lead dev, Ragnar Tørnquist. In fact, he says on his blog that he took them himself.

For Norwegian readers, there’s speculation about what they might mean here. For the rest of us, there’s the usual collection of cryptic hints on Rangar’s blog.

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Joystiq Vs The Adventurers

During GDC, gaming uber-blog Joystiq had the rather splendid idea of asking adventure game developers to solve their own “obnoxious” adventure-style puzzle. The victims were Ron Gilbert, Steve Purcell, Mike Stemmle, Eric Wolpaw, and Ragnar Tørnquist. Each solves the challenge – getting past a robot bear to enter a cave – in their own distinct style, and they’re all worth a read. And then along comes Tim Schafer.

Taking the challenge a little more… not seriously, but intensely than anyone else, Schafer’s approach is to treat the challenge as a text adventure, emailing Joystiq his commands as they find themselves having to work very hard to keep up. The results are excellent. Here’s a taste:

>get tiny guards

You scoop up the tiny guards in one motion and deposit them safely into your pocket.

>get tiny me

Are you sure you want to do that? You may want to save first.

>give rubber chicken to tiny me

You clumsily try to hand over the rubber chicken, but only end up crushing your tiny self beneath a mountain of artificial poultry. Whoops.

Making Of: The Longest Journey

[While a fun one to do, it’s always a little odd taking on one of someone else’s Totemic Games. It’s a little like having sex with someone else’s wife, I guess. Anyway! Ragnar is, of course, incredibly lovely. Expect a longer interview with Ragnar in the not-too-distant future, from Mr “Future Mrs Tørnquist” Walker. Oh: The interview was done just before Dreamfall hit.]

We have both kind of gameplay. Point AND click.

The Longest Journey is now an established classic. While everyone else was wrapping up the history books of the genre, Ragnar Tørnquist and his team at Funcom were making what would prove to be the bookend of an era. Yes, the Longest Journey, from the start, it was destined to be that last great… er… Platform Game?

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