Battle Worlds Kronos interview – Exclusive
After the astounding success of our previous interviews about Neverwinter and Black Desert, here’s a new session of Q&A exclusively for Worlds Factory. This time the game we are talking about is Battle Worlds Kronos, a TBS (turn based strategy) currently scheduled for PC (Windows, Mac, Linux) but likely releasing on tablet and OUYA as well. Colin Gilzean from developer KING Art Games accepted to talk with us, even in these frenzied last hours of their Kickstarter campaign.
Hello! It’s great to have you here. Can you introduce yourself and your game to our readers?
Thanks for having me. My name is Colin Gilzean, I am 29 years old a Producer here at KING Art Games. My gaming experience was with an Atari 2600 and since then I was hooked for Videogames.
Battle Worlds Kronos is a turn-based strategy game in the tradition of games like Battle Isle, Advance Wars or Panzer General. We tried to make this game for a LONG time and we’re really excited that players from all over the world seem to love our idea. We received great feedback and reached our funding goal only seven days after we’ve started our Kickstarer campaign. Right now we hope to reach the funding for our second stretch goal, which would enable to additionally develop the game for Android and iOS tablets / mobile devices.
The reaction to Battle Worlds Kronos has been very positive and your game funded very quickly. Did this surprise you, and how much do you feel the pressure?
We knew that there were quite a few fans due to a prototype which we developed in 2007 and also that we would catch the attention of a few genre fans, but we didn’t expected such a huge support. There is some pressure coming from the community, but I think that most of the pressure comes from ourselves, as our pretention is set very high.
Until now in the screenshots and videos we have seen many vehicles, but very few infantry. Is this representative of how the final game will play out and if so, why this choice?
You may not know this at this point, but we plan to create two campaigns. In one campaign the player take over the role of a commander who is in charge of a battalion, representing the “Telit” Faction and waging war against the “Yerla”. The technology of both is highly evolved, so there units are mainly vehicle based, but there are still several infantry units, as for example only with those enemy buildings can be destroyed or taken over.
With the second campaign we’ll introduce the Residents, locals from the planet Kronos, and their technology isn’t nearly as evolved at that of the war waging forces. They rely on guerrilla tactics, with more infantry units.
In the Kickstarter description, you mentioned that in the campaign the player will be able to upgrade the units and take the “victorious” ones and improve them. Does this involve the possibility for these units to be permanently defeated though, like in XCOM: Enemy Unknown, thus making so it’s much more important to keep the best units alive?
Keeping a unit alive is important and you’ll have a tactical advantage with your upgraded one, but they won’t turn into something like a hero unit. In BWK it is important to create the best strategy with the units you have at hand.
What can players expect from Battle Worlds Kronos campaign mode? Will the story be fixed, or maybe there is some chance for players to make some relevant choice to influence the outcome?
Like mentioned before, the player will experience two different campaigns, which are both tied to each other. The story was created by Jan Theysen, our Co-Studio Head, game designer and author “Book of Unwritten Tales”, so you can expect a deep and thrilling story. We have a few concepts for “choices” but we still need to finalize things.
Obviously multiplayer is going to be a great deal for Battle Worlds: Kronos, especially the asynchronous one which sounds really exciting. However, what I’m interested in is, how will you prevent people to just stop doing their turns and stalling things forever when they have realized they can’t win anymore? Do you already have a system in place for that?
Also for this we have some concepts at hand, which we’ll introduce to the community during the alpha and beta phases, but I would like to believe that due to its special genre a certain and general dedicated audience will be attracted to the game, so staling and / or dropouts won’t be an issue.
Speaking of the ladder system for multiplayer matches, I wonder if user created maps will be part of ranked matches – or not? Games often take very different stances on this.
We also see some difficulties with that and honestly we aren’t sure how this will be solved. One idea is that user generated maps can be handed in and our team would review them and add those to the ranked ones. Again this is something we’ll keep a close eye one during the alpha and beta phases.
I know that you intend to bring the game on iPad, Android tablets and OUYA with your second stretch goal. However, there’s also Project SHIELD from nVidia coming out quite soon – will you bring Battle Worlds Kronos to the platform?
If we could, we would, but for now our funds are set for a on a tight schedule. If the game becomes a financial success we’ll definitely consider porting the game for project SHIELD and also for PSN and the WiiU network.
I’ve read in another interview that there’s only five KING Art members working on the game, including yourself – is this true? If so, how do you manage creating such an ambitious game with such a small team?
That is true and I am constantly wondering how we’ll manage that ;) but jokes aside. With Thomas and Philipp in our team we have two fantastic guys on board. Both of them were also working on the 2007 prototype I mentioned before, and both have been working with the unity3D engine before, so they know they are doing. If you bring motivated and ambitious people together even the biggest project can be managed.
Do you think of the renaissance of the turn based subgenre, was it the success of XCOM: Enemy Unknown or something else that triggered it?
I think XCOM: Enemy Unknown brought the genre a little close to the mainstream gamers and to the media, but even before it there were a lot of developers getting involved with the genre. Cliffhanger was working on a Jagged Alliance Online for several years, Advanced Wars for the GameBoy Advance was also a huge success and there are many other I would like to give some credits for their games, but in general I would say this genre, was never really gone, as it was in every gamers head who would be around 25-40 years old now, as a lot of them grew up with games like Battle Isle and Panzer General.
Is there something else that you would like to add for the readers?
Please check out our Kickstarter-Project, support us and help us to reach our second stretch goal, as only with your help we can make this happen. Furthermore, you should check out Kickstarter and the projects there in general. There are sooooo many great projects and ideas, which without the help of the crowd won’t ever see the daylight.