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RPGamer Feature - Legend of Grimrock - Interview
Legend of Grimrock
Platform:
Developer: Almost Human Ltd.
Publisher: Almost Human Ltd.
Release Date:
Q1.2012











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First-person dungeon crawlers have lost appeal over the years. Those new to the RPG genre may be less familiar with these types of games, but those who grew up with a PC are well familiar with what this subgenre has to offer in terms of challenge and exploration. Although we have occasionally been entertained by Japanese variations on the genre, such as Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey, it still doesn't have the appeal it once had. Developer Almost Human Ltd. is attempting to give RPGamers a modernized first-person dungeon crawler in the vein of Eye of the Beholder, and a personal favourite of mine, Dungeon Master. RPGamer had the chance to chat with the folks at Almost Human about their upcoming multiplatform release Legend of Grimrock, set to appear on PC, Mac and iOS.


Legend of Grimrock is a first-person dungeon crawler in the vein of Eye of the Beholder. What made you decide to create an old-school dungeon crawler?
Almost Human Ltd.: We're huge fans of dungeon crawlers and we feel that for many years old-school dungeon crawler players have not been provided an appropriate game that combines high quality modern graphics with good gameplay. After working for game studios for years we felt that we would like to try our luck with our own project. Also the market situation in the game industry has changed quite a bit in recent years and now small indie studios seem to have a better chance for success with the rise of digital distribution possibilities.

What were some of the inspirations behind the game's development? Some of the major influences?
AH: We think the original Dungeon Master is probably the best game ever made and it is a huge inspiration for us. The other classical dungeon crawlers and a variety of computer and tabletop RPGs have naturally left their marks on us.

What makes the game stand apart from other first-person crawlers?
AH: Obviously we're aiming for more polished look and feel with modern graphics and gameplay mechanics. We are concentrating on aspects like puzzle solving, tactical fighting and nicely flowing RPG elements. We have our own fight and magic systems that we feel pretty happy with. It makes the fighting nice and tactical without being boring.

How would you describe the game's combat? Is it typical of what we've seen before in the genre, or have you added some unique twists to make it stand on its own?
AH: Like I said above, we have come up with fighting system that isn't only button bashing. Outcome of the battle is determined by your tactics and abilities of your group of characters. There are various ways to fight: with a group formed only by warriors have naturally totally different tactics than a group of mages. Combinations of different classes and weapons give lots of variety in the fighting.

We've heard that the game is currently in Beta. How has the beta process been? What have been some key lessons through the development?
AH: Yes, we just have entered beta (go to our webpage to check out the new video, it's pretty cool). As with all of the development of LoG, the dev pace has been hectic to say the least. We're pushing long hours to get as much stuff into the game as possible. With beta, we've locked the amount of content and now we can concentrate to polish it all into one shiny game. Key lessons are probably that with good tools, good planning, vision and determination, games can be done with small teams and with even smaller budgets.

How much content is there in terms of the main quest, sidequests, and other extras? Lots of optional content?
AH: We're pretty happy with the amount of content in the game. There aren't big sidequests from the main storyline, but some of the content is optional. We have added lots of secrets that are nice and hard to find. We have good variation in enemies you encounter, lots of items and weapons and a nice amount of levels plus some really hard puzzles that will keep the player occupied for hours and hours.

How accommodating is the game to newcomers of the genre? Is there an adjustable difficulty?
AH: Of course there may be some culture shock at first, but you get used to the grid based movement pretty quickly and start to enjoy the tactical aspect of it. We have difficulty settings ranging from easy to old school. Some of the difficulty is also up to the player, if he/she decides to google the puzzle answers.

Besides the Mac and PC, you've also stated that the game will be coming to iOS. How has the iOS development process been different when compared to its counterparts?
AH: We have just touched on the iOS. We have some prototype running on iPad2, but we've concentrated to finish the game at first in PC. After that we'll start to port into other platforms.

You've been very quiet lately in terms of a release date. When can we expect to see Grimrock released? Will each of the versions be releasing simultaneously? Do we have a price point announced for the title?
AH: We have decided to push the release to early next year to give us more time to polish the game. We don't want to give out the exact release date yet, because it could constrain us too much. We'll let everybody know when we get the date settled. We will release PC first and follow with other platforms later. The price point is still a secret, but it definitely won't be full priced.

What are your plans after Grimrock's release? Do you have any upcoming projects you wish to share?
AH: Everything basically depends how Legend of Grimrock will sell. If everything goes well, we have our hands full of work with the ports of the game to other platforms and some additional content to LoG. Keep your fingers crossed.

Any final words to our readers?
AH: Go and check out our blog (www.grimrock.net). We're reading all the comments, so if you have any questions, you can drop a line in there and we try to answer them.


RPGamer would like to thank the team at Almost Human Ltd. for taking the time out of their busy schedules to answer our questions. Legend of Grimrock is currently in beta at this time and is set to release early next year.



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