Orcs Must Die: Unchained Interview With Chris Rippy

Tower Defense with heroes and goblins!

Posted By | On 10th, Dec. 2016 Under Article, Interviews


Orcs Must Die: Unchained, a smaller title from developers Robot Entertainment, has been a game a lot of fans have been eager to get their hands on. From the hilarious and fun heroes and creatures, to the suspenseful traps and triggers, this tower defense-style of game has been in the minds of a lot of us here. GamingBolt recently had a chance to sit down with the VP of Production Chris Rippy for a few questions we’ve had on our minds.

"We looked at it and saw folks weren’t playing each mode as much as survival, and it was hurting our survival mode."

With how critically successful Orcs Must Die 2 was, why shift to a free to play MOBA-esque PvP format?

So we’re actually not doing the MOBA-esque stuff anymore. We have since moved on to where were concentrating more on more of the root of the game. That mode is actually gone, and now we only have a, what we call, survival mode. What that is is our traditional tower defense game. So it’s much more about being our action tower defense game, where your placing traps, where you’re stopping minions from getting in the rift. And you’re doing that in either single player, co-op, or three player. So that offense of defense of side of the game isn’t there anymore, and it’s more just a traditional defensive multiplayer, that way.

What is the current status of the games open beta? What new heroes, traps add maps have been added since the closed beta begin?

The current status of the open beta – we actually have a new patch that’s coming out on Tuesday, that reintroduces the game to where it’s more about the traditional game play. We’ve just spent a ton of time last 3 to 6 months working on our heroes, making our heroes feel stronger. Working on our physics traps – we’re bringing what we consider the lifeblood of OMD back into the game. So since the closed beta began, I think we’ve added four or five heroes since then and a handful of – it’s hard to remember going back through the traps, but for this patch specifically I think that 30 plus, what we call battlegrounds to play on now. I think will have 14 heroes that are ready to play. This is on the PC side of things. PS4 isn’t in any beta right now. Into 2017 will have the PS4 version.

What changes have been made over the past few years to maintain the status, especially as hero shooters have risen in popularity?

Now we’re back to our traditional defense of game play. Survival gameplay. So now to talk about a little bit more, now we feel like we are in a unique position. This is the genre – the tower defense game – we feel like we helped start. When our focusing all of our energy on that, making sure that’s great. So we’re off on our own doing this cool mode.

Can you tell us more about the big upcoming update for the game and how it will present a more “classic Orcs Must Die” feel?

If you think about the important things in a Orcs Must Die game, it’s the traps, it’s the player power, it’s the physics, it’s the humor. All of our focus has been on that, making sure that that’s there. Just making sure it’s a strong title.

Orcs Must Die: Unchained

"We have a lot of ideas. The real benefit of this game, kind of being online, it’s a living game. You can literally go on forever."

What motivated the decision to remove Siege mode, which has caused upset among the player base? Will we ever see it return in some form or another?

The decision was really based upon – it was kind of a complicated decision. One, we were finding less people playing the mode rather than the traditional mode, by a very large margin. Two, when we’re designing the game having two different modes – which was Siege is what it was called, which was an attacking, defensive mode versus our survival mode – they conflicted with each other. We had to make a lot of decisions that would hurt one mode or the other. So for example, the power of the heroes – we had to really make it balanced when facing other heroes in siege mode. In survival mode we wanted them to feel powerful against minions, and we didn’t care that they were over powered against heroes. Those two modes kind of fight with each other. We looked at it and saw folks weren’t playing each mode as much as survival, and it was hurting our survival mode. We focused all of our attention there, and that’s what’s really moving that over to make all the right decisions on that game play element.

How difficult has it been to balance heroes over the past few years? How do you feel about the current meta right now?

So that’s kind of two different questions. The balance and the heroes like I mentioned in the previous question, before we had to worry about a hero fighting another hero, and the balance had to be perfect. Which is great for a certain style of gameplay we were doing that. But not great for survival mode, which is what we have right now. Sent out easier for us, but now they have to be balanced in a different way. They have to be balanced in a standard gameplay way as opposed to a head-to-head way. So it’s more about adjusting their balance against minions and making them feel strong.

What is the current status of Orcs Must Die: Unchained on PS4? How has it been working with the controller and what kind of balance changes do you often look at, keeping console players in mind?

It’s been great working on the PS4. Really the way we look at PS4 is it’s it’s own first class citizen. We look at it as we look at the PC version. So everything that’s important to a PS4 player from general feel, to trophies, to interacting with the community, to benefits for being a PS plus subscriber, all of that we take into mind when we’re doing the PS4 version of the game. So we look at it really as first class citizens to benefits for being a PS plus subscriber, all of that we take into mind when we’re doing the PS4 version of the game. So we look at it really as first class citizens, it’s just like the PC version.

 

"We’re early enough into the PS4 Pro development baseline title that we still need to figure out how all of those things fall into place."

Is it possible that Orcs Must Die: Unchained comes to Xbox One at some point? Furthermore, is there a specific reason why an Xbox one version is not planned yet?

No. It’s just not on our radar right now. We have a really great relationship with Sony. They were really excited to have the title on there. That’s kind of the size of our studio we can focus on only a couple things at once, and this is just a great world for us to live in.

What other future updates can we look forward to? What kind of ideas does the team have for the game?

We have a lot of ideas. The real benefit of this game, kind of being online, it’s a living game. You can literally go on forever. We plan on doing regular updates we were bringing on new heroes, new mode, new minions, new traps, new maps. So I think it’s easy to just kind of think of, like, where can we take The game? Imagine those things as you can see them falling into place as the months go by. But it will be regularly updated for sure.

Are there any plans to support PS4 Pro with multiple graphic support? Maybe 60 FPS gameplay and need a 4K support?

We’re still working out all of the details, we’ve got it running and looking great on the PS4. We’re early enough into the PS4 Pro development baseline title that we still need to figure out how all of those things fall into place.

What is your take on the PS4 Pro and it’s GPU? Do you think it’s a good enough upgrade to last for another few years?

I am not a tech person so I probably shouldn’t answer that. So I can tell you I’m very excited about it. From a laymen’s standpoint it’s great.

 

"You’ll be able to operate your traps, you’ll decide what types of bonuses those traps give you."

What according to you is the most exciting part about the PS4 Pro?

A lot of things. It’s interesting because I haven’t been exposed to it I taught until walking around the show floor. When looking at some of the games that are taking advantage of it on these 85 inch screens, in 4K, and there’s no anti-aliasing problem. They look amazing. Far better than when you’re watching videos on the Internet, when you think about it. It’s a remarkable step up. The HDR support looks amazing on it. I’m interested to see how it helps VR too.

I also wanted to ask what is your take on the Xbox one Scorpio and how do you think it will change the landscape for console gaming?

I couldn’t tell you.

Do you have any plans to add HDR support?

That’s part of our trying to figure out what’s best for the pro version, we have to look at the whole title. I wouldn’t be surprised.

Is there anything else you would like GamingBolt’s followers to know about?

The game is really, really rich. It’s a really fast-paced action game and you kind of see that at the service-level. But I think when you play a couple games you’ll realize how much depth it has to it. There’s a ton of customization, a ton of ways of making the game feel like it’s your game. You’ll be able to operate your traps, you’ll decide what types of bonuses those traps give you. You’ll be able to choose your heroes, there’s a ton of depth to it.that’s just something we get fired up about when we think about the game, and we think you’ll really dig it.


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