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April 7, 2011

Gamespot talks to Robot on Orcs Must Die – franchise planned

Gamespot have recently had a phone interview with Robot Entertainment’s CEO Patrick Hudson, COO Harter Ryan and Lead Producer on OMD – Chris Rippy. The Gamespot article is jam packed with useful Orcs Must Die information plus a whole lot of information about the future direction of Robot Entertainment. One of the most interesting things that has been touched on is the idea that “Must Die” could become a franchise for Robot if the game is a big enough success. You may have noticed that “Orcs” is in the colour green on the logo above.. that could easily be replaced with “Sheep Must Die” or “Kittens Must Die” should Robot decide to take that path. (Obviously those names are fictional!)

This is one article you are going to want to read fully! Its quite a long one, its well worth the full read but here are my Top 3 highlights:

GameSpot: Orcs Must Die is the first original game from Robot. What’s the 30-second elevator pitch for this game?

Harter Ryan: Sure. Orcs Must Die is an innovative game that’s set in third-person perspective, and it’s a mix between tower-defense and a third-person shooter. Basically you’re a war mage who’s defending a castle from orcs who want to invade it and go through the hallways and jump into a glowing blue ball called a rift. There’s a story around it–it’s a single-player game–but essentially you’re going to be using a series of traps, spells. and weapons. As the orcs invade in waves, you’ll be able to stop them and kill them, hence the title.


GS: So, this is obviously a pretty big departure from Age of Empires. What led you to this game after working on that franchise for so long?

PH: We were inside Microsoft for so long–most of the people here came from Ensemble Studios–we’ve hired some fresh blood since then. And we were always prototyping something different outside of the [real-time strategy] realm and especially outside of Age of Empires and Halo Wars. There’s been a lot of pent-up creative energy in this group of folks for a really long time, so getting independent finally allowed us to go and pursue some of these ideas. We’ve had guys in here that have been making more or less the same franchise for a dozen or 14 years and just [have] a strong desire to do some different things.


GS: You mentioned that you were working on Age of Empires Online before this, and then Orcs Must Die is a smaller downloadable game. Which route do you think your studio will take in the future?

PH: We’ll do a little bit of both. Age of Empires Online was a shorter schedule for us, we worked on that for 24 months and if you look back at some of our previous games, they were as long as 36 months or longer. So, there’s certainly a desire internally to work on shorter development cycles. We’d like to be shipping a game at least once a year no matter the platform. We will ship on a variety of platforms. But I think we’ll do a little bit of both. It really does depend on kind of where the creative juices are in the company, what people are excited to pursue, and what we think we have the chops internally to pull off, both development-wise and just from a financial risk standpoint.

Right now, Orcs Must Die is the bulk of our effort as we try to make the final push to get this out. But we have two other games in the works also. One is quite small, even much smaller than Orcs Must Die, and one is significantly larger than Orcs Must Die. And then just getting to the point where we can balance those levels of development efforts is what we’re working through right now. But, we don’t have a single-minded mantra of, “Hey, we’re going to go do this type of game at this type of size and distribution point.”

That’s the Remember ES Top 3 highlights. Be sure to read the full article on the link below. Remember ES will be delving into some analysis of this interview soon, plus some analysis of some things to come out of the Community Summit.  Be on the look-out for Part 4 of the Orcs Must Die preview soon.

For now, grab a refreshing drink and sit comfortably and have a read through this very detailed and insightful interview at Gamespot:


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