Dreamlords TGEA Interview
by Deborah M. Fike · 07/10/2008 (1:20 pm) · 6 comments
Dreamlords - The Reawakening is a unique mix of Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOG) and Real Time Strategy (RTS). The game consists of two complimentary parts; a web based game for the long term strategy, and an installed client-based game for intense battles and conquering. The game is powered by the Torque Game Engine Advanced. It was released in June and can be downloaded from the Dreamlords website.
In Dreamlords, you play a Dreamlord, a powerful collection of souls from ancient times, awakened by the turmoil and suffering of the living. Your goal is to raise a powerful civilization, lead an army, conquer land and grow in strength so that you and your equals one day may stop the great Cynos of ultimate Destruction from devouring the world.
In this interview we talk with the developer of Dreamlords, CEO of Lockpick Entertainment David Rosen.
What makes Dreamlords different from other MMOs?
First, there aren't many MMORTS games out there. What we have and offer is a unique experience. We subtitled the first version as "A New Online Experience" and that still holds true. If a player is remotely interested in strategy games and tired of running around with an avatar to slay monsters to level up I urge that player to try our game.
One unique feature is that the game is endless, but divided into Eras. Every day, Nedom Wolven gets closer and eventually it might devour the world and bring everything to an end. But there is hope. Cael, Cynos of Time and master of Eras, will use all his power to turn back time as the end approaches if he deems no Dreamlord strong enough for the task at hand. While the material world is completely reverted to the beginning forcing you to start building your civilization anew, Cael deliberately lets you keep your traits and gear so that you may continue to grow even stronger in the upcoming Era.
Where did your inspiration come from?The Reawakening is a collaborative effort and thus the inspiration comes from numerous sources. There are parts from the original game still in there. Those things came out of the inspiration of our former game designers and myself. I was particularly influenced by a kingdom based strategy game called Utopia, RTS games like the Warcraft series, and our former GD's more hardcore RPG players. Last year under our new Lead Designer we got some new influences thrown into the mix.
What was your development process like?We have altered the process during the course of the development and different teams have different processes. We have never picked any one method. We used ideas from other places and adapted them to something that was suited for us and the current situation.
Why did you choose Torque?Torque is an excellent way for us as a small independent developer to quickly get a game up and running. TGEA provided us with a good base for our client. With the addition of the RTS action pack we got some nice additional functionality which served us well. Of course there has been a lot of things we had to alter/tune/add to the system to make it work for our game when it comes to gameplay and back end structure as we run an MMO and not a regular client/server setup. However Torque was the only middleware solution we needed.
How long has "The Awakening" been in development?We started working seriously on the game early last autumn and from October we put all resources on the development. The Reawakening is an online game so it will undergo development as we move on.
What were your biggest developer hurdles?I have to say that balancing this game is the hardest thing one can ever try to do when it comes to game balance. You don't only have to balance avatar progression vs monsters and skills & items as in your average MMO. In our game we have empire building, army balance vs PvE, both intra and inter era progression for your avatar and to some extent civilization. Thanks to a really agile system we are however able to rebalance anything at anytime without ever having to patch. This means our test cycle for altering the balance is a matter of minutes and we get immediate feedback. Without that we would never have been able reach the goal line.
Thanks to David Rosen for the interview, and be sure to download Dreamlords - The Reawakening to see what all the excitement is about. Congrats to the whole Lockpick team behind the game's release!
For more stories like this, check out GarageGames' Developer Interview series.