Sections

Interview: Runic’s Max Schaefer on Torchlight and Torchlight II

Friday, 7 January 2011 10:54 GMT By Patrick Garratt

torchlight3

Runic Games is on the up. Having clocked more than 500,000 sales for 2009′s universally-loved indie ation-RPG Torchlight on PC, the developer hit the big leagues this week with a place on CES’s Microsoft keynote stage and confirmation of an XBLA version.

While the console outing has received a complete UI and control overhaul over the PC smash, Runic’s rushing towards a “May” launch of Torchlight II on PC, replete with online co-op, overland areas and more.

We spoke with Runic co-founder Max Schaefer in December on the state of play for PC development in general, the original thinking behind Torchlight as a project and what we can expect from the much-anticipated sequel.

t_insert_1

VG247: You had a real hit with Torchlight. What was it about the game that resonated so well with PC users? Do you think there was just a gap in the market for another point-and-click action RPG at the time?

Max Schaefer: Yeah. I was involved with the whole Diablo series as well, and the motivation was the same then as it was when we started making Torchlight, and that is, like you said, that there’s a gap in the market.

There are a million people out there trying to make WoW-killers, and the standard MMO genre is very, very crowded right now. For whatever reason, there seem to be precious few good action-RPG titles. That was the basis for why we wanted to make Torchlight to begin with.

Also we took a couple of gambles with Torchlight that I think paid off, and that was that people just want a fun game, and don’t so much care if it has multiplayer. Assuming there are people that will play a single-player RPG was the biggest risk.

But also we felt that in PC games in general, the projects have got too big, and too labourious, and they take too long and too much money to make. We figured that we could make a really fun, compelling game and only have to charge $20 for it – no subscription fees, no item sales or anything like that – and that people would be receptive.

I think they were, and I think that’s an approach that we’re going to continue to take as we go forward.

To expand on that, then, the climate at the moment, especially on PC, is seemingly very kind to mid-budget developers delivering games which are not quite so fully-featured but have a lower price and are more easily digestible. Torchlight’s a great example, and Minecraft’s another one. We’re seeing very big numbers for these games. Do you think this is because people have just got tired of spending too much money for games which are too big?

Max Schaefer: Right. And just from a business perspective, when you make these $50 million games, it’s so hard to make your money back that publishers are very conservative about what sort of games they’ll greenlight. So you get a lot of sequels, copycat games and conservative plays. When you come down to a rational budget and a rational team size, you really are freed to take more risk and do more creative things. I think Minecraft is a perfect example. I’m obsessed with Minecraft. I can safely say that Minecraft will slightly delay the shipping of Torchlight 2 [laughs].

It just proves that one guy can make a clever and compelling game. I hope we see more of it, because I think what the PC business really needs right now is more creativity, more responsiveness to customers and more fun, compelling titles. If we’re going to spend $50 million and take four years to make each game, we’re just not going to serve the market.

On the subject of lightweight, easily digestible games, part of Torchlight’s success was almost certainly down to the fact that it would basically run on anything. This is a tactic that Blizzard put to very good use with WoW back in the early days. Is it going to be a similar deal with Torchlight II?

Max Schaefer: Torchlight II runs on the same graphics engine and technology as Torchlight. Now, since there are more people on screen and there’s a little bit more happening, it won’t be identical in its performance, but it’ll be very, very close. Like you say, it really helped World of Warcraft a lot, and I think it has an even more profound effect to a game like Torchlight, for several reasons: firstly, if it runs on old machines, then the market is bigger; also, action-RPGs really benefit from a smooth frame-rate more than other game genres do. By going low-spec, your frame-rate goes up on your good machines as well. If you have a super-high-end gaming rig, Torchlight runs smooth as silk on it, and it just feels good.

Taking a low-tech approach has benefits in performance on any machine, not just running on low-end machines.

Also, not doing bump-maps and shaders and all this sort of stuff, means that we can make stuff faster and it’s easier to iterate. We actually get to spend more time polishing, and more time with the art direction, and more time iterating on the things we’re designing, because the production of the art assets is just a lot easier and faster.

t_insert_2

It seems that taking this approach to development actually keeps you very nimble. Is this the sort of space you want to stay in? You don’t want to move towards higher-end graphics cards?

Max Schaefer: I think we’re definitely going to stay in this area. For one thing, we want to keep a small company; we don’t want to grow to be a thousand people like Blizzard. We don’t want to do five-year projects. We want to stay as a small team that does one thing at a time and focuses on it and does it quickly.

I think pretty much anyone in the game business has a least a small measure of attention deficit disorder, and as developers we certainly do as well. It’s certainly a lot more satisfying to get a project on the shelves in 11 months, as we did with Torchlight, than to spend five years on something that may or may not ever ship.

Talking about the game itself, then. Obviously, it’s built very closely to the Diablo II formula: were you very clear when you set out that you weren’t going to deviate from click, kill, loot, sell, in any way at all?

Max Schaefer: Yeah. I think that was the one area in which we were fairly conservative in our approach. We have a bunch of people on our team that have a proven and long history of making this sort of game. We know that we can do this sort of game well. We know that we can put out a compelling, fun product in this genre. Given that we were going off-board with a lot of the other approaches we were taking, it was the one area that we did want to be conservative and make sure we got right.

And I’m glad we did. Now that we’ve established the Torchlight franchise, and established the development tools and our team, let’s see what we can do with it now, see what other people who are making action-RPGs, who have a more labourious process and have bigger teams, can’t do. We want to be able to go places that maybe Diablo III won’t go. We’re a brand new company, and Torchlight is our only product to date, so we want to see where we can take this now.

As you say, we are more nimble, and we can experiment more easily and get results and feedback faster than other companies.

You touched on Diablo III there. That’s a hugely anticipated game. There were some incredibly flattering remarks about Torchlight being a worthy stop-gap between now and Diablo III. How did you feel about that?

Max Schaefer: We’re very, very pleased to be a Diablo III stop-gap [laughs]. Obviously, we have a lot of respect for Blizzard and what they’re doing with Diablo III, and we really respect the fact that they’re going to take the time to do it right. Obviously, we’ll be day one purchasers of Diablo III, and it’ll delay whatever we’re working on at the time, but at the same time we’re glad we don’t have to do it. They have incredible expectations, and there’s almost no way that they’ll be able to please everybody with what they do. It’s a scale and a level of responsibility and a situation that in some ways we’re glad we’re not in.

t_insert_3

I just wanted to talk about a few of Torchlight’s gameplay elements. One of the things I noticed immediately is that the game’s Normal setting is incredibly easy. Are you planning on adjusting that for the sequel?

Max Schaefer: Yeah. I think we went a little overboard with it. The theory was that we were assuming that with the Normal setting this is a new customer, and not someone who’s spent 400 hours playing Diablo. If you have spent a decade and many hundreds of hours playing Diablo, you’re going to come into Torchlight and be able to breeze right through it on the Normal setting.

There’s a new generation of people out there, a new generation of gamers who came into the fold after the Diablo titles happened, and they may be very used to the WASD, WoW-style of play. We wanted to make sure they didn’t feel incompetent when they fired up Torchlight on Normal mode.

Having said that, I think we maybe did overdo it a bit, and it was a little too easy. We’ll make a minor adjustment for that in Torchlight II.

I’ve been playing through it as the Alchemist, and it’d be really great if there was more in the way of pet and minion control. Do you have anything planned in that regard for the sequel?

Max Schaefer: I don’t think we have anything particularly specific for controlling minions. I think that we could do a better job of honing in their behaviour, so that you don’t feel as though you have to control them as much. That’s the area we’re going to be hitting.

Torchlight II is going to be a little different to Torchlight in that we do have a little more time now to polish. We started Torchlight with blank computers and no software and had a shipping title 11 months later. During that time we had to develop our technology, experiment and figure out an art style, write our development tools, develop an art pipeline and a method of putting things together and everything else, so a lot of time was kind of swallowed up.

We’re hitting the ground running with Torchlight II. We’re using the same tools, the same graphics engine, most of the same staff, and everyone is better at doing this. We can really hit the ground running and spend more time of things like minion behaviour and late game balance, a lot of the things we didn’t have the luxury of doing in Torchlight.

Are you going to be keeping the sidekick mechanic for Torchlight II? That was actually awesome. I thought that was a very neat way of getting round some labourious problems.

Max Schaefer: Absolutely, and we’re going to expand on it considerably. The pets were a universally popular addition, and we want to go a little bit further this time, have more pet options and maybe give them some more abilities as well.

The main addition to Torchlight II, obviously, is online co-op. We’ve seen this is action RPGs before, the one immediately springing to mind being Titan Quest. Are you planning to innovate in any way? Are you planning on giving something new, or are we going to see something tried and tested but in the Torchlight mould?

Max Schaefer: I’d say that from a gameplay perspective, our goals are relatively modest for this. Basically, we just wanted you to be able to play Torchlight with your friends, and we wanted to be able to do it, again, without having to do subscription fees, or items sales, or any of the other junk that you generally have to do nowadays to play online action-RPGs with your friends.

There’ll obviously be skills and things that are designed specifically for multiplayer, and we’ll do as many cool things as we can with it, but I don’t think we’re going to be looking for a revolutionary new gameplay style with our multiplayer model.

Can you play the whole game in co-op? Is it four-way co-op?

Max Schaefer: It’s entirely soloable, so you can play as one person. We haven’t set the party maximum just yet. The sweet spot, just from playing in the office, is 1-4 players. There’s no technological reason why we can’t increase that, but once you get up to, like, eight players, it gets ridiculously crowded if you’re at all in the same area.

It is possible to have a group of four in the late game and then another group of four in the early game in, technically, the same game session and you just never see [each other]. It works fine. It’s an ongoing debate right now where we set the maximum number of players in the game. It’ll probably be between four and eight.

Will the campaign itself be longer?

Max Schaefer: Yes. We’ve got considerably more content than we did in Torchlight. We’ve got multiple hub cities, vast overland areas and lots of lots of dungeons.

Is there any PvP stuff in it?

Max Schaefer: We’ll probably enable a PvP mode that’s just basically for people to have fun with. We’re not going to spend any time trying to really balance it very well [laughs], or make particular games for it. We want PvP to basically be something where, if you just want to see who’s stronger between you and your friend, you can do that.

The second thing that really stuck out in that reveal trailer was the overland stuff. Has bringing the action out of the dungeon helped your co-op design by giving you more space? How have overland areas affected the overall project?

Max Schaefer: Technically, these are really just outdoor dungeons. They’re still randomly-generated areas – they’ll be different every time you start a new game – but they change the feeling of the game entirely.

There was some valid criticism of Torchlight that said it was a relatively claustrophobic game. You were underneath one particular town, and there clearly wasn’t much of a sense of an actual world up there. There’s a pretty striking difference. Just walking out across the wilderness to get to a town, it really feels more like an actual world.

The difference is a lot more than you would think. You get it within five minutes of playing. There’s the promise of more. Because you’re walking outdoors right at the beginning of the game, walking towards a town, you get the sense that you’re going to be seeing a lot of cool different places and a lot of different terrains, and you’re going to be really exploring a world instead of just a delving beneath one town. It really has changed the feel of the game substantially.

It also lets us explore different terrain types and different styles, and it breaks up the game better. There’s something psychologically refreshing about coming out of a dungeon and then heading across the wilderness. Even though, technically, it’s a trivial difference it just feels different.

A lot of an action-RPG is pacing. If your levels are too long, you just start to get bored, or you start to get frustrated. A lot of honing and making an action-RPG fun and compelling is the pacing of it. It really helps with pacing to be able to come indoors then outdoors, and so on.

t_insert_4

While you’re changing the physically scenario of the game, I assume you’re overhauling the classes as well. Are you keeping the classes from Torchlight and adding more, or are you starting again?

Max Schaefer: We have four new character classes, and you’re not going to be able to play the old classes any more. Those old classes will be in the game as NPCs and still part of the world lore, so you are still in the same world.

We’re starting where Torchlight’s story left off and you’re going to see some of the same NPCs that you saw the first time around, but we wanted to get away from the notion that we’re tacking on multiplayer to Torchlight. We wanted to emphasise that we’re making a completely new game, so there’s all-new skills and all-new character classes. There’ll be four character classes this time.

Care to share any of the classes?

Max Schaefer: We’ve already revealed the Railman, who’s sort of a tank with engineering skills. As per the lore, he’s out building these railways across the dangerous and monster-strewn wilderness, so he’s both got to be able to build things and fight off dangers. He’s sort of a mellee tank, but he also has engineering skills, which are pretty cool.

The other one we’ve already talked about is the Outlander. He’s a sort of wandering magician, ranged fighter type of character. The idea is that he’s not part of any structured society; he’s a lone wanderer. He’s sort of a magic, ranged counterpart to the melee tank of the Railman.

The other two characters will fill in the gaps from there.

Finally, when’s it actually coming out?

Max Schaefer: We’ve been saying April or May. We’re a game developer telling you a due date, so take that with a pinch of salt. When I say “April-May,” I probably mean “May” [laughs]. As someone told me, “You mean April 45th?”

Latest

  • Dragon’s Dogma Online has great monsters

    Dragon’s Dogma Online looks pretty rad – an undesirable quality in a game unlikely to come west, from our perspective. The first Dragon’s Dogma trailer was released this afternoon; admire its beauty below. The free to play online RPG was announced for PC, PlayStation 3 and PS4 overnight, but Capcom doesn’t intend to bring it […]

  • Xenoblade Chronicles X map about five times the size of last game’s

    Xenoblade Chronicles X is not a small game. This week’s Famitsu has a feature on Xenoblade Chronicles X giving some details on Monolith Soft’s next RPG and first Wii U game. According to Siliconera‘s translation of reports on the feature, the game’s map is about five times the size of that in Xenoblade Chronicles. The […]

  • Take on Mars expected to hit beta in April

    Take on Mars, the space sim from Bohemia Interactive will soon be reader for wider consumption. According to a new Take on Mars development roadmap, the sim will go into beta at the start of April, with full release expected in June. The project is currently available via Steam early Access, but between now and […]

  • Can you guess the next Mortal Kombat X character reveal from this fatality audio clip?

    Mortal Kombat X will have at least one very liquid-sounding fatality. NetherRealm is revealing Mortal Kombat X’s cats one character at a time, and has promised a new reveal during a community Twitch stream tomorrow. It also provided the following teaser video – it’s audio only, and apparently taken from a fatality sequence. What’s your […]

  • Nintendo Creators Program now recruiting YouTubers

    Nintendo has opened a Creators Program designed to ensure creators get a slice of ad revenue from videos featuring Nintendo assets. The Nintendo Creators Program will launch on May 27, but is currently in beta and taking registrations. This is Nintendo’s answer to the knotty question of YouTubers making money on videos featuring its assets […]

  • Xbox Live issues under investigation

    Can’t sign into Xbox Live? Microsoft is on the case. Xbox 360 and Xbox One users report being unable to sign in to Xbox Live. Microsoft is already aware of and working on the problem. “Our team is hard at work right now trying to get this resolved. Thank you for staying patient while we […]

  • Make money from your non-Valve mods with Steam Workshop

    Valve has opened the money-making side of Steam Workshop to third-party titles, giving enterprising modders more ways to make money. Steam now hosts curated Workshops for Dungeon Defenders: Eternity and Chivalry: Medieval Warfare, the first non-Valve games to support the scheme. What that means is that community members can create, vote on and eventually even […]

  • Check out DmC: Devil May Cry’s new manual lock-on

    DmC: Devil may Cry developer Ninja Theory has released a video showing off the new, controversial lock-on mode. The new manual lock-on is causing quite a stir, although its reception is probably better than the white-wigged Dante who makes fans even more upset than the original makeover. “The primary purpose of this video is to […]

  • Dragon Quest Heroes looks pretty fun

    Dragon Quest Heroes is yet another Omega Force take on an existing property – like Hyrule Warriors or the One Piece games. And it looks pretty sweet. We haven’t heard much from Dragon Quest Heroes here in the west because it hasn’t been confirmed for release outside Japan. This isn’t terribly surprising as we still […]

  • Square Enix to reveal new PS4 game this weekend

    Square Enix is doing something pretty mysterious right now. The Final Fantasy publisher is teasing something called Project Code Z. The project, which Square Enix is tweeting about in Japanese, English and German, is due for reveal at Tokaigi 2015 on Saturday. It’s a PS4 game, but that’s all we know. There’s a website you […]

  • Tetris has crowned its first known western Grand Master

    Tetris fans have a new western champion. Tetris is one of those gaming obsessions that goes much deeper than you might expect. For example, did you know that some versions of the game assess your performance and over you the chance to become a “grand master”? Turns out that’s a thing, and according to Polygon […]

  • Ken Levine’s next game teased as “sci-fi-ish” small, open-world RPG

    A series of tweets from BioShock creator Ken Levine has shed a sliver of light upon his next project. According to Levine he and his team are considering something a bit sci-fi and contemplating first-person mode. The team is developing the game for PC with a large in scope, expandable, systems-based narrative where more can […]

  • Become a lynx in new Shelter 2 trailer

    Shelter 2 casts players in the role of a lynx, which makes for quite a different experience to the badger of the first game. The first Shelter game had you evading predators, but in the second, you becomes one yourself. That doesn’t mean there are no dangers to face, of course. Judging by the trailer […]

  • Why King of Fighters 13 isn’t coming back to Evo

    Evo, the premiere western fighting game tournament, has dropped support for a few previously favoured titles. King of Fighters 13 had a loyal following, but isn’t featured in the Evo 2015 line-up. “Many things go into what games makes it to Evo, but the most obvious one is, ‘Is the community playing this game?’” Evo […]

  • An average Evolve match takes less than ten minutes

    Evolve players are pretty quick at hunting each other down. Evolve developer Turtle Rock has released an infographic brimming with statistics garnered from its recent beta test. One of the key takeaways is that all three monsters, and all four classes, are working as intended – their performance in game matches Turtle Rock’s designs. If […]

  • Super Mario Amiibo can be pre-ordered on Nintendo UK, Mario and Peach sold out

    The latest set of Amiibo in the Super Mario series is now available for pre-purchase through the Nintendo UK Store. Each of the following sports a red base and will run you £10.99: Bowser, Luigi, Mario, Peach, Toad and Yoshi. It looks like Peach and Mario are both sold out, though. All six can be […]

  • The Music of League of Legends Vol. 1 free to download now

    League of Legends has excellent music, and now you can have it too. The Music of League of Legends Vol. 1 collects 15 tracks from the MOBA’s history, and is available for free. You can grab the music from iTunes, Google Play or via direct download. Tere’s an example track below to get you in […]

  • Super Bowl 49 update arrives on Madden NFL Mobile

    With Super Bowl 49 occurring this coming Sunday, February 1, EA Sports has updated Madden NFL Mobile with new feature enhancements and Super Bowl-themed Live Events. Updates include: League vs League Tournaments Obstacle Course Super Bowl Bonus Players Tom Brady and Richard Sherman Super Bowl Legends Super Bowl Moments Upgraded Auction House The Super Bowl […]

  • See Super Smash Bros.’ unused custom moves

    Super Smash Bros. was originally intended to have 16 custom moves per character. The final version of Super Smash Bros. only features 12 custom moves per fighter, but Nintendo left animations for some of the cut moves in place. A Youtuber called RED has dug these cut mvoes out of the brawler’s code, and displayed […]

  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt contains 16 hours of sex scene mo-cap data

    Sex is nothing new to the The Witcher games, and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is no exception. In fact, it contains 16 hours of sex scene motion capture data. Giggity. There’s a reason for the bedroom dalliances though, as Geralt is a flesh and blood human, or a modified human at any rate, with […]

  • Here’s the launch trailer for Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy Remastered

    A launch trailer for Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy Remastered has been released after an Amazon listing was revealed for it over the weekend. Key upgrades include: High-definition Graphics — All of the in-game textures have been meticulously recreated in HD for mobile and desktop. Widescreen Support – A true widescreen (not cropped) view strengthens the game’s […]

  • The open beta for Battlefield Hardline will be dated tomorrow

    The exact dates as well as more information on the Battlefield Hardline open beta will be shared tomorrow. This is according to the latest blog post from developer Visceral Games. “We’ll share the exact dates and info on the Battlefield Hardline open beta tomorrow,” wrote Visceral boss Steve Papoutsis. “Stay tuned, thanks again, and keep […]

  • Upcoming Hearthstone patch to apply balance change to Undertaker

    An upcoming Hearthstone patch will apply a balance change to the Undertaker card, Blizzard has announced. After the release of Goblins vs Gnomes, Blizzard said it kept an “eye on the state of game balance” as more matches were played using the additional cards. Released with The Curse of Naxxramas, Undertaker is considered an overly […]

  • February Games with Gold offers up Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons

    The free games on offer in February via Xbox Live Games with Gold have been announced. Xbox Live Gold members on Xbox One can download #IDARB during February. Xbox 360 users can grab Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons from February 1-15, when it will be replaced by Sniper Elite V2 from February 16 -28. […]

  • Kinguin blames unidentified Russian for deactivated Far Cry 4 keys

    Third-party game key seller Kinguin is issuing refunds to those who found their games deactivated through Ubisoft’s Uplay service. Customers which purchased keys for Assassin’s Creed: Unity, Far Cry 4, The Crew and Watch Dogs are affected. Kinguin said 4,600 customer tickets were submitted over the last 72 hours and 35 out of 3,400 of […]

  • Video Unlimited to be re-branded as PlayStation Video starting in February

    Like Music Unlimited, Sony’s Video Unlimited service is being replaced and re-branded PlayStation Video. PlayStation Video will become part of PlayStation Network to streamline digital services for the over 64 million PSN users. PlayStation Video and PlayStation Music will be added to PSN which is already a destination point for the PlayStation Store, PlayStation Plus, […]

  • Spotify arrives on PlayStation Music this spring, Music Unlimited closing

    Spotify will launch on PlayStation Network this spring as part of a new music destination called PlayStation Music. PlayStation Music is a replacement for Music Unlimited, and those with a PSN account can link to Spotify which can be used just for music, or when playing games on PlayStation 4. Existing playlists from current Spotify […]

  • Closed beta for Alone in the Dark: Illumination starts tomorrow

    The private beta period for Alone in the Dark: Illumination starts on January 29. Those who pre-order the game via Steam, will automatically be included in the beta, enabling them to provide feedback on the first campaign in single-player mode. An additional beta period will be announced in the weeks leading up to launch. The […]

  • Majora’s Mask Special Edition New 3DS XL available once more on UK store

    UK residents who want to get their hands on the shiny Majora’s Mask Special Edition New 3DS XL can once again pre-purchase it through the Nintendo UK Store. If you want one, you better hurry because units will likely go rather fast. Only one per customer is allowed, and once you drop £209.99 on it, […]

  • Nintendo Q3: 1.9M New 3DS models sold, Wii U lifetime sales hit 9.2M

    New 3DS XL has sold 1.3 million units as of December 31, 2014, Nintendo announced in its Q3 financial results today. New 3DS moved 580,000 units by the end of the same period. Lifetime sales of both systems combined total a little under 1.9 million. Combined global sales for current 3DS models available in Europe […]

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare’s exo zombies reanimate a familiar format

    Advanced Warfare’s exo suits manage to bring an undead format back to life. Dave Cook welcomes zombies back to Call of Duty. “The challenges start to spike early so seasoned zombie slayers needn’t worry about being coddled.” Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare’s first DLC went live this week, dropping four very solid maps for multiplayer […]

  • YouTube app and Maps will be removed from PS Vita

    Sony said that it will end support for the YouTube and Maps apps, as well as remove the “near” feature in an upcoming firmware update. Sony has revealed that a system update releasing in March will remove the Maps app and prevent the “near” feature from obtaining location address or display maps, making it redundant. […]

  • There is a Destiny loot cave Easter egg in Dying Light

    Dying Light is the latest game to take a jab at Destiny by having its own loot cave. Destiny’s infamous loot cave has been recreated in Dying Light, sort of. Of course the loot cave in Dying Light is only an Easter egg and doesn’t actually net you any loot. Instead, upon entering it, you […]

  • Resident Evil: Revelations 2 supports co-op in story mode, but only offline

    You can play the campaign of Resident Evil: Revelations 2 in co-op, but not online. 4gamer spoke to producers of Resident Evil: Revelations 2 and made out with a few details concerning story, setting and more. The site confirmed that while you will be able to switch between characters in the single player, and have […]

  • The Witcher 3 may have a permadeath “Insanity” mode

    Although not yet confirmed, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt developer CD Projekt RED is working on a difficulty mode dubbed “Insanity” that will delete your save if you die. During Monday’s Twitch stream, the developer took a few questions from the chat and we’ve got a bunch of answers. There are many interesting little bits […]

3 Comments

  1. Blerk

    Great interview, I hadn’t realised that there was a possibility of it being more than 2-player co-op. I’m already sold on Torchlight 2, anyway – no further pimpage required, I’ll be getting it for sure.

    One question which does spring to mind – is the sequel also going to be coming to console, or does that depend on the performance of the first one?

    #1 4 years ago
  2. mingtons ghost

    I’d imagine the sequel will come to consoles, the same thought popped into my head whilst i was reading, if its all the same engine and what not, why not release the sequel across all platforms at the same time…….monies, why miss out on all the first game wonga

    Sounds like all the hard work is done, it’ll just be a waiting game to convert and release the sequel on xbox…probably during ‘summer of arcade 2012′ put that prediction in your pipe and smoke it!

    #2 4 years ago
  3. OlderGamer

    Fantastic interview. Well done. Great game and I like the way Max thinks. Can’t wait for tourchlight II.

    #3 4 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

  • Dragon Age: Inquisition is the most successful launch for BioWare, based on sales

    Dragon Age: Inquisition is responsible for the most successful launch in developer BioWare’s history, according to EA. During last night’s EA Q3 2015 earnings call, the publisher said that Dragon Age: Inquisition was the most successful launch for developer BioWare. Today, we get a bit more detail. “In particular, Dragon Age: Inquisition had by far […]

  • Here’s a walkthrough of one mission from Far Cry 4 Hurk Deluxe DLC

    Far Cry 4′s latest DLC pack, Hurk Deluxe, seems like good fun, judging from this video. The Hurk Deluxe Pack was released today on all platforms. It comes with five new missions. The video below takes a look at the “Call of the Wild” mission. In the walkthrough you’ll get to see some of the […]

  • Battlefield Hardline beta date confirmed on Xbox Store

    The beta date for Battlefield Hardline has popped up on the Xbox Store, confirming the rumoured date. The listing for the Battlefield Hardline beta is available for anyone to see right now on the Xbox Store. Granted, it’s for Xbox 360, but unless EA is starting this beta early on Xbox 360, this will pretty […]

  • GTA player flies jets backwards in impressive stunts

    Doing stunts with jets in GTA 5 can be impressive, but it’s nothing like flying them backwards. Making videos of your jet stunts has become too mainstream. Which is why the latest video from YouTube channel GTA5Videos is all about defying that. The video below features some insane stunts mostly done by flying jets backwards, […]

  • CoD: Advanced Warfare balance patch out, System Hack nerfed, HBRa3 buffed

    The latest patch to Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is here with some major changes to game balance. Making good on the promise to nerf System Hack, developer Sledgehammer Games has released the latest patch to Advanced Warfare to do just that, and much more. The patch is out now on Xbox platforms, with PlayStation […]

  • Grinding three purples in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel may crash your game [UPDATE]

    Update: Gearbox Software has announced there’s currently a hot-fix in place for Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel as a temporary solution to crashes caused with the DLC update. Until a permanent fix can be made, the hotfix should correct crashing issues. All will be fixed in the next major game update. Original Story A bug that snuck […]

  • Havoc maps up the tempo for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

    Dave Cook dons his Exo suit to find the new Havok DLC maps a great change of pace for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. Given that Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare places great emphasis on verticality, it’s little wonder that Sledgehammer Games has designed the first of its four DLC map packs with elevation and […]

  • G2A responds to deactivated Far Cry 4 keys debacle

    G2A, one of the third-party sellers that were named in the ongoing episode of deactivated Far Cry 4 keys has decided to release a statement. G2A is a well known third-party key sellers online. Most users know it through its sponsorship deals with many YouTube and Twitch channels. The service sells keys both through its […]

  • Petroglyph’s Victory resurfaces with Korean co-developer

    End of Nations, Mytheon and Grey Goo developer Petroglyph Games seems to have salvaged a stalled project. Victory popped up back in early 2013 after Trion Worlds took End of Nations in-house. Petroglyph’s attempt to crowdfund the unusual strategy title ended in iniquity, but it vowed to do whatever it could to bring the game […]

  • Far Cry 4 Hurk Deluxe DLC now available

    Far Cry 4′s latest DLC pack adds new story missions and a pile of new weapons. Far Cry 4: Hurk Deluxe is now available on PC and Xbox platforms, and is rolling out to the PSN in line with local network updates. The pack bundles five story missions, including Yak Farm, Blood Ruby and Hurk’s […]

  • Yes, Resident Evil: Revelations 2 has microtransactions

    Resident Evil: Revelations 2 has microtransactions, but thankfully they’re not as outrageous as initial reports suggested. The subject of Resident Evil: Revelations 2′s microtransactions arose earlier today with reports filtering out of a European press event that you’ll be able to pay to keep playing after your character dies. The ramifications of this are pretty […]

  • Play mini-games to unlock Magicka 2 content

    Magicka 2 publisher Paradox Interactive has invited fans to earn in-game rewards by playing other games. The Magicka website will host various mini-games in the build up to Magicka 2′s launch later this year on PC and PS4. Playing these games controbutes to a community score total which will eventually unlock in-game content as well […]

  • Deactivated Far Cry 4 keys were purchased through Origin

    Far Cry 4 owners who found their games deactivated without warning may be surprised to learn where they came from. Many copies of Far Cry 4 purchased through third-party re-sellers have been deactivated without notice. Although resellers affected by the deactivations argued that they had made authorised purchases, Ubisoft has denied this. The publisher told […]

  • Will Assassin’s Creed visit Japan in 2016?

    The next Assassin’s Creed game after Victory may finally bring ninja and assassins together. An Assassin’s Creed fan has spotted what certainly looks like a heavy hint that the next game after Victory will be set in Japan. Ubisoft forums member Cornik22 was looking through the Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag official art book when […]

  • Resident Evil HD modder aims to restore original, terrible voice acting

    Resident Evil and its early sequels are justifiably famous for their simply dire voice acting. Some Resident Evil fans feel they just can’t enjoy the experience of exploring Umbrella facilities if someone isn’t talking at them with absolutely no regard for pacing, content or tone. As a result, modder Bunny has stepped up to the […]

  • Record iPhone sales drive Apple to revenue spike

    The iPhone is still going strong – in fact, it’s selling better than ever. Apple has announced its financial results for the quarter ending December 27 2014, exceeding expectations with a 29.5% increase in revenues to $74.6 billion. This was a new record for the company. One of the key factors in this spike is […]

  • HoloLens has “mind-blowing” potential for games, says Microsoft CEO

    Microsoft’s VR wearable HoloLens is going to be great for games, according to CEO Satya Nadella. Speaking to investors, Nadella made Microsoft’s entertainment plans for the device explicit. “It’s also getting clearer how the games people love today will evolve to mind-blowing experiences in the future when designed for the mixed reality that Windows 10 […]

  • EA Q3: Battlefield 5 still on for holiday 2016, PGA Tour 15 spring release confirmed

    EA announced its financial results for its Q3 fiscal year 2015 quarter, ended December 31, 2014, noting total net revenue $1.13 billion in total net revenue compared to $808 million year-over-year. For the nine months ending December 31, total net revenue came in at $3.3 billion. Net revenues were up 39% and net income came […]

  • Players logged 113M single-player hours in Dragon Age: Inquisition, other EA games stats

    Ahead of its Q3 2015 earnings release, Electronic Arts has released a game infographic showing some interesting stats compiled through gameplay from October – December 2014. For FIFA 15, over 3.3 billion goals were made; 73 million knockouts occurred in EA SPORTS UFC; over 10 million families were created in The Sims 4; 113 million […]

  • Hyrule Warriors has shipped 1 million units worldwide

    Koei Tecmo has announced shipments of its Wii U hack and slash action title, Hyrule Warriors, has shipped one million units worldwide. The Omega Force-developed title was released in Japan on August 14 and in the west on September 26. Two packs of DLC for the game are slated for February alongside the version 1.5.0 […]

  • Xbox Games Store discounts Never Alone, Dragon Age: Inquisition, more

    This week’s deals available through the Xbox Games Store will be valid until February 2 with titles such as Battlefield 4, Dragon Age Inquisition, Never Alone, and Titanfall discounted. Discounted titles with an asterisk are for Xbox Live Gold members only. Xbox One Just Dance 2015* – 40% Another World* – 50% Never Alone* – […]

  • Say hello to Mortal Kombat X’s latest character: Reptile

    As promised, one of two character reveals this week for Mortal Kombat X has occurred: it’s the acid-spitting Reptile. Nice! Watch the video above. Mortal Kombat X is slated for release on April 14 and will be available on PC, PS3, PS4,Bxo 360 and Xbox One. Thanks, MrTGJelly (Trent).

  • Twisted fairy tale Woolfe: The Red Hood Diaries hits Steam Early Access

    Woolfe: The Red Hood Diaries, the successful Kickstarter from GRIN Studios, has launched on Steam Early Access. The PC title is described as a “cinematic fable featuring a vengeful Red Riding Hood,” who armed with an axe sets out on a quest to avenge the murder of her parents. Gameplay features action-platforming, combo-based hack ‘n […]

  • Dead or Alive 5: Last Round delayed to late March on Steam

    Koei Tecmo has announced it is delaying the PC release of Dead or Alive 5: Last Round to March. According to an updated listing on Steam (thanks, AGB), the fighter was delayed “in order to provide you with the best experience possible.” To apologize for the delay, Team Ninja will offer the Halloween 2013 Set, […]

  • Dragon’s Dogma Online will be F2P “no plans” for western release

    Dragon’s Dogma Online will be a free-to-play title for PC, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3. Set for release this year, Dragon’s Dogma Online has a lobby which will support up to 100 players, is open-world, and the executive producer is Hiroyuki Kobayashi. Players can form groups with up to four players or pawns while raids […]

  • Watch this release video for Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel DLC Lady Hammerlock

    The Lady Hammerlock DLC for Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel releases today on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, and coinciding with the release is the launch trailer. In the Lady Hammerlock DLC, players are introduced and will be able to step into the shoes of Sir Hammerlock’s sister, Lady Aurelia the Baroness. The DLC will run […]

  • Free DLC for Tales of Zestiria takes place after main storyline

    Free DLC will be released in Japan for Tales of Zestiria, and while Bandai Namco has yet to state whether it will be released westward with the core game this summer, it’s an interesting slice of content. According to information from Jump posted by Siliconera, the DLC Alisha After Episode: What Is Reflected In The […]

  • This video of a Paris flat looks the real deal, but it’s all Unreal Engine 4

    I’m not entirely sure when, or how, this fella managed to sneak into my secret flat in Paris and film it, but since it’s out there I may as well share it with you. All joking aside, this video is rather amazing. It provides a virtual tour of a flat located in Paris; however, it’s […]

  • The Witness passes key development milestone, still no release date

    The Witness has seemingly come back from the dead. Creator Jonathan Blow has posted an update on the game’s development. Surely you still remember The Witness? Jonathan Blow’s follow-up to Braid, which was shown during the PlayStation 4 reveal event all the way back in February 2013? Well, today we got our first development update […]

  • You can now take selfies in World of Warcraft

    The latest patch to World of Warcraft has added a S.E.L.F.I.E. Camera to the game. And it does exactly what it sounds like it does. Patch 6.1 is currently being deployed to World of Warcraft’s Public Test Realms (PTR). There’s a massive list of patch notes, but the most pressing one, other than Twitter integration, […]

  • Hellblade: early gameplay and prototype footage revealed

    The latest developer diary for Hellblade is here with a look at some early gameplay prototypes and a peek at some polished areas. Hellblade developer Ninja Theory has revealed even more details of how game development works behind the scenes. The eighth part of this ongoing diary shows early gameplay footage along with some intriguing […]

  • Resident Evil Revelations 2: Raid mode offline-only on launch, more details

    Capcom has revealed a tonne of new details about Raid mode in Resident Evil: Revelations 2. Capcom has confirmed that Raid mode will launch with the first episode of Revelations 2 in February. You will be playing it offline only though, either solo or in split-screen co-op. As for the online portion, Capcom promised it […]

  • Watch the first 20 minutes of Life is Strange

    The first 20 minutes of Life is Strange have been posted online for anyone to watch. The opening 20 minutes of Life is Strange set the stage for what kind of game it is. The kind that you’ll probably like if you’re a fan of Telltale games. The video is courtesy of consolewarsofficial and you […]

  • Don’t blame Ubisoft for cancelling keys – blame the culture of overpriced games

    Publishers need to drop PC games prices in order to stem the flourishing grey market, says Matt Martin. “How are you going to sell me Far Cry 4 for £45 when I can pick up Far Cry, Far Cry 2, Far Cry 3, Far Cry: Blood Dragon and extra DLC for just £30?” Some players […]

  • Dragon’s Dogma Online is real, full reveal in this week’s Famitsu

    What’s been heavily-rumoured to be the next instalment in the Dragon’s Dogma franchise, Dragon’s Dogma Online, will be fully revealed this week. According to a recent post by Famitsu, the magazine’s upcoming weekly issue, which releases January 29, will contain a massive feature on Dragon’s Dogma Online. The magazine will dedicate 18 pages to all […]

  • Valve responds to recent Counter-Strike match-fixing scandal, bans offenders

    Valve has investigated the recent case of match-fixing involving two teams in the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive professional scene and decided to ban those involved from future tournaments. Recent allegations involving match-fixing between iBUYPOWER and NetcodeGuides.com – two of the professional teams that played in Cevo Season 5 – came to light. Valve has took notice […]

  • Having issues playing Grim Fandango Remastered on PS4? Sony is offering help

    Sony has offered a few steps to help those who are having issues with their pre-loaded PS4 installs of Grim Fandango Remastered. A few reports have started to appear online from users who’ve pre-ordered and pre-loaded Grim Fandango Remastered on their PS4 consoles. Sony has since posted a support thread on the official forums, to […]

  • Get Dragon Age: Inquisition for $36 and more in EA’s Xbox One sale

    Many EA digital games are being offered at considerable discounts on Xbox One right now. The latest EA sale is pretty good, offering sales on many AAA titles. It’s only available on Xbox One, with extra savings for Xbox Live Gold subscribers. The list below covers prices for Gold Subscribers. Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare […]

  • Grim Fandango Remastered reviews round-up, all the scores

    Grim Fandango Remastered is a classic game brought into the new generation, so it’s time for everyone to know how great it is. The reviews for Grim Fandango Remastered have started popping up and as per usual, we’ve collected a few of them below. Grim Fandango Remastered is, as the name suggests, a remastered version […]

  • The Witcher 3: latest build is 1080p on PS4, 900p on Xbox One

    The recent preview build of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was running at full-HD resolution on PlayStation 4 and 900p on Xbox One. German website Gamestar attended the recent preview event for The Witcher 3 and examined the three versions that were on offer, PC, PS4 and Xbox One. Here’s the quote, courtesy of Google […]

  • Joystiq is likely to close – rumour

    AOL is rumoured to be closing its video game site, Joystiq. Re/code is reporting that AOL is likely to close its video game site Joystiq soon, according to “various sources.” The move is part of a company-wide restructuring that will affect Joystiq and other “under-performing content properties.” Joystiq is one of the most renowned sites […]

  • The Last of Us movie will be “pretty faithful” to the game

    The Last of Us will bring many of the same elements to the big screen as the small one, according to writer Neil Druckmann. Although The Last of Us will have to be adapted in various ways to make the transition from lengthy interactive adventure to cinema-friendly story arc, Druckmann is hoping to keep the […]

  • Microsoft is fixing Xbox One’s slow controllers

    Xbox One control pads have many charms, but quick start up is not one of them. The Xbox One controller currently takes up to five seconds to connect to your console after switching on, which is an eternity for someone with an attention span as short as mine. Luckily, Microsoft is working to fix this […]

  • Lucius 2 releases on Friday the 13th (of course)

    Lucius 2 has a really fitting release date. Lucius developer Shiver Games has produced a follow-up to the dark tale of an evil child, and it’s coming your way on February 13 – which just so happens to be a Friday. Lucius 2: The Prophecy will set you back $20, and release through Steam. As […]

  • Saints Row 4: Re-Elected PS4 recalled in Australia, incorrect content to blame

    Saints Row 4: Re-Elected has been recalled in Australia due to a mysterious manufacturing issue. An Australian PR representative said that the retail PS4 version of Saints Row 4: Re-Elected has “a serious manufacturing issue” and has been recalled nation-wide. Here’s what we were told (emphasis mine): “A manufacturing issue has caused an incorrectly classified […]

  • The Whispered World follow up now coming to PS4, too

    Deadalic’s gorgeous-looking adventure Silence has been confirmed for a fourth platform. Originally announced for Mac and PC with an Xbox One port one revealed at a later date, Silence is now on its way to PS4 as well. All versions are due later this year. Silence is Deadalic’s first multi-platform release and in my mind […]

  • Mythbusters to tackle DOOM this weekend

    DOOM is the subject of the next episode of Mythbusters. Having been airing for over ten years now, Mythbusters has pretty much run out of myths to bust, which is why we find ourselves in 2015 with an episode dedicating to answering the question “could DOOM be real?” Bethesda has rveealed that the January 31 […]

  • Destiny hosting a Bungie Bounty – go go go

    Destiny players have a chance to take down Bungie employees in return for one of the most exclusive vanity items in the game. Destiny’s Bungie Bounties usually feature guests from the community, and today’s event is no exception. Joining Bungie community manager David “Deej” Dague are several members of Bungie.org, the developer’s most staunch fan […]

  • Elite: Dangerous developer issues lay-offs

    Elite: Dangerous team Frontier Developments has had to let staff go. At least 15 staff have been laid off from the developer’s Halifax studio. According to an investor update, this decision will allow Frontier to focus its efforts at its primary studio in Cambridge, England. “With its business emphasis now on two major self-published franchises, […]

  • Dragon Age: Inquisition tavern songs free for a limited time

    Dragon Age: Inquisition tunes can be yours for the bargain price of zero cashmoney. The tavern songs from Dragon Age: Inquisition will be made available for purchase from various digital distributors sometime after February 9. Until then, though, you can have them for free – including their sheet music. To take advantage of this generous […]

  • Even the Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 teaser is frightening

    Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 is probably going to be just as tense and uncomfortable as its two prequels. This teaser for Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 is the first we’ve heard of the project since creator Scott Cawthon confirmed it is in the works. The third entry in the series is now up on […]

  • 6.6 million Xbox consoles shipped last quarter

    Xbox One and Xbox 360 console sales were strong last quarter, although Microsoft isn’t talking hard numbers yet. Microsoft shipped 6.6 million Xbox 360 and Xbox One consoles to retailers in the quarter ending December 31, the company revealed in its latest financial briefing. This figure wasn’t broken down by platform, and Microsoft didn’t supply […]

  • Homeworld Remastered Collection: five minutes of b-roll footage

    We may not have proper, uncut gameplay footage of the Homeworld Remastered Collection, but we have the next best thing. Homeworld Remastered Collection was confirmed to release on February 25. Gearbox has only showed a trailer, but no extended gameplay demos. There was however a b-roll video showing at PAX South, and we’ve embedded it […]

  • Grim Fandango Remastered looks sharp in these new screens

    Grim Fandango will come back from the dead with the Remastered edition, and it’s looking great. Grim Fandango Remastered has a few new screens available to prove that even old games can look stunning with the right remaster, especially ones with an already well-defined art style. Have a look at them below and get excited. […]

  • Battlefield Hardline: beta weapons, maps, modes, progression system and more

    The Battlefield Hardline beta will include a third new map and a new game mode, on top of what’s already announced. You may remember last week DICE started a community mission for all Battlefield 4 players. The goal was to reach 2 billion points playing Rush mode. That goal has been achieved and as a […]

  • Dying Light launch trailer is one last display of its forte

    The launch trailer for Dying Light is here one day ahead of the game’s release. Techland and Warner Bros. have put out the launch trailer for Dying Light. The trailer is a short reminder of the game’s main selling points: free-running, weapon crafting, drop-kicking zombies. Reviews should start to come out tomorrow for the game […]

  • Watch The Witcher 3 developers stream new gameplay on Twitch

    The Witcher 3 developer CD Projekt RED is hosting a Twitch live-stream to show off brand new gameplay footage and answer some fan questions. The live-stream will start at 7:00pm GMT, 2:00pm EST, 11:00am PST. It will show off plenty of new footage, some of which was shown only to the press so far. The […]

  • Finally, some screens for Final Fantasy 15

    Patience is a virtue and we finally have our hands on a few gameplay screens from Final Fantasy 15. There’s not a lot of them, but they show the impressive lighting and they’re all gameplay as far as I can tell, so take a look. There is no release date for Final Fantasy 15 as […]

  • Here’s 15 minutes of gameplay from The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt in 1080p

    The Witcher 3 has a new direct-feed, 1080p video available that’s 100% gameplay. Would you like some gameplay of The Witcher 3 in beautiful 1080p? Why, of course you would! The gameplay below shows combat, conversations, travelling. In short, it’s a small sample of everything the game will offer. If you’re looking to learn much […]

  • Two Mortal Kombat X characters to be revealed this week

    Mortal Kombat X will get not one, but two character reveals this week. Mortal Kombat creator Ed Boon has been at again on Twitter, teasing all kinds of reveals over the past few days. Firstly, Boon tweeted this image, which at first glance appears to show a character holding a bow. However, further examination by […]