Eisenwald: Blood of November Interview
My love for Legends of Eisenwald is a little personal, and I've already shared in great detail just what the game means for me. In design terms, Eisenwald does what few other games dare - it puts atmosphere first. It conjures an idealized medieval storybook world we want to return to again and again, an adventure in the sunshine, and a place we can call our own. I have a small collection of games that work magic in creating a colorful medieval atmosphere, with just a little bit of innocence. Legends of Eisenwald is one of those few.
Eisenwald finally released last year, to success and acclaim, and Aterdux hasn't been resting on its laurels. They've taken to Kickstarter again to launch a new standalone Eisenwald adventure, Blood of November. I got to chat with Alexander Dergay, project lead for the Eisenwald series, and scratch up some details on Blood of November.
Aubrielle: In Blood of November, the Duchy of Eisenwald has been thrown into civil war. Who are playing as this time? What's our objective?
Alex: The civil war already started. Majority of local lords have joined one of the two powerful clans. We are playing as a simple knight, baroness or mystic who kept neutrality but sooner or later we will have to make a choice who to support or join. Our objective is not to let the throne of the duchy in the hands of someone we don't like. And like in many cases in our lives, we have to choose a lesser evil.
Aubrielle: I see that BoN has a lot of interesting new features...sandbox play, improved graphics and assets, a new behavior-based quest system? Can you tell us some more about what new elements we can expect?
Alex: Legends of Eisenwald was a heavily story driven game. It worked in the most part for the campaign but we often heard from players that they wanted to have more freedom in what they do. Blood of November will not be story driven, yet it won't be without objectives. We improved dynamic balance of respawn so there won't be a situation where you kill the same peasants over and over. We introduced also random events so that they affect somewhat each playthrough making the game more replayable. And there are other smaller things we will change, for example troops availability for hire will be much more varied. In times of the civil war even rogues and bandits sometimes fought alongside nobles.
Aubrielle: One new feature you listed in your latest update was improved castle functionality...our castles will be used for a lot more now. Can you give us some more details on that? Can we hope for even more from castles, or maybe similar features from other places, like towns, cities, etc?
Alex: We wanted to make castle upgrades all the way from the start, it was even a stretch goal in our 2012 Kickstarter campaign. While castle improvements is not exactly implementation of our vision, it should enhance the strategic layer in Blood of November. As we wrote in our update yesterday, the most useful feature probably will be hiring patrols in castles and improve these patrols using our gold. It will provide an extra layer of defense to our lands, garrisons in the castles are often not enough. Also, players will have an option to add a forge and a trade to their castles that will provide extra income and a place to shop for weapons and armor at discount prices :)
Aubrielle: Autumn is my favorite season. :) With a game called "Blood of November", can I hope for some autumn scenery?
Alex: Yes, some autumn scenery is coming! We already reworked some of the things in the graphics related to autumn and more will be done.
Aubrielle: It seems like you and your team have learned so much from your time with Legends of Eisenwald, and that there so many fun new gameplay elements you're including in BoN. With a standalone adventure of around 10 hours, is it too early to hope that this might just be a prelude to a grand new adventure in Eisenwald? Something with the sandbox elements you're developing and many more hours of gameplay?
Alex: Well, as much as we wish to work on a grand new adventure in Eisenwald, currently it doesn't seem realistic. Unlike in 2012 when we had no idea how much of a budget our game required, now we know and despite having an engine and some of the assets, cost of such a production is very high and I don't know where to find funding for that. In addition to that, we are working on a few unannounced things at the moment. But in the future I really hope we would be able to return to Eisenwald with a new campaign featuring new troops types, new heroes and improved gameplay. We indeed learned a lot making Legends of Eisenwald and we are looking forward to apply this knowledge.
Aubrielle: Anything else you'd like to share with our readers?
Alex: I would like to thank RPGWatch for its constant interest in our work and support of our projects. We don't want to make games just for ourselves and it's heartwarming to be a part of such a wonderful community of players with shared interests.
Aubrielle: Thanks so much for taking time to talk to us. :)
Alex: Thank you!
Blood of November should be out this fall, and I've got plenty of caramel apple Halloween candy and apple cider both hot and cold for my journey. I'm ready.
The Kickstarter for Blood of November goes until September 20th, so if you've got a little extra change, consider dropping it in the cup. :)