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latest update: 04-02-2004

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Portrait #06: Mattias

name: Mattias Filler

age: 27

team member since: 2000

project history: Gothic

indian name that fits:
quillwise (he-who-is-conversant-with-quills)

look at mug more closely

what's your name?


what's your job at piranha bytes?

everything concerning the story. which includes the story framework, scripting, bringing npcs to life, objecting etc.

your storytelling talent proved to be of great use during pen & paper RPG sessions as well. how long have you been playing p'n'p rpgs?

let me think about this for a moment. must have started in 1989... so let's make this 12 or 13 years.

do you see roleplaying as pure entertainment or do you rather want to get away from it all by escaping into a fantasy world?

well, those are just two standard categories; there are many nuances between the two extremes. it's certainly more than just fun for me even though fun is playing an important role. 'to get away from it all' has a very negative ring to it, but it's somehow true after all. roleplaying is more than just playing a game... communication is an important part of it; so is watching other people's reactions and seeing how they manage to stay in character. if you play the same adventure with different groups it's a different experience each time. communication styles differ from person to person. that's very exciting. besides, there are too many worlds to justify living in just one of them.

you share an apartment with björn and stefan and several other friends. what does your everyday life look like?

sleep until noon, drive to work, return late at night and then either play something or bum around with my friends. right, we can't always avoid talking about work after a long day at the office. it has always been like this. if you do it too frequently, though, it will lead to some kind of hermitage... you don't get enough input and finally everything centers around work. you learn to cope with it, but i'm very glad there are other people at the apartment as well. so we're forced to deal with other topics, too. the commitment we showed during our time off helped to promote the project, of course, but in the long run you definitely need some diversion.

the concepts of 'spare time' and 'being a piranha' seem to clash. what have you been missing the most since you started to spend most of your life at the office?

*protracted silence, coupled with a delightfully meditative facial expression**

what i miss the most? good question. for one thing the time for playing p'n'p rpgs... apart from that, no idea. I'm not really missing anything. there are some things i'd like to do and sometimes i need to do something else, but all in all i'm quite content with the status quo.

describe a working environment you'd feel comfortable with.

i'd love to be on a team with people who wouldn't see their jobs as just that, jobs... and who wouldn't put great stress on the hours they actually spent working. i'd love best to be part of a team where everybody knew how to cope with fair comments about his work, where everybody saw the important problems or goals and did his best to solve or reach them.

you and your co-authors are responsible for the deep and coherent story of the medieval fantasy world of gothic i and ii. are you interested in history, or where do you get your ideas?

there's a secondary interest in actual history. for one thing, my sources are p'n'p rpgs but also movies, novels etc. together, these sources form the foundations my fantasy world is built upon. we're talking about the world as well to get the necessary insights into its workings and to be able to go into detail. the gothic world's background is much bigger and more detailed than you might believe; there are many more records and a much larger background story than what's actually shown in the game. the player can read between the lines, though, which is what makes the world feel so alive.

which part of your work do you prefer - developing the storyline or programming a script?

hmmm... both. sometimes it's more fun to write a dialogue script which is something like a 'game in the game' and serves to present the character. but it's just as much fun to come up with a character's background story. during a writer's bloc you shouldn't try to devise a great story... that's when i prefer the technical part. but there are more exciting things than coding stupid scripts.

which computer game tops your personal hit list?

am i allowed to name only one? as a matter of principle i'd say lucas arts adventures. i'm especially taken with the kind of humor in the monkey island (tm) series. but there are other good games as well, great games which keep me occupied for hours on end. with some games a single feature is enough to fascinate me, while other games are perfect in every single aspect.

if you had to give your life a fun rating, what would it be?

somewhere between 35% and 137%. tendency: erratic. right now it's around 40-45%. tendency: rising.

which of the following roles would you prefer to play in real life? the monarch (who leads his people and has the power to pursuit his goals), the leader of a revolutionary movement (who tries - against the will of the king and together with a small following - to have his own way) or a member of a democratic council (where ideas are discussed and collective decisions made)?

you can't ask me a multiple choice question! *laughs*
okay, i'll answer without questioning the question. the democratic council may leave right now, which leaves either the monarch or the revolutionary leader. - see, now i have to question the question after all! if i'm the leader of a revolutionary movement bent on unseating the monarch, i'll become a monarch myself if i succeed! then i have reached my goal. i believe that a little revolution once in a while is good for every form of government. yessir! being a monarch from the start has its advantages as well. but so what, down with the king! *laughs* i'm the leader of a revolution, people, follow me, and you'll never be hungry again.

is there a quotation (e.g. from a movie) that you frequently use?

there are many quotations i frequently use. but i like this one a lot:

"do not have any attachments, do not have anything in your life you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you spot the heat around the corner."
(robert de niro in "heat")

- portrait archive -

björn pankratz
game design
mike hoge
game design
stefan kalveram
story, scripting
sascha henrichs
3D/2D artist
kai rosenkranz
music & sfx
mattias filler
story, scripting
nico bendlin
horst dworczak
lead artist

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