PLAY MAGAZINE INTERVIEWS LUKE WACHOLTZ OF "THE WAY"

Posts

Pages: first 12 next last
Hey everyone! I just interviewed the man behind "The Way"... Luke Wacholtz, aka Lun Calsari! I tried to shed some light on this badass habit of rpg making.

You can check out the interview at www.playmagazine.com

or jump straight to the interview at...

http://www.playmagazine.com/index.php?fuseaction=SiteMain.Content&contentid=1708&page=1

Hope you guys enjoy!

- Kyle B. Stiff
Pretty impressive article!

I'm ashamed to say that I still haven't played all the way through any of The Way's segments, but I'm definitely even more motivated to after this. Plus, it's always nice to see some "professional" publications shed some much-needed light on our relatively unknown community.
Well, it's good to see Lun talk about his game. It sure doesn't happen often. And now we've got better idea as to why so much stuff was left unexplained.

By the end of the game, Serena, the ideal love, Rhue's supposed soul mate, is vanquished, and Rhue is confronted by the Phantom Slasher who tells him that people aren't perfect and that no matter what they do they will fail him in some way. Rhue accepts this and tells the Phantom Slasher that he doesn't care. He just wants someone who will keep trying, and that he will keep trying too. The most obvious interpretation is that he wants someone who will choose to love him and continue working at it with him despite various challenges.

I'm somewhat puzzled by this part... Because Lun says "by the end of the game" instead of "in one of the endings". Does this mean that the Reaches ending is his favorite ending? Is that why he made it so hard to get?

I desperately try to avoid making inherently good or bad characters.

I wonder if that's why he stopped working on the "good vs. evil" Crestfallen series... From what we've seen of the story, it seems the only truly "gray" characters in Crestfallen were mostly Fobo's (Borgan, Durga, Atlantis Pasachoff...).

EDIT : I almost forgot to congratulate you on interviewing Lun. Great job. :D
mm22176 what are those suspicions links in your sig?!
You're right, Blindmind - I think it's very important to shed light on the rpg making community. Not all things that are in the darkness deserve to be there.

And ShadowBlade, thanks for the congrats! It definitely wasn't easy to get to Lun. His island fortress is patrolled by what he calls his "valkyries"... basically psychotic chicks armed with AK's and .50 cal sniper rifles. And they are not polite.

I'm kidding! Lun's an intensely thoughtful person. He doesn't like to make careless statements. And he doesn't live on an island fortress.

- Kyle B. Stiff

www.playmagazine.com
The Lun Calsari/Luke Wacholtz interview: http://www.playmagazine.com/?fuseaction=SiteMain.Content&contentid=1708
Lun's an intensely thoughtful person.

Yes.

He doesn't like to make careless statements.

Agreed. This is the first time I've seen him talk that much, actually.

And he doesn't live on an island fortress.

His forums are his fortress. Seriously, though, I do think you deserve some congratulations on interviewing this legend of a designer. And thanks! :)
Max McGee
with sorrow down past the fence
9219
My oh my am I jealous!

Any chance of one day getting some attention from Play magazine for us "lesser" luminaries of the RM community?

Anyway, I am excited to read this interview and glad to see you've decided to take an interest in our small, neglected little corner of the indie scene. : )

Perhaps after so many years it is finally getting the attention it deserves! And thank you again for posting this here, I almost certainly wouldn't have found it on my own.

Anyway, great article (although I skipped the lengthy discussion about the ending of Part 6 to avoid spoilers since I haven't quite finished the Way yet; I played up through Part 5, years ago, got stuck, and put it down. I have always meant to finish it and I think I will now) and very fascinating insights.

Also, gotta love when Lun refers to our set as primordial sludge!

I am curious, though...what is Lun up to now, career wise? You didn't mention much about his real life in your article!
Craze
i bet she's a diva with a potion popping problem
13585
Isn't he writing novels about The Way?
Max McGee
with sorrow down past the fence
9219
I don't know, that's why I asked. Maybe I should just check the crestfallen site.

Modit:

Apparently, he is still in school (the bastard!), learning MySQL and PHP, and working on an RMXP game. Hmm...
Yellow Magic
I'll never regain the bones I lost from my loneliness and sorrow
3046
I hope Lun gets a big break in life, inside the video games industry or outside. He's just the type of guy you want to succeed, if you know what I mean.
WIP
I'm not comfortable with any idea that can't be expressed in the form of men's jewelry
11363
I dunno. The Way is a really shitty game.
WIP WHAT HAS COME OVER YOU. you are turning from evil arch-villain to superhero in my eyes.
Yellow Magic
I'll never regain the bones I lost from my loneliness and sorrow
3046
Maybe we should take the Plunge this outside
Max McGee
with sorrow down past the fence
9219
author=Yellow Magic link=topic=3785.msg75713#msg75713 date=1242756450
I hope Lun gets a big break in life, inside the video games industry or outside. He's just the type of guy you want to succeed, if you know what I mean.

I would say he already has, YM. He's hardly one of the underdogs I'm rooting for. His game is perhaps the most popular outside of Laxius Power, and he even has his own community that revolves around it. Obviously people are taking notice, too. (See this article).

author=WIP link=topic=3785.msg75728#msg75728 date=1242762602
I dunno. The Way is a really shitty game.

Care to qualify this statement...at all?
Lands, what's gotten over you all!?

I thought this interview could have used more substance rather than having a whole page about the last episode of the game that only rabid fans of the Lun forums would care about. The game has a fascinating story, but I would have liked to hear about the other design aspects and thoughts that went into his mind during production. To me, that's always better than hearing the ending of a game. Just judging from Lun's responses (most notably the Rhue question, which was great), I could tell more substance could have come out of the interview if you asked more in depth questions.

Still cool though, I liked it.
WIP
I'm not comfortable with any idea that can't be expressed in the form of men's jewelry
11363
Sure, Max!

I feel The Way is a really poorly made game. I think even Lun feels this way as he released the complete versions of the games with the game turned off (aka, battles, custom battles).

The Way should have been an exploration/adventure game. The strong points of The Way are obviously story-related. It had a pretty fantastic story (up until it was ruined in the last episode that is =)) but the battles and plunges just dragged it down.
Max McGee
with sorrow down past the fence
9219
I really liked the battle system, actually (the DBS modifications are the keenest made for RM2k outside of A Blurred Line) but I agree with you about the Plunge...my main problem with it is that it was basically fucking unwinnable and hence extremely frustrating. I thought the dungeon design/exploration was fine, though! But I can see how the plunge could be a major turnoff.

(The dialogue also has its weak moments.)

Anyway, thank you for actually contributing to the conversation. : )
Yellow Magic
I'll never regain the bones I lost from my loneliness and sorrow
3046
author=Max McGee link=topic=3785.msg75743#msg75743 date=1242765564
I would say he already has, YM. He's hardly one of the underdogs I'm rooting for. His game is perhaps the most popular outside of Laxius Power, and he even has his own community that revolves around it. Obviously people are taking notice, too. (See this article).
I don't mean just on the internet, either; will Lun get a stable job? Will he have a family with delightful kids named Rhue and Serena? Will he have MONEY?

Pretty weird for me to go so deep maybe but that's my thought process for you!

author=Neophyte link=topic=3785.msg75747#msg75747 date=1242766112
Lands, what's gotten over you all!?
I think the trendy kids would respond with "Icwutudidthar" or similiar

author=WIP link=topic=3785.msg75748#msg75748 date=1242766162
I feel The Way is a really poorly made game. I think even Lun feels this way as he released the complete versions of the games with the game turned off (aka, battles, custom battles).
Quite honestly I feel that all story-intensive RPGs should have an option to turn battles off. I find it hard to pay attention to gameplay mechanics when I'd rather ease the tension and advance the story sometimes.
Making The Way into anything other than a game wouldn't feel right either as you would not feel like you were wandering The Way otherwise.

EDIT: Oh, you said exploration/adventure game. Sorry, I kind of get your point.
Yeah, I really hated the battles, battle-off mode is much better. I generally hate all battles in RPGs though >_>.
author=WIP link=topic=3785.msg75748#msg75748 date=1242766162
but the battles and plunges just dragged it down.

Mind you, I love The Way, but I have to agree with you on this. Both the "regular" fights and the plunges are poorly balanced, and it makes me wonder why Lun even bothered making monster encounters at all (he himself admitted that he doesn't focus on combat, so why have so much of it?). Success depends almost solely on two things :

1) Whether you're an experienced RPG player who loves to fully explore every place and run into walls to find secret passages and other stuff like that. If so, then you can be sure you will find almost every stat-boosting item, and most of the game will be ridiculously easy. If not, then you'll have lots of trouble winning the hardest fights, and you may not even be able to handle some of the "mandatory" monster fights in Ep.6.

2) Luck. Plunges are mainly about Luck and stats rather than skill. The Blade Arts are virtually the only thing that forces you to use a tiny bit of strategy, and even then most plunges are heavily randomized.

There are a few fights that can be pretty enjoyable, like Gharon and the Shadow Plungers, but most of the time the fights are either boring, easy slugfests or boring, unwinnable slugfests. A pity, because both the sword aura system and the plunge CBS had a lot of potential.

Fortunately, there's more than just combat when it comes to gameplay, and The Way has quite a few cool puzzles and minigames, and Ep.6 has some really neat subquests.
Pages: first 12 next last