Puzzle Quest: Galactrix Interview


posted 2/25/2009 by The GN Staff
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Puzzle Quest was a game that snuck up on us a bit at GamingNexus, well everyone except for Cyril who raved and raved about the game. The folks at D3 know they had a hit as the game was a huge success on the DS, PSP, PC, and Xbox Live. This week the team behind the game is releasing the follow-up to the game and we got a chance to talk to the producer behind the game, Marcus Savino.

What do you think made Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords so popular? Were you surprised at how well the game was received?
D3 certainly had high hopes for Puzzle Quest: COTW. I think it’s very hard to predict when something is going to really connect with audiences, but it is certainly a game worthy of the praise.

Something tells us this isn't just Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords with a sci-fi skin. What have you done in Puzzle Quest: Galactrix to combat the "more of the same" criticism that will inevitably pop up? In what ways is Puzzle Quest: Galactrix different than Challenge of the Warlords?
Aside from some shared code under the hood, Puzzle Quest: Galactrix is a brand new game. We have an entirely new interface as well a redesigned puzzle board, enhanced particle effects and lots of cool 3D elements. And that’s not even getting into all of the new game features which I’ll go into more later.

What kind of RPG elements will we see in Puzzle Quest: Galactrix that we didn't see in Challenge of the Warlords?
There are a few key things that make Puzzle Quest: Galactrix really exciting for RPG lovers. Most importantly, there are almost limitless options for customizing your ship. We have spread 150 items across 80 galaxies and the greatest rewards will go to the players who look hard for every item. An even cooler feature is that players can have up to three ships in their fleet at any time, so each ship can have a unique build for different kinds of circumstances.

In addition, the aspect of building wealth in Puzzle Quest: Galactrix is a fun game on its own. You can go to asteroids all over the galaxy and mine for different cargo types. Once you have acquired them you can take them to space stations and sell them. However, depending on your faction standing with a specific system, your best price for cargo will change.

Developer Infinite Interactive has a history of fantasy fiction games, so the first Puzzle Quest game drew upon the company's experience. But Puzzle Quest: Galactrix takes the somewhat trickier science fiction route. Why boldly go where you've never gone before?

That’s what fans appreciate, the willingness to take a successful premise then evolve it into something unique, while still staying true to the heritage. Plus, putting Puzzle Quest: Galactrix in a different setting allows us to experiment in a different universe from the beloved Challenge of the Warlords without alienating the Challenge of the Warlords fans who wouldn’t have a sequel any other way than in the fantasy realm. Galactrix is an evolution, but more importantly, it’s a cousin to Challenge of the Warlords, so it will stand on its own.

When a game garners an admirable level of success--which Challenge of the Warlords certainly has--there tends to be a succession of clones that want a slice of that pie. But Puzzle Quest has more or less sidestepped that. Why do you think that is?
I think it may be easy to clone one of the two elements that defines Puzzle Quest…but it is much more difficult to clone both in the same package. It’s a commitment…and not a very easy one. I think that Steve Fawkner and his group at Infinite had a very strong vision to explore a different take on the match-three puzzle game, and where they succeed is in staying committed to both aspects, puzzle and RPG.

The first Puzzle Quest was much beloved by us here at GamingNexus--we gave it an A-. How does it feel competing against yourself?

It’s an honor to be a part of the Puzzle Quest legacy. I don’t see it so much as a competition as it is a responsibility to fans such as GamingNexus to make sure that we deliver an experience that is just as worthy of the praise you guys gave Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords.
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