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Blackguards Interview at Strategy Informer + Previews at GameBanshee

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Blackguards Interview at Strategy Informer + Previews at GameBanshee

Interview - posted by Infinitron on Tue 2 July 2013, 12:40:02

Tags: Blackguards; Daedalic Entertainment

There's an interview with three of the developers of Blackguards, Daedalic Entertainment's upcoming tactical RPG, over at Strategy Informer. Here's an excerpt:

Strategy Informer: Does Blackguards use just the setting of The Dark Eye or does it also employ some of the original role-playing game’s mechanics and systems?

Daedalic Entertainment: We’ve translated a lot of mechanics, special abilities and spells. People who know The Dark Eye will recognise the talents and skills, the basic attribute system and stuff like that. But we’ve altered it in some ways to make it more accessible for those people who aren’t familiar with the original, and to streamline it for a computer game.​

Strategy Informer: There is a heavy focus on combat in Blackguards: could you give us a detailed look at how combat works in the game, and what tactical options are open to the player during the course of battle?

Daedalic Entertainment: There’s a big skill set that as we said we’ve translated from The Dark Eye rules, so just by the nature of the game you have a lot of options to choose from in terms of spells, special moves and so on. Then there’s the environments in which the battles take place. We’ve put a lot of effort into trying to make every battle a unique experience, with each one telling its own little story.​

There are no randomly generated battles, and each battle area has its own uniquely designed features - obstacles and cover, water and swamps - with interactivity, so for example in a swamp there are swamp holes in which you can get stuck or swamp gas that you can ignite using spells or fire arrows. Pretty much anything made out of wood can be destroyed in the game, so wooden obstacles or barricades can be removed. There’s also a lot of unique elements distributed around the maps, such as drawbridges that be used or destroyed. So there’s a lot of the environment that you can incorporate into your tactics.​

There’s also a great variety of items that originate from The Dark Eye that we have streamlined and put into groups, and special attacks that can be made with certain items.​

You can also tweak all your party members and give them unique equipment as well. You’re not only working on your main character, but the others as well.​

That’s one very cool thing about The Dark Eye that we incorporated into the game. You have a starting character but you can take them in your own direction. There’s no skill tree or level restrictions that you have to follow. Instead you could make your wizard into a combat monster that buffs himself to be ultra fast with spells and uses weapons just like a melee fighter, or you could make him or her into a more classical support mage. There are lots of choices.​

Strategy Informer: So I presume from that you’re basing it on The Dark Eye Fourth Edition rules, which brought in more flexibility in character development?

Daedalic Entertainment: Yes, that’s right. Probably about 90% of the systems, items and so on are direct from The Dark Eye. The remaining 10% is where we’ve had to change things because they didn’t work in the context of a video game.​

If you'd like to know more about Blackguards, the GameBanshee guys have put together a collection of E3 previews of the game. Here's a snippet from Games On Net's preview:

Each turn players can move, attack and use skills in a fashion similar to the recent XCOM: Enemy Unknown. Although born from one of three class archetypes — warrior, hunter and mage — each character in the demo we saw had their own set of skills, special attacks and spells that appeared to offer plenty of options beyond merely swinging a sword. You can also set in the inventory how aggressive or defensive you wish a character to be when using each weapon. For example, your warrior may sacrifice defence when wielding a staff in order to boost its damage output. However, in a nod to the realism that pervades the Dark Eye system, you can’t access items in your backpack during battle, just those you’ve readied in your quick-item slots. Another really nice touch is the ability when moving to set a specific path across the grid via a series of waypoints.​

Battle maps aren’t simply static backdrops either. Some examples of interactivity we saw included: chests that can be looted mid-fight; barrels you can roll into enemies; beehives and swamp holes you can lure enemies into; even a heavy chandelier you can drop onto enemies. Some battle maps have optional objectives beyond defeating your opponents. One fight we saw took place in a prison where you’re able to free prisoners from their cells to fight on your side. The developers say that fleeing from battle can even be a valid option in some situations.​

Blackguards is scheduled for release later this year - probably around Christmas, according to the interview.

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