Torchlight Interview

IRBGamer has cranked out an interview with Runic Games CEO Max Schaefer about the forthcoming Xbox Live Arcade port of their popular action RPG Torchlight. Dig in:
IRB: Now, you've worked on games such as Diablo, Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction, and Hellgate: London, what makes Torchlight unique and different from those games?

MS: Prior to Runic Games and making Torchlight, it seems that every project we were making from, basically, the mid-nineties [to now], got bigger and bigger and more elaborate. And, like you said I worked on the (Diablos) at Blizzard [Entertainment], and was even working on Diablo 3 for a little while. These were enormous projects with big budgets [that] took forever to make and I think the difference now is that we figured out how to do this a lot more efficiently, a lot quicker, and what that lets us do is get more ideas into games and get them out faster to people and get them out at a better price. So, from a game makers perspective it's a lot more satisfying because you get to just do more and do it faster. And for the players, we get them stuff without having to wait five years or whatever to get it. So, yeah, we've kind of taken a (low-tech, get it done) approach to it and that's been the biggest difference, really.

IRB: Now, we've also mentioned that Torchlight is coming to XBLA in Spring 2011 and your team has obviously made some changes from the PC version to the XBLA version, can you talk a little bit about the changes that were made?

MS: Sure, uh, so again, going back to the past: at one point a Diablo Playstation version was made and it was pretty much a straight port. We really didn't want to time. We realize that going from the keyboard and mouse to the Xbox controller; that's really the whole project. It took re-imagining the whole interface, so every piece of art has been re-done for the Xbox version. We've made a few tweaks here and there to the combat system and the way you throw skills out. [We've] re-done all of the merchant pages and the way you buy and sell and get skills to make it more of a conversion than a port. So, 90% of the project is remaking that interface and going from mouse/keyboard to controller.