Fatshark Are Making Krater

By Jim Rossignol on November 4th, 2011 at 8:33 am.

Boozetown!
Swedish devs Fatshark have announced that they are making an action RPG called Krater. The game will arrive at some point in 2012 and is set in a post-apocalyptic world that features, well, a crater. Fatshark explain a little bit about the game, saying that “the base pillars are crafting, exploration and consequence.” Exploration, eh? We’ll see about that, I suppose. They also claim that “the innovative control setup allows you to effectively command a party of three characters simultaneously.”

There’s a video with Fatshark’s Martin Wahlund talking about the game in a bit more detail below. (Via Blue.)

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52 Comments »

  1. Brahms says:

    It’s difficult to tell with so little information, but I don’t really think this will krater to the hardcore gaming crowd. And this early PR campaign does more than leave a sour taste in my mouth; it makes me want to comet.

    • Syra says:

      That pun took me a few seconds. Good job.

    • Premium User Badge

      Matchstick says:

      Are you saying that compared to the upcoming Diablo 3 this wont be sufficiently meaty or something else ?

    • fatshark_mwd says:

      Hi everybody,

      I am a developer and we are focused on doing games. First of all it is not an MMO.

      By game as a service I wanted to say we dont want to ship the game and move on to the next without any support on the released title. We think we have built a cool world that we can expand on adding new content over time.

      We are focused on the PC hardcore audience. That is why we aren’t doing any console version now even though our engine supports XBox360 and PS3. There are pure hardcore instances in the game where death is permanent. In missions you can get permanent injuries and even get characters killed if you let them get knocked unconsious multiple times.

      /Martin Fatshark

    • Blackcompany says:

      Perhaps this game will experience a meteoric rise to popularity. Here’s to hoping it does not crash and burn…

    • N'Al says:

      I hope Martin Fatshark is a REAL NAME.

    • fatshark_mwd says:

      Hehe,

      My name is Martin would have been cool if my surname was fatshark but that is the company of course. ;)

      We will make sure you get as much information we can give about the game so ask away.

      /Martin

    • Eddy9000 says:

      The people who didn’t realise this comment was a pun on the word ‘Krater’ must have spent their lives living in a hole in the ground.

    • Wulf says:

      I was mildly incredulous that the first comment was taken so seriously, it’s left me with a deep hole where my respect for those people used to be.

  2. John Connor says:

    That was not the most awkward thing I’ve ever seen, but it was in the top 10. Not very informative, either.

  3. Echo Black says:

    Love the artstyle, reminds me of Jagged Alliance for some reason. Is this a deep PC Diablo-like or are we looking at something more casual?

    • fatshark_mwd says:

      No not casual more hardcore than Diablo. We have permanent injuries even in non-hardcore missions for example.

      We want the players to really be afraid of letting their characters die.

  4. TheBigBookOfTerror says:

    Well basing this on absolutely nothing, in my head I’m thinking “Torchlight: Fallout” which made me giddy. The video didn’t explain much but I’m assuming they would rather use their money on the game than fancy PR execs and I’m fine with that. Got me interested enough to keep an eye on it.

    • fatshark_mwd says:

      That is not a bad description!

      I would say the pace is a bit slower and the combat more tactical. You also control a squad of 3 characters.

      Squad management is a central part of the game. You will collect a roster to pick characters from for every each mission.

      I am btw happy to answer any question you might have.

      /Martin

  5. Rao Dao Zao says:

    He said “games as a service” or some other combination of those words in a similar order. :(

    • pacificator says:

      Yup that left a sour taste in my mouth. However I am quite interested in this game. it might turn out fun.

    • arctic.vampire says:

      Why would that leave a sour taste in your mouth?
      It’s the exact same thing Valve have been saying now for years.

    • pacificator says:

      Maybe it is so..However most of the time i hear this phrase in a totally different context (let’s say free to play)…So yeah, i miss-understood what they meant in there. When i pay for a game i want to own it, not to rent it.
      In any case i see that the devs are taking their time answering questions and this makes me really happy.

    • fatshark_mwd says:

      We will try to answer as many quaetion as possible.

      If you dont get an answer here you can always go to our forums: http://forums.fatshark.se/forumdisplay.php?fid=46

      Cheers,
      Martin

  6. Richie Shoemaker says:

    ‘Innovative 3-characters simultaneous control setup’ had me thinking Cannon Fodder

  7. TomxJ says:

    Obviuosly waiting out for a demo, but the concept art is lovely and thier company spash screen in genius!

  8. Teronfel says:

    Looks promising.I wanna see more.

  9. StranaMente says:

    Oddly this wasn’t really clear, anyway this is a mmo.
    I was kinda interested, but a bell ringed when you talked about crafting. What single player is about crafting. Too bad I really dislike mmo’s, the visuals were nice.

    • fatshark_mwd says:

      Again it is not an MMO.

      The crafting part is a way for you to build how you want to play the game.

      The first release of the game will be focused on single player campaign and co-op. By crafting we mean more like combining stuff into stuff like Horadrics cube in Diablo 2 or that you have slots that you can fill with different components to add functionality to a weapon.

    • StranaMente says:

      Sorry, I misinterpreted this bit: “Some of the tests we will have limited the numbers while others will need a large amount of players. Some will focus on players living in certain areas of the world to take into account latency network issues… ” in your post in the forum and the talking about PvE in the video. I thought that lead to a mmo.

    • fatshark_mwd says:

      Hi no worries.

      The large scale tests will be test for how to connect co-op players to each other when many are looking for parties online. We have a background in mutliplayer games and I know that everything might work exceptional until you unleash a huge amount of players. Also we are ooking into systems for chatting with other people playing the game, even if you play it single player online. Nothing confirmed but something I would like to try out.

  10. Syra says:

    if this lays like top down bordelands im interested, but if its an mmo i am disgusted

    • sneetch says:

      Yeah… I’m getting a always online Diablo III/MMO vibe off it somehow… I hope I’m wrong though. Definitely eager to find out more.

      Edit: ah, I missed StranaMente’s post above. MMO alright.

    • fatshark_mwd says:

      No it is not an MMO.

      A top down Borderlands is not a too bad description. But you control more than one character.

      /M

    • Spakkenkhrist says:

      Are you not reading the comments by this guy? He’s said it’s not an MMO twice now.

    • sneetch says:

      @Spakkenkhrist

      He started commenting over an hour after we made our posts. Can’t you see/read the time-stamps on peoples posts?

  11. Dyst says:

    I really like Fatshark, so I’m looking forward to this. Lead and Gold was great and Hamilton’s was pretty cool. The only game of theirs that I haven’t played and that supposedly isn’t great is Bionic Commando Rearmed 2.

  12. armaankhan says:

    Hamilton’s Great Adventure was a really wonderful, accessible game, so this intrigues me.

  13. Premium User Badge

    LTK says:

    That video raised more questions than it answered. This game desperately needs a ten-second pitch.

    • fatshark_mwd says:

      Play a band of mercenaries in top-down RPG in a lush post apo setting with extensive squad management. :) Please help me out on this one! ;)

  14. Eddy9000 says:

    Reply fail.

  15. Bart Stewart says:

    It’s probably too late in the development process for this comment to make any difference, but what the heck: the kind of gamers who enjoy crafting/exploration as gameplay experiences are (generally) not the same gamers who enjoy hardcore/high-consequence gameplay. So I wonder whether Krater’s gameplay may wind up being unfocused, satisfying fewer gamers than it might otherwise do.

    It’s not impossible to create a good game that merges disparate playstyles. Minecraft, for example, combines exploration play with survival play to good effect. This works because exploration and survival in Minecraft are tightly integrated; the game is designed so that the features related to each of these styles fit into and play off of each other.

    It’s not clear that Fatshark are doing something similarly well-integrated. Obviously we’re only seeing a tiny peek into Krater so far, but it sounds like the vision for Krater is a game that combines the puzzle/surprise-oriented focus on exploration/crafting on the one hand and the sensation/high-consequence emphasis of hardcore action gameplay on the other hand. If that’s true, these can be really difficult to integrate effectively.

    The problem is that there’s a fundamental disconnect between these two styles of play. To put it simply, exploration is about the creation of new resources (such as knowledge), while high-consequence action play is about preserving scarce resources (to avoid the costs of dying). A good example of this could be found in the debates on whether Crysis 2 should have included quicksave as the original Crysis did. For some people (presumably those who especially enjoy adrenaline-focused “Modern Call of Battlefield”-type games), Crysis 2 didn’t need quicksave as that would interrupt the exciting pacing. But other players missed being able to reload easily in order to experiment with different tactics and to explore the gameworld without losing a lot of time and progress if they died.

    A high-consequence design (as in Crysis 2) discourages players from exploring to obtain new resources, leading (somewhat ironically for an action game) to cautious, fearful play. By contrast, a game that really is focused on thoughtful exploratory play (as in puzzle games, Sim-type games, and much of Minecraft with its world-exploration and crafting emphases) encourages players to try new things, to take risks because the rewards can be significant.

    So which of these styles of play is Krater is really trying to offer gamers? If the goal really is to deliver both, how does the design accomplish that? How is resource-growing exploratory/crafting play integrated in a deep way with resource-preserving hardcore action play?

    • fatshark_mwd says:

      Thanks for the feedback Bart, it is not too late.

      1) What we want to achieve is a RPG that can be played with friends (co-op).

      2) Exploration. We want people to be able to roam around in the world and explore locations etc. If you find a too hard mission/dungeon/encounter you can evacuate and flee. You as a player decides when you want to initiate combat. After a fight you can decide to abandon or you can try to flee during a fight.

      3) That it should be more tactical than for example Diablo. The consequence will make sure people play in a more cautious way. Also peopla that really dont want to loose players can always evacuate a mission before they reach a level of injuries that is causing a permanent death (multiple wipes increase the RISK for a permanent death). For example if a character in a specific mission dies/is knocked unconscious more than 2 times there is a risk less than maybe 2-3% of a perma death after the mission. This risk is increased with every KO after the 3rd. I would say the gamplay is more lika fight in Baldurs gate than a fight in Diablo. Eg. less enemies at the time. Not engaging too many enemies at a time is an important apsect of the game.

      4) The crafting is based on the loot you find in the game. You gain loot just like many others rpg, the difference is that you can build new weapons, characters, consumables etc. It is not like minecraft crafting more like building weapons with runes in Diablo or building new things with Horadrics cube in the same game. You could even compare it to crafting in WoW.

      I hope that gives you a bit clearer picture.

      Cheers

    • Bart Stewart says:

      Thanks for the additional information, Martin. Good luck to you and the Krater team!

  16. Cael says:

    Wasn’t sure what to think after watching the video, definitely like the art direction though. After reading Martin’s responses however, I’m a lot more interested :)

  17. LMAOMOBILE says:

    this is relevant to my interests. also i wonder if it will scratch the fallout 2 itch?

    • fatshark_mwd says:

      I certainly hope so, that being said it is a real time game. As we really wanted to have multiplayer it was necessary. However, we are working hard to get the tactical elements to work smooth. We will avoid throwing enemies onto the player. Player should with few exception always initiate combat (that being said some areas may have patrols… ;))

      The label action RPG can in our case be a bit missleading as we aim for a far more tactical playstyle. That is also a reason for having the consequence pillar.

  18. Mijit says:

    @ Bart

    “The problem is that there‚Äôs a fundamental disconnect between these two styles of play. ”

    “To put it simply, exploration is about the creation of new resources (such as knowledge), while high-consequence action play is about preserving scarce resources (to avoid the costs of dying)”

    I don’t see it like that at all, in fact I look at that & I see a wonderfully dynamic, almost symbiotic relationship between the two in which you’re carefully choosing which of your hard earned resources are worth risking in pursuit of potentially greater gains.

    The very essence of risk vs reward.

    As for my initial impressions of Krater, only time will tell, but I could very well be in love.

    Exploration, crafting, tactical squad based gameplay, those are the very pillars upon which I personally would design game, so for someone else to share such a sentiment……I really can’t help but be excited.

    Oh and others have said the visuals are nothing if not striking, it’s almost got a Vangers vibe about, a contradictory aesthetic of sorts…..your art department ought to be commended.

    • Bart Stewart says:

      Mijit, it’s usually one or the other — rarely do you see games where resource-preserving and resource-expanding are both emphasized without one dominating the other.

      What I got from Martin’s response to my comment was that, although Krater will indeed have consequences for bad outcomes, it’s not one-shot insta-kills. It’s more like big consequences come from the accumulation of relatively small consequences over several/many actions. This could work with exploration as it gives the player (as you pointed out) more information on which to base interesting choices.

      I’m always up for a game that really, seriously tries to offer fun exploration gameplay. Hope this one does well!

    • fatshark_mwd says:

      Bart,

      As you seem to have the same passion for exploration as I have. It would be nice to hear your opinion on the heart and soul of exploration. We are having a fog of war both on the macro/world map as well as inside bunkers, dungeons etc. Just to make that straight. We are right now discussing what type of Fog of war we should use on the strategic/world map.

  19. wodin says:

    if it’s like the proper Fallout games I will be happy.

  20. theleif says:

    This does sounds very interesting!

  21. wodin says:

    Just read realtime. My hopes are trodden upon by that dirty word.