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A short Q&A with Logic Artists

by Andre "Gorath" Wolf, 2014-08-08

We had a brief Q&A with Logic Artists from Denmark about their new game Clandestine and a possible Expeditions: Conquistador sequel.

Thanks to Logic Artists for taking the time to answer our questions and for being friendly and helpful despite me sitting on this piece forever. New infos about Clandestine should come at the GamesCom in Cologne (Germany) next week.

RPGWatch: In the meantime Expeditions: Conquistador got the second wind. It created a lot of buzz in a Humble Bundle and winter sales on GoG or Steam. What are the chances for Expeditions: The Sequel after your next game?

Logic Artists: We’ve been planning a sequel to Conquistador since before the first game was released. The whole idea of the Expeditions prefix is that we really want to do more games like Conquistador - turn-based RPGs built around a strong narrative core. The heart of the Expeditions series, as we hope it will become, is the idea of setting out into the unknown with a small group of people under your command. It’s about exploration in historical settings, it’s about the clash of vastly different cultures, and it’s about letting the player experiment with values and mindsets that are very far removed from our modern, more or less enlightened age. The next Expeditions game will take place in a different time and a different part of the world than Conquistador, but it will maintain the core gameplay of its predecessor.

RPGWatch: You definitely hit the sweet spot of the RPGWatch community. Expeditions: Conquistador was the runner up at our GOTY Awards for Best RPG 2013. Your game received nearly every 10th vote. Congratulations!

Logic Artists: Thank you! We’ve always considered the RPGWatch and sites like it to be our target audience, and it’s very reassuring to see that we struck a cord with your community.

RPGWatch: Both our team and the community were quite surprised the top spots at our GOTY Awards were taken by indie games. Do you think it's a good time for indies, and if so, why?

Logic Artists: Yeah times have never been better for indies. The most obvious reason is that digital distribution has really caught on within the last 5-6 years, and digital platforms are still growing larger and more diverse. Another reason is that the audience is expanding and maturing, and this creates more niches, and bigger niches, for smaller development groups to fill. It’s very nice for a new studio like ours, that we can operate relatively independently without having to sell everything to a big publishing house to reach our audience.

RPGWatch: I guess you can talk now. Later in 2013 you announced your new game “Clandestine”. What's it all about?

Logic Artists: Clandestine comes from a whole other place than Conquistador. It was originally intended to be a small management game where you would build an intelligence agency, build your network, and send your operatives on missions around the world, but over several design iterations and prototypes it ended up being a third-person stealth game with a very unique co-op component.

Basically, one player is the field agent – they have the physical presence in the game world, and they have a pistol. The other player is a hacker, sitting in front of a bank of PC monitors an inconspicuous van somewhere in the level, and the hacker has to guide the spy through the mission, supply the spy with all the information that they need to stay alive and out of too much trouble, and provide more direct assistance by hacking security cameras, unlocking electronic doors, providing distractions at crucial moments, and so on and so forth. It’ll also be playable in singleplayer, where you’ll play as the spy but some of the hacker stuff is available if you physically access a PC, and other things can be activated through a context-sensitive command wheel.

It does have some RPG elements, because that is our main pedigree – your basic dialogue system, with some new cool co-op features, a basic skill system, and as much choice and consequence as we can manage. But Clandestine is definitely coming from Logic Artists as fans of Looking Glass Studios rather than Logic Artists as fans of Black Isle.

RPGWatch: A stealth spy thriller playing in the 1990s. Will Clandestine be similar to Alpha Protocol? Is it story-driven?

Alpha Protocol is one of our main inspirations, along with Thief 2, Deus Ex, Hitman Blood Money and Splinter Cell Chaos Theory. As mentioned it will have some light RPG elements, but the intention is to make it first and foremost a spy game, rather than trying to fit it into the RPG category. As such it will primarily be a stealth game, and a damn sight more robust at stealth than Alpha Protocol. Clandestine will have a fairly complex narrative, but above all it is character driven. As it is primarily a co-op game, we can’t allow the story to get in the way of the interactions between the two players, but if you do take the time to delve into the story of the game, there’s plenty of depth there to discover.

RPGWatch: How much time will the player spend in combat, and what will combat be like? Are there tactical elements?

Logic Artists: Combat in Clandestine will be chaotic and unforgiving. The spy does have a pistol you can use to pick off isolated enemies, or you can knock them out with stealth takedowns if you get up close, but if you get into an all-out firefight, it’s best to pop off a few shots and then make a run for it. At best you can take out the immediate threats to buy you time to relocate before the reinforcements arrive. Think about Splinter Cell Chaos Theory – you can’t take more than a few hits before it’s game over, but you have plenty of options for escape and evasion.

RPGWatch: You stress the “asynchronous multi-player” in your product announcement. Will Clandestine have a full scale single player campaign and what kind of multi-player do you support?

Logic Artists: So far we’re only planning two-player co-op as described above. We’ve talked about other options, but we want to focus on our main unique selling point, which is the spy/hacker co-op dynamic. We’re doing our best to make sure as much as possible of that dynamic carries over into singleplayer though, because we do realize that a lot of people prefer to play games alone. The AI and scripted events will take over a lot of the hacker duties in singleplayer, and you’ll be able to request certain actions of the AI with a command wheel. Other than that, the co-op campaign and the singleplayer campaign are the same missions in the same order.

RPGWatch: Thanks for your time and good luck with Clandestine!

Box Art

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Logic Artists

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Country: Denmark