Train2Game interview: Neocore Games on the making of King Arthur II: The Role-playing Wargame – Part 1

Train2Game recently caught up with Neocore Games, developer of King Arthur II: The Role-playing Wargame, an RTS and RPG hybrid that was released through Paradox Interactive earlier this year.

In an extensive interview, Neocore PR and Community Manager Orsolya Tóth discusses the story behind King Arthur series, the development of King Arthur II, the importance of digital distribution and much more.

Read Part 1 of our interview with Neocore Games right here on the Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game Scribd page. You can see part two of our two part interview here. 

Hi there, first of all, tell us a bit about Neocore Games?

Neocore Games is a computer and video game publishing and production company with a development studio located in Hungary. We are developing strategy games for PC since 2005, our previous titles are “Crusaders: Thy Kingdome Come”, “The Kings’ Crusade” and of course “King Arthur – The Role-playing Wargame” and the recently released “King Arthur II” which is naturally also a Role-playing Wargame.

For those new to the series, let us know about the original King Arthur.

King Arthur – The Role-playing Wargame is a strategy game with many RPG elements. It has a turn-based 3D campaign map with various locations that grant special traits, and huge real-time battles. King Arthur is set in the ancient South Britannia and your task is to unite the divided kingdoms. You are Arthur, the Once and Future King of all Britannia and you gather and lead your knights to achieve your goal. You can recruit various different types of troops, but there are also special unique units called heroes.

The quests, written by professional fantasy writers, play a very important role in the game because they represent the main storyline and the decisions you take on these quests determine your morality. Every decision affects your position on the Morality Chart, you can be a ruthless Tyrant or a Righteous ruler and you can follow the Old Faith or become a devout Christian. As you follow your morality path and get higher morality scores, you unlock special new spells and units.

King Arthur has a fantasy setting, so magic plays a very important role in the game including in the battles. Your heroes learn skills and spells during winter turns when all your enemies and also your own units are resting. In winter you also have to manage your economy and build your stronghold to collect the two resources, food and gold.

Did the extent of King Arthur’s success come as a surprise to Neocore Games?

A little bit, yes! But I have to admit that we did hope that it would amuse the community. We were already quite fascinated by the game’s story and the genre mix we created with all the new features such as the text-adventure quests or the Morality Chart.

King Arthur was well received by critics and gamers alike, so what changes and improvements have been made to King Arthur II?

There are several improvements we’ve made in King Arthur II based on the feedback we received from the players. The Campaign Map is twice as big as it used to be in King Arthur, as you have to unite the provinces of the Northern and Middle regions of Britannia as well. Scotland is also included.

We have a brand new, in-house developed engine called Coretech 3D 2. It can render up to 3000-4000 highly detailed soldiers at the same time on a highly detailed battlefield. Thanks to the new engine the army movement is also improved and the whole game is more stunning.

There are more various fantasy creatures in King Arthur II than in the first game. A great improvement is the dragons and other flying units both on the enemy’s and on your side, it means more tactical possibilities because they are fast and the battle has two levels, the air and the ground level. You can fly across the rivers, buildings and various other objects and you can fight in the air as well as on the ground at the same time.

In King Arthur II we are introducing a new, more balanced magic resistance and spell casting system. Every army has its own magic shield, which is affected by some spells, locations, unit skills and artifacts. First you have to decrease it for using your spells with low spell penetration. The casting time of the grandiose, lethal spells gives you the chance to defend yourself with the interruption of the caster hero.

We have several other improvements in King Arthur II like the new artifact management with the artifact forge, the upgradable locations, the brand new diplomacy or the Victory Locations, which give you global bonuses and spells, so you can use them now on the entire battlefield, not only around the VL. And there are many more improvements you should definitely check out in the game.

What are the main challenges in development in combing King Arthur II’s RTS and RPG elements of game design? How do heroes impact on battles?

The biggest challenge is finding the balance so the gameplay remains fluid and fresh.

King Arthur featured some epic monsters, have more been added to the sequel? If so, how did you go about deciding what to add?

There are a lot more monsters in King Arthur II. You will see some beasts reappearing from the first game, but we have added many new as well. When we decided what we wanted to add, we took into consideration the background and the story of the game, the dark fantasy setting and we stretched our imagination to the edges. And the new monsters were born.

 Leave your comments here on the Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

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