The Dark Eye: Demonicon is an action RPG game that's been in development for some time. Based on a tabletop RPG series the rights to the game were recently purchased
by Kalypso media. We didn't know a lot about the game so we reached out to the developer to see what information we could get on the game. Luckily we were able to talk to Mario Janiszewski, the game designer on the project about what we can expect from the game.
What’s the backstory of The Dark Eye: Demonicon?
In Demonicon, we've taken some of the lore and story elements from the tabletop RPG series, The Dark Eye, which is very popular in Europe, and added a deeper story for the player to become involved in. While the "lighter" elements of The Dark Eye universe have previously been used for some games, we're going for the very darkest elements the world has to offer.
So, in our story, we have Cairon, his father and his sister, roaming The Shadowlands, a post-war area of the game's world of Aventuria. The Shadowlands were wracked by a war between demonic forces, and for the most part, are uninhabitable, except for the city of Warunk. In Warunk, Carion and his family attempt to settle, but soon, Carion finds himself in almost a "forced adventurer" role, as he battles monsters, explores dungeons, and completes plenty of quests.
It's worth noting, also, that in Aventuria, there is no "good" and no "evil". It's all about "what do I need to do to survive", so it's a very "gray" world. Decisions you make along the way not only reflect this gray-tinted world, but also will change the storyline as you progress.
Could you talk about the brother and sister at the heart of the game and the journey they will go through in the game? Will you play as both characters or just one?
Cairon and his sister, Calandra, are both adventurous types, ready for a fight. A lot of the game showcases the interaction between them, but you'll only actually play the game as Cairon. Calandra shows up plenty of times during cut-scenes, to help advance our story.
What is the impact of the purchase of the game by Kalypso? Has the vision for the game changed at all?
Demonicon is the biggest production for Kalypso right now and we’re putting all we can into it to make it a great gameplay experience for the player. Very early concepts had a more basic hack and slash design, but this was changed quite a while ago into a 3rd person RPG, even before Kalypso acquired the IP and the studio. So, in the end, we did not change the overall game concept.
What exactly is Demonicon?
Demonicon is a dark and gritty rpg for grown up based in the Dark Eye universe. Fans of the Dark Eye IP will recognize a lot of the Dark Eye gameworld but new players will not have to dig into the history and background of the pen and paper basics. If you are completely new to the setting you’ll enjoy a great gameplay experience and if you like to know more about the Dark Eye backstory/universe, you can dig into our very detailed in-game almanac.
Will players have to be familiar with the universe of The Dark Eye to get the most out of Demonicon? How are you going to familiarize gamers with the world?
Demonicon won't require any knowledge of the game universe, as our story will clearly spell out important details for you,
The story is a big selling point for the game, we're using lots of dialog and cut-scenes to acclimate you to the world, and help you understand it.
Is Demonicon going to be class based? Will we see the usual RPG tropes in the game or will it be a bit different?
We won't be class or party-based, rather, you, playing as Cairon, will be a one-man party. Carion, at his core, is more of a brawler, with lots of melee combos at his disposal, but you'll also unlock elements-based magical powers, which let you, for example, freeze enemies, launch flame bursts and the like. Along with that, we have a crafting system that you will use to make potions, ointments, balms, etc, which can heal you, hurt enemies (in the case of poisons) or even boost your weapons themselves. If you prefer a more "magical" path, you can focus on unlocking more attack-based magic with your earned XP, or you can focus on alchemy/crafting, or fighting. It's all up to you, but Cairon by default is pretty much a great mix of the archetypical cleric, mage, fighter and thief.
Could you walk us through the combat in the game? How are you balancing the action with the RPG elements?
The RPG elements are there to boost your melee combos, and unlock magical combat abilities. As with most 3rd person games, combat is handled by simply moving around, and bashing things. To attack, you'll use the face buttons on the controller, while combinations of the triggers and sticks will allow you to dodge, roll and perform other cool actions.
What are some of the magic spells we’ll have at our disposal in the game? Will they be purely offensive or will there be some defensive spells as well?
There are offensive spells like ice lance, that freezes and damages opponents; defensive spells like nova, which will knock enemies back, and „demonic“ spells increasing Cairon’s speed and damage boost. In general the player has a more offensive skillset to underline the fast paced action oriented combat system.
What kind of tactics will players have to use in combat to get through the game?
The player starts with standard melee attacks, but needs to make use of his demonic and magic abilities later on in the game. There will be opponents resistant to physical damage or magical damage. Other enemies are weak against poison and if the player has raised his alchemy skills he might be able to poison his weapons to inflict additional damage.
From a control perspective did you start with the PC version and then adapt them to consoles controls or vice versa?
One of our major goals is to have the The Dark Eye - Demonicon running on Xbox360 and PS3. So we started right from the beginning developing the console controls but we also have, of course, full keyboard and mouse support.
Will there be any side quests in the game? Do you have a rough idea of how long a play through will take on average?
We have several side quests besides the main quest. It will take at least 25 hours to get through the main quest.
Is there anything we missed that you think is important?
The goal with Demonicon is to create something more than just a hack-and-slash game. With our extensive storyline, we’re hoping to appeal to players who are looking for a little more than „kill this, loot that“ style of play, and really immerse those players in our game world.
We'd like to thank Mario for taking the time to answer our questions as well as Ted for coordinating the interview.