To deliver a role playing experience unlike any other we have to approach and build the game unlike any other.
NPC generation and behavior are driven off the psychological models of the 16 personality types. Every shopkeeper, farm hand, sellsword, and noble lord you meet is composed of a number of traits. Traits such as how much they like novelty or the familiar, abstract ideas or concrete thinking, social gatherings or solitary pursuits. These personality traits govern the hobbies, interests, and job the NPC has in the world. No two NPCs are the same, and it is impossible for us to predict who you will meet out of the 203+ trillion possible personalities. But all this was done in the pursuit of the single most important goal...
Consistent Realistic Response to Player Behavior
And isn't that what a role playing game should provide? People in the world that respond to the player believably?
This is by no means easy to pull off. It's hard because it's hard and it's hard because it hasn't been done before. We're pulling inspiration from The Sims, tabletop role playing games, and modern psychology. This is one of the reasons we chose to go with 2d graphics and text, a belief that the experience will be compelling because of the characters not the graphics, so that is where we should invest our resources.
We're not done yet. We're in the middle of it, but early indications are very positive. And it is taking more time than we thought, affecting our scheduled feature completion date. Oops.
But we think it is worth it to take the time to get this right.