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Guido Henkel's cRPG Thorvalla kickstarter going live monday - ready in 18 months if funded

Sunday, 18 November 2012

(Thorvalla cancelled, read more)

Guido Henkel (Realms of Arkania, Planescape Torment) and his team G3studios with help of Neill Halford (Might and Magic III: Isles of Terra) are setting their "Thorvalla" kickstarter live and ready to go tomorrow, monday (can't pledge before it's 'live')!

Since Thorvalla kickstarter website is already up, there's few bits of new information available that we can analyze. The game is promised to be out in 18 months after production has started. That's the exact same time for development cycle than what InXile Entertainment is going for with Wasteland 2.

Quote: "Enter the world steeped in norse mythology, tribal mysticism, and sword-and-sorcery- fantasy"

Shortly, Thorvalla will be traditional (not fully old-school) computer role-playing game, influenced by the classics but re-inventing new fresh game mechanics and combat rules (no "roll dices") - from Henkel who doesn't fear breaking traditional cRPG rules boundaries yet keeping true role-playing game spirit up with interesting stories and tactical turn-based combat. The game will feature resembling civilizations of real world mythologies such as nordic origins, and tribal people of native americans. Those mythologies are then combined with classic fantasy elements and creatures. Henkel wants to present diverse world drawing influences from several mythologies to keep the game feeling fresh when exploring the world into new territories. Henkel also stated he wants to invent something new instead of using the "same old", is why he isn't using D&D or Realms of Arkania ruleset for the game system in the first place.

Thorvalla is set to use top-down perspective, although it's yet undecided how exactly are they going to execute this. Fully top-down perspective, or perhaps isometric perspective with 2D rendered backgrounds but 3D rendered characters combination. Even full 3D with fixed third person camera isn't yet locked out of the options. This will be decided on pre-production phase after G3studios has experimented a bit with the options which feels the best.

The game world's look and feel will lean bit more dark themes "like Planescape: Torment", but not quite as dark. However, it will feature adult themes and issues in the world. The game's story begins with you and your combat dragon sailing through the icy seas of the north seeking for adventure, when you collide with vicious storm that sinks the ship. Luckily were caught in the storm near shores of the northern lands, and find yourself alive floating to a shore after the events. By the markings in the sands you can assume that your combat dragon, friend for several years of shared journeys, is also alive and has stumbled to the shore, but something has attacked it and perhaps captured.. no further signs of your combat dragon.. you're set to find the old fella!

It's said that dragons will play quite big role in the story, and there will be plenty of them: "They're like the airforce of the game. People of Thorvalla harness dragons and ride them for battle or excursion. Making one of the ultimate bad-ass monsters of classic role-playing games a common enslaved creature is risky move - but hopefully story will set things right.

How will exploration and traveling-system work in Thorvalla? Kickstarter project page states that Thorvalla will focus on specific world areas connected by map, the game map (see picture below), that  contains several different “countries” within it's vast world. It seems quite possible that the world map and traveling would function like in first two Realms of Arkania games: Star Trail and Blades of Destiny. Probably with fast-travel movement in map-screen, where you could move between the main areas. This means that free wilderness exploration within main areas would be left out, and main areas would be connected with "fast-travel" option, but they could profit on making more detailed main areas instead with less "empty space".

Hopefully they kick in elements from the classic above mentioned games, where while fast-traveling from main area A to B in world map, you could encounter different events on your way, such as hidden areas and combat events. I’m also hoping they will add in needs for food and water like in first Arkania games, so that you’d need to stop and set a camp once in a while while fast-traveling – this could prove very interesting element if planned correctly. The main key is to prevent it feeling totally repetitive.

Thorvalla’s character system will be inspired by trading card games, in some way, but this is yet unexplained how exactly. It’s some sort of a combination of traditional RPG with turn-based combat, but “cards” do represent, supplement, and enchance players abilities. It’s slightly unclear how this works actually. Do the cards represent character abilities fully, or do they enchance and add for the characters actual numeric attributes and stats? Few things we know about character creation for sure are the mentioned amount of 8 different classes with their pros and cons, and that skills of sneaking and tracking will be in the game.

It will be interesting to see how this turns out, and I’m sure we’ll be getting better explained information soon from the developers as the campaign goes live tomorrow! We've sent little interview to Guido Henkel and hopefully he can get back to us with some answers, although he's probably so busy at the moment with the game that it mightn't be certain. But we'll see.

See kickstarter page here!

1 comment:

  1. Kickstarter page seems to be down for now. Perhaps they didn't want to show it until tomorrow, when it should return!