"punching above" their weight with just 65 devs on staff tackling Darksiders' scope.
Still it was fun for the team, and the world agreed lauding it. Dalton admits it felt "shallow" with so few NPCs to feed the player. Vigil had time to correct that for Darksiders 2.
A new IP, a new team and new technology forged Darksiders. Not bad given those obstacles and it led to an action adventure game that stirred a lot of good memories of the genre.
THQ granted Vigil Games a delay to Darksiders 2 so the team could work more on the highly anticipated sequel where we get to play as War's older brother Death. Given they've established themselves now the dev team could pour their efforts into things that had to be cut or neglected in the original, like side quests.
"The first one was kinda like we were punching above our weight," Dalton . "We were a new team, new technology, a new IP. I mean, each one of those things was considered a risk, we were red-lining everything. We had a small team, we only had 65 people, so we had to work a lot harder. We just didn't have the sheer size and hands on deck."
"The thing that was always very clear from Darksiders is the fact that it's fun."
"Even us as devs, we played those levels so many times. When we played them again, sometimes people wouldn't see you for a long time because they'll be focusing on the graphics in one level or the animation here, but when we actually sat down to play it all in one go, we just thought this is goddamn cool."
Still there was a little something missing from the original Darksiders world: "...we wanted more NPC's in the game."
"It made the world feel a little bit, well it's supposed to be desolate, but it made it feel shallow. You didn't really get much back story about what was going on. It's always nice to give the player an impression that things are going on irrelevant of what they do, you want them to feel like it's a bigger world that exists without them," explained the lead designer.
"Having NPC's doing their own thing and also giving you side story content always makes it feel like there's more depth to the world. Now, that's what we did in this one. We looked at a few things we thought was lacking in the first one, like side quests that we didn't have time to do in the first one. They were probably the big things I think."
Vigil is enjoying a "great buzz around the office" as we get closer to Darksiders 2's launch. We get tons of loot and a lot more RPG style features this time around, whilst staying true to Darksiders' action adventure roots. Check out with lead designer Haydn Dalton, with part two due tomorrow.
Darksiders 2 releases on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC August 14th.