Train2Game interview: Neocore Games on the making of King Arthur II: The Role-playing Wargame – Part 2

Train2Game News recently caught up with Neocore Games, developer of King Arthur II: The Role-playing Wargame, an RTS and RPG hybrid that was published 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 2 of our interview with Neocore Games, which includes advice on getting into the industry, right here on the Train2Game Blog. The first part of our two part interview is here.

As usual, leave your comments here on The Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

The battles of King Arthur II look epic, how difficult is programming the game when there’s potentially so much happening on the battlefield?

It’s definitely not easy. But I guess our programmers have done a good job! There’s an entire blog post on our DevBlog about just one segment of the battle, the pathfinding system for individual soldiers and how it was developed. And it is only a small part of the entire battle mechanism, so you can guess how complex it is with all the spells, magic shield, unit traits and skills, terrain and weather modifiers, strategic locations, dual-level fighting since we introduced the flying beasts, AI behaviour – actions and reactions and many more factors.

How much research into the lore of King Arthur gone into King Arthur II? What’s the story of the game, and how much does it deviate from the ‘traditional’ tales of King Arthur? The art style certainly looks darker than what people tend to think about…

The core idea of King Arthur II is as Arthurian as it could be, based on the legend of the Grail and the myth of the Fisher King. According to legends if the high king of the land is in pain, the land suffers with him, and in Arthurian mythology we have the tale of the legendary guardian of the Grail, the Fisher King, who lies wounded in his castle and his kingdom has turned into a barren Wasteland.

In this case, we have already had Arthur as the protector of the Grail, so it was logical that he himself could become the Wounded King. In addition to that, the Arthurian mythology has some really bleak stories after Arthur builds Camelot and rules the land, leading up to a cataclysmic ending. In other words, the tone was meant to be darker from the start.

What are the plans for additional content for King Arthur II? Does it provide Neocore with a good opportunity to experiment with new ideas?

To be honest, we don’t have anything specific on our minds yet regarding the DLCs. Of course the story of the game and the fantasy setting provide us countless possibilities that can evolve to become a DLC or expansion for King Arthur II.

How much influence do reviews have on future updates for King Arthur II? What impacts will it have on future DLC?

As the DLCs are only vague ideas at this point yet, I guess we’ll consider the impact of the reviews on them when we cross that bridge! Regarding the updates, we’ll improve the game as far as we can and in that we appreciate the feedback we get both from the media and the gaming community.

How important is digital distribution going to be in the success of King Arthur II?

I think it will be crucial. While retail distribution is still important, digital distribution takes over more and more sales on the PC gaming market.

Some developers have claimed the strategy genre is dying. What’s your response to this, and what are your thoughts on the current state of the strategy genre?

We don’t feel that the strategy genre is dying. There are plenty of devoted strategy fans who always get excited when they see a new strategy title released. So I think the strategy genre is doing great as long as developers can create appealing strategy games that fit well to their needs.

Finally, what advice can you give to those looking to get into the games industry?

In the case of developing your computer game, we can say a couple of things: be persistent in all circumstances, do many tests and keep your ears and eyes open for feedback. Start with a smaller project, where you’ll get fast and effective feedback directly from the gaming market. As the digital distribution becomes more and more popular, it’s much easier to reach the gamers with smaller games as well, so it’s a huge opportunity for new game developer companies.

In case you want to join an already existing company, then show them what you’re capable of – a well-functioning mod, a demo version of an idea, concentrating mainly on one thoroughly developed feature, will help you a lot, if you don’t have the necessary working experience yet.

King Arthur II: The Role-playing Wargame, from Neocore and Paradox Interactive is available now.