Interviews
Daniel Hessler – Deputy Head of Content Design
The Dark Eye: Demonicon

By Jorge Figueiredo - May 30th, 2013

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The Dark Eye: Demonicon is an upcoming third-person action-RPG developed by Noumena Studios. It is the story of a brother and sister who are faced with tough challenges in a bleak, magical world. The decisions that they make determine the destiny of the whole continent. The game promises to be a rich story-telling experience with plenty of action. Toronto Thumbs was fortunate enough to score a brief interview with Daniel Hessler, the Deputy Head of Content Design.

Here’s what he had to say.

TT: The Dark Eye, from Germany, is pretty popular across the pond. Do you think that this will be able to depose or at least gain significant ground against the AD&D franchise here in North America?

DH: I think that every videogame based on a certain Pen & Paper system helps to raise awareness for this system. It would be great if people would like to know more about it and try the Pen & Paper original themselves.

What really speaks for The Dark Eye is its detailed world and its ever-growing history with events affecting the whole world. There is no other system with a comparable amount of content in it from my point of view. Gamers who like a rich and living background will love The Dark Eye.

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Sometimes it hurts to look into the eyes of your dance partner.

The characters in the game affect the state of the world they live in, according to the literature. How granular are the changes that occur on account of actions performed by the brother and sister?

The relationship between brother and sister is fundamental for the main quest. How they deal with the background of this relationship directly affects themselves, their family, the villains, and in the end, a whole church. So the changes will mainly occur in the way NPCs interact with Cairon and how he will react in return – in battles and quest structures, but naturally at most in dialogs.

Is there an ideal path through the game?

According to the decisions the player makes, the story will develop differently. We designed these different ways as an equilibrium, so the player won’t have any disadvantages concerning the game-play when choosing either one way or the other. On the other hand, each way has its moral pro’s and con’s: we avoided the stereotype of “good vs. evil”; NPCs will profit or suffer from the player’s decisions, and it is for the player to decide which way is the ideal one, since none will please all factions and each faction has their own motivation.

Are there different endings? Can you tell us how many there are, or at least hint about how different the game ending can be?

Yes, there are different endings. They will reflect both the decisions about how to deal with the demonic aspect in the “gifts” (magical powers) of the main characters, and the decisions concerning the siblings’ relationship towards each other. In the end, the real enemy will be defeated in the way the player has been choosing throughout the game.

How important is timing in regards to combat?

In most battles, timing is important for avoiding injuries. You can seize the right moment to evade strong blows, to parry and to counter-attack. If you keep the right pace of attacks without being hit yourself, Cairon will fall into a demonic fever that temporarily enables him to hit his enemies even stronger and more precisely.

Timing is crucial when facing boss enemies who have special fighting features. You need to defeat them in combinations of the right offensive and defensive behavior at certain moments.

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“I swear I will kill you both if you touch this chandelier that I just bought.”

Which type of combat is more forgiving? Melee or magical?

Melee and magic are deeply linked in Demonicon. By injuring enemies, you extract life energy (the “essence”) from them to feed your magical powers. Therefore, combat is designed to complementarily use melee and magic: you can, for example, raise a magical shield to protect you from damage while felling your enemy with powerful attacks. Or you can use a roundhouse attack to break free from enemies besieging you and then burn them with a fire nova.

In the end, you need to find the right combination of both melee and magic to defeat your enemies most efficiently.

How long as the “Vision Engine” been in production?

For Demonicon we’ve been using the Vision Engine since early 2011 as it provides a lot of great tools and a lot of flexibility.

Will there be expansions for Demonicon from the universe of “The Dark Eye”?

We can’t comment on this at the moment but there is sure a lot of interesting stuff that would be great additions to the story-line of Demonicon.

Thanks Daniel!

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