I chatted tothe other day, the Seattle team responsible for the excellent and charming games. PR manager Wonder Russell and lead level designer Patrick Blank discussed their latest game, the action-adventure platformer Hob, and revealed that trying out a new genre has been a welcome change of pace for the team after so many years working on action RPGs.
"I mean, of course Torchlight 1 and 2 we’re always going to be very fond of, and we have great memories of them," said Russell, "but even if you’re eating the meal you love the most, after ten years of the same meal every day that gets a little old!"
"Yeah, there are several people here that have been making action RPGs for about ten years," added Blank, "and I think they wanted a break. Torchlight 2 was a very long process, and it was a huge, huge game, honestly bigger than it needed to be. We put everything we had into Torchlight 2, worked really hard on it and made it the best we could possibly make it. To then turn around and do a third one, I think people needed a break like Wanda said."
The action RPG genre is sort of written in the studio's DNA; it was founded by Travis Baldree offame, and Max and Eric Schaefer, who co-founded the original studio Blizzard North. Don't worry though, hack and slash fans. Runic might be heading off in a new direction for now, but the Torchlight series is by no means finished.
"I think a lot of people here would be happy to return to it at some point," says Blank, "but we have a lot of people with a lot of interests, and we want to try to explore what we can do together as a team. Hob is a logical step towards that."
Check out thefor more on Hob, which is currently in a very early stage of development.