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Magelords/Crimson  Order Interview
 

Magelords/Crimson Order Interview

ESRB: Rating Pending - RP
Platform: PC Games
Category: n/a
 
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Drak-The information I've read on your upcoming releases has me pretty excited. How long have MageLords and Crimson Order been in development?

Billy Cain (Producer, Crimson Order): Crimson Order has been in development (with a programming team) for a little over a year now. There was a fair amount of time before that spent on pre-production, design, etc., but for simplicity's sake, a little more than a year.

Eric Hyman (Producer, MageLords): MageLords started a few months after that. A lot of time prior to that was spent on technology development, building up our libraries and toolsets.

Drak-There must be two development teams working on the projects simultaneously and both projects are slated for release around the same time next year. Are there any foreseen difficulties in meeting the slated timelines for both projects?

Billy Cain: Each team has little overlap with the other, so there are no issues with the development teams at this point. We are sharing a fair amount of underlying code, from our libraries, but now we are really at work on the game itself.

Probably the biggest issue ahead is ramping up our internal QA group.

Eric Hyman: Each is a very different product, with very different needs. Each has its own schedule, and while they are going to end up completing in a very similar time frame, they are not competing for resources. In fact, I can see a lot of late nights coming up where there will be a lot of people in the offices. It's always good to be pulling hard together.

Drak-The fantasy setting for MageLords sounds very cool. Do your development guys read a lot of fantasy and sci-fi novels? Is there any one particular book that inspired the storyline?

Ken Burd (Lead Designer, MageLords): I am a huge sci-fi and fantasy fan, as is almost everyone at Kinesoft. There is not one particular book that inspired MageLords, rather it is an amalgamation of everything I have read and a representation of what I think a war in a fantasy setting would be like. The Lord of the Rings is a big influence of course, and the Black Company books. The political situation bears a lot of resemblance to the setting at the start of Babylon 5.

Drak-MageLords seems like it fits in the RTS genre. Is MageLords an RTS and if so what will set it apart from other RTS games?

Ken Burd: MageLords incorporates some of the best design aspects of strategy games within a real-time framework. All of the building, research, and maneuvering of armies takes place in real-time on a strategic scale covering the entire continent of Arcan. Combat is resolved on a tactical scale involving up to around a 100 units per side fighting on a 3D battlefield.

While it incorporates many of the aspects of an RTS, MageLords design is to go way beyond that. While most RTS's really are about fighting a single battle, MageLords is about the campaign as well as the battles which you will need to fight in order to win the war.

Drak-Likewise, what sort of genre does Crimson Order fall into?

Billy Cain: We're an action oriented tactical combat game. Crimson Order doesn't fall neatly into any current genre, except action. There will be a lot of thinking and fast action involved, but it's not quite what you'd expect. Imagine yourself in the movie "Aliens" and you are about half the way there.

Dak-The goal of MageLords is to battle and defeat other MageLords. Will there be a scenario where you have to battle it out with the "Destroyer"?

Ken Burd: A standard game of MageLords always ends in a final confrontation with the great evil that threatens the world. What good fantasy doesn't?

You will have the option of turning that whole aspect of the game off and concentrate solely on empire building and conflict with other MageLords. MageLords is very customizable and will allow the user to not only set the level of difficulty of the world, but the size as well as the victory conditions that the player is striving for. It has immense re-playability.

Drak-What sort of camera will be incorporated in Crimson Order? Will it be free floating and how much freedom is there for changing your tactical view?
Will the perspective be first person, 3rd person?

Billy Cain: The camera has two goals in Crimson Order. One is to enhance the tactical elements of game-play by always showing you the battlefield and what your team can see. You can say it's third person, but really it's a third-person tactical view.

Game-play is king!! The camera focuses on Mark Prophet, your character and the focus of the story throughout the game. You can adjust the view, but within reasonable limits. The second goal of the camera is to give a cinematic feel to the plot progressing cut-scenes. It can move anywhere; do anything for the cut-scenes. It sweeps in for close-ups, does flyovers of the level, cuts to action on other parts of the level you're playing, etc. It's very cool!

Drak-Mark Prophet is the central character in Crimson Order, will there be a
central female character, or female models to choose from in multiplayer?

Billy Cain: That's a good question, but we decided early on to focus on a central protagonist and the choice was male. The player's team can be filled with female characters (as you meet them) or male (same goes for them). It's up to you. In multiplayer, the current plan is to allow you to choose anyone you wish to be on your team, so if you want to play as one of the women in the game

Author:
Drak-The information I've read on your upcoming releases has me pretty excited. How long have MageLords and Crimson Order been in development? Billy Cain (Producer, Crimson Order): Crimson Order has been in development (with a programming team) for a little over a year now. There was a fair amount of time before that spent on pre-production, design, etc., but for simplicity's sake, a little more than a year. Eric Hyman (Producer, MageLords): MageLords started a few months after that. A lot of time prior to that was spent on technology development, building up our libraries and toolsets. Drak-There must be two development teams working on the projects simultaneously and both projects are slated for release around the same time next year. Are there any foreseen difficulties in meeting the slated timelines for both projects? Billy Cain: Each team has little overlap with the other, so there are no issues with the development teams at this point. We are sharing a fair amount of underlying code, from our libraries, but now we are really at work on the game itself. Probably the biggest issue ahead is ramping up our internal QA group. Eric Hyman: Each is a very different product, with very different needs. Each has its own schedule, and while they are going to end up completing in a very similar time frame, they are not competing for resources. In fact, I can see a lot of late nights coming up where there will be a lot of people in the offices. It's always good to be pulling hard together. Drak-The fantasy setting for MageLords sounds very cool. Do your development guys read a lot of fantasy and sci-fi novels? Is there any one particular book that inspired the storyline? Ken Burd (Lead Designer, MageLords): I am a huge sci-fi and fantasy fan, as is almost everyone at Kinesoft. There is not one particular book that inspired MageLords, rather it is an amalgamation of everything I have read and a representation of what I think a war in a fantasy setting would be like. The Lord of the Rings is a big influence of course, and the Black Company books. The political situation bears a lot of resemblance to the setting at the start of Babylon 5. Drak-MageLords seems like it fits in the RTS genre. Is MageLords an RTS and if so what will set it apart from other RTS games? Ken Burd: MageLords incorporates some of the best design aspects of strategy games within a real-time framework. All of the building, research, and maneuvering of armies takes place in real-time on a strategic scale covering the entire continent of Arcan. Combat is resolved on a tactical scale involving up to around a 100 units per side fighting on a 3D battlefield. While it incorporates many of the aspects of an RTS, MageLords design is to go way beyond that. While most RTS's really are about fighting a single battle, MageLords is about the campaign as well as the battles which you will need to fight in order to win the war. Drak-Likewise, what sort of genre does Crimson Order fall into? Billy Cain: We're an action oriented tactical combat game. Crimson Order doesn't fall neatly into any current genre, except action. There will be a lot of thinking and fast action involved, but it's not quite what you'd expect. Imagine yourself in the movie "Aliens" and you are about half the way there. Dak-The goal of MageLords is to battle and defeat other MageLords. Will there be a scenario where you have to battle it out with the "Destroyer"? Ken Burd: A standard game of MageLords always ends in a final confrontation with the great evil that threatens the world. What good fantasy doesn't? You will have the option of turning that whole aspect of the game off and concentrate solely on empire building and conflict with other MageLords. MageLords is very customizable and will allow the user to not only set the level of difficulty of the world, but the size as well as the victory conditions that the player is striving for. It has immense re-playability. Drak-What sort of camera will be incorporated in Crimson Order? Will it be free floating and how much freedom is there for changing your tactical view? Will the perspective be first person, 3rd person? Billy Cain: The camera has two goals in Crimson Order. One is to enhance the tactical elements of game-play by always showing you the battlefield and what your team can see. You can say it's third person, but really it's a third-person tactical view. Game-play is king!! The camera focuses on Mark Prophet, your character and the focus of the story throughout the game. You can adjust the view, but within reasonable limits. The second goal of the camera is to give a cinematic feel to the plot progressing cut-scenes. It can move anywhere; do anything for the cut-scenes. It sweeps in for close-ups, does flyovers of the level, cuts to action on other parts of the level you're playing, etc. It's very cool! Drak-Mark Prophet is the central character in Crimson Order, will there be a central female character, or female models to choose from in multiplayer? Billy Cain: That's a good question, but we decided early on to focus on a central protagonist and the choice was male. The player's team can be filled with female characters (as you meet them) or male (same goes for them). It's up to you. In multiplayer, the current plan is to allow you to choose anyone you wish to be on your team, so if you want to play as one of the women in the game – have at it!! Drak-Will screen shots be available for both of these titles and will there be playable demos available? Ken Burd: Yes. When they're ready Billy Cain: That's the $64,000 question, isn't it. Rest assured, when it's time, you'll see it and you'll get to play it. :) Drak-I know it's early, but are there any thoughts on expansion packs for these titles? Billy Cain: Lots. In fact the entire game of Crimson Order has had that in mind from day one. I'll save talk of that for another time, but I will say that the fans will be excited to see what we have cooked up for them. Ken Burd: We have designed MageLords from the ground up to be enhanced and added to over time. We've got a lot up our sleeves, but right now we're just all about finishing the game. Drak-Thanks for your time guys, I look forward to playing both of these exciting games. You're more than welcome! Thanks for being interested! Cheers








 
 

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