Josh Sawyer: Chapter V

In the final part of this extensive interview, my curiosity naturally shifted toward Josh’s creative future and also his life outside the studio.

Let’s move into the final lap. Could you give me any hints about the future?

That’s the question? The future? [laughing]

[Laughing] I mean, do you have any idea what is going to be your next project after Deadfire?

Personally, I would like to develop a historical game.

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Josh Sawyer: Chapter IV

I remember when I played this power-hungry character in New Vegas and gradually removed all of the main bosses including Caesar and Mr. House to become this self-installed merciless lord of Vegas. I always have this malicious glee when a game allows me to do such things. Tyranny is the opposite example; even if you really want to, you can’t do that much good.

Well, I think what Tyranny does is put you in a position where you are an agent of an evil empire. And so, the most good that you can be is still not that good [laughing]. Because you’re representing something that’s fundamentally really tyrannicalsurprise [laughing].

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Josh Sawyer: Chapter III

In retrospect, how do you think the perception of CRPGs has changed since the ’90s?

Oh, I would say a great deal. I think that even within video games in the ’90s, RPGs were still considered to be more niche. Because, in the mid-’90s, there was a rise of FPS that I think really exploded the popularity of games for a wider audience—people doing LAN parties and lots of online competitive gaming, etc. Also, more competitive RTS gaming. So, I think that RPGs were still more niche and, really until the very late ’90s, there still wasn’t a focus on multiplayer. Even then—like in Baldur’s Gate— there was multiplayer, but it wasn’t extremely well-implemented. Same with Icewind Dale; we didn’t do a great job with either of those [laughing].

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Josh Sawyer: Chapter II

Let’s move on to the projects that didn’t make it. To begin with, could you shed some light on the ill-fated story of Baldur’s Gate III?

So, it’s a little weird. I was working on a game that was code-named Jefferson, before Van Buren. Jefferson was going to be Forgotten Realms game, but it wasn’t going to have anything to do with Baldur’s Gate—there was really no continuity between them. There were actually going to be a couple of characters from Icewind Dale II that were present in Jeffersonwe were actually starting to call it The Black Hound. Feargus never liked that name, but that was what I was calling it.

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Josh Sawyer Chapter I

Josh Sawyer: Chapter I

It’s a relatively warm autumn night of 4th October 2017 A.D. here in Berlin and I am standing outside on the street in front of a local wine bar impatiently awaiting the arrival of one of my favorite game masters of the cRPG scene, Obsidian’s one and only Joshua Sawyer. Upon his arrival we sit down at a table in the intimate environment of a wine cellar and whilst he enjoys his glass of red, we are quick to find a common ground in history. He is very passionate and knowledgeable about the subject of medieval history and is also fluent in German. But before I hit the record button of my voice recorder and for the first time, so that conversation can switch to the games…

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