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Below 10: A Developer Profile
Larian Studio's: Frederik de Caster

Myrthos, 2002-01-14

Set in an all new fantasy universe, Divine Divinity takes the player on a fantastic quest in a land torn apart by corruption and dark magic. Throughout his journeys the player will get the chance to develop his character as one of six character types and meet a variety of people and fantastical beings. By combining the best features of the RPG genre, and introducing a lot of new features, Divine Divinity will appeal to both hardcore and new RPG players.

Below 10 is a series of developer profiles where we try to establish a small profile by asking less than 10 questions to a team of developers. This edition features story editor, Frederik de Caster.

1) Tell us about yourself. Who are you and what do you do at Larian Studios.

I am Frederik 'Fredric' De Caster, and I am 20 years old, which makes me the youngest member of the Larian Team. I started working for Larian Studios in Januari 2001, originally as a world-editor but after a few months I became a story-editor. Mainly I am working on the main story in Divinity, but I am also responsible for several side quests. Since I used to be a world-editor some parts in Divinity's world were also made by me.

2) What is your typical working day like?

I usually start working around noon, until (very) late at night. It is hard to describe what my typical working day is like, since being a story-editor is quite a versatile job. It involves world-editing, usually only minor changes such as creating an object needed for the story.
I also have to write dialogs and monologues, focussing mainly on content since grammar, vocabulary and such is being handled by our writers. The largest piece of the pie is of course the scripting, which involves making npc's walk
somewhere, responding to the player's actions by for example making an npc attack him after the player insulted him in a dialog. And a whole lot of other things.

Sometimes of course I take a little break, during which I watch a Simpsons or X-Files episode, and eat a whole lot of junk-food.

3) What did you want to become when you grew up?

I really didn't know what I wanted to do until I was about 16 years old, when computers started taking over my life. I became better at programming, played a lot of games, ... I was spending a large part of my free time behind my pc. At that time I realized that a future career would need to involve computers, preferably programming. Working as a programmer or an editor in the game industry was of course a big dream.

4) What are your favourite games and what are you playing now?

My favorite types of games are strategy games and role-playing games. My all-time favorite game is Ultima Online, for 1 year and a half I was playing it every day for several hours, even entire nights. The last game that I really enjoyed was Max Payne. I also enjoy board-games such as Axis & Allies a lot.

5) Where does your inspiration come from?

From all the games I've ever played, movies I've seen, books I've read, things I've done, ... I could keep on going here, just every day things...

6) What is the coolest feature in Divinity for you?

The high interactivity, I've never seen anything like it in any other RPG. In other games such as Baldur's Gate there is a nice scenery but it doesn't do anything, Divinity has that nice scenery as well, but it is completely interactive. This means you can move chairs around, break bottles, throw around rocks, ... I think a lot of of gamers out there will very much enjoy this feeling of freedom in the game.

7) Which feature that hasn't made it into Divinity is the one you will miss most?

The fact that the party members aren't in, they would've been a cool additional feature. But due to time constraints and hard to overcome problems we were unable to put them in.

8) How did you get into the gaming business and do you have any advice for anyone seeking a position in that business?

When I was in my last year in highschool, we had to find a company and go work there for 2 weeks. I decided to contact Larian Studios, who were at that time in the early development stages of Divinity (still called Project C back then). Those 2 weeks at larian were my first contacts with the game industry.
Almost a year later I was looking for a job and on the website of Larian Studios, which I visited regularly, I noticed they were looking for a world-editor. I applied and got the job, I'm working at Larian Studios for almost a year now. I don't really have any advice for anybody seeking employment in this industry, I don't have a lot of experience yet and I'm still learning a whole lot myself.

9) Is there anything you would like to add?

I wonder how many people will actually read this...

Average Reader Ratings: 7.96 (227 votes)
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