Torchlight Interviews

With Torchlight only a few days from release, Runic Games' Travis Baldree, Max Schaefer, and Peter Hu have been busy promoting the action RPG with new interviews.

The first is up at Gamasutra with Travis and Max:
Despite being relatively simple in a way -- just get in there and it's fun -- it is notoriously difficult for developers to get this genre right. Diablo is phenomenally successful, but many others haven't had the same pickup -- Titan Quest, Hellgate: London, recently Sacred 2. Why do you think that is?

TB: I think it gets down to the immediacy. It's difficult to make something that simply feels good to do with one click of the mouse.

MS: From the customer perspective, it seems like it's all very simple and easy, but it's very difficult to get to that spot.

TB: Mostly, it's because it's a lot of different things all have to work together at the same time. In a lot of ways, it's kind of like a fighting game. There's kind of this tangible, feel-good element to those that very few people feel very right.

There's a reason why God of War is a really great game and people like it. It feels incredibly good to play. That's just difficult to do. You can't do any of the elements out in a box. You can't make your sound over here and your art over here and your animation over here. It all has to work together, or it's not enjoyable to do.

MS: Another pitfall that people fall into is they try to go overboard with their technology and graphics, and it just doesn't run well on people's machines. One of our emphases is making a game that will run on your machine. It will run on your old laptop.

It should run smooth and feel good. That's part of the whole feel of it. If you have a game that looks beautiful on a super high-end machine, but you bring it home and it's choppy, it doesn't give you that immediate feel. That's another pitfall that people have. They go overboard with their technology.

While the other is at Shacknews wiht Mr. Hu:
Shack: How is the game structured? I saw the town hub a minute ago. Are there several? How do you progress through the game?

Peter Hu: For the singleplayer game, there is one city. You progress through quests, but it's not completely linear. It'll send you to different dungeon areas that are not necessarily one dungeon after another. There'll be branches in the dungeon and things like that.

But the concept is, the city is sitting on top of a mountain where they've discovered veins of a mineral called Ember, which provides people with magical powers. So all these civilizations come to this mountain, start mining the Ember, and gain this power, but then it corrupts them, and they wall themselves off within the mountain.

So as you go through the mountain and explore these areas, you'll find different pockets of civilizations, that are like undead dwarves, or whatever. You'll encounter them, you'll probably kill a lot of them, and slowly reveal the story of what's going on with the mountain.