R.A. Salvatore Likes Kingdoms of Amalur, but Hates the Names

Fantasy writer R.A. Salvatore really likes the end result of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, the RPG for which he wrote the lore — but he can’t stand the names.

That’s what Salvatore said during an interview with The Escapist at PAX East 2012. Salvatore is a prolific writer in the Dungeons & Dragons franchise and contributed heavily to Big Huge Games’ Amalur. He said he loved playing Amalur, even if he’s more of a PC and tabletop gamer, but if he could change something, it’d be the fantasy world names that bombard players as soon as they fire up the game.

Salvatore contributed a lot to the lore and backstory of Amalur, but he didn’t have a hand in creating the script. He said he fought the development team a bit on the names, but ultimately was overruled. Here’s a quote from the story

‘Peter Jackson’s LOTR movies did a great job of introducing characters by condensing the cast,’ Salvatore said. Movies tend to err on the side of less is more with naming conventions, and Salvatore wondered if games should consider condensing the amount of lore exposed to the player. The characters are what drives the players into the story.

Salvatore also took issue with the number of the game’s sidequests, saying that they distracted him, a completionist, from pushing through the main story. He also said he wished there had been more Alyn Shir in the game.

But those were quibbles, Salvatore said, and overall he was incredibly happy with the final product of Amalur.

“I wrote a long letter to Big Huge Games and I was almost crying as I wrote it,” he said.

38 Studios, of which Big Huge Games is a subsidiary, is currently working on an MMO based on Amalur, and Salvatore is working on it as well. The interview also implied there could be a single-player sequel to Amalur.


Game Front is on-site at PAX East all weekend (April 6-8), bringing you daily news, hands-on previews, interviews and pictures. Stay tuned for more PC gaming-focused coverage!

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