Dragonshard Interview

The folks at TotalVideoGames.com have published a three-page interview with Liquid Entertaiment’s Ed Kaminski, in which the producer talks extensively about their upcoming Dungeons & Dragons RTS/RPG hybrid, Dragonshard. A snip:

Q: Can you expand on the way you are fusing both RTS and RPG together and what unique ideas and gameplay that this conjures up!?

A: When we first started working on Dragonshard, we really had to think hard on how to approach it. Here you had two very different game genres to work with RPG focuses on an individual character that you play as. You feel connected to this character, you work hard to level him up, acquire armor, weapons, and special items to make him stronger. Your character becomes more and more powerful the more you play. Then you take a look at RTS and it seems to be the polar opposite you’re controlling a large group of different kinds of characters to do battle on a massive scale. Sometimes, you may even throw units at an army, ultimately sending them to their deaths without batting an eye. There’s not as much intimacy here as there is with an RPG. How the hell were we going to combine these two types of gaming?!

The answers came when we did the simplest of things we started playing a classic campaign of the Dungeons & Dragons paper and pencil game. We rolled up our characters, played the game, and talked. The question that popped up was: If I were to be the dungeon master for a campaign where a large-scale war was the background story, how would I do it? The answers that shaped our game came from there. It was decided that the characters playing (the units in the game) belonged to a specific army, and when they explored the dungeon and found treasure, it didn’t automatically go to one of them. Instead, the treasure was used to further the army’s war effort, and the army would decide how the loot would be spent, which members of the army would get better weapons, better armor, etc.

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