Interview

Dreamlords – The Reawakening Interview (PC)

Kyle Stallock:  Dreamlords was released a little over a year ago and now the sequel will soon be released. What made you decide to create the sequel so soon? Will this be an annual title?

David Rosén: We were very happy with our first title and so where the players. Over time though you start to notice things and think “Hm, that could’ve been done in another way”. Our goal was and is to make a really great game and once you’ve started down that road, it’s unavoidable to end up making another one. As for the periodicity, it’s hard to tell and depends on what you mean. Dreamlords is a franchise and rest assured we will see it develop in the future.

Kyle Stallock: What will you be doing narrative-wise in the sequel and how important is that to the title?

David Rosén: The Reawakening continues where the first Dreamlords left off. The world ended in a sea of fire and all went black, the Cynos had to put the world to sleep to allow it to recuperate. When we now return the Dreamlords has reawakened and is starting to slowly put the world together again... 






Kyle Stallock: Co-op gameplay has been rumored for the original for awhile and David Rosen even mentioned it in an interview from 2007. Can we expect it soon?

David Rosén: In The Reawakening, as was the case with Dreamlords, you will be able to collaborate with friends in your convergence (as clans are called in the game) to craft items, share resources and conquer unclaimed islands in the name of your convergence.

Kyle Stallock: One of the biggest complaints people had of the original Dreamlords was its steep learning curve, how are you addressing this issue in the sequel?

David Rosén: The original idea was to create the kind of hardcore game we wanted to play ourselves. While we manage to do exactly that, somewhere it just became a bit too good... After a while this was pointed out in our forums by the players and since it was always our intention to make a game *for* gamers we felt we had to do something. In nature strategy games require a little bit more of the player than the average MMORPG so it still requires some effort to get into and it still offers a good challenge for those who like to put their skills and intellect to the test.

Kyle Stallock: The other biggest complaint was the simplified RTS combat system. Some even said the original Command and Conquer had more depth. Given the innovative mix of the patria manager and the client, do you feel the latter needs greater depth?

David Rosén: I think you are referring to the version of the PvP system we had at launch which was, to be honest, a bit light. Especially compared to the rest of the game which was very deep ;) Since our game spans over months and not minutes the building of the civilization, which compared to other RTSs is the base building, is done in the Patria Manager and not in an actual PvP fight. As both we and our players felt the lack of depth in the PvP system we did a pretty big upgrade to a few months after launch. The players can now upgrade their buildings and spawn troops from the different tactical locations which diversify your strategic options quite a bit.

Kyle Stallock: Is there a point where you think you should draw the line in terms of gameplay depth on either side?

David Rosén: It all depends on what audience you are aiming for really. To reach a vast market there is no question about the fact that we did Dreamlords too complex. However we found a niche of players who really wants that deep challenging game, which to be honest (and for obvious reasons), is quite rare to find. The problem is to find the right mix of complexity and low learning curve and that is something we think we did a better job in Dreamlords the Reawakening. That was the long answer, the short one would simply be: yes ;)

Kyle Stallock: In an interview with MMORPG.com, Lead Designer Iona Rosin said, regarding the original Dreamlords, "The system was mathematically correct, but it didn't fit the real world game experience." Could you describe this "real world game experience" and how it relates to the sequel?

David Rosén: Well, her comment was actually to the balance we had in the game during the alpha of the Reawakening. Balancing an MMO is an insane job, balancing an MMORTS like Dreamlords the Reawakening is probably the hardest balancing job there is. You get all the problems of an MMO and multiply them with the complexity of armies and civilization building. We also have the eras which means we have to provide the players with a progression that feels good but at the same time doesn’t destroy the balance in the game over era restarts. To do this properly you need not only to be a game designer but also have a pretty deep knowledge of math and other game systems. So what she meant was that during this whole process she focused so hard on getting the progression and curves right that the players experience ended up in the second room. For instance a complex structure like this would mathematically be correct if the player early game received bonus of a certain level in a certain stat. However with the small values the player had at that time that bonus would hardly be visible to the player. Thus a mathematically correct setting would leave the experience more to wish for.

Kyle Stallock: How did the digital distribution method work for you? Are there any plans to finally offer Dreamlords through traditional methods?

David Rosén:  Well all things have both good sides and bad sides I guess. In some ways it worked really well, in others not so well. We aim to go with more publishers this time and some of them will do retail boxes. But I am a big fan of digital distribution and especially now when we Dreamlords the Reawakening is Free to Play the whole structure of retail gets kind of obsolete. However should there be retail boxes they will be filled with nice added value like unique items or something to make sure the player gets his/her money’s worth.





Kyle Stallock:: If someone didn't like the original, why should they try the sequel?

David Rosén: Well, it really depends on *why* you didn’t like it in the first place. If you’re looking for a unique blend of RTS and RPG, The Reawakening will totally be your cup of tea..or coffee...or whatever, you get my point. The bottom line is after listening and really trying to bring all our player’s feedback and suggestions into the game, I truly believe we’ve managed the issues you could’ve experience with Dreamlords.


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Comments

By Wowerine (SI Elite) on Jun 19, 2008
Wowerine
I&#039;ve seen better things!
By jacky (I just got here) on Jul 10, 2008
jacky
yes..the environments look reaally ancient...