Talking to Marcin Kruczkiewicz about Hellraid
Interview - posted by DarkUnderlord
on Wed 27 November 2013, 06:29:01
; Marcin Kruczkiewicz
Andhaira has a chat with Marcin Kruczkiewicz, producer of Hellraid
How long has the team been working on Hellraid, and how many people are on the team?
We’ve been working on Hellraid for over a year and a half right now. There are about 30 people involved in the development of the game.
The team mentions Heretic, Hexen and Witchhaven as their inspirations. This is indeed what caught my eye and made me investigate the game further, the same I believe is true for many other fans. How much do these classics influence Hellraid? Just as importantly, has the team made sure to avoid the pitfalls and mistakes those titles made? Lastly, was Heretic II (a personal favorite of mine in the action-adventure genre) any influence at all?
All of those titles influenced us in many ways just like other classic titles like Dark Messiah of Might & Magic or even the first Quake. There’s a lot of old titles that shaped our team members as gamers and left a heritage which is now almost forgotten. We’d like to bring back the mood, the dynamic but difficult gameplay, the unforgettable experience and the level of immersion those titles gave players. We also want to improve all of this with modern graphics and new ideas for more diverse gameplay both in single player and co-op.
The video of gameplay released thus far shows the player and enemies blocking/parrying each other’s strikes and counter attacking. Is this part of a cutscene or will this actually happen during the released game?
It’s all part of our melee fighting system and how the enemies AI react in game. Pure gameplay.
How easily can characters die? Will it take multiple successful strikes by the enemy, or are you going for a more grittier route and the PC dies in a few hits?
It always depends on how far the player is in the game, what skills he unlocked and for example what armor he wears. In Hellraid you’ll encounter weaker enemies that deal less damage and are easy to kill but attack in larger groups as well as tougher enemies and bosses that will kill you with two or three precise strikes. We’ll have a few difficulty level settings but while balancing the game we’re aiming to create a more challenging experience than most titles on the market.
How does the player character recover health? Also, will health regenerate outside of combat automatically? What about stamina and/or mana (assuming they are in the game as well)
You’ll be able to regenerate your health with a classic health potion which can be looted or bought in shops. There is also a passive skill for all character classes that unlocks a partial health regeneration. Stamina and mana will also be in the game. The Barbarian class will use stamina in melee combat while the Mage needs mana to cast spells.
Can you give some detail on each class available to the player (Barbarian, Paladin, Mage and Rogue?) How will the gaming experience change for each specific class?
The experience will change with different weapons and armor available for each class. The Barbarian will fight with one- and two-handed swords and axes, while the Paladin will use one-handed weapons and a set of defensive magic. The Mage is all about offensive magic while the Rogue uses crossbow and throwing daggers to kill enemies from a distance. Each character class will also have its own skill tree with different passive and active skills to unlock.
Will there be chances to diversify within classes i.e. will 2 Paladin players look alike at each level or can they differentiate by picking different abilities?
After gaining a new level we’ll give the player a choice from various skills, so they can create a hero with abilities that fits their style of play. The intent is that there will be significant difference depending on your choices, thus encouraging replayability.
What are your inspirations for the classes? That is, will the Barbarian and Paladin mimic their Dungeons and Dragons counterparts (Barbarian rages, Paladin heals and wears full plate and casts holy spells) or games like Diablo II and World of Warcraft, or have you put your own interpretation and spin on the classes?
We’re sticking to a fantasy genre archetype but hopefully will surprise you with a few fresh ideas. We’ll reveal more about each class on our official blog soon.
Apart from class skill trees/powers which the team has briefly mentioned already, are there any other ways of modifying characters when they level up? Are there attribute points, feats/talents, etc?
When gaining a level the player gets a number of talent points to buy new skills with. Certain skills serve as attribute points to boost character statistics.
What sort of equipment/loot will be in the game? Will there be a large number of magical items, or since this appears to be a Gothic and gritty world, will there be barely any magical items? (I do believe by the way that fans of this will prefer the later. For the former there is always Diablo and it's clones. And Skyrim)
In Hellraid you’ll loot weapons, armors, gold, health and mana potions but also items necessary to craft and enchant weapons like special gems, tonics and others, not always magical.
What kind of weapons will be in the final game, apart from European medieval weapons? Any chance for Eastern Flair (which are also globally popular) like Katana's, two-bladed swords (or two bladed katanas)?
The katana obviously doesn’t match our dark and medieval world while for example a blunt mace is a perfect match. We want Hellraid to offer a big variety of weapons not only by their statistics but also look and how they are used. We’ll be revealing more weapon types closer to the release date.
Will different weapons change the play style and 'feel' of the character drastically? Will dual wielding be implemented? What about shield bashing? Also, will the Sorcerer need a wand or staff to cast spells or can he/she do it with his hands?
We don’t have plans for any dual wielding other than a combination of one-handed weapon and a shield which also can be used as a weapon for bashing. Our Mage class will require a staff to cast, with strength and firepower differing depending on the staff.
Could you tell us something about the game world? Much of the game appears to be based inside of a monastery and it's surrounding locale. Can you provide some information about this?
We place a great importance on both the history of the world we’re creating and the storyline in the campaign. So far we kept it all a secret because we don’t want to reveal anything before it’s fully completed. During the game you’ll visit a devastated monastery and have some quests to complete which you’ll have a reason for in the game’s world. Religion has been repelled by magic which strengthened the evil forces and allowed them to cross to the realm of men. We’ll reveal more details on our blog at hellraid.com soon.
How much does the story affect the game? That is, is the story simply a vehicle to get the player involved, or is the story meatier as in a RPG and the player character can affect the story with his/her actions?
We want to tell players a complete story which won’t stop them from playing the game after finishing the main campaign. We don’t have plans for multiple choice situations or multiple endings because it simply doesn’t fit to our action-oriented game.
What kind of enemies will we face? Will there be only undead or as the name of the game appears to indicate, will we face demons and their foul ilk as well?
The undead are only the lesser minions of Hell and not the main enemy in Hellraid. During the game you’ll encounter armies of skeletons, demonic infantry, necromancers, creatures like quick and agile Bloodhunter, powerful Blinded or Minotaur and this is still only a part of hellish enemies we’re preparing.
What kind of a play time are you aiming for, for the single player game only? Approximately how many hours on a single play through?
The main storyline will take approximately 8 hours to finish without completing the side quests. It’s very important for us to make Hellraid playable for much longer in various single and co-op game modes, so the story campaign will be only a beginning of the fun.
What kind of DLC is planned for Hellraid? Any new classes?
Right now we’re focusing on completing the game. After that we can think about DLC which should be something really new and not something we could release with the game but decided to charge extra for.
Lastly, we know the game will feature optional co-op for playing with other players. Apart from playing through the campaign together, will there be other multiplayer modes? And how will the main campaign change to accommodate multiple players (i.e. will the number of enemies spawned increase? Will enemies have more hitpoints? etc)
Each game mode in Hellraid (story campaign included) will be playable in co-op for up to 4 players. Rules of the game will differ depending from the game mode, number of players and their experience level. Also, we want to make each playthrough a new experience by randomizing enemy spawn points and loot, co-op challenges and adding a rivalry between players for points and rewards at the end of each game.
We'd like to thank Marcin Kruczkiewicz and the Hellraid team for their time, and Andhaira for the doughnuts.
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