We had a chin wag withBrad Wardell, ruler of many galaxies in alternate turn-based dimensions, but now we've got him on the subject of fantasy 4X instead. What's the deal with Sorcerer King?
It's set in the Elemental universe, which didn't have the best of starts admits Wardell, but they wanted something of a clean break with Sorcerer King and decided on a more plot-focused 'RPG' approach.
In fact the studio CEO cites Star Control 2 as pushing the plot-driven agenda for the fantasy strategy spin-off: "...for Sorcerer King we actually brought in writers, paid a lot of attention to things like voice-acting where we could, so there’s just a lot of time and money that needs to be spent to build that up, and I didn’t want Star Control to be our first attempt at that stuff." "So Sorcerer King was kind of a dry-run for that,"
"So Sorcerer King was kind of a dry-run for that,"he explained in .
In Star Control 2 you have a limited window of opportunity to build up a force to take on overwhelming enemy numbers. "And so that was a little bit of the inspiration, expect of course this is a fantasy game, but you still need to go and recruit allies, forge your equipment, train troops and build enough of a kingdom to take on the Sorcerer King." "Or as an alternative, if you’re playing the evil way, replace him by building up your spell mastery and essentially trying to do what he was doing."
"Or as an alternative, if you’re playing the evil way, replace him by building up your spell mastery and essentially trying to do what he was doing."
This new fantasy spin-off doesn't try to take itself all that seriously, at least in delivery, and that was entirely on purpose to help it stand out more from the crowd, continues Wardell.
"...because there are so many fantasy strategy games out there, they all take themselves very seriously. Fallen Enchantress also took itself very seriously. With Sorcerer King we didn’t want it to be a comedy, but we did want to make it slightly more tongue-in-cheek."
"The idea is we wanted people to read all the quest text and stuff, rather than when it’s so… like in a lot of recent fantasy games, everyone wants to be Tolkien, right? So there’s fifteen games like that, so why not take a different path? At the same time it conveys how important (the plot) is, but it’s more of an Army of Darkness feel."
"You’re basically Bruce Campbell in this game, when you read the text you can sort of hear his voice going “ah, I didn’t get every single word there, but I got the gist of it. Isn’t that good enough?” At the same time those films took their subject reasonably seriously, so that’s what we were aiming for – to be the Army of Darkness of strategy games."
Just because there's no big technology tree in Sorcerer King like in the Galactic Civilization series, don't think the game will go easy on us. They've largely swapped tech research for a skill tree unique to each Sovereign.
"...in a game where it’s basically set in a medieval world it’s not that interesting to make you research metallurgy. Like, really? I have to learn metal-working? It’s too short of a tree."
"So we wanted to move away from that, so we thought “let’s move our tech tree to each Sovereign, and we’ll call it a skill tree.” And this way, because it’s tied to each Sovereign, we can really go nuts. Have some really crazy, imbalancing stuff," he said.
Sorcerer King has us challenging a god so unlocking skills giving our Sovereign mega powers is almost mandatory.
Check out Too late.with Brad Wardell as we discuss Sorcerer King, among other topics like real-time strategy Ashes of the Singularity - "...in many respects Ashes of the Singularity is Sins on a planet. Hopefully marketing comes up with a better slogan than that."
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