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Questions for MASSIVE CHALICE podcast #1!

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Hey everyone! We're going to record a podcast about MASSIVE CHALICE tomorrow morning!

We'd like to dedicate this first podcast to answering questions from the community. We've collected a lot of great questions already, but if you have questions that you'd like us to answer please post them in this thread!

We want this one to have a bit of a different flavor than the design update that we posted today, so if you could watch that first that would be great! We might have already answered the burning question that you were about to post. Here's a link to that update if you missed it! :D!

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/doublefine/double-fines-massive-chalice/posts/502544

Thanks for your support! I think we'll have some great answers for you guys.

Brad!

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Awesome, I look forward to it.

You mentioned in one of the Q & A threads on the forums that combat groups could be anywhere from 4 to 15+ members depending on how the design process goes.

Do you have any thoughts on adding cohorts/retainers to the mix of squad composition for the battlefield?

What I mean is, Sir Lofty the Red is a famed fighter, and has accumulated enough of a reputation to have his own squire and a few caravan guards he saved from a demon attack in his retinue. If all your heroes are busy researching ancient tomes/sobbing in a hospital bed/lording over peasants, he can bring a few skilled normals along so he doesn't have to face the demonic threat alone.

I don't know how many bloodlines or heroes you guys mean for players to have available at any given time, but if they're scarce and vulnerable/expendable I'm curious how battle groups will be composed, especially if the only way to get more heroes takes a decade or more while you wait for them to grow up.

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So, we know combat is a pretty big component of the game. Is Massive Chalice like Rambo, where when you go into battle, you end up slaughtering (or getting slaughtered), or is there some middle ground as well?

Can my heroes be captured or imprisoned...and turned demon against me? Can I capture and imprison (or haul back carcasses at least) demons for my side, or to aide my research? Could this be a strategy component to combat...to try to capture demons or something like that, for Realm gain? Or is combat strictly search and destroy?

Edit: Unrelated, but in the KS video update you talked about leaving a keep empty (putting two heroes together instead of putting one hero in two keeps). Any more thoughts on this sort of mechanic and strategy decisions, and how frequent or rare occurrence any this might be?

Smiles

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Not about Massive Chalice directly, but what are your favorite turn based tactical games?

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How will the Bloodline sigils be created? because I already have a picture of what I want my sigil and color to be and was wondering if their would be some sort of attach a file to an email, for those of us that already know what we want.

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How will the Bloodline sigils be created? because I already have a picture of what I want my sigil and color to be and was wondering if their would be some sort of attach a file to an email, for those of us that already know what we want.

They said this in the 'Minor question megathread' topic:

On the Kickstarter page, you say the "Bloodline Backers" get to create their House in the game. When it says sigil, what exactly do you mean by that? Is it just a symbol, or could we tell you, "Azure a mullet between two flaunches argent," and you know what we're talking about?

From a FAQ we added yesterday:

How will Bloodline Sigils be implemented in the game?

We're still working on defining sigil implementation, but we'd like color and sigil to be emblazoned on each character so you can tell at a glance which hero is of which bloodline. Creating over a thousand unique sigils would take up a crazy amount of artist time that could be spent making more game art, and not every backer is artistically talented, so we're likely either going to work with the community to create a master list of awesome sigils that you'll get to choose from, or some sort of emblem editor.

Smiles

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How will the Bloodline sigils be created? because I already have a picture of what I want my sigil and color to be and was wondering if their would be some sort of attach a file to an email, for those of us that already know what we want.

They said this in the 'Minor question megathread' topic:

On the Kickstarter page, you say the "Bloodline Backers" get to create their House in the game. When it says sigil, what exactly do you mean by that? Is it just a symbol, or could we tell you, "Azure a mullet between two flaunches argent," and you know what we're talking about?

From a FAQ we added yesterday:

How will Bloodline Sigils be implemented in the game?

We're still working on defining sigil implementation, but we'd like color and sigil to be emblazoned on each character so you can tell at a glance which hero is of which bloodline. Creating over a thousand unique sigils would take up a crazy amount of artist time that could be spent making more game art, and not every backer is artistically talented, so we're likely either going to work with the community to create a master list of awesome sigils that you'll get to choose from, or some sort of emblem editor.

Smiles

Umm okay so we are most likely looking at an emblem editor. Thank you for semi-answering my question. :D

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Additional Question: Brad, I've noticed that flannel shirts are cool and make anyone wearing them look immediately handsome; How do you feel about "map attacks" and "seishin" for some heroes as they grow better, bolder, and bushier (in some cases).

Also can the backer item be flannel armor?

EDIT: Lucky-Post #7

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Do you know what kind of tone you want the game to have especially in terms of humour vs. seriousness?

One of the things Doublefine is known for is humour but at the same time there are lots of different ways the game concept could be spun - funny and genre-parody like; gritty and pragmatic like Game of Thrones; romantic and epic etc.

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Additional Question: Brad, I've noticed that flannel shirts are cool and make anyone wearing them look immediately handsome; How do you feel about "map attacks" and "seishin" for some heroes as they grow better, bolder, and bushier (in some cases).

Also can the backer item be flannel armor?

EDIT: Lucky-Post #7

i totally support flannel armor

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Do you know what kind of tone you want the game to have especially in terms of humour vs. seriousness?

They discussed this at some point during the X-COM playthrough (it's actually a really good video, I'd recommend watching it if you have 2.5 hours to spare... which obviously not everyone does). Your question comes up at 1:08:25 in the video.

We get asked that a lot, mainly because the game has a lot of dark themes. It's about heroes getting old and dying, but... it's going to be a Double Fine game. There's going to be humour in it. And I think that there are places where we'll find throughout the development to inject more personality, more humour. That being said, it's not going to be an out-and-out jokey funny game. I don't think that's really my style, mainly because I can't write jokes like Tim can write jokes. I think that Iron Brigade, if you play that game, you can really look at that and I'm really comfortable with the over-the-top world that feels kind of ridiculous but it's still a self-serious kind of world. And all the characters inside the world they're not self-referential about things that are weird. I think that that's a great way to make a world that is interesting in its own way. I like that the humor that the game has, it has some darker thematic material, but you can really undercut that with comedy. Death is a pretty serious, pretty shitty topic, but I think there are ways to really underscore the gravity of it with comedy. I think they can really live together.

The way I describe that to people is Army of Darkness versus Evil Dead 2. Evil Dead 2 has less of that "wink wink nudge nudge" stuff going on, it's less slapsticky. I really like the tone of Evil Dead 2 better. That's how I would try to describe it to people on the team (on Iron Brigade).

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How do you guys feel about something like an instant battle mode? I play a lot of x-com, but if I only want to play a short battle, I don't like opening an old save that I've mostly forgotten or, alternatively, having to spend a few hours in a new game to get past the frustrating rookie stage. (Open x-com added this recently, thankfully.)

I'm also curious to hear more specifically how the combat will work, since most of the tactics games I play involve entirely ranged combat. I know you guys have said "like Final Fantasy Tactics" but—having never played it—I'm not sure what that means. (I'd guess I'm not alone in this unawareness either.)

Thanks! :)

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What sort of characterization and abilities will the demons have? Are they going to be a destructive force of (super)nature? Or will they have specific motivations and targets? Will the demonic invasion be playing its own strategic game or competing with the player for strategic resources? This post counts as one question, right?

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What are your thoughts on hidden stats in Massive Chalice? Will all of the Hero/Heroin/Bloodline/Kingdom stats be transparent to the players, or will some of them be hidden (or shown in ways other than a precise number).

I'm in favor of some stats being hidden. Not the "number crunching" combat numbers, but things like Hero/Heroin compatibility.

For example:

Scenario A

Hero A and Heroin B haven't ran together in any missions, but you like both of them. They are retiring at the same time and you decide to hitch them. Because they have never met each other in battle, they are less compatible. While they could still mate, the results may be lackluster compared to Scenario B.

Scenario B

Hero A and Heroin B have ran many missions together and have fought side by side in many of them. They are retiring at the same time and you decide to hitch them. Because of their past with each other, they are more compatible. When they mate, the results would be far greater than Scenario A.

If there are going to be situations like this in Massive Chalice, I for one would love the compatibility stat to be a hidden stat. I feel it adds a layer of depth, that a transparent number would take away from.

Thanks for taking the time to read our questions over, guys.

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Will you be able to design your own castle and decorate it like with say the heads of demons? Or perhaps see which Bloodline can throw the most kick-ass parties putting all the other bloodlines to shame in multiplayer?

Or maybe I have tactical fantasy confused with the Sims?

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How will the demons evolve over time? I thought about having the demons have their own bloodlines that progress along with yours, so you can see a natural progression both physically and statistically as the game goes on. Or will it be more of a nature (selective breeding) verses technology thing? I noticed you mentioned demon technology a few times.

How will we determine where battles take place? Will there be a mission somewhere and we have to send a team or will there be a world map where you physically control where units go and only those in a set area will take part in any battles fought in that area?

Linking back into that are keeps actually defensive structures that inhibit demon attacks, or are they safe places far away from the front lines where you can raise your kids in peace? In the case of the former do we need to defend them and in that case who defends them? The family that resides in the keep (including "retired" lords and ladies) or will you get a pop-up that says you need to defend X stronghold, send a team.

Really looking forward to the game, are you sure you can't make the game in two weeks like AF?

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Some people are concerned that this game sounds not very well thought out and kinda directionless. I disagree, I understand that this is just that exciting part of development where a lot is still on the table. I'd be worried if you guys weren't experienced designers who I had already seen can go from this point to the point of having actual game mechanics scoped out, designed and in place. But I can see how to someone who hasn't seen this process very much it might look like there's not enough of a plan.

So my question is, what would you say to reassure them? Are there perhaps examples of early pre-production stories from existing DF games that could be good comparisons?

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Here's my stupid question : let's say I just ended my turn in the strategic map, moving troops or building castles or planning bloodlines and marriages etc. If I click on the possible "end turn" button, will I jump forward to next season? Or will it be a week, a month, a year? Or maybe something more XCOM-y, like "until next event"?

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- Are there some features or ideas that you are specifically looking for more input from the community? Something which is out of the ordinary, risky, controversial, or even has you stumped?

- How important will gear be? Will there be a nature/nurture/gear trichotomy (fancy word!), which can complement each other? Can gear be inherited and passed onto next generation, perhaps with bonuses. eg. if a sword dealt the killing blow on Bob the Dragon, the sword could be re-named to Spike the BobSlayer, and get a +10 bonus against dragons for future generations to benefit from.

- Will there be crafting?

- Are there distinct phases in the game? For example, start with gathering your bloodline(s), then move to expansion and procreation, then to fighting, and end-game - probably with generous overlap between the phases. Or is it a more amorphous or non-structured experience?

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Do you know what kind of tone you want the game to have especially in terms of humour vs. seriousness?

They discussed this at some point during the X-COM playthrough (it's actually a really good video, I'd recommend watching it if you have 2.5 hours to spare... which obviously not everyone does). Your question comes up at 1:08:25 in the video.

Thank you, that's great to know.

I guess my question other than that is:

Can you tell us more about the antagonists or demons? What style of demon do you envision, or any main mythologies being used as inspiration? What might make them feel special etc?

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So, I dont know if you still take questions/suggestions, but I have two of them:

During the XCOM Session you mentioned there might be some sort of base building. I think XCOM actually has a real problem with base building, especially the visual representation: You never really use any of the awesome bunker room visuals, you just use the menu. And any new buildings are so far down in the ground that you never see them anyway. Part of the problem is probably that you build new rooms in that extra menu instead of in the overview of the bunker.

I just wanted to stress that if you really want the base building to tell a story it needs to be more than a pretty alternative to a menu that no one ever uses. Also I want gigantic statues for my fallen heroes and I want his daughter and son to mourn in front of it.

The other idea I had was about mission names. Till I saw the XCOM session I never actually noticed that there were mission-names in XCOM. So I thought there should be an option to name the mission yourself. I think it would go great with the whole telling your own story aspect of the game and I mean you are the king! When I plan to let my awesome Swisshelm hero die I want the mission to be called Swisshelms bane. I want there to be a Swisshelms second bane if the bastard refuses to die. And if all members of a family died I want to call it bloodwedding. Of course important story missions could have unchangeable mission names.

Hope that helps.

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Will there be territory conquest (driving back the demon hordes and reclaiming lands) with an overworld map and travel, or will it be more XCOM style where demon attacks happen like a random event and your band of heroes gets teleported to the location to fight them?

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Brad and John: Regarding the bloodline concept, what is going to happen in the following scenario:

A+B = C

D+E = F

C+F = ?

What is ?. And what is his/her main battle trait and secondary/tertiary trait? My guess is that this just gets worse the further down the timeline you go. But as we say in the advertising business, "That's creative's problem."

Dad Muir

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Brad and John: Regarding the bloodline concept, what is going to happen in the following scenario:

A+B = C

D+E = F

C+F = ?

What is ?. And what is his/her main battle trait and secondary/tertiary trait?

My guess is that this just gets worse the further down the timeline you go.

But as we say in the advertising business, "That's creative's problem."

Dad Muir

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I'm kind of curious about combat length, are we looking at many 5-10 min skirmishes with the occasional epic length battle? Or fewer longer battles that are only semi-epic.

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Tying the class of the heroes into their house is an interesting start, but could we see more potential variance on the abilities available than just the parents? I like the idea of it in the main, but I am a sucker for randomness and more opened possibilities. The idea that not all the heroes will work out exactly as you plan, and you have to adapt to that.

Example: Perhaps Swisshelm #5, instead of a fighter, wants to become a mage. and his talents lean that way. This might tie into fostering: could you have heroes being raised in other castles also contribute? That way, Swisshelm #5 could be a pure mage, taught and fostered at a mage's castle... or he channelled his natural abilities into his traditional Swisshelm training, resulting in another fighter but with a notably different skillset.

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When a hero levels up, will it be an analog change based on their actions, like in x-com, or will it be discretely quantified with perk unlocks, like in xcom:eu? I like both for different, and not entirely exclusive, reasons.

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Thanks for the questions everyone! We're gonna go tape the podcast now!

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Don't know if the podcast was already recorded, but:

How do you intend to capture the feel of tension of games like XCOM: Enemy Unknown? The theme of that game was trying to keep up in tech to combat a more advanced invading force. We've heard a lot about how mixing bloodlines and relics will result in stronger future generations, but how to you intend to frame those systems such that it feels like you're trying to keep pace with the strengthening demon force?

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I'm excited to listen to this. WHEN DOES WE GAT ITZ? :);)

Smiles

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