Narrative design in role-playing games has to be one of the most difficult areas to work in, especially if you are working with an already well-established world. You are not only put under the microscope by the fans of the lore, but also by the fans of role-playing and fantasy games. After watching this video, it looks like Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is finding the balance point between keeping fans of the fiction happy, while keeping players engaged through the many options
The video goes into how the team worked alongside New York Times Bestseller R.A. Salvatore to help build the world on the 10,000 years of fiction that he already laid down, as well as working with designer Ken Rolston from The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion on testing out new quest lines and puzzles. One of the big features that the developers wanted was to create a world in constant flux; a world full of souls in need of your help.
It also sheds some light on the different factions in the game: The Travellers, The House of Ballads, and The House of Sorrows. Each faction will have quests that you can pick up at any time, with the added bonus of not being tied down exclusively to one faction. As the player completes these quests, they can gain skills and also unlock new "destinies."
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning will be releasing on February 7, 2012. Mark your calendars, adventurers!