Dungeon Lords Interview
By Nestor Rentas - 3/21/2005

1) Before we start can you please introduce yourself and what you do?

I’m Mark Harwood, the DreamCatcher’s Producer on Dungeon Lords.

2) How has it been working on a game like Dungeon Lords?

It’s been fun and challenging. There are lots of issues to deal with on a game of this size, but D.W. Bradley and his team are really dedicated to creating a great and compelling RPG experience. The guys at Heuristic are really experienced and most of the time it’s just a matter of implementation rather than dealing with any technological or design hurdles.

3) How long has the game been in development for?

The game has been in development for some time. In one sense, it’s an evolution of the lessons that D.W. Bradley has learned in over 20 years of crafting RPGs, so you could say that it’s been over 20 years in the making. We’ve been involved with it for over a year.

4) What kind of engine are you using? Something licensed or an in-house concoction?

The game is built on Heuristic Park’s in-house technology using some middleware to speed development. The core game systems are all proprietary technology that D.W. Bradley has developed and refined over the years.

5) What kind of graphical features can we expect to see?

Dungeon Lords runs on a state of the art graphic engine in four color CGA graphics. Just kidding. Players will see a variety of indoor and outdoor environments in full 3D with some nice particle effects and some other bells and whistles. But although it looks good from the graphics side of things, the real heart of Dungeon Lords is the gameplay system and the ways you can customize your character.

6) What are the recommended specs to play this on? What about minimum?

The idea is that we wanted as many people as possible to be able to play Dungeon Lords, so the required system specs are fairly modest – 1 Ghz Proc, 384 MB RAM with GeForce2 64MB graphics or better and audio support. We’d recommend a 1.5 Ghz proc with 512 MB and a reasonably current video card for better performance – Nvidia GeForce 5200 should do the job. I run the game on my laptop with 64MB ATI 9200 video and it runs well.

7) What kind of classes can we expect to play as in Dungeon Lords?

There are all sorts of character classes in Dungeon Lords, but the idea is to let the player interact with the game as they will. For example, if you want to play as a magic-using character, it doesn’t automatically exclude you from wearing armor. If you want to put a lot of points into lock picking and sneaking, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t use a warhammer. The class system is used to enhance the game experience by opening new avenues to the player rather than closing them off. Of course, there are only so many subclasses you can attain during a single play through, but I don’t think anyone will feel restricted by the paths you can go down.

8) Could you give an estimate on how long it will take to complete the game?

We’re deep in testing right now, and it’s looking like it’ll take the average player 40-50 hours to get through things, not including all the side quests. Even our best testers are taking a while to get through things, so we’re confident that players will be enjoying this for a while.

9) How many different types of spells and weapons will there be to choose from?

A lot, we’re not locked down on a set number at this point for spells or weapons, because objects are being added all the time. Spells are also undergoing revisions – there are four different schools of magic and a wide variety of spells for each.

10) What kind of enemies can we expect to see? Anything you would particularly like to mention?

There are lots of different enemies in Dungeon Lords – some are common to classic fantasy and will be familiar to player, skeletons, and goblins, and some are fairly unique to Dungeon Lords. There’s also the usual array of creatures in the wild, such as wolves, bats, spiders.

11) During the game do we get more than one person in our party?

No, in Dungeon Lords, the game is all about the player as the hero in an adventure. After trying party-based systems in previous games, the decision was made to base this game around a single character, as it’s closer to the classic pen and paper RPG experience. That said, players will be able to summon creatures to help them fight in battles; however, they won’t have direct control over them once they’re summoned.

12) Do the enemies interact with each other? Do they have any form of attack plan or pass messages to one another like, “You take that one I’ll take this one.”?

The enemies interact with each other, but not so much in the sense that they talk to one other. Some will cooperate in battle – hitting you with ranged weapons from afar while their buddies get up close and personal. They’ll also do things like make sure their own guys aren’t in the line of fire when they launch a ranged attack.

13) Thank you for your time is there anything else you would like to add?

Dungeon Lords is a classic style RPG with a deep story that will take the player through a huge game world. Combine that with the real-time combat system that has different combos based on weapons and the vast customizability of characters, and I think you’ve got something to offer any RPG fan.

In addition, Dungeon Lords will also support multiplayer co-op play out of the box, up to eight players, and it’s a blast. Definitely buy a copy for your friends if they’re too cheap to get one on their own, as you’ll both be missing out.