In a July Q&A with GameSpot, you hinted that the lines between "general" demigods and "assassin" demigods may blur. (Generals hold the line, while assassins aim to take down the other demigod.) After more beta testing, what's the verdict on that one? Was there anything that has come out of the beta testing that surprised you?
The lines are definitely blurred and honestly, it’s specific to the Demigod in question. The Rook for example is an extremely good structure destroyer, where as a character known as the Unclean Beast is much better at dealing with units and the Torchbearer specializes in either control and denial of other Demigods, or simply burning them to a crisp. Oak on the other hand works best when helping another Demigod.
Each levels draw distances that are far-reaching, but the battlefields are invariably tight and symmetrical. A reasonable fear of ours is visual monotony. What have you done to combat that fear?
Ha! Wait until you see our larger levels. Each of levels has its own music, fog of war and special 3d tech specifically designed for it. Rest assured, they are far from visually boring.
On a more serious note, due to the design of Demigod, which is based around team dynamics and tournament play, it was important for us to feature maps that did not give advantages to one side or the other. You’ll notice these same trends in almost every popular RTS on the market. Are those maps visually monotonous? I haven’t found them to be. Especially when I’m busy trying to gain the upper hand in a fierce battle.
Is combat limited to the arenas or will there be larger areas to battle it out in?
Combat in Demigod occurs on arenas, which vary in size and composition. Crystal map for example features a wide open field for dealing battle on. The map we are currently offering in Beta, Waterfall, is one of our smaller maps.
Piracy is the boogieman of the gaming industry right now and yet you're releasing this game copy-protection free on Stardock's digital distribution system...can you talk about why you've decided to go in that direction?
Piracy is a huge issue in the OC gaming space right now and almost all solutions to prevent it negatively impact both the customer and the developer. It hurts everyone- developers have to spend time implementing solutions like Safe Disc, when they could be focusing on making a better game and customers start having to deal with issues like needing their CD, a key and only being able to install a couple times!
Bottom-line? For this title Stardock and GPG believe that the solution to the problem is worse than the problem itself.
Gas Powered Games and Stardock are stalwarts of PC Gaming, what's your take on the state of PC Gaming and where do you think it's going? What do you think needs to happen to pump some more mojo into the PC Gaming industry?
PC Gaming gets a bad rap. There are certain genres of games which are the pillars of PC Gaming and they simply work better on that platform, for example; real time strategy, first person shooters and massively multiplayer games are at the core of PC gaming. While gaming on the PC may never return to its previous glory, there is still an audience in that space and there will continue to be. The key is understanding and being in tune with that audience and creating the kind of games that are appropriate for that market.
Is there anything we missed that you think people should know?
One of the great things about GPG’s partnership with Stardock is our ability to interact on unprecedented levels with our community. I’m given free reign to discuss a host of options with players that on previous titles I couldn’t. Just the other day I was on IRC chatting with players about the design of new Demigods and getting their input, quite of bit of which went directly into my design.
The result of this communication is a unique experience of creating a game with open two way dialog between the developers and the fans. And now, with Beta open to anyone who preorders the game, it has never been easier to help shape Demigod into the game that the players, not just the developers, want to play. I encourage anyone who’s interested to preorder the game, get playing and jump into the forums and collaborate with us on making this game truly epic.
We’d like to thank Mike for taking the time to talk to us and thank Stephanie for helping to coordinate the interview.
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