Strategy Informer: Could you tell us something about the story behind ParaWorld?
Thomas Langhanki: The found the idea of wormholes being connections between different places quite fascinating. Which is the basic idea behind ParaWorld. There have been such connections in the past, resulting in cultural and biological links between these places. Both worlds influencing each other.
Our three main protagonists – Bela, Stina and Cole – discover evidence hinting at these connections. However, there’s a group of scientists that would like this knowledge to stay a secret. In order to keep the three from publishing their theses they use a trick to lure them into the ParaWorld. And that’s where you come into play.
Can you tell us about the multiplayer side of the game?
Thomas Langhanki: ParaWorld features three multiplayer modes. Naturally, there’s a Deathmatch mode in which players/teams fight each other until one of them wins. The idea behind Domination was similar to the mode of the same name in Unreal Tournament. There are specific spots on the map to be conquered and defended afterwards by the players/teams. If you manage to do that for a given amount of time, you’ll win. The third mode, Defender, puts one player into the position of said Defender. Your task: keep your base and defend it against all the other players who have to level it to the ground within a limited amount of time.
Are there any features we don't currently know about that you'd like to share?
Thomas Langhanki: Well, we still got a few things that will have to stay under wraps ‘til the release of the games. In terms of gameplay we’ve got nothing to hide. After all, we’re currently preparing the closed beta test where the game will be made available to a larger number of players.
What can you tell us about the graphical and physics features?
Thomas Langhanki: After evaluating the other engines that were available on the market way back, we decided to code our very own. It’s titled PEST Engine.
To name some strengths of the engine: it’s really good at rendering very dense vegetation, detailed units (and not just two of them!) and also supports the latest DX9 features. Also, it has a multithreaded design and, consequently enough, does benefit from dual-core systems.
Will there be any changes to the current system requirements for ParaWorld?
Thomas Langhanki: At this point there are some parts we optimized in the past months and there may or may be a change in the lower end of the scale thanks to that. The recommended settings still are the same and are unlikely to change before the release.
Will there be any modding support or tools released for the game?
Thomas Langhanki: Yes. The level editor enables players to create their own maps. It’s basically the same tool we’re using, so there are no restrictions. Same for the sequence editor, which comes in handy for singleplayer-focused mods since you can create extensive cutscenes. There are lots of options for ambitious directors.
What kind of support is the game going to have after it's released?
Thomas Langhanki: We know that support is what keeps a game going after its release. Not only will SEK and Sunflowers try to make sure that the game stays balanced, we’d also like to provide some content and also will help mod developers wherever we can.
Can you give us an assessment of the health and long-term viability? How well is production going at the moment?
Thomas Langhanki: It’s about tweaking, balancing and polishing now. Now it’s about getting the beta test managed and being ready to evaluate and incorporate the feedback. Of course, balancing is one of the main tasks.
Could you tell us a little bit about the units and beasts that we don't currently know about?
Thomas Langhanki: There are a few units we haven’t talked about yet. Some of them are were already shown on screenshots, other rather special and can only be built if you have the right hero around. They are, well, special due to that and not just copies of other units. What, for instance, about a unit that has a very low amount but a brutal attack?
Will there be any secret bonus features built in the game?
Thomas Langhanki: We’re fans of eastereggs, so, players might want to look out for hidden references or jokes. If I were to talk about them now, they wouldn’t be ‘hidden’ anymore though.
What has been the hardest part of development so far?
Thomas Langhanki: Getting done what we call the Army Controller. It’s a feature that lets the player instantly access and control every single unit or group of his choice. It’s also a hierarchical structure all units are integrated in.
Working out both, the design and the rule set was really tricky and took us like 6-7 revisions. The challenge behind the design was to make the AC in a way that’s very useful yet at the same time implement it in a way that would allow the player to experience Paraworld without it. Making it easy to get into the game. As for the rule set, the tricky part was to come up with an approach that does not feature any exceptions for specific units. You’d be surprised how often that is the case.
Ultimately, we’re at the point where I’m quite happy with the state of things.
Do you think it's likely we'll see some changes to the current release date?
Thomas Langhanki: No, we’re on track for a release in early September and based on the feedback we received so far I’d say there’s no need change anything about the launch.
Is there anything you'd like to say to The ParaWorld community before we wrap this up?
Thomas Langhanki: Rest assured that there’s going to be a demo. And the game can market itself a lot better than I ever could! That’s what I’m sure of. One simply needs to play it to really understand some of the new features.
So, there’s going to be demo some time around the release. And in the meantime you might want to check out the latest news on our very own website and over at the official ParaWorld website. We put up new content almost every day and you can find some more details regarding some of ParaWorld’s features.