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Dragon Commander - Hands-On Preview & Interview

by Myrthos, 2013-04-02 17:07:14

PCGamesN bring us their report of the hands-on session they had for Dragon Commander.

Genres be damned, say Larian Studios. The developer clearly has no interest in trying to squeeze Dragon Commander into any particular category. Instead, they've brewed together a giant soup of genres and into this they've stirred a fridgeful of influences.

Anyone who dips their spoon into this bubbling broth will catch the familiar taste of real-time strategy infused with roleplaying elements and even underscored by the subtle, beefy aroma of action. There's a faint aroma of politics in the air somewhere and also bobbing in this brew are ingredients usually associated with grand strategy board games, high fantasy and steampunk. Then, an unexpected flavour comes into the mix: while Larian don't seem to have added elements we'd usually associate with dating sims (thank heavens), it looks like getting married is going to be an important moment in the game, something that may well be just another step along a taught political tightrope.

And Gaming Illustrated took lead designer Farhang Namdar apart and talked to him about Dragon Commander:

Gaming Illustrated (RB): Can you tell me a little about what went into making that decision as far as blending everything together?

Farhang Namdar (Larian Studios): The idea originally was to create a very, very short 10 mission dragon game. The gameplay with the dragon was actually pretty fun because we never really flushed it out in The Dragon Knight Saga. We got some time to actually make it play well then we said ok, we have these campaigns and stuff but it would be great to have this mothership where you come back to and keep track of all these characters. I was a really big fan of Wing Commander so I always wanted to have that in there.

If we were going to fly missions, I wanted to have the mothership there as well with all the different characters but then with choices that matter–not like Starcraft where you just click on a character and it starts a cutscene but that you can actually make choices during this cutscene. Later on, we were looking at these Cinemaware games and games that were made in the 80s and early 90s. They always had like strategy games with different things happening in between. You always had this world map where you chose what countries to attack and things to do. Once you did that, you had these interesting events popping up like this wizard travels from a far away country to your empire with a gift for you. Would you accept him or not? These small useless choices that just popped up with a single image actually made a pretty big difference during gameplay.

Also, Swen’s [Larian Studios founder Swen Vincke] a big board game fan. so we decided to integrate all that together and, yea, we really love making RTS’ as well so that’s how everything came in to the game

Information about

Dragon Commander

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Steampunk
Genre: Strategy-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released