Spelling It Out: Worlds Of Magic Interview

By Adam Smith on April 15th, 2013 at 9:00 pm.

Worlds of Magic could be as authentic a successor to Master of Magic as any game released in the last couple of decades. That’s a sobering reminder that the Microprose’s classic strategy game is almost twenty years old. I wanted to know how close Wastelands’ game will be to the game that chiefly inspired it, and how the D20 combat system and seven planes of reality might change the experience, so I spoke to lead designer Aaron Ethridge and producer Leszek Lisowski and secured some answers. We also discussed the addition of artist George Edward Purdy, who worked on Master of Magic, and agreed that recreating the second world war isn’t quite the same as making randomised worlds full of skeletons and wyrms.

RPS: For those who don’t know Wastelands Interactive, can you tell us a little about the team and your previous games?

Wastelands: Officially, for more than four years now and unofficially for about seven years Wastelands Interactive has been developing computer games. We are a small team of dedicated people who really like their jobs, love the community and have spent sleepless nights making things work. So far we have focused on World War II strategy games, and among others have created two pretty large games which cover both theatres of operations: Europe, in Time of Fury and The Pacific, in Storm over the Pacific. Those are medium complexity games with gameplay lasting over 300 turns. If you add the fact that you can control every country or combination of countries in all kind of ways it gives the games a great deal of play time. With our last game – Strategic War in Europe – we wanted to try something little bit different, so we ended up with a fast playing European theatre which is reminiscent of a tabletop game, but you don’t have to bother about your cat running on the table or explaining your wife what you are doing with your friends in the basement.

Over the years we’ve learned a lot in terms of design, coding, and planning. We are closely cooperating with different development communities trying to constantly improve our games according to suggestions and feedback. Definitely I can say that I love to make games.

RPS: How long have you been planning to make Worlds of Magic and at what point did you decide to launch a Kickstarter campaign?

Wastelands: Worlds of Magic has been in development for about a year. Last Autumn I teamed up with Aaron and convinced him that the best thing for the game would be to move it to Unity3D (the work originally started in a 2D game engine), so we starting porting what had already been coded. We also decided that Kickstarter offered us a great chance for making this game faster and better looking very early on. The amount of units and buildings require many assets, and this is the largest chunk of the budget. We calculated that if we wanted all the assets ready at the same time as when the gameplay, AI and all other elements were ready, we would need to get additional funding, and Kickstarter seemed to be the best choice for that.

RPS: On the Kickstarter page, you state – “Our primary goal for Worlds of Magic is to capture the essence of what made Master of Magic the classic it is” – what do you believe are the most important features and what have other games lacked?

Wastelands: There are a number of elements that we feel made Master of Magic the incredible classic that it is. Just browsing over the feature list on our Kickstarter page will give you an insight into our thought process. I’ll take a moment to touch the highlights here: First it’s very important to maintain the true 4X feel. Procedurally generated random maps, fog of war, interesting locations to discover, long lost loot to find, it’s all in Worlds of Magic. Spells, magical artifacts, and magic in general are also an essential piece. With Worlds of Magic we’ve expanded on the concepts found in Master of Magic. We offer a wider range of magical schools (we call them circles) to choose from. Your spell circle choices have an effect on what spells you can research and cast. It also effects what kind of artifacts you can make for your heroes. Of course, heroes are yet another fundamental piece. Just as Master of Magic did, Worlds of magic offers a number of unique heroes you can persuade to join your armies. They can gain more experience and reach higher levels than normal units and you can equip them with magical weapons, armour, etc. There’s a great deal more, but I can’t touch every point here. Our Kickstarter page has a much more in-depth explanation.

As far as other games are concerned I would say that we haven’t seen a real spiritual successor to Master of Magic because developers tend to want to put their own new “spin” on things. That’s not necessarily a bad thing and if you add nothing new you just end up making a clone, not a successor. Worlds of Magic has a lot of new stuff in it. However, it’s stuff we’ve worked hard to make sure would have fit into Master of Magic in the first place.

RPS: Do you find the time to try other fantasy strategy games? Have you learned or appreciated anything in modern titles, such as Warlock and Fallen Enchantress?

Wastelands: I try to play every strategy game that’s released, unfortunately there are only 24 hours in a day, so some of them don’t get all that much play time. I tried Warlock before its release and I really enjoyed the game. It reminds me of a fantasy version of Civilization V. Especially the hexes and the camera make me feel that way. The thing that was missing for me was lack of tactical battles and a city screen. Fallen Enchantress is much, much better than the previous game of the series. Also the new Age of Wonders looks very very promising, I can’t wait for that to be released.

RPS: Why did you decide to use a d20 system for combat?

Wastelands: There were actually a number of reasons we made the decision. The main driving factors were time, balance, and expandability. Before I go any further I want to address the base concern that D20 is a RPG system and not a tactical combat system. Strictly speaking this is true. However, one of the major elements of D20 role playing is, in fact, turn based tactical combat. In fact, a majority of the rules are to address combat situations. So when we started looking for an established rule set for dealing with turn based tactical combat the D20 ruleset was an obvious choice.

First, it saved us the time of developing our own system from scratch. This may seem like a minor factor, but it isn’t. There are so many elements in a game like Worlds of Magic that you want to do your best not to reinvent the wheel whenever possible. We could have developed our own rule set for turn based tactical combat, but there was an “on the shelf” solution with millions of play hours attesting to its success. Why spend time creating our own from scratch when we could spend that time more effectively elsewhere.

Second, balance is a real issue that has to be addressed. Now, some people will jump up and down screaming “D20 is NOT balanced!!!” I would have them consider these facts: If it was easy to balance a rule set then D20 would be balanced. How many thousands of man hours have gone into that system? If you claim that D20 isn’t balanced, what kind of chance would our small team have of balancing such a massive combat system? Our team has literally decades of D20 experience. We know how to fudge numbers here or there to level out the balance. D20 may not be perfect, but it’s a lot more perfect than you’re going to get by starting over. It has a very solid foundation for balance. With very minor tweaking it’s a relatively balanced system in our opinion.

Third, we needed a system that could handle combat, spells, magical weapons, experience, levelling, damage types, damage resistance, spell resistance, poison, acid, etc, etc, etc. Every time you add a new element to a rule set you have to make sure the addition is balanced. The D20 system already has rules to address all these elements. Again, balance may not be perfect, but it’s a lot closer to that than starting over would give us.

RPS: Are the different factions in the game similar to the races in Master of Magic? Do they have unique units and buildings?

Wastelands: Absolutely! All the factions have unique units. Most have a number of buildings in common (although the look will differ from faction to faction) and a number of unique buildings. Some of the factions, like Undead, play very differently from the rest. For instance the undead don’t collect gold from taxes, don’t negotiate with their enemies, harvest negative energy rather than food, etc. Most races are similar with little differences, some are different with little similarities, if you see what I mean.

RPS: Master of Magic was incredible diverse in terms of spells, creatures and magical items – judging by the numbers on the Kickstarter page, you appreciate variety as well! How unusual will aspects of the magic system and world be?

Wastelands: It’s hard to say what will be unusual about the magic system. After all it’s all magic and therefore unusual (laughs). Still, I think that one of the things that makes our system unique is our take on spell schools. As I mentioned before, we call them circles and there are twelve of them. Six of the circles sort spells according to the element from which they draw power, fire, death etc. The other six sort spells according to their effects, summoning, destruction, etc. This allows players to focus on a single element like death or a single effect like summoning. We wanted to offer players as many viable spell strategies as possible. Our spell circles were the result of that desire.

Probably the most unique aspect of our game universe is the different planes of existence. There’s the Prime Material Plane (which is a fantasized “real world”), the elemental planes which are like the PMP infused with elemental energy (fire plane, water plane, etc) and micro-planes that exist, kind of floating in the void. Exploring our universe will prove very interesting to most 4Xers. There’s a lot to discover and a lot of little (and not so little) differences to spice up the game play experience.

RPS: Almost every leader I created in Master of Magic was an artificer, because I took great pride in making awesome magical armour for my heroes to wear. Will you allow the creation of unique magical items?

Wastelands: Absolutely! Creating magical items is one of the basic building blocks of Worlds of Magic. In fact, we’re working to open it up a bit and make it slightly more accessible than it was in Master of Magic. In MoM, I’m sure you remember, item creation was tied to a spell. Creating an artifact would prevent you from casting global spells. That could lead to some unfortunate consequences. In Worlds of Magic we decided to go a different route. Item creation is its own thing. You’ll be able to create items and still cast global spells while you’re waiting on you item to be completed. Now, you will still only be able to create one item and cast only one global enchantment at a time. However, we feel that one not preventing you from doing the other is a good step.

RPS: You mention the unique nature of the undead as a playable race on the Kickstarter page. What will be the different challenges for zombie overlords?

Wastelands: I touched this in a previous answer, but this gives me a chance to fill out the idea. Undead have a number of “disadvantages” to start with. They don’t collect gold from taxes. So, if you want to hire a mercenary and keep them paid your going to have to raid other civilizations or find gold and build a mine. Then, of course, not everyone will work for the undead. In fact, most creatures won’t. Most creatures won’t have anything to do with them. So, diplomacy pretty much goes out the window. In any plane other than the shadow plane you can’t just build a city. You have to corrupt some land first. There are a lot of little challenges the undead have to overcome.

So, why is it worth it? Well, power really. It’s a matter of creating unbalance on purpose. We hobble the undead on the empire level (keep in mind all these limitations make sense from a story point of view and so none of this “hobbling” is just arbitrary) so that we can make them more powerful on the battlefield. Some undead units are very powerful. Most have forms of damage resistance or eerie powers like the ability to ignore armor. We wanted to bring that power to the battlefield without making undead the ultimate race. Now, it is a balancing act and it’s going to take a lot of play testing, but we think it’s worth it to make the undead truly unique.

RPS: Will tactical battles be similar in size to those in Master of Magic and Age of Wonders, or will more units be involved?

Wastelands: We are planning to make the tactical battles similar in size to those in Master of Magic. Of course battles are fun, but I think they shouldn’t last longer than just couple of minutes. Of course we are thinking about such things as ambushes, reinforcements, etc, but those details are not nailed yet. We wish to discuss them with the fans, and then decide. Also the game will allow you to play custom battles, so we might consider preparing larger battlefields with more units available. If people like it, let’s give it to them, but again, this depends on the community.

RPS: How will having seven planes of existence work? Will they all exist in each game or only a couple? What advantages are gained when they are conquered?

Wastelands: When you start a new game there are a number of settings you can change. One of those settings is the number of planes, another is which planes you’ll get. The “standard” game would be one of each of the seven planes along with a few micro planes. There are a number of advantages to dividing the universe into planes. One of them being that you can take control of a plane and hold it against attack while you build up your forces. (This would be a mid game tactic.) You can also use magic to “seal” the planes and prevent travel between them. (Not everyone can do this, but it is possible to do it.) The planes are sections of the universe. Discovering and utilizing them has the same advantages that discovering and utilizing the “new world” had for the “old world”, if you see what I mean. Each plane is a new world of danger and opportunity.

RPS: I notice that Worlds of Magic has appeared on Steam Greenlight but you are reassuring people that they will be able to play without a Steam account – how will you handle distribution of the DRM-free version of the game?

Wastelands: First of all, I personally like Steam, this is quick and elegant way to get most of your games without spending half a day driving to the Best Buy. But, of course I do understand that lot of people prefer to own the game the have bought. So if Worlds of Magic gets on Steam, for sure it will be optional. Everybody will be able to get the game from different sources, like GamersGate, Gamestop, GOG, also directly from us or some other places. We are also starting to get in touch with some local distributors, to give a possibility to buy the game in local store.

RPS: What are the major differences between working on historical strategy games and creating a fantasy world?

Wastelands: Great question! There are two foundations of gameplay when you’re working on a game which has a historical setup. Those are smoothness and probability of events. Both are very closely linked. So first, it needs to give you the feel that the war you’re fighting is close to the historical course of events, so this means that in the European WW2 you have got huge fronts moving back and forth, even if Soviets are attacking Germans first, you still have got two large armies in constant movement. When you’re playing World War 1 the western front should be much more static. The second thing which is probability is based very much on balancing the game. This is really hard work for grand strategies. What we try to avoid are situations where playing as Albania for example you’re able to conquer all of Europe. This of course might be fun, and somebody might make a great AAR (After Action Report) from such play, but it’s nowhere near what might really happen.

Another thing is that you have to make the AI do certain things, like Germans should usually be aggressive and attack one enemy after another, Soviets should use mass tactic no matter what etc. People expect World War 2 to be challenging but also they usually want them to be close to the original course of events. So you have to balance things like recovery of the Soviet Army and on the other hand allow German players to win from time to time.

In fantasy games, you just need to make a great AI, which will be able to use all the features available for human players. It’s much, much easier to design and create the AI which will try to do its best most of the time, which won’t withdraw units, just because this really happened in 1941 or 1944. Of course you still have Orcs using “Charge!” tactic against every enemy, but here you never know when and where they will seize you.

RPS: The announcement that George Edward Purdy, an artist who worked on Master of Magic, has joined the team provides a strong link with the past. How did you meet him and role will he take in the team? How will his involvement help the game and will the contents of the artbook change?

Wastelands: The fact is that there have been so many attempts at making a Master of Magic successor that we felt the entire Master of Magic team would have a case of “Heard it all before” syndrome. So, we didn’t even try to get in touch with them. Fortunately, George is involved in Kickstarter and just happened to run up on us. He took a good long look at what we were doing, felt we were heading in the right direction and offered to join us. Needless to say we leapt at the chance. He’s accepted the role of lead artist for the team, which fits right in with his natural ability and previous experience. He’s going to help Worlds of Magic follow in Master of Magic’s artistic footsteps. Part of MoM’s classic charm was the art work. George was a key part of the team that made that happen. He’s going to do the same for Worlds of Magic. Also, he knows the genre, he knows D20, he knows the game we’re trying to make. His feedback is going to help us follow Master of Magic and even go beyond it in the same direction. All in all, he’s bringing a lot to the table.

RPS: You invite your community to take part in important decisions such as the races and general design. Is it difficult to work so tightly with the community, and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

Wastelands: The advantage is easy to see. Our community is made up of a group of excited and dedicated fans. They’ve already made a number of game-changing suggestions. These are people that love the genre and want Worlds of Magic to be something truly amazing. They are really helping make that happen.

The only “disadvantage” is the time it takes to go through our forums trying to give “official” (albeit tentative) answers to questions and feedback. It’s actually a lot of work, lol. Some of these guys are basically experts in the 4X field and will do multi-page posts on complex ideas complete with sample numbers. It can be a lot to try to peruse. Still, the advantages clearly outweigh this small “disadvantage” by several orders of magnitude. We feel that community input is really going to help us make Worlds of Magic something special.

RPS: Thanks for your time!

Worlds of Magic is currently Kickstarting.

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42 Comments »

  1. Captain Joyless says:

    The art style leaves a little to be desired, but ultimately I don’t think that’ll make or break the game. His point about designing a combat system from scratch is well-taken; it’s massively hard.

    • iridescence says:

      The graphics are functional and don’t look bad at all. I don’t expect or care about dazzling HD graphics in this genre.

    • twig_reads says:

      I’m still not sure why people opt out for the shoddy 3d when they could actually some nice 2d sprites, that would still both be functional AND better then lowpoly 3d stuff. It’s not like everything has to be in 3d. Give sprites a chance etc.

      • Shuck says:

        Unless you’re doing really “low-fi” (e.g. “8-bit style”) sprites, they could easily end up being a lot more work (and time and money) than 3D graphics for an isometric game. Plus, one can’t move the camera around for different views.

    • Archonsod says:

      Yeah, but I worry about any MoM remake that talks about balance. Half the fun of MoM derived from the fact that it wasn’t balanced in the slightest.

      • Strangerator says:

        +1 You are absolutely right. And in a predominantly single player game like MoM that was perfectly fine by me. Picking less than optimal choices was simply a way to tweak your own difficulty and provide yourself with unique challenges.

        Balance should take a backseat to giving the players tons and tons of choices. That was the true spirit of the original. We already have plenty of games where you can pick from 3 well balanced options, I want a game where I have 50 options and I have to find my own balance.

        • Low Life says:

          Yes! I can’t stand it when people bring up balance in a single player game, and I wish developers had the balls to just reply with “So what?” when their game is criticized for balance problems.

          • iridescence says:

            I’m glad there are other people who feel this way. Perfect balance is boring. What you should do is make all factions interesting. In a historical game this is easier. ( England and France may be the strongest countries for example but plenty of people will want to play others for their own reasons or just for the challenge of starting with some Italian city-state and conquering all of Europe).

            Games based in fantasy universes have a tougher time of this but I think you can still do it provided you make the inherently weaker factions still be cool and unique enough that people want to play them despite the disadvantage.

        • Schiraman says:

          There’s some truth to that, finding and abusing bad balance in a single-player game can definitely be fun – but that said, truly broken balance can also make a game boring.

          If you find yourself in a situation where option A is always best, then that can make options B-Z pointless – and effectively reduce variety. I.e. you end up ignoring certain units, spells, abilities or even whole races because there’s just no point to them.

          You can easily see this effect when playing MoM, so I’d definitely hope for better balance in WoM. I agree that it’s pointless to strive for perfect balance, but there’s a decent middle-ground that still worth trying for.

          • iridescence says:

            Yeah, they need to find a middle ground between what you’re talking about and situations where factions and abilities play in a similar way and just feel like slightly different flavors of each other. Both extremes are bad.

      • wodin says:

        I tried to tell Les that awhile ago..not sure he knew where I was coming from. I agree. Alot of what I’ve read about MoM was the fact it wasn’t balanced. I’m not keen on balance either to be honest.

        Give me a game of massive ups and owns and the unknown rather than a balanced act anyday. Sorry Les!!

        Still I’m hoping it does really well for les.

        • Joshua Northey says:

          Meh, that was a grave weakness rather than a strength.

  2. Joshua Northey says:

    The graphics aren’t a 1/4 as important as a well designed and attractive interface in a game like this. Obviously gameplay is king, but in the “design” department the interface is the key.

  3. gritz says:

    You’d think designing the combat mechanics would be the fun/easy part, why tack on a clunky old turd like d20?

    • Eddy9000 says:

      If only he’d fully addressed that in the interview…

      • NathanH says:

        They did a good job of explaining why using a major and free RPG system is a good idea. There are also some reasons why using the d20 system in particular is a good idea:

        - It should be easy for a newcomer to pick up. You roll your d20, add your bonuses, and you have to beat a target. If you have some bonus you just add it to your dice roll, nothing fancy. Nice and simple. Everything basically works in the same way.

        - Lots of people are already familiar with it. It’s great to be able to start a complicated game and understand the rules immediately.

        • FhnuZoag says:

          The thing is, this is a videogame. No one is actually rolling any dice. Why obfuscate my chance-to-hit from me, and not just give me a simple, straightforward hit %?

          Then again, I suppose that XCOM: Enemy Unknown actually also works on a heavily disguised and simplified D20 system (IMO), so it can be possible to make it work, with some effort.

          • NathanH says:

            Naturally the chance to hit should be reported on mouse-over (provided you want to player to know the chance to hit—typically in a strategy game you will). In a 4X game, though, your strategy depends on your understanding the capabilities of all your units and any upgrades or bonuses they may be able to acquire. These things are determined a long time before you ever reach the stage of being able to mouse-over your opponent to see what your chance to hit is. It helps if you understand the game system and find it easy to work with.

            This illuminates another good point about the d20 system: the odds of success are tied to your bonuses in very easy-to-see ways. Adding one to your attack bonus increases your probability of hitting by 0.05 (assuming it wasn’t already 1). Adding one to your damage increases by one the damage you inflict on enemies (whose damage resistance isn’t too high). Increasing your Damage Resistance by 1 reduces the damage you take by 1 (as long as enemies aren’t too weak). If you’re not too interested in making your rules an accurate simulation, then this sort of simplicity is really nice for players. Compare this to, say, the original MoM system, where adding an extra sword or shield to one of your units required some work to determine the effect, and this is very dependent on the stats of your enemies.

    • iridescence says:

      I like the D20 combat system. It was actually one of the main reasons I backed this.Is there any particular reason you don’t like it?

      • Joshua Northey says:

        What on earth does “the d20 system” even mean? Sometimes it seems to just mean the percentages go up in 5% increments, in which case it means very little.

      • FhnuZoag says:

        The problem with the d20 system is that it isn’t designed for this sort of game. It’s designed for small scale combat with each player controlling one unit. The devs argue that lots of work has been done on it, but that work wasn’t done to balance it, it was done to make it fun for the rpg player. If they are doing it because they think it’s easy, then they are making a mistake.

        For one thing, it’s drastically over-complicated, which is fine when each player is controlling one unit, less fine when the player is expected to keep everything in mind to move armies around. There’s too much randomness, too, which makes it difficult to plan ahead and slows down battles. Epic level combat just gets silly – the power scale goes up too damn fast. In the D&D 3.5 iteration, the game favours greatly spellcasters over fights. The spell system is based around memorisation, which generates lots of busy work, in an effort to avoid usage of spell points that would be trivial for software to keep track of. Etc etc etc.

        • iridescence says:

          Yeah the issue of scale of battles did come to mind but I assume this is going to be a game which is mainly going to be fought between heroes or small groups of fantasy units, like Fallen Enchantress, for example, not a game with vast armies fighting. I also doubt that they are going to use the spell memorization system from D&D since it wouldn’t make much sense in a game like this, except perhaps for your sovereign.

          I like randomness in battles. Battles aren’t totally predictable in real life and when a game has it so you know your exact chance to win before you start the battle it becomes too easy to learn and exploit the system. Randomness makes it harder to plan things out perfectly which I like.

          Complexity with things like different weapon types and modifiers to dice rolls for specialist troops is also something I’d love to see in this sort of game. It’s the sort of detail that keeps me playing after the initial shine has worn off.

    • Schiraman says:

      Yeah, I absolutely agree.

      His answer really seemed to boil down to “we’re used to it” rather than it being actually a good fit. He’s right that it’s primarily a combat system (almost all RPG systems are) – but that doesn’t mean it works well as a full-blown battle system, something simpler and more streamlined would be more sensible IMO.

      Hell – why not just use the system from MoM? It was simple and worked really well – why weigh the game down with D20?

      • iridescence says:

        Simple and streamlined combat is exactly what I don’t want in a game like this. The whole fun of it is to have different options and viable strategies. If the combat always plays out the same and is very easy to master the game becomes boring very fast.

        Compare a complex deep game like Dominions 3 which people still play to this day despite it’s shitty graphics and interface to more simple strategy games which most people drop after playing for a month or two.

    • Craig Stern says:

      No kidding. Considering how much battling this game is going to have, I’m not exactly filled with confidence to hear that they couldn’t be bothered to design their own system of combat mechanics.

      Aside from which, D20 is just simply not a very good system.

  4. Strangerator says:

    I’m liking the square-based overworld map. I can’t quite place it, but hex maps wind up feeling a lot more artificial and “gamey.” Their water could use some work, though I’m sure that’s just a placeholder.

    • nimbulan says:

      I feel the opposite about this. Hexes solve the issue of different tiles being different distances apart and allow the terrain to look more natural. Modern strategy games are moving towards hexes for a reason and that along with the the fact that all the screenshots have been of a very early look at the battle system is pretty worrying to me.

      I’ll keep an eye on the project but Age of Wonders 3 looks like a much better game at this point.

      • Tuhalu says:

        Hexes only solve the distance problem for adjacent tiles and tiles in a direct line of hexes from the first. They still have some distance issues and (if your game has that feature) turning issues. Boardgames like Battletech prove this out quite well when comparing their hex-based rules to their non-hex-based (otherwise called 3D) rules.

        Ultimately, both squares and hexes are a kludge that make a turn-based game easier to program. Neither are perfect.

        • jrodman says:

          And, in some board-scenarios, much easier to run accurately. (somewhat irrelevant to computers)

        • realityflaw says:

          I agree that neither are perfect solutions, but I can’t imagine a benefit from a gameplay perspective to using quads over hexes, unless you are constrained to using a square board, or your game hinges on the ability to make 90° turns.

          • Premium User Badge Hypocee says:

            Adjacency. Quads are generally actually treated as impossibly tessellating octagons, allowing eight spaces to contact one rather than six for swarming and flanking – and conversely allowing eight open spaces to move to, for greater mobility. Blood Bowl, for example, would have to be an entirely different game if you locked it down to hexes.

          • FhnuZoag says:

            There’s a bunch of small benefits too, like it being easier to implement rectangular buildings. I don’t really think one sort of tiling is better than any other, they just lead to different games. Though I gotta say, square tiles feel more aesthetically pleasing to me, and are easier to grok.

  5. sinister agent says:

    Is it too early to say what the likely easte of modding will be? I can see this being a very popular game to mod, if the engine’s architecture allows it.

  6. doomtrader says:

    sinister agent, we are planning to make the game as moddable as possible, we would like to give you a freedom to modernize units, chararacters, spells stats and also to give you an access to the AI block.

    • sinister agent says:

      That’s very encouraging news, thanks for the answer! Best of luck with it – I still love MOM, but it is in need of tidying up here and there.

  7. Jnx says:

    I sure hope this won’t end up yet another game with “magic” in the title and utterly un-interesting magic. Please learn from Elemental and Warlock.

  8. doomtrader says:

    Yes, we are learning,

  9. razzafazza says:

    the artworks look good and so does the world map (apart from the water but its WIP) but i dont like 3d models on the battle screen. i realize its just alpha so hopefully they ll look alot better (and are less “stiff” animated) in the full game.

    since the devs read these comments here s one suggestion that could maybe help with the battle graphics considering a small budget and also do something that few other fantasy TBS have :

    how about “increasing the scale” ? with that i mean that instead of 4 units per square … how about say … 12 ? (if technically possible of course)

    that way the individual models of the soldiers/skeletons/orcs would be “smaller” so you could more easily get away with modelling and animation not being up to par with big budget projects.

    it d also be nice to have a fantasy TBS were battles arent fought between just a handfull or soldiers/monsters but something that could almost be called an actual army.

    and before you ask: as far as heroes are concerned i d personally love it anyway if heroes came with their personal “retinue”, i.e. a warlord could be accompanied (on the same square as his model) by a couple of soldiers, a necromancer by a personal guard of elite zombies etc. etc. single heroes fighting on a battle map always looks kinda meh to me.

    just a suggestion that d imho “look better” considering your small budget and would also set WoM apart from fallen enchantress/age of wonders & co. where “battles” dont look like they involve actual armies (of course you could always argue a single soldier representing a full unit)

  10. Laurentius says:

    I have no idea how they execute things but at least they do understand what is so cool about MoM. i.e tactical battles – they should be fun and quick so wouldn’t want them skip almost imediattely.

  11. doomtrader says:

    Indeed we are trying to follow every discussion.

    Also we are considering every proposal.

    Regarding the battle size, I personally prefer scale rather similar to the one we have seen in Master of Magic, I know that Total War series is picking up Warhammer, if you are after huge scale battles :)

    We are going to improve the animations. That’s for sure.

    But as we are going to implement stand alone battles module in the game, why not to make a “HUGE BATTLE” feature there.

  12. Lazarus_Soma says:

    Reading what this guy has to say leaves me kind of….. well worried slightly, it doesn’t really seem like he has much of a grasp of what he and hi steam really need to do with this franchise.

    Oh and if those bullet points of his are all you need to make a great succesor to MoM then wouldn’t Warlock be that damn near perfect succesor? minus the civ style combat in favour of the might and magic, kings bounty style combat at any rate.