What was your inspiration for making Battlecursed? It draws inspiration from numerous games, including classic dungeon crawlers like Dungeon Master, as well as the ever-popular Diablo series. We are big fans of classic rogue games like Beneath Apple Manor, and the overall structure of Battlecursed is influenced by this early design. How did your game studio start? We started with the vision of creating a studio led by veterans but largely staffed by skilled and fledgling talent. We wanted to bring together experts in each discipline and make sure we have strong processes in place in order to deliver high quality, immersive products. The two founders, Dexter Chow and Michael Baker, brought together several professional associates and started recruiting talent from schools and acquaintances. We now have a remarkable group of over 30 team members who look forward to creating original titles we are all eager to share with fellow gamers. Who is the Lich Lord in Battlecursed? The Lich Lord was once Lord Xelo Van, a counselor and trusted advisor to the last northern king. Sensing the monarch’s weakness, Xelo Van used his magic to manipulate the king, before finally usurping him and taking control of the kingdom in a bloody coup d’etat 1,000 years ago. His rule was challenged by a grand alliance of diverse heroes, who ultimately overthrew him at the cost of their own lives. Xelo Van’s body was destroyed, but his spirit lingered, waiting for the right time and opportunity to resurrect himself and wage war on Pylandria once again. With over 12 different heroes to choose from, what will influence a player to choose a certain hero instead of another? Do they have different special abilities? There are currently 10 different hero classes, but we are evaluating what we call specialty heroes. Specialty heroes have extraordinary powers and may include dual class heroes (e.g., Psionic and Ninja Mage). Each hero will have a selection of abilities that are available to their class, but no single hero will have all of their class abilities. Although heroes will have at least 6 abilities to choose from, they can only utilize two at a time in combat. As players progress, they will discover new heroes within the same class with different abilities that may better suit the needs of their party. With the ability combo system, choosing heroes to build the most effective party will require calculated experimentation. In addition to distinctive abilities and stats, there will be unique passives as well. Differentiation among heroes in the same class is very important to us. Choosing from four different necromancers will likely have very different game play experiences. One may be an expert summoner; another may buy time with Bone Walls; another may weaken enemies; and another may do massive spell damage. You can even recruit all four necromancers into one party. What is real-time tactical combat? We like to call it real-time tactical action combat to differentiate Battlecursed from traditional rogue-like turn-based gameplay. First, all of the action is in real-time. However, we’ve discovered action RPGs tend to fall in two camps: aggressive, mindless enemies attacking relentlessly when in range, or they take turns attacking while others in the group are typically frozen until they attack again. With our party allowing the player to select up to 12 actions at any given moment, we want to give the player time to create combos, decide on strategies, and give them tactical advantages — all while keeping the action in real time. For example, a necromancer sets up a bone wall to slow down the group of monsters, and the Grave Knight freezes the bone wall, which freezes all enemies that touch the wall, and another necromancer in the party adds dark magic poison to increase damage to any enemies that touch the wall. As mentioned above, each individual hero has a combination of abilities specific to their class. Players will utilize the abilities, or actions, of their entire party in real-time combat. While players can choose which abilities they use, when, and in which order they use them, they will be best served by utilizing the deep ability combo system in order to survive. Where do you see yourselves in one year? Making games we love that we want to play! Of course, the game design industry is tough to predict. There are any number of paths our studio can take moving forward. A lot can change in a short amount of time. Our development and design process is based around long-term viability. We pride ourselves on creating games that appeal to many gamers on many platforms. We are currently releasing on PC/Mac/Windows/PS4 and Xbox One. In a year, I would expect us to add mobile and VR to our list of platforms we are building toward as well as exploring our next original title. About DexterDexter ChowI am Dexter Chow, founder and creative director at Codex Worlds Corp. I am a long-time producer/designer of strategy and role playing games from studios such as Ubisoft, Mattel, and Strategic Simulations Inc. My last position was executive producer at the indie engine company GarageGames, developer of the Torque engine.