Last August, we learned that The Games Company had acquired the rights to develop a new role-playing game based on Germany's popular Das Schwarze Auge tabletop RPG system. Since then, we've seen the launch of an official website and a few articles, but not a lot of concrete information. In an attempt to change that, we chatted up Silver Style's Carsten Strehse:
GB: To start things off, how is The Dark Eye: Demonicon coming along? Can you give us a quick summary of where you stand in the game's development cycle?
Carsten: The development of Demonicon is progressing extremely well. The pre-production is finished and a large part of the story can already be played.
GB: What is the storyline behind Demonicon? What will we be trying to achieve during the course of the game?
Carsten: Demonicon tells a suspense-packed story about love, betrayal, and dark powers. The beautiful Calandra, our hero’s best friend since early childhood, was abducted by an evil church. On his search for the girl, the player character travels to the most dangerous regions of the Blacklands. They will become involved in events shaking the very foundations of Aventuria, and their actions will decide the fate of the world.
GB: Take us through the character generation system. We understand that pre-generated archetypes will be available for those wanting to jump into the game quickly, but what about those of us who want to meticulously craft our characters?
Carsten: It’s very important to us that players are able to identify themselves with their virtual alter ego. Therefore, in Demonicon you will start with a detailed character generation process in which you will be able to modify nearly everything of your avatar. Besides choosing gender, race, or profession you may also design the outer appearance according to your imaginations. Even smaller details like tattoos and scars are editable. Those who would rather directly plunge into the adventure can fall back on a number of archetypes: premade, ready to play characters.
GB: Why did you decide to set Demonicon in the Black Lands? What does this dark, demon-infested section of Aventuria bring to the game that other areas wouldn't have? Are there any other prominent or familiar DSA cities or regions that we'll be adventuring through in the game?
Carsten: Our goal is to create a game world with as much variety as possible, so we divided Demonicon into two large parts: Perricum and the Blacklands. Both are very well-known regions of Aventuria that could hardly be more different from each other. Whereas Perricum is rather urban with major settlements, the Blacklands are a dangerous, barren area where terrifying monsters are walking abroad. All in all, the Blacklands are the perfect choice to convey the gloomy, threatening atmosphere of Demonicon.
GB: Since it's the most recent TDE-based video game, there will obviously be comparisons drawn to Radon Labs' Drakensang once Demonicon is released. How will Demonicon differ from Drakensang in terms of its control scheme, dialogue system, quest layout, and other such gameplay elements?
Carsten: Two of the most important differences are character generation and character development, both of which were implemented only rudimentary in Drakensang. As described above, in Demonicon role-playing game fans can let their imagination run free and design their player character according to their own preferences – based on the rules of The Dark Eye, of course. During the game, there’s a strong emphasis on character development by leveling up and finding new equipment and items. Another distinction to Drakensang is our combat system: It presents combat far more dynamically and gives the player the feeling of being right in a battle. We’ll also break new ground regarding camera perspectives: Demonicon has an isometric camera which can be zoomed and rotated freely.