Thanks to Alrik for this podcast from PC Games.de, featuring Bernd Beyreuther from Radon Labs talking about Drakensang: The River of Time (around 28:50). It's German, so that's all I can tell you. More information.
OKay, the most important points - I listened only to the telephone-interview with Bernd Beyreuther - :
- they are constantly playing, because they are testing the whole game
- they are now in the "release candidate-phase"
- will be published beginning / middle of February, as set by dtp
- decisions will have an influence to the game world
- depending on the Archetype, the initial training will be different (it's "training" !)
- depending on the people and types, the story will progress differently
- the world gets to know certain deeds ("Newspaper")
- targeted at an broad audience
- Drakensang 1 not neccessary to have been played
- "extras" for both players of Drakensang 1 and for pen & paper player who know the world well
- development [beginning with Drakensang 1] : first pen & paper rules converted 1:1 to the PC, then they were looking what went good with it, what less, and this has been tweaked ever since, for example speed, in combat situations, for example, plus they had discussions with DSA authors
- fun is the most important thing
- even more important (than the rules set, for example) : the correct, athmospheric implementation of the world
- they took DSA-authors into the office
- 3 print products which tie in with Drakensang 2 :
- Phileasson Saga 3rd Edition at the end of this year (adventure for a group)
- one "Solo-Adventure" (for a single person)
- a novel
- DSA authors asked for advice : Mark Wachholz, Lena Falkenhagen, Florian Don-Schauen
- the skill system has been unchanged - with a bit better balancing in a few cases
- no DLC planned
- other products will seemingly follow
- Radon Labs is a big company [in terms of the German PC games market] (about 100 employees), which develops for other publishers, too
- among other things they have concepts for other, multi-platform, role playing games
- no USK 18 anticipated (in contrast to Dragon Age) (Bernd Beyreuther said he was waiting for Dragon Age)
- the world will react more strongly to your decisions and actions. There will also be a in-game newspaper reporting on your adventures, and NPCs will show stronger reactions. More choices and consequences.
- there will be further modifications to the PnP rules to make the game more playable on the PC. Combat will feel slightly faster.
- differences between character classes will be stronger
- The team worked more closely with the TDE authors. For Drakensang 1, the authors delivered a huge story which then was tried to be implemented into the game. This time, the cooperation was more dynamic. Aithors were invited to the game studio to work more directly with the team.
- The story will be related to some of the plot elements of the Phileasson-saga. For those who don't know, the Phileasson-saga is an awesome tetralogy for the PnP game. I had the pleasure of DMing it. Best PnP modules I ever played.
- the game will very likely be released in February. Currently Radon Labs is working on release candidates.
The game is done, they are doing release candidates now to get rid of any bugs left, the German version will be released early/mid February 2010.
Decisions of the play will affect the game world:
- more quest branching (like the priests of Praios and the witches etc)
- the main characters archetype will affect the reation of the npcs
- the chosed npc partymembers will influence the progression of the game
- npc will behave differnetly based on your accomplishment
There is no need to have played The Dark Eye: Drakensang.
The guy did not see how the black- and redfurs, orcs and goblins, did not exactly match the p&p cournerparts, and said "our orcs are not green" (on a side note the Necker being aqaumarine elves is even worse…)
Bayreuther still claims that with the first game they followed the P&P rules to the letter with just minor changes (thats bullcrap, they are using their own ruleset in almost every aspect. Thats okay, but this is false advertising all over again).
Also he says that they were incuraged to diverate more (thats more bullcrap: all ruleset backslash that Radon got from the TDE community was that Beyreuther advertised the game by basically giving an ISBN number for the ruleset.)
And so they did (okay honest this time?):
- quicker fighting than Drakensang
- wider stats on weapons and armor than the p&p
Note that it's claimed that Drakensang was just like the source material and The River of Time will diveriate even much more. He basically says it rules do not matter but doing the setting justice is mandatory.
TDE editorial is working with Radon, there will be three P&P tie-in products are going to be released before the game comes out. (I am not telling to much here, because I'd be surprised if any of those would be released outside the German language market).
More TDE authors than Drakensang, but only three named: Mike Wachholz, Lena Falkenhagen and Florian Don-Schauen. (Drakensang had four).
The same skills as in Drakensang (again he claims that this is just like the p&p, this is not true).