We chatted with the developers of the excellent Magicka recently. Here’s what they had to say about having their first title be such a huge success and how they came up with its innovative Vietnam based expansion pack.
First of all well done on Magicka, at CalmDownTom.com we can’t stop playing it. Did you expect it to be such a big success?
We always hoped that it would be a success, but that’s all you can do really, hope. We are really happy with the reception it got, both in sold copies and the quality of the community it has grown.
If I’m not mistaken Magicka is Arrowhead studios first game. What’s it like seeing people finally play a game you’ve worked so hard on?
Amazing, and terrifying. As you said it is our first game, and we have made some error, the buggy release being one. All we can do is to learn from our mistakes and try to make sure that the game becomes as stable as possible.
The game has a lot of humour. Do you think this is missing in similar games?
Not necessarily. It really depends on what you are going for, if you want to create an ultra serious game then that’s ok too. Look at Dragon Age, its a good example of a serious fantasy game. Our goal was to make something lighthearted and fun to play and the humor went well with what we had in mind.
There are so many different combinations of spells that players can use. How did you manage to implement all of the different combinations?
Lots of trial and error for one, and a lot of thinking on the other hand. Once you had the basic construction down it was just a question of implementing it. Some spells are insanely powerful and some are not, balance hasn’t been our priority when making this complex of a system, but in time for the PvP patch we will hopefully have most spells balanced out.
What’s your personal favourite spell combination?
Pure earth, just for the fantastic bloody streak it makes when crashing through a horde of goblins :)
Some parts are quite tricky. Do you have any tips for players struggling with the harder parts of the game?
What part of the game are you most proud of?
Definitely the spell system. It is the core of the game and it works just as good as we imagined it.
Having an expansion pack set in Vietnam is a very original idea and has created a lot of buzz around the game. Who came up with the idea and how?
I think someone just blurted it out at the office and we all laughed, but as the idea settled in we all agreed that it would be hilarious as a DLC.
Do you worry that the combination of the serious nature of the war in Vietnam and the humour of the game could cause offense to some?
You are always at risk of offending someone when using a setting so gruesome as a war, especially a politically loaded and recent war as Vietnam. I really think that you shouldn’t take a game too seriously, its supposed to be entertainment. Besides, people have made games about Vietnam before, its not like we are breaking any controversial ground.
On CalmDownTom.com we had a competition where readers guessed where the next expansion pack might take place. Will you have a look at some of their ideas, or do you already know where Magicka will go next?
We have promised our community that we will always listen to them, and so we will. We do have a few Ideas of what we want to do, but there’s always room for more.
A big thank you to Patrik Lasota and all the Magicka team for talking to us. We wish Arrowhead Studios all the best in the future and can’t wait ti play the expansion. Be sure to check out our Magicka review and if you haven’t already, pick up a copy today!