Max Schaefer, co-founder of Runic Games, has said the firm has been working on the Xbox 360 version of Torchlight for around “6-8 months in various stages” and it is more than just a “simple translation of the PC version”.
Speaking with Game Front, Shaefer said the console version required “a complete overhaul” to not only “the controls but also the graphical interfaces”.
“What we thought originally was going to be an out of house port ended up being a lot more collaborative than we expected,” he said. “We worked with an external team to move the game over to the Xbox 360 because the [Ogre] engine Torchlight runs on, has an Xbox 360 version. That ensured it would be easy to convert and not result in the ‘worst console port ever’.
“I look at Torchlight [on 360] as a whole new game. It had to be in some ways because the way you play console games is so different from PC games. We made changes to adapt the game to the controller. It led us to make some cool changes. We’re also adding some new things. We have three new armor sets, a new pet and some of the skill – like those involving throw items – like potions are re-worked to let players control how [hard/long] the throw is.”
Schaefer said the team looked to games like Champions of Norrath and Baldur’s Gate for inspiration on how to successfully put a PC game on a console.
“That was how we knew Torchlight could work on a console,” he said. “We just looked back to those games as inspiration.”
The game will still be a single-player experience, but Achievements have been implemented and differ from the Steam versions and there’s a possibility of DLC providing the game sells well.
“We’re doing Avatar gear and icons and that sort of stuff of course, but we want to take a wait-and-see approach to [DLC] if the game does well,” he said. “We can definitely create it, if the gamers show they want it. Though that’s not on our roadmap at the moment but it easily could be added.”
Torchlight hits XBLA around the end of February/early March during Xbox Live Arcade House Party. It will run you “1200 points…or roughly 15 bucks”, Schaefer told MTV.
The firm is also looking at bringing Torchlight II to consoles, after co-op is eventually added to the PC version of the game.
“We’ve got to wait for Torchlight 2 for co-op…which we’re well along the way with on for the PC right now,” he told MTV. “That will hopefully get to the consoles as well. Depending on how this does…we’re excited to get Torchlight 2onto consoles. Hopefully sooner than how long [Torchlight 1] took. We’ve gone through the exercise, we know what it takes.”
Check out our interview with Schaefer here, where he chats about Torchlight on 360, and Torchlight II.