Platform Nation got to talk with Runic Games about their new game, Torchlight, and their future Torchlight MMO. You can find the Platform Nation review of Torchlight here (spoiler alert: its good!).
Can you explain what Torchlight is for those people who haven’t heard about it yet?
Torchlight is an Action RPG for the PC, made by the creators of Fate, Diablo, and Mythos. It’s a highly addictive dungeon runner with randomized dungeons and 3 character classes.
The art is very stylized. What made you go with that more cartoony style?
It was a matter of personal style and preference for non-grungy palettes, combined with a desire to not compete with D3. That’s the answer in a nutshell; Art Director Jason Beck wrote pages and pages on how this came about for Gamasutra, and you can read it here:
It seems like the low system requirements is a source of pride for you. Why was it so important to make sure Torchlight runs on low end computers?
Our goal has always been to make a quality game that anyone can afford and play. It’s about accessibility, and we wanted to provide the best experience to all type of gamers, from completely new players, to casual gamers, to diehard RPG fans.
There are 3 classes gamers can choose from in Torchlight. What does each class bring to the table for gamers?
Each class, The Destroyer, The Vanquisher, and the Alchemist, loosely follows a melee, ranged, and summoner archetype with distinct skill trees, but they can wield any weapon or wear any armor piece in game, as well as learn all the available spells. This gives the player a lot of different customization – to make a summoning Destroyer or melee Vanquisher, for example.
The alchemist can summon a steam punk style robot to fight alongside him. How did you tap into my dreams to get that idea?
It’s amazing what you can do with a little bit of tin foil and old TV rabbit ears!
What are some personal favorite monsters that gamers will be facing in Torchlight?
I love the goblins who have attached themselves to TNT. They are such amusing little kamikazes.
Diablo, along with other classic action RPGs, is an obvious inspiration for Torchlight. In fact some of the Runic Games team worked on Diablo. What does Torchlight take from other action RPGs and what does it add to the genre?
Our team is really more heavily influenced by our last project, Mythos, an ARPG MMO that never saw the light of day beyond closed Beta. After we got over the shock of losing that IP, we were glad to have the opportunity to make an ARPG the way we like to play them, and on a different engine (Ogre graphics engine). Torchlight is very much a product of our favorite features, from both games we’ve played and worked on.
This game was made in a very short amount of time compared to most video games these days. What were the challenges in making a game so fast? What kept you pushing forward to complete it?
We had an incredibly short development period – just 11 months. But losing a game before it launches –ie, Mythos- will inspire you to a breakneck schedule and get a game out the door and into players’ hands. Being a small team, we had to be careful with streamlining our process and allocating resources, and in the end we had to do triage on some ideas we would have loved to include in the Single Player. Hopefully those will be seen in the MMO.
I believe Runic Games is beginning work right away on an MMO in the Torchlight world. When do you people see your families?
Families? What is this family you speak of? It’s been extremely challenging that’s for sure. We have some very patient people in our lives.
Will Torchlight the single-player game interact with Torchlight the MMO?
They will not interact – they will be different games.
In one interview it was said that players will never find every item in the game. Is that a challenge?
If anyone wants to take up that challenge, they are more than welcome but I tend to agree – there is just a staggering number of items! It’d would be great to see a contest for the most amount of items found within a certain number of levels but hey, who wants to keep count when there are better monsters to fight and better loot to be found?
I am forced to ask this by the international rules of video game interviews, is there any DLC planned for Torchlight?
Yes and no; Yes in the sense that there will be tons of user content created by modders (and mods from the Devs themselves), from monsters to spells to adventure packs. No in the sense that nothing is planned for sure from our side. However, we haven’t ruled out the possibility that we’ll trickle down some of the content that we will be including in the MMO.
Where can gamers get Torchlight?
From our site, www.torchlightgame.com. From any of our partner sites: Perfect World, Steam, Direct2Drive, Encore, GamersGate, Gameware.