Battle Worlds: Kronos interview: Giving a new strategy game life

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There’s always this sense of wonder when a game makes it on Kickstarter. It makes you realize how powerful people are and how much demand there is for games publishers thought would fail. Battle Worlds: Kronos is one of those games. KING Arts Games took to the crowd-funding site to get it made and, as of April 4, 2013, they’ve raised almost $157,000 when the developer was only asking for $120,000. GamerTell was able to catch up with Colin Gilzean, KING Arts’ Lead Producer, to hear all about the project.

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GamerTell: To start off, tell us about Battle Worlds: Kronos. What is the game like and how will it be different from other strategic, turn-based games?

Colin Gilzean: Most of the other TBS games out there are about a group of certain heroes, soldiers, or mercenaries and the story is built around them. With Battle Worlds: Kronos the player takes on the role of a commander and is directly involved in the story. Furthermore BW:K takes place on huge maps with the focus on the frontline, where the player will have numerous units at his disposal, while others games are limited to areas and a small group of units.

GamerTell: Years ago, Battle Worlds: Kronos was made into a prototype, but publishers passed you over. You’ve obviously always had the game on your mind over the years. Do you feel that this incubation time will lead to a stronger game than what might have originally existed had you received the go ahead years ago?

Gilzean: Despite it was our first attempt within the turn-based strategy genre the 2007 version was a solid game, even though it was a prototype. The community and testers loved the game and its mechanics back then, and so did we. The huge benefit of the “incubation time” is that we were able to give the game a major facelift as we are now using the Unity3D engine. There are no cinematic battle openers required as the action is displayed in detail on the map. While zooming-in you’ll gain a perfect view of your units’ capabilities

GamerTell: In under 2 weeks, you’ve blown past your $120,000 Kickstarter goal and gone past the $150,000 point. Did you expect this kind of demand from KING Art Games fans?

Gilzean: We knew that there were quite a few fans of the 2007 version out there, but what’s happening right now is a welcome surprise.

GamerTell: At the moment, Android, iOS and Ouya ports of Battle Worlds: Kronos are only $250K stretch goals. Even if this goal isn’t met, is there any chance of seeing these ports happen?

Gilzean: We would love to bring a mobile version, but without the funding we can’t promise anything at this stage. If enough copies of BW:K will be sold, we will most certainly look into this again.

GamerTell: Have you considered adding another extravagant reward tier, similar to the $5,000 level Notch-Edition reward tier Flaregame and Gameforge’s Klaas Kersting purchased? It did sell out after all, as did three of the four Master of the Universe tier rewards packages.

Gilzean: We were thinking about it, but decided to focus for now on the campaign and the development. We might add one or two extravagant reward tiers when the end of the campaign comes in closer.

GamerTell: What will the Battle Worlds: Kronos story mode be like? Will it be a deep experience with heroes to root for, as well as twists and turns? We already know you’re capable of great stories, what with The Book of Unwritten Tales.

Gilzean: The story mode is split into two campaigns which are tied to each other. During the first campaign the player will slips into the role of a commander who leads the “Telit” forces into battle against the “Yerla” faction. Kronos is the venue for a battle that will define the ruling faction on their home planet.

In the second campaign the player will be on the side of the “Residents”, natives of the planet Kronos, who aren’t too happy that the invaders are using their home world as their war zone.

As I don’t want to spoil the story I am not going into details, but you can expect a deep and thrilling story.

GamerTell: What are some of the most common units players will be working with in Battle Worlds: Kronos and what will make them so integral to campaigns?

Gilzean: As the game is still in development I can’t tell if there are going to be most common units. We have a lot of different units at hand with which we plan to create the best possible user experience.

GamerTell: Conversely, is there going to be a completely outrageous, over-the-top unit and, if so, can you tell us about it?

A: There won’t be any unit like this at all. All units have their strengths and weaknesses. In BW:K it is not about who has the stronger units and better technology, it is about finding the best tactic with the units you have at your disposal.

GamerTell: How will the Battle Worlds: Kronos multiplayer work?

Gilzean: We are working on different multiplayer modes including live multiplayer, a hot-seat and an asynchronous multiplayer mode.

The number of participants isn’t fixed yet, but at least 4 players will be able to join a map and engage in battle. It doesn’t matter if you set a date with your friends to play live or if you want to play several matches with different people at different times via the asynchronous multiplayer. As the game will run on iOS, Windows, Linux and even in the browser (MP only) the player will be able to enjoy BW:K anytime and anywhere.

GamerTell: It’s clear KING Art wants players to get involved in making Battle Worlds: Kronos better, what with the inclusion of the Map Editor, but will the final game also support mods? Say if people wanted to create their own units?

Gilzean: For now we only plan a map editor. With this editor players can create and script their own challenges. These self-made maps can be uploaded and shared with the whole community. Enabling mods is with the Unity3D engine very difficult and expensive on resources, so for the time being there won’t be any modding feature.

GamerTell: I know it’s too early to tell, but do you think Battle Worlds: Kronos‘ success could lead to add-ons later in 2013 or in 2014, or perhaps even a sequel?

Gilzean: If you take a look at our stretch goals you can see that we already have a few ideas and concepts like a new mode “conquer the planet” or a new faction, but developing these requires time and time is expensive. Again, if the game will sell enough copies we’ll be happy to expand the world of BW:K.

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GamerTell: Both PlayStation and Nintendo seem to be opening up more to indies, with the PS3, PS4 and Vita having a cavalcade of indie games coming over the next year and Nintendo offering Nintendo Web Framework and dropping the requirement for independent developers to have an actual office. Could you see Battle Worlds: Kronos eventually appearing on the PS3, Vita or Wii U? I think the Wii U and its Gamepad would be a perfect fit.

Gilzean: It would be great if we could manage a version for those platforms, but it is definitely much too early to say anything at this point. Let’s talk about this when the game is ready and released.

KING Arts is still accepting Battle Worlds: Kronos funding. Just head over to Kickstarter and make a contribution before April 28, 2013 if you want to help. The full game will be available at the end of 2013.

Site [Battle Worlds: Kronos]

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