Härom veckan smygsläpptes mobilmoban The Witcher Battle Arena i sverige. Tillsammans med nysläppta The Witcher Adventure Game är TWBA en del av en nysatsning från häxautvecklarna CD Projekt RED – att utveckla spel som inte är murkna rollspelshuggare.
Nyfiken i en strut tog jag och drämde iväg ett par frågor till Tadeusz Zieliński – Tadek för den som inte vill slå knut på tungan – kreativ analytiker på CD Projekt RED och för stunden mer specifikt The Witcher Battle Arena. Ni finner mina svävande frågor och Tadeks raka rör till svar nedan.
– The Witcher Battle Arena along with The Witcher Adventure Game is quite a leap from what we are use to see from CD Projekt RED, can you talk about where these genre- an platform-branching ideas sprung from?
“An idea to explore the mobile space is not something new. We’ve actually stated it as a company in 2011. This is just the realization of our plans. And the reasoning is quite simple – we want to grow as a company, and expand to new markets and new platforms. Mobile gaming is growing and it will grow more. The devices we have today are finally powerful enough for us to make a game, we would like to play, and to look at.”
– In our initial conversation you mentioned how TWBA is “unique game in terms of how it approaches mobile gaming as it’s designed for mobile from scratch.” Can you elaborate somewhat on that?
“When you make a mobile game, you need to think not only about the controls designed with touch in mind, but also about how the game flows, how you interact with it and, most importantly, how much time you spend during a particular session. One of our key goals was to make a game, which will fit perfectly into that 10-20 minutes time frame most people have for mobile gaming in one sitting. Thus our matches take from 5 to 10 minutes, and then you can spend some time upgrading your heroes, or browsing through the shop.
We also wanted to make the game as accessible for newcomers as possible so we strayed away from the classic MOBA ruleset, with minions you have to farm, towers you need to destroy, and a jungle you have to roam. We decided on the classic conquest mode, that you know from so many video games nowadays — it’s easy to understand and easy to explain, as opposite to classic MOBA rules. After two or three matches, you are able to play normally, just polishing your skill, and not worrying about understanding rules, learning how to last-hit mobs and so on.”
– These days, just uttering the phrase Free-to-play instantly causes people to tense up – on the game’s website the phrase ‘free gaming done right!’ can be read – what are you doing right with TWBA that other developers/publishers are doing wrong?
“We decided to make every single item available for purchase with real money unlockable via gameplay. If you are lucky, you can find them in chest you unlock after a match, or just buy them with Nilfgaardian crowns, our only resource, you earn when fighting.”
– CD Projekt RED is known for being one of the best developers when it comes to communicating with players and treating them fairly. Is this a mindset that you actively pursue and take actions internally towards continuing?
“Definitely yes. It’s one of the main reasons why we monetize The Witcher Battle Arena in a way we do. We don’t have timers, premium currencies, paywalls, and all prices are set in real money, so players always know how much they spend in our game. We are always treating our player fairly, and we are going to do it in the future as well.”
– Have you taken any specific actions development-wise in this phase of releasing not just a new game, but a MOBA-game, that (speaking as someone who doesn’t play) seem notoriously finicky to balance?
“MOBA games are hard to balance, that’s true, but the truth is – they will never be completely balanced, and that’s really fun about them, as you always try to perfect your design. We are doing our best to make the game as balanced as possible. There are no heroes that we like more than others — we try to make everyone equally strong, and fine tune the details. This makes people rediscover the game every time we patch.”
– Lastly, is there anything else you think people should know about the game, or the process behind the game and the approach you’ve taken?
“It pretty much boils down to us wanting to make a game that will capture the spirit of the world of the Witcher, will be helluva fun to play, and will be also designed for the environment it is released in, instead of just moving PC mechanics to different device.”
Ett spel i häxarandan som är jävligt roligt att spela? Det kan jag ställa mig bakom även om jag inte tar i mobas med tång. Mobor? (Återigen; måste man verkligen skriva det med versaler varenda gång?)