Pure|News had the great opportunity to interview 3 important persons that worked on the most recent title of the SpellForce franchise, SpellForce 2: Demons of the Past.
After our recent review of the game, we asked Nordic Games to have a deep conversation with the people that worked on the title to know more about the game’s behind the scenes development and to more possibly know more about the future of the franchise itself in the upcoming years. ( In which we actually did get some awesome answers!)
As I’ve mentioned this interview will feature not one but three persons, so take a look below at the list so you can easily identify who is who in the interview!
ATG : András Timár-Geng; Project Manager at Mind Over Matter
GG : Genna Giani; Localization and Production Manager at Nordic Games
RP: Reinhard Pollice; Business & Product Development Director at Nordic Games
Question Nº1 - As a newcomer to the franchise I must say that the story & lore that exists within the SpellForce franchise is incredible. Could you elaborate more on how you create and develop it?
GG Answer: Our main goal for this expansion was to conclude and response all the open question of Spellforce2, Dragon Storm and mostly Faith in Destiny. But also without this open questions it’s not really difficult to pick up some little stories of the different expansions and write a story that makes sense out of it. There were so many little Stories over the time that’s it not really difficult to tell something interesting. Of course, everything is based on the former Main-Story Writer of Phenomic Games who is a creative mastermind.
ATG Answer: As a newcomer developer of the Spellforce franchise our bigest challenge was to learn the lore and story of this indeed amazing world. Our main goal was to create a story that answers open questions and close unclosed storylines from the previous addons. If we made a mistake, we just open new questions or the closings will be not credible. So it was a huge but exciting task. Fortunately we had helps from one of the biggest fan of the franchise and from one of the original creator of the Spellforce world. With them I believe we achieved our goal.
GG Answer: Sure, me personally as a huge Warcraft 2 and Starcraft 1 Fan got a lot of inspiration’s from that games. Gameplay wise, and of course fantasy wise. The only thing that I missed in that games was the RPG Part which we have in our games, and makes SpellForce so unique. Also if the gameplay nowadays looks *old School* – the fun in playing is still there after all this years. And that’s the most important thing ingames. Having fun.
ATG Answer: Sure we had. All of the developers played many RPG and RTS games from 90′s till now, so all of those insirped us. When we designed the quest, our main goal was to make them diverse. For this we had to collect all the quest types and game elements what we know, and those early games gave us many ideas.
Question Nº3 : Could you give us some details about what is behind both single player and multiplayer design philosophy while making the game?
GG Answer : SpellForce was always a Single Player Game, therefore our focus was always to create a strong SP Campaign. Our thoughts were always to make the game challenging and not too easy to complete, also it should have many different gameplay assets, like Missions only for the Avatar and his companions, base building, riddles and so on. Also we added new functions like the new style of fighting against a boss too make end fights more attractive. For the Multiplayer Mode we had in mind to add something new to the existing Free Game and Domination Mode.
We added another new Mode called Survival, where up to 3 players can fighttogether against incoming waves of enemies, which turn out very fun to play, cause not only the fight itself stands in foreground but als the different ways to skill every time his avatar in another direction andtry out all Skill possibilities. ATG: In single player campaign we had three main line. First we had to follow the story to make this addon a real closure. So the story and the main quests were the skeleton of our game, and we build all the game elements around these bones. Second: we have to make the game as diverse and gripping as we can. We had to mix the RPG and RTS elements in the right proportion. We had to take care of the difficulty curve. We create cross-map secondary quests to keep the players in move. We had to give the player a storyline but also had to give them freedom.
An finally our effort was to keep the game and the story as jaunty as we can despite the ominous base story. We consciously looked for the humorous situations and tried to keep the quests simple and easily understandable. With the new Multiplayer game, the Survival mode our main goal was to create a game that really cooperative, directs the players to really play together. And to play it again and again to achieve betterand better results.
RP Answer: We modified the graphic engine quite heavily. We reworked the shadow mapping completely and gave it a much higher resolution, we reworked the code that did lighting, we added rim light, we updated the shaders to shader model 3.0, we added normal mapping without precomputed tangents and native SXAA support. In addition to that we added a lot of new game play features as well as a new online gaming lobby to the code.
Question Nº5 – What’s your stance on a competitive multiplayer game mode for a future SpellForce game?
RP Answer: If a game is appealing for this needs to be decided by the players. Our goal for SpellForce 3 to offer a lot more in the area of multiplayer than all the existing SpellForce games. We see this as an important step to take the franchise to the next level and we started in 2013 by researching and building the foundation for a good online service for our upcoming games.
Question Nº6 – Have you ever thought of possibly making an MMO out of the SpellForce franchise? It definitely has enough lore.
RP Answer: It has its lore and a rich story world and a well-defined universe. Originally back in 2002 there was the plan of making an MMO out of SpellForce. MMOs are totally different games. Our goal is to first serve the existing SpellForce community as we still see a lot of potential here. Maybe in the future we will use the SpellForce franchise for another Genre.
RP Answer: We want to continue the path of an RPG/RTS hybrid. Our goal for the future is to make it even more unique by broadening the possibilities of each genre that SpellForce 3 will offer. When you compare SpellForce to SpellForce 2 you can notice a slight change in the overall design direction. We want to offer with SpellForce 3 more depth and also more long lasting gameplay value.
Here at Pure|News we hope you enjoyed the interview, and would like to thank on behalf of our team for this interview to both Mind Over Matter and Nordic Games.
We’ll keep you posted on the latest on the SpellForce franchise so keep checking back.