Realms of Arkania – Blade of Destiny interview
Munich, July 18th 2013 – Realms of Arkania – Blade of Destiny will soon take all RPG fans to the fantastic but dangerouse world of Aventuria. Now, it’s time to get to know more about the game and it’s developers.
Questions answered by:
Christian Weinmüllner (Technical Director, Crafty Studios)
Ronald Halder (Creative Director, Crafty Studios)
Please tell us a little about the development studio Crafty Studios:
We founded Crafty Studios in 2006 to focus on developing online games. It was born out of the realisation that current browsers had a lot of development potential yet not that many people at the time were taking advantage of it. We have had success over the past seven years (we are still here!) but Lead Programmer Chris Weinmüllner aspired of creating games for the retail market. Last year, with a small but enthusiastic team, we had the opportunity to realise his dream of developing a ‘boxed product’ with Realms of Arkania: Blade of destiny being the result.
Which ‘old-school’ RPGs are your favourite ones?
Chris: One of my first RPG’s was the orginal Realms of Arkania:Blade of Destiny (pre-HD!), so of course this game is at the top of my list. I also had a lot of fun with Ultima Underworld 1 and2 as well as Arx Fatali. Arcanum with its unique combination of Steam-punk and magic was also one of my favourites. I really liked Legend of Grimrock which is not necessarily old, but I still consider it ‘old school’.
Ronny: My passion for RPG’s came a lot later for me. I preferred classic structural games and also have played nearly every racing simulation out there. However, when I got hands-on with my first online RPG, I was just fascinated by the in-game worlds. Imagination, beauty and such density, are all the qualities I find so interesting about RPG games.
Imagine a Nordic inspired world, with strong similarities to The Lord of the Rings, there are magicians, elves, dwarves and evil orcs that are threatening Thorwal the capital of the game-world region.
Players play as a six-person hero troupe, who set out in search of the legendary Sword of Grimring called The Blade of Destiny. Only this will allow them to challenge the leader of the orcs and save the region.
A first-person RPG, players will be able to explore 52 uniquely styled areas and over a dozen eerie ruins to find pieces of a map that will lead them to the sword.The battles are fought in tactical rounds, as players compete against wild animals, bandits and mythological creatures such as orcs, the undead and daemons. This style of gameplay will allow them to be able to use the individual abilities of each member of their troupe easily and strategically.
The exciting story and the diverse game world of Aventuria (the fictional continent were the story is set ) also play a central role during the campaign for Thorwal.
What is your favourite game feature in Blade of Destiny?
Chris: Overall I am proud that we have been able to develop the game within a short time, much of the development I did alone. My favourite feature though is the user interface which Ronny and I did together.
Ronny: There is not any one part of the game that makes me prouder then the other, I’m proud of the overall end result. However, I’m proud of my cities though, thanks to the tools Chris developed, I was able to create them and implement them myself with help from the original game assets, which we were able to access.
Community: How important is the community for you?
Extremely important! When you are making a remake, there are often players who are such loyal fans of the original that they are still playing it so it was important to reach out to them during development.
We contacted the community before development started and found a great forum called Crystals-dsa-foren.de, where we were not only welcomed but members were very friendly and helpful. We often received answers to our questions and feedback within minutes.
We wanted to do this remake for the fans and remain faithful to the original so it was important to us that we listen to their concerns and feedback. For example, the much-debated travel map has been redesigned according to the community feedback and implemented, eliminating their biggest criticism of our interpretation of the Realms of Arkania: Blade of Destiny. This has trigged a storm of enthusiasm and anticipation for the game.
I think the word trilogy speaks for itself! We also want to implement the game on other platforms, without making compromises to the story. We also have some interesting ideas for what comes next after Realms of Arkania: Blade of Destiny… more will be revealed soon
What we can say is that we will continue to do everything possible to make the games of the trilogy comparable to real DSA games. No high fantasy, no exaggerated flashes!
What would be the ideal response from RPG fans around the world?
That they give our small development studio their confidence in our work and be convinced of the quality of our product. Old school does not mean stale; we feel “Blade of Destiny” is for the young and young at heart, an adventure no RPG fan should miss.
Finally, is there anyone you wish to thank, who without you couldn’t have made this game?
Of course – thanks to the community, all the fans who have supported and advised us, and helped us incorporate their ideas into the game. Without them we would not have been able to create Relams of Arkania:Blade of Destiny to be the game it is
In addition, a massive thanks to our great tester crew who we recruited from the community, we can’t mention everyone personally but we owe them a big thank-you!
A very big thank you to Crystal who created our own Realms of Arkania forum giving us a direct link to our community. Finally, to our wives and families who endured this hell ride of development the last 8 months and who have continuously support us.
Realms of Arkania – Blade of Destiny can be pre-ordered at: http://store.steampowered.com/app/237550/