Interviewed by by Safwat "Helium02"
Before we start, please introduce yourself and the company you work for.
My name is Krzysztof Krawczyk and I'm the creator of A Fistful Of Gold (AFOG). Before that I was working on design of Grom, our previous game, published worldwide by CDV Entertainment AG.
As for Rebelmind, we're an established computer and video game development studio with offices in Poland. We started making games in 1994 and since then we've been regularly releasing titles from various genres, starting with classic shooters, through platform and kids games, up to epic RPG titles.
In an age where most companies are focusing on RPG games, and when we've recently seen a lot of good ones, what are your expectations about this game?
AFOG is a typical RTS and you can observe lots of competition in this genre. We'd like very much to be compared to such giants as Blizzard with their Warcraft series, but I'm a realist here :). Nevertheless, while designing AFOG we strived towards high playability and this is without any doubt a trump card of the Blizzard company.
Our expectations are to make a game that will bring lots of enjoyment and satisfaction to the player. We concentrate our efforts just on that. We pay a lot of attention on designing single missions and characteristic individuals as well.
Why have you focused only on medieval times? Don't you think it would be better if you gave the gamer the option to "taste" various eras?
The Middle Ages and particularly the twilight of this era is a time of frantic development of man's technical thought. This is an ideal time for fight with the use of different types of weaponry. This is a time when alchemists can change sand into gold and exorcists fight with horrible beasts.
The player will taste only one époque, but he will visit so many different places that he will find no reason to complain about a lack of diversity. I think that the lack of varied eras will be offset by different kinds of weapons and individuals we give to the player. The part of the game is to get to know its world, to grow accustomed to it and if we give the player many possibilities in the framework of one époque, this will surely be sufficient.
I've read on the official site of this game, that the player doesn't need to build anything during battles, personally, I think this twist may reduce the pressure on the player while fighting. And as we know, pressure = fun. What do you think about this?
I agree that pressure is part of a gameplay but one cannot exaggerate with it :). In RTS, what disturbs me most is continuous rebuilding my resources. You spend a few hours fighting with some awful king of a neighbor state. You win! And my computer says that I've done a fine job but a new task awaits me now. I sit down to complete the mission and I get completely discouraged. Once again I have to build everything from scratch. I can't deny it has its charm. A game gives you possibility to correct your errors. But we decided to do it in a different way.
AFOG will let you enjoy your riches through the whole game. You will develop your net of workshops and shops in order to get the grand finale with great army and with your pockets full of money. The player will feel the pressure during battles.
What weapons will be available? Which races and monsters (if there's any) are included in the either?
We start with swords, battle-axes and spears. When the action develops, new types of weapons will appear. We won't limit ourselves to things historically true. I can say that you will see flying machines and maybe even steam-powered vehicles. Our workshops will produce highly diversified weapons. Our enemies are bandits, malefactors, knights deprived of honor, rulers etc., but you won't be short of hellish monsters.
In the game there will be missions where our only task is to clean haunted places and our only weapon is a sword and a frantic exorcist. There will also be battles with hosts of devilish creatures that devastate neighborhood. I think that diversity of characters and monsters will satisfy everybody. Everyone will find something special for himself.
Was this game influenced by other genres? If so, can you tell us about the reflections?
AFOG was influenced by many games. It is hard to point at some specific titles. Generally, our aim is to make a game that we ourselves can enjoy playing. For sure this will be a compilation of titles already existing, but with a touch of our own expectations.
What's unique about this game? What makes it different from other RPGs?
AFOG will be a typical RTS game. The player gets a mission to complete and he goes to do it. He must prepare to it by hiring people and buying weapons. Then he moves on to fight where he must think tactically.
There are three main and at the same time unique features of the game:
The first important feature is an open world, or a possibility to choose among missions. You are not obliged to complete a particular mission. There are places where something can be done and it's up to you when you go there.
The second important feature is a focused gameplay mechanics, or simply put separation of battles from resource management. If we are in the Wolf Fang stronghold, we can do some trading there, take commissions and hire people. We can also manage the workshops we own there. We are not pressed by lack of time and we don't have to hurry, so we can thoroughly think our choices over. Then we set off to complete the task and from now on it's all about action, combat and tactics. No need to think about resources, management or building anything.
The third important feature of the game are persistent resources, which means that your weapons, items and characters transfer from one mission to another. After completing a task you don't lose your resources. You don't have to rebuild your power unless you spent everything on a war expedition and now you're penniless. The people you hired, if they survive the fight, they go back to their places and wait for next commissions. Of course, given their increased experience and you will have to pay more for their services in the future.
About online gaming; does this game support an online gaming option?
We focus on single-player gameplay mainly, but multiplayer is also considered. I can't tell you right now how will it look in details, because it's still to be designed. In general - it will be simple and fun!
Is there a background story for this game or is it up to the gamer to set the course of game's story? If there's a background story, can you give us a glimpse on it?
A king "dies". A civil war breaks up in the country. Anybody strong enough immediately sets off to fight for power. The country gradually plunges in anarchy. There is no law anymore and there is nobody who could reinforce it. People start to create small communities closed in small strongholds that resist evil forces. The power is given to sheriffs that are supported by rich merchants. Each of the characters that have any wealth issues his own warrants of arrest. The hunters choose the best ones and start hunting. Like small islands scattered across the ocean of evil, small strongholds try to survive. But a new danger looms over the country. Death Chill and his devilish hosts come to take over the power and to slave people. There is only one hope. A man who knows his profession well and who is rich enough to complete an army that can defy even devilish hosts. A highly experienced bounty hunter is badly wanted.
When is it going to be released? What about marketing it in Europe and USA?
It's hard to say that now, because it's up to a publisher to set release dates and marketing strategies.
Is there anything else you would like to say about this game?
AFOG is a game created to deliver good enjoyment. It's power is simplicity and dynamics, with fierce battles and lots of surprises.
We're also still looking for a publisher for this title (worldwide or local). Please visit our homepage at http://www.rebelmind.com for contact info.
Thank you for your time.