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  1. #1
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    Mithodor's Preview of Torchlight II at Gamescom 2010 with Interview

    Special thanks to Mithodor for doing the interview.

    So, after a two hour drive from The Netherlands, there I was, in hall 9 at GamesCom in Germany. I spotted the Torchlight booth and went straight to it, wearing my Runic Games t-shirt proudly (which I had won in the 'guess the release date' contest at this fan site). And I must tell you, it was great!

    Well, there you have it. This game is going to be awesome!


    Oh, you want more info? And photos, you say? Well, I've got them! But first things first.

    Some time ago, when Runic announced they would have a booth at GamesCom and a playable preview, I told Webbstre I would go to the games conference and I would be willing to ask the Runic Games developers some questions. So, Webbstre has set up a nice list of questions he would like to see answered and sent them to me. So, this morning I went to the conference and walked up to their booth. Greg (sorry for mistaking you for Jason..) opened the curtain for me and I found myself in a small booth, filled with people playing and watching the game. First thing I noticed is that the look and feel of this sequel is very close to its predecessor, Torchlight 1, which I think is a good thing. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Even after playing a short time, it got me hooked like Torchlight 1 does. The hacking and slashing, the loot, improving your character, it is all there.

    So, when I had played a little, I went to try to get a short interview with one of the developers (but not before Wonder showed up and wondered - no pun intended - how I got my Runic t-shirt. Thanks for the Torchlight 2 mousepad by the way!). I went to Max (sorry for mistaking you for Erich.. but I had never seen you guys in real life before and.. ah well) and he was glad to give me some answers. So here goes, the questions, the answers and sometimes my own opinion.


    Starting with pets in the game, how many pets do you plan to have?
    Currently the preview has the same dog, cat and ferret from the first game, but the plan is to have more pets available. We also would like to have differences between those pets, other than how they look, by letting them have abilities. For instance, one of them could have more inventory space than others.
    My opinion: That's nice! I don't use my pet all that much, other than some defense and selling loot in the town. But this could really change the way you use your pet, or at least how you choose between them.


    So, the pets will have abilities. Will these be fixed or will they have their own skill tree?
    Probably the pets won't have skill trees. At the moment it is possible to learn your pet skills, just the way it is in the original Torchlight

    Looking at the concept art in the PC Gamer article, some monsters have different armor. Will it be possible for pets to have different armor?
    Maybe. A lot has to be fleshed out and a lot can change after this preview.
    My opinion: I hope it will be possible, which means you can alter your pet to be your perfect ally.


    I just played the preview a short time. I didn't notice any changes to the character stat system, am i correct?
    Yes, it the same as in the original Torchlight

    Will there be mana alternatives for classes?
    Yes, although it is still mana at the moment, the use of it will be different between classes. For instance, the Railman class can use it to charge it's armor. So, we are not sure if there will be mana alternatives, but the use of it will be class specific.
    My opinion: Maybe I did not understand the answer completely, but it does not seem to be really different than Torchlight 1? I mean, the class specific skills already dictate how the mana is used, right? Maybe it meant that mana won't be solely used for magic/spells?


    Is there any way to trade gold between players?
    Yes, just as there is a way to trade items
    This does not mean it uses the same mechanism of course.


    Will there be new inventory tabs, such as tabs for potions and scrolls?
    Somewhat. There will be a bag system for the inventory.
    My opinion: I assumed this means that you can have multiple bags, so you can order your items just the way you want it.


    What will scale with an increased number of players in the multiplayer game? Difficulty? Loot? The number of monsters? Experience gained?
    I guess it is just the difficulty. Loot is always personal loot, so this won't have to scale.
    My opinion: I like it. I want it.


    Will some classes be able to shape-shift into other forms?
    Not yet, but maybe.

    How big is each of the new "expansive" areas, compared to the current 25x25 chunks?
    These areas can have all kinds of sizes, depending on the goal of the area and the quest you are currently in. In some cases an area is like a long or short passage, while others can be very large open areas.

    Have there been optimizations to the engine? Like, shorter loading times or a smoother running game?
    Only some small tweaks have been done to the engine, but mostly it is the same.
    My opinion: While I was playing and watching others playing, I noticed the very short loading times. Switching between areas has become a lot faster than in the first Torchlight.


    Another thing about the engine. Some players complain about too many particle effects, which makes it hard to see what is happening. Any comment on that?
    Because of the multiplayer capability, we probably tune it down a little.
    My opinion: First of all, I never had any troubles with the particle effects myself (well, maybe the shield), so I think Torchlight 1 has a good balance between nice effects and not overdoing it. Secondly, later I thought that maybe the particle effects only get tuned down when in multiplayer mode and not in single player mode, which would be the best solution in my opinion.


    About modding, will it be easier to remove mods, without breaking or crashing the game?
    We would like to make it as easy as possible, but I cannot say much about this, since this is something we get to in a later stage of development.

    Will Torchlight 2 be a multi lingual release? Or will will players be able to download language packs?
    Torchlight 2 will support multiple languages. Maybe not directly from day one, but as quick as possible.

    Lastly, will there still be support for Torchlight 1? Any patches planned?
    If something needs patching, it will be. We haven't got any planned patches at the moment.

    I hope this clears some of this community's questions, but I think many new questions have come up. So, maybe another short interview at PAX? At least we've got something to expand the RGF Wiki a little. While in the booth, I made some photos. Some are a bit dark, but still, there are some interesting things to see. For instance:

    Champion-img_1248-resized-copy-jpg
    The character selection screen has been redone. As you can see, you can select the class and gender, but also hair style, hair color and face. Also note the description of the Railman.

    Champion-img_1229-resized-copy-jpg
    The UI has also changed quite a bit. Overall, the look is a little less - how do I put it - playful? A bit more mature? I like the playful, cartoony UI from Torchlight 1, it is one of the qualities: not too serious. Although this has changed a bit in Torchlight 2 (mind it is still a preview), it is more compact. This way, more will fit on the screen, which I guess is needed eventually.

    The skill/item hotbar is still the same, as is the left mouse button action and the two right mouse button actions. Next to those actions are the buttons for opening panels. Next to those however, are the buttons for the new bag system. As you can see you start with one bag and one bag from the pet.

    Champion-img_1241-resized-copy-jpg
    I also noticed a red glowing border around the screen, when health points are low. Pretty neat, i would say.

    Champion-img_1269-resized-copy-jpg
    Another thing I noticed is someone picking up an item that was specifically for the area he was currently in. You can see the item in the right down corner.

    After making those photos, and a small conversation with Greg (including wondering where I got the Runic t-shirt..) I went to see some other games. In total I made 45 photos of Torchlight 2, which can all be downloaded in high quality (214 mb) or low quality (6 mb). Have fun analyzing and if you have questions, I will look at them 29th of august, for I am going on a well deserved holiday.

    Thanks Max, Wonder, Greg and all from Runic! Keep up the amazing work!


    Disclaimer: the quotes are not exactly as it was said by Max. If something is wrong, let me know.

    Read the article on Mithodor's Blog: http://www.runicgamesfansite.com/ent...II-at-GamesCom

    *********

    Written by: Mithodor
    Special thanks to Mithodor for doing the interview and writing the article.

    So, after a two hour drive from The Netherlands, there I was, in hall 9 at GamesCom in Germany. I spotted the Torchlight booth and went straight to it, wearing my Runic Games t-shirt proudly (which I had won in the 'guess the release date' contest at this fan site). And I must tell you, it was great!

    Well, there you have it. This game is going to be awesome!


    Oh, you want more info? And photos, you say? Well, I've got them! But first things first.


    Some time ago, when Runic announced they would have a booth at GamesCom and a playable preview, I told Webbstre I would go to the games conference and I would be willing to ask the Runic Games developers some questions. So, Webbstre has set up a nice list of questions he would like to see answered and sent them to me. So, this morning I went to the conference and walked up to their booth. Greg (sorry for mistaking you for Jason..) opened the curtain for me and I found myself in a small booth, filled with people playing and watching the game. First thing I noticed is that the look and feel of this sequel is very close to its predecessor, Torchlight 1, which I think is a good thing. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Even after playing a short time, it got me hooked like Torchlight 1 does. The hacking and slashing, the loot, improving your character, it is all there.

    So, when I had played a little, I went to try to get a short interview with one of the developers (but not before Wonder showed up and wondered - no pun intended - how I got my Runic t-shirt. Thanks for the Torchlight 2 mousepad by the way!). I went to Max (sorry for mistaking you for Erich.. but I had never seen you guys in real life before and.. ah well) and he was glad to give me some answers. So here goes, the questions, the answers and sometimes my own opinion.


    Starting with pets in the game, how many pets do you plan to have?
    Currently the preview has the same dog, cat and ferret from the first game, but the plan is to have more pets available. We also would like to have differences between those pets, other than how they look, by letting them have abilities. For instance, one of them could have more inventory space than others.
    My opinion: That's nice! I don't use my pet all that much, other than some defense and selling loot in the town. But this could really change the way you use your pet, or at least how you choose between them.


    So, the pets will have abilities. Will these be fixed or will they have their own skill tree?
    Probably the pets won't have skill trees. At the moment it is possible to learn your pet skills, just the way it is in the original Torchlight

    Looking at the concept art in the PC Gamer article, some monsters have different armor. Will it be possible for pets to have different armor?
    Maybe. A lot has to be fleshed out and a lot can change after this preview.
    My opinion: I hope it will be possible, which means you can alter your pet to be your perfect ally.


    I just played the preview a short time. I didn't notice any changes to the character stat system, am i correct?
    Yes, it the same as in the original Torchlight

    Will there be mana alternatives for classes?
    Yes, although it is still mana at the moment, the use of it will be different between classes. For instance, the Railman class can use it to charge it's armor. So, we are not sure if there will be mana alternatives, but the use of it will be class specific.
    My opinion: Maybe I did not understand the answer completely, but it does not seem to be really different than Torchlight 1? I mean, the class specific skills already dictate how the mana is used, right? Maybe it meant that mana won't be solely used for magic/spells?


    Is there any way to trade gold between players?
    Yes, just as there is a way to trade items
    This does not mean it uses the same mechanism of course.


    Will there be new inventory tabs, such as tabs for potions and scrolls?
    Somewhat. There will be a bag system for the inventory.
    My opinion: I assumed this means that you can have multiple bags, so you can order your items just the way you want it.


    What will scale with an increased number of players in the multiplayer game? Difficulty? Loot? The number of monsters? Experience gained?
    I guess it is just the difficulty. Loot is always personal loot, so this won't have to scale.
    My opinion: I like it. I want it.


    Will some classes be able to shape-shift into other forms?
    Not yet, but maybe.

    How big is each of the new "expansive" areas, compared to the current 25x25 chunks?
    These areas can have all kinds of sizes, depending on the goal of the area and the quest you are currently in. In some cases an area is like a long or short passage, while others can be very large open areas.

    Have there been optimizations to the engine? Like, shorter loading times or a smoother running game?
    Only some small tweaks have been done to the engine, but mostly it is the same.
    My opinion: While I was playing and watching others playing, I noticed the very short loading times. Switching between areas has become a lot faster than in the first Torchlight.


    Another thing about the engine. Some players complain about too many particle effects, which makes it hard to see what is happening. Any comment on that?
    Because of the multiplayer capability, we probably tune it down a little.
    My opinion: First of all, I never had any troubles with the particle effects myself (well, maybe the shield), so I think Torchlight 1 has a good balance between nice effects and not overdoing it. Secondly, later I thought that maybe the particle effects only get tuned down when in multiplayer mode and not in single player mode, which would be the best solution in my opinion.


    About modding, will it be easier to remove mods, without breaking or crashing the game?
    We would like to make it as easy as possible, but I cannot say much about this, since this is something we get to in a later stage of development.

    Will Torchlight 2 be a multi lingual release? Or will will players be able to download language packs?
    Torchlight 2 will support multiple languages. Maybe not directly from day one, but as quick as possible.

    Lastly, will there still be support for Torchlight 1? Any patches planned?
    If something needs patching, it will be. We haven't got any planned patches at the moment.

    I hope this clears some of this community's questions, but I think many new questions have come up. So, maybe another short interview at PAX? At least we've got something to expand the RGF Wiki a little. While in the booth, I made some photos. Some are a bit dark, but still, there are some interesting things to see. For instance:

    Champion-img_1248-resized-copy-jpg
    The character selection screen has been redone. As you can see, you can select the class and gender, but also hair style, hair color and face. Also note the description of the Railman.

    Champion-img_1229-resized-copy-jpg
    The UI has also changed quite a bit. Overall, the look is a little less - how do I put it - playful? A bit more mature? I like the playful, cartoony UI from Torchlight 1, it is one of the qualities: not too serious. Although this has changed a bit in Torchlight 2 (mind it is still a preview), it is more compact. This way, more will fit on the screen, which I guess is needed eventually.

    The skill/item hotbar is still the same, as is the left mouse button action and the two right mouse button actions. Next to those actions are the buttons for opening panels. Next to those however, are the buttons for the new bag system. As you can see you start with one bag and one bag from the pet.

    Champion-img_1241-resized-copy-jpg
    I also noticed a red glowing border around the screen, when health points are low. Pretty neat, i would say.

    Champion-img_1269-resized-copy-jpg
    Another thing I noticed is someone picking up an item that was specifically for the area he was currently in. You can see the item in the right down corner.

    After making those photos, and a small conversation with Greg (including wondering where I got the Runic t-shirt..) I went to see some other games. In total I made 45 photos of Torchlight 2, which can all be downloaded in high quality (214 mb) or low quality (6 mb). Have fun analyzing and if you have questions, I will look at them 29th of august, for I am going on a well deserved holiday.

    Thanks Max, Wonder, Greg and all from Runic! Keep up the amazing work!


    Disclaimer: the quotes are not exactly as it was said by Max. If something is wrong, let me know.

    Read the article on Mithodor's Blog: http://www.runicgamesfansite.com/ent...II-at-GamesCom

  2. #2
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    Re: Mithodor's Preview of Torchlight II at Gamescom 2010 with Interview

    Mithodor's high quality pics have now all been added to the following photo album: http://www.runicgamesfansite.com/members/webbstre/albums/gamescom-2010-photos/

  3. #3
    Great work. I'm enjoying the pictures, including what must be our first look at the first town.

  4. #4
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    Thanks so much Mithodor! And thanks RGF for... BEING THERE! (sniff sniff)

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