We talked with the developers of Numen: Contest of Heroes about gameplay, story and system requirements
21 May 2008 | By Import
Andy Alderson: 'Numen' is defined as a deity inhabiting a place or object. How does this relate to the concept of the game?
CINEMAX: In Numen, the element of omnipotent deities is a core game feature. The gods watch you everywhere you go, everything you do is judged by them. The story revolves around an object possessing magical power, so strong that it is feared by the Gods themselves. All this made us choose this name.
Andy Alderson: With the game's roots in ancient Greek mythology, can we expect to see some classic beasts of lore?
CINEMAX: Yes, definitely. It would be unforgivable not to add such beasts to a game like this. On the other hand we did want the player to be able to discover something new and exciting so you can also expect to come across some new and unique monsters.
Andy Alderson: In Numen, the player is allied with a particular god. Can the player choose their god? What are the differences between the gods? Do Numen's deities accurately reflect their counterparts in Greek mythology?
CINEMAX: When you start playing the game your character is a child. The way you play the game shifts you towards a group of three gods (out of nine gods available in the game - so there are three of those groups). Those three are similar in a way – for example Apollo, Hermes and Artemis have all strong connection with nature and their followers use bows as their primary weapon.
Based on your progress you can later in the game select one of those three gods you wish to follow. From that moment on your god will grant you special abilities. Those abilities are based on the god’s nature – Zeus can teach you how to create lightning and thunder, a follower of Poseidon has strong connection with water, those who worship Hades receive help from the realm of the undead and so on.
Andy Alderson: As all the gods share the same aim for dominance, does that mean the player will encounter other mortals serving their own god?
CINEMAX: Great question! Yes, that’s one of the unique features of Numen. As you traverse the world in search of the artifact you encounter other heroes who serve the other eight gods. Sometimes you may decide to help each other out (although your god doesn’t like that at all), other times such encounter may result in death of one of you. You will also fight the other heroes during the Tournament and duels.
Andy Alderson: Will there be leveling up in Numen? How will it work?
CINEMAX: Your character gains XP for completing quests and killing monsters. Once you have enough points you level up, some of your attributes are raised automatically and you also receive several points that you can allocate as you see fit. Execution of every ability you know depends on a certain skill. That skill is raised whenever you use that ability successfully. That means for example that if you fight a lot with axes you will get better at handling them and therefore cause greater damage after some time.
Andy Alderson: How will the combat system work? Will it be turn-based or real-time?
CINEMAX: The combat is real-time but it’s more close to the World of Warcraft single player experience than to hack-and-slash titles like Titan Quest. Player has a lot of unique abilities at his command and has to learn how to make most of them do a good job. Observing the situation and using the right abilities at the right times make a great difference during a combat.
Andy Alderson: The screenshots display some detailed visuals. What kind of rig will players need to run Numen at full settings?
CINEMAX: There are still some optimizations going on so it’s too early to speak of that but I think that in general any player with an average gaming rig will be able to enjoy the visuals to their fullest.
Andy Alderson: Will Numen follow the classic 'archetype' system? That is, will players have to choose their class or specialty at the beginning of the game?
CINEMAX: As I said earlier in this interview we chose a slightly different way.
Andy Alderson: As the game is centred around an epic quest, can we expect to see a wide range of environments? How big is the game world?
CINEMAX: The environments are quite variable – from snowy mountaintops to hot Lybian deserts. There are over dozen islands and two dozen dungeons. However a number of the islands and dungeons are accessible only after the hero completes some of the side-quests.
Andy Alderson: What makes Numen unique in the PC RPG genre?
CINEMAX: Firstly it’s the interaction with Hero’s God – the player has to make sure his or her god is happy in order to learn some new ability. Some of those abilities and spells are truly unique in the genre. We believe we have some interesting quests and NPCs. And, the last but not the least - it’s the other heroes who are trying to get ahead of you and each other and the feeling that you are truly taking part in some kind of competition.