Interview Stadia

Nous avons eu la chance de pouvoir poser quelques questions à Jerome Jones, Lead Designer chez Robot Entertainment en marge de la sortie d'Orcs Must Die! 3 sur Stadia. Patrick Hudson, CEO de Robot Entertainment nous donne également quelques détails sur le studio et leur organisation actuelle.

• What are the main evolutions compared to the two first episodes and Orcs Must Die!
Unchained?

OMD Unchained was a separate game and is not within the story of OMD 1, 2 & now 3 and we’re really excited about what players can experience.
From a story perspective it’s set around 20 years after the end of Orcs Must Die 2. That's where the story takes up with our two heroes, Maximillian and Gabriella. They have rebuilt the Order, they're training new War Mages to continue defending the Rifts and trouble ensues as usual. We have some new, really big features that seem to be what everyone wants to talk about right now, for example War Scenarios, which are really exciting.
In a normal scenario in Orcs Must Die 2, with over six waves for example, you might see 400 to 600 units coming over the course of the battle. In a War Scenario in Orcs Must Die 3 you're going to see that many units in a single wave. It’s so much bigger. Not just in terms of the number of enemies coming at you and trying to get into the Rift, but also from how you can experience the level itself.

• Will we now be able to go outside the castle gates? And does this mean we will get to experience new types of traps?

Yes on both counts. In previous titles you never got to go outside of the castle or fortress you were defending and so players didn’t really know what the outside world looked like. In War Scenarios you can now venture beyond the door itself and outside you’ll find yourself in the middle of a giant battlefield. That entire battlefield and the outside of the castle, including bridges, is also trappable, creating an incredible battle experience.
Then we give you special traps for this called War Machines, they are much bigger in scale and much more efficient at killing large hordes of enemies. Some are even mountable, so players will have to balance being inside of them or jumping out to get into the fray.

• Cooperative play is a very important aspect for some players in the franchise, have you made any changes in the way you play with others?

There are a couple new ways to find people to play with you in OMD 3. You will be able to just create a party with a friend and coop that way, or you can search in game to see other people who might be looking for a partner to play with.
This ensures we keep that core experience that everyone enjoys. Anybody can play Orcs, you don't have to go look into being matchmade or anything like that. You can play with just a buddy. You can be a father and son, a mother and daughter, and you can just play the game. There's not a lot of outside requirements other than just having Stadia or owning the game.

• Robot Entertainment went through a period of restructuring in 2018 and 2019 with among other things the closure of the Orcs Must Die! Unchained servers. Has this partnership with Google and Stadia opened new perspectives for the future?

Patrick Hudson : For clarity, the restructuring took place and was completed in the spring of 2018. Google came along at a great time when we were still thinking about which game we were going to make next. They were fans of our franchise and enabled us to jump back into the franchise at a point when we weren’t sure we would be able to. Google’s support is also allowing us to support the game post-release for quite a while.
We’re a two-team studio, and we have a second project ongoing behind OMD3. For the foreseeable future, it will be OMD3 and this second project.

• Can you tell us a bit more about the possibilities offered by Stadia in terms of development but also about the functionalities offered by the platform such as Stream Connect Game?

One of the things I am excited about when it comes to Stadia is when we think about the War Scenarios. As a designer I spend a lot of time working with the team to perfect the overall look and experience of a specific element of the game. With Stadia, regardless of the spec of the machine it’s running on, as long as you’ve got a decent internet connection everyone will get to experience the game as intended.
There were also things about streaming that made the game easier to develop - especially during the current lockdown. One big thing being no download times. In recent months this has been a big advantage in keeping the process moving as we started making so many builds of the game. It also doesn't hurt to be able to play, pause, move to another room or screen and pick up where you left off. There are a lot of conveniences about game streaming that I think gamers are going to start to notice the more they try it out.
And one thing to add, we plan on supporting OMD 3 on Stadia with both free and paid updates and DLC. Anywhere we will be able to take proper advantage of future Stadia features you can bet we will.

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