Interview: Archetype Global are promising to listen to their community when it comes to developing NIGHTREALM TALES, the fantasy FPS currently being Kickstarted. But is it really that different to what any other developer does? We talk to creator Micah Hymer to find out.
One of your main selling points in the Kickstarter is that you’re letting the community be one of the main driving forces behind Nightrealm Tales. But we see a lot of developers that have gone the Kickstarter route have embraced community feedback, what are you thinking of doing different to them?
Well, we’re certainly not the first to attempt to work with the community on either a Kickstarter or within the game development process. Traditionally, a lot of developers create polls, simple voting systems etc. that is primarily geared towards things like “Which of these items would you rather have?”. We’re looking to create opportunities for the community to be able to provide feedback in a dedicated environment, everything from emails to send feedback to, forums dedicated to ideas, social media pages etc.
Now obviously anything that involves the community must have a clear goal. We’ve already laid the foundation for the title, so this isn’t a case where we’re looking to the gaming community to “make the game”. We’re looking for feedback on how we need to be building the development process.
So in example, if a user submits an idea for a unique game mode and his idea begins generating support from other gamers, then we should probably be listening to that. But we really want the community to be upvoting or downvoting their own ideas. Not a free-for-all, but finding out what the community as a whole would want.
So the more popular ideas float to the top and you concentrate on those? What if they start coming out with ideas that are far beyond your initial scope, such as a horde mode?
In essence, yes, the popular ideas will certainly generate a stronger focus from us. But we obviously will have some limitations, so porting to a special platform may not be fully possible or implementing a specific feature could be time intensive. But, the benefits are that it could allow us to find a median that may not be exactly the idea but helps cater to that idea. Also, as a multiplayer title, we will be focusing on a lot of ongoing content -including updates. So there is always the potential for future updates post-launch. So we’re not limited by a hard release date if we truly want to implement a feature. But every idea that is fleshed out by the community will still require discussion and scoping on our part.
A fantasy setting and team multiplayer are not exactly things you really think of going together? How did you come up with the concept of Nightrealm?
Yeah, that’s definitely for sure! The idea really spread from us playing online multiplayer games and watching as either servers or players started implementing their own rules. We saw a LOT of people who would implement “melee only” rules either as players or sometimes whole servers dedicated to it.
We also started seeing that people felt more satisfaction with a melee attack than they did with a machine gun. There is something primal to it that you don’t get with a lot of traditional FPS titles.
The fantasy setting was two-fold. Both because we’re fantasy nerds but also because it’s unique from anything else on the market. We haven’t really seen anyone attempt to make a fantasy FPS game since Project Offset several years back. We think there is a real market for it.
But the first person perspective and melee isn’t always something that work together that well, have you got some secrets in store to pull it off?
We have the advantage of seeing several other titles that recently implemented melee/first person systems: Skyrim, War of the Roses and Chivalry. These titles gives us the benefit of seeing what works, and what doesn’t. There are some standard mechanics you would expect, but we’re able to do a lot of testing on new ways to do melee combat.
It’s also worth noting, not every weapon is melee. There are still bows, crossbows, magic staves, powder-based weapons etc. so we think most players will be able to find something that suits their style.
You also mention magic in the Kickstarter pitch. Does that mean some people will be running around throwing fireballs too, or just the staves?
At this point, most magic is from staves. It’s ironic you mention fireballs as we actually just created and tested a new staff in the game which launches a small wave of fire. But we’re also talking about unique items in the game which would give users the ability to do magic without the need of a staff.
So while you will certainly see magic, I don’t know that you can expect to see fire balls blasting around a map. More like attempting to attack a mage and he in turn blasts you with fire or ice.