Dungeons of the Amber Griffin Interviews

Following Dungeons of the Amber Griffin's showing during the recent Steam Next Fest, we can now check out a couple of interviews with Tomasz Rożyński who, as it turns out, is essentially the game's solo developer. Let's start with PC Gamer's interview that doubles as a preview for the game:

"I am aware that our title, which is based on moving around a grid and rotating 90 degrees, may not appeal to everyone", he says. "However, the use of such classic movement mechanics means that the game is not simply a hack and slasher. True, there is an effort to create dynamic and flashy combat, but after defeating the monsters, players have the option to slow down the pace of the game. They can take their time to search the terrain, look for hidden passages and solve puzzles."

In the grand family tree of grid-based dungeon crawlers, one branch includes games where meeting enemies means transitioning to a turn-based combat battle screen. This branch leads from the Wizardry series down through games like Operencia, while the other branch, which spreads from 1987's Dungeon Master down through Legend of Grimrock, has real-time combat taking place in the same UI as exploration. Dungeons of the Amber Griffin grows from the latter branch, so while Tomasz emphasizes the need to examine your surroundings between fights—right-clicking to free yourself from 90-degree turns so you can mouselook around finding hidden food or buttons that open secret doors—the combat can get frantic. I've misclicked while trying to cast a spell and got myself poisoned by a giant bug more than once.

And then check out Enklawa Network's interview that focuses on the game's deep lore, the lasting appeal of dungeon crawlers, and the possibility of the game having a turn-based mode:

EN: Legend of Grimrock started a kind of renaissance for the dungeon crawlers genre though not all of its "successors" met players' expectations – just to mention the not-so-great results of The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep which had a well-known brand, yet that couldn't save the game from financial failure. All in all, this genre is quite a niche, and it's hard to convince more casual players to play it. What would be the measure of success for Dungeons of the Amber Griffin?

TR: Yes. It's a niche genre, but it has a lot of dedicated fans. For me, the latest cRPG games, where you are just ticking off quests, are boring. Many new cRPG titles are stunning from the visual side and just super well-made, but I am bored after a few days (sometimes after a few hours). In most of these games, you are just chasing after quests and running back and forth. I want our title to have freedom of exploration of the game world, not just forcing players to run from one quest into the other. We experiment a lot, and we intend to hear players' feedback. (smile)

For example, in the demo, available during the Steam Next Fest, players can quickly progress into the swamp map, where they can be beaten up quite easily. In our game, you can find some outdoor locations, the weather system, and more exciting stuff like that. More and more people ask us about the turn-based mode, and we will think about it in the future. Besides that, we have interesting character classes, item descriptions inspired by regional beliefs, 10 short stories written by the Kashubian writer, NPCs, which do not treat us like heroes, dungeons built from many non-repeatable textures, and many other solutions that I am not going to reveal just yet. We know that our competitors never sleep.