A couple of weeks ago we got to speak to Cyanide's Antoine Villepreux, who is the Blood Bowl Project Lead, about some of the features that the ultra-violent fantasy sports game will include. That conversation contains a little elucidation of the real-time mode will play. The game is, of course, based on the turn-based boardgame, and features a core turn-based system that is reportedly faithful to the original. But will the shiny RTS-like mode attract new folks to the sport? Cyanide seem to hope so.
The Q&A also happens to coincide with the release of a fancy new trailer, which shows off the familiar, and spectacularly rendered, Games Workshop fantasy foot-to-ballists.
RPS : Can you explain to us the story of how you came to be developing Blood Bowl, and how that process begun with Chaos League?
Villepreux: We already knew Blood Bowl when we started Chaos League, and sure Blood Bowl inspired us. We were convinced there was something to do with mixing sport and strategy in a video game. When the time came at Games Workshop to allow someone to adapt Blood Bowl we had already proven it was a good idea.
RPS : How much have the rules of the boardgame defined the game mechanics you have created?
Villepreux: One-hundred percent. We decided to make a very faithful adaptation of the boardgame. So all our game mechanics are based on the original rulebook. We were also able to add a lot of additional content and ideas, as long as it was clearly stated that the player was not playing with the original rules. Among other features we added a real-time mode, management features (contracts, sponsors), buyable equipments, training, and more inducements.
RPS: Real-time mode?
Villepreux: The real-time mode is an adaptation of the turn-based mode, with no notion of turns and no interruption. So it's clearly not an arcade sport game and is played more like an RTS. That means tactical aspects of the original game are kept, but you play it realtime, in a more stressing way, and a match takes much less time. Of course we expect Blood Bowl fans to only play the turn-based mode first, and maybe newcomers to be more attracted by real-time. But we would really like fans to give a try to the Real Time mode –there’s one simple reason: it's the only way for them to play a Blood Bowl match in 10 minutes; and newcomers to try the Turn-Based mode because the game is so deep and tactical that it might interest anyone that likes thinking and strategy games.
RPS: What was behind the decision to include a real-time mode for the game?
Villepreux: It's fun to play, keeps the tactical aspect of the original board-game, and is much more than just an orc-skinned-Madden.
RPS: To what extent can players customize their own teams?
Villepreux: Customization includes: team colors, team logos (even creating your own), characters naming, body and skin variations, equipment pieces reflecting the level of the players.
RPS: How will competitive play be facilitated online? Do you expect to organize leagues, cups, and so on?
Villepreux: Internet modes include a classic public league that can be compared to a traditionnal worlwide ladder, and a private leagues system that will allow players to create, customize, and administrate their own private leagues. That same private leagues system is perfectly suitable to organize tournaments (by us or by players).
RPS: Thanks, Antoine!