Heroes 3.5: In the Wake of Gods Portal > Fanstratics – Update #10 – Krasadox faction
Fanstratics – Update #10 – Krasadox faction
This month’s Troop concept sketch is the Gatorkin Caster.
Fanstratics Faction #5: Krasadox.
In the craggy, Arid desert, dwell the vulgar Krasadox. Unkind to the weak, their crass culture, like their environment, elevates the strong and debases the delicate. While most would consider them to be crude and barbaric, they consider confrontation to the purest form of respect and honesty. Nature is not cute. Nature is cruel and uncompromising. Why untie the knot, when you can hack through it? Why solve the puzzle box, when you can simply crush it? Krasadox believe in brutal efficiency.
This faction will be familiar to anyone acquainted with Heroes 3 ‘Stronghold’. Representing the Krasadox is the Gnoll Spear Thrower, which can be viewed in the Fanstratics Gallery. This inclusion may surprise some, as the Gnoll was originally in HoMM3’s ‘Fortress’. When building the troop rosters for the various factions, relative themes were adjusted, and in the end… the Gnoll was a better fit with the Krasadox. So, a modification was made.
Fanstratics Feature: Legendary ‘Boss’ Battles.
In last month’s ‘feature highlight’, I described the Troop Rally Ability as an old idea which never made it past the conceptual stage. Legendary Boss Battles is another such idea… and another logical one. If you look at Heroes 3, it is clear where I wanted to have these events, specifically the ‘creature banks’.
Why were full boss battles not implemented in Heroes 3? Time. We simply didn’t have the time. Like the Troop Rally Ability, it was a new feature and would require new programming and more unique art. So, I quickly discarded the idea, and instead settled for battles where the Hero’s Army was ‘surrounded’ by the Enemy Army (versus the typical Left against Right arrangement). Later, with the Armageddon’s Blade expansion, we implemented the four neutral dragons (Faerie, Rust, Crystal, and Azure), which were arguably the game’s first boss creatures. While these dragons were more powerful, they were not what I ultimately wanted.
Almost 10 years later, I specifically remember playing ‘King’s Bounty: The Legend’, encountering the ‘giant turtle’, and thinking to myself, “Yep. There it is.” There were other such encounters in ‘King’s Bounty: The Legend’: a giant spider, a giant lizardman, a giant demon, a giant mech, etc. My favorite was the Kraken. Regardless, for Fanstratics, the plan is to have one ‘boss’ loosely associated with each of the nine Factions.
It is very interesting to know if you are familiar with the gameplay and game mechanics of the subsequent games of Heroes of Might and Magic (IV — VII), and King’s Bounty Legends? Will you take ideas for the most successful game elements from there?
Speaking of ‘King’s Bounty: The Legend’… While it is more difficult than ever before, due to the sheer quantity of games being published today, I do try to stay market informed. All of the HoMM’s, and HoMM related games, are typically on my radar, and if there is an idea or mechanic I find inspiring… yes… I try to incorporate it. I’d be a fool to ignore a good idea.
Keep in mind, for all the people who love a unique element from a specific game, there are always others who hate it. Obviously, as a game designer, this results in a ‘no win’ situation. For myself, this leads to what I find so interesting about this question. It gets to the inherent conflict of any creative endeavor… audience expectations versus author aspirations.
Game development is a production triathlon. It requires focused attention, one day after the next, over the course of years. If I’m not in love with the product I’m creating… my desire will evaporate and the production will falter. I must create the game I long to play. With this in mind, for Fanstratics, I have two general design guidelines.
First… do I find ‘it’ inspiring (author)?
Second… is ‘it’ in the spirit of the original Heroes games (audience)?
If I believe the answer to both questions is ‘yes’… I work to integrate ‘it’ into the game (time and budget permitting).
In my humble opinion, you should definitely consider making the game cross platform. Many users are switching to Apple and Linux.
Heroes 3 was eventually ported to Linux, so a part of me wants to continue this tradition. Unity makes compiling the game for Linux relatively easy, Steam encourages developers to port their games to Linux, and there’s always Wine. It’s testing, with different distros, with different hardware configurations, where things become complicated. In the end, it’s a cost/benefit issue, with the ultimate question being, “Will we sell enough copies on Linux to reap the costs spent converting and testing the game?” All I can say is, “We will look into it.”