I recently got the opportunity to sit down with Jan Klose, creative director at Deck13 Interactive, to discuss the studio’s latest title, Lords of the Fallen. I questioned Jan on the game’s USP and the development team’s influences; we also touched on the power of current-gen consoles, and the problem with cross-platform games.
Hayden Waugh: Where did the idea for Lords of the Fallen start?
Jan Klose: It was back in 2011, and it was a million ideas that slowly shaped into a single one, and that was to put all our focus on a single element, tactical combat, and to create everything else around that.
HW: Would it be a fair assessment in calling Lords of the Fallen a mix of Dark Souls and Warhammer?
JK: Well, we really try to do our own thing and not to just take what is already there. That said, we do love games like Warhammer and Dark Souls, but you will also find aspects of a lot of other games in Lords of the Fallen; some people mention Zelda and Darksiders.
So, I hope despite being a tactical duel-based action experience, people can judge it as a unique title.
HW: From the footage I’ve seen, Lords of the Fallen seems a very testosterone-driven game. Are there any female characters to balance this out?
JK: There’s especially one female NPC accompanying the hero through the story, but you can’t play the game as a female character – we would have loved to do that but it would have doubled our work in quite a lot of areas.
Still, we’d love to do that in the future, as other Deck13 games also featured female player characters.
HW: What makes Lords of the Fallen different to the many other Action/Adventure/RPG games we’ve seen?
JK: I think our focus on tactical combat makes it very different; there are only a few games around that use such an approach. Also, we’re not as die-hard punishing as other games, so I hope that our unique mix of features stands out.
HW: Were there any thoughts about bringing this game to Xbox 360/PS3? Why?
JK: Yes, we thought a lot about this. But if you see how much work we’ve put into the visuals, how densely our levels are filled with objects and effects, then you’ll see that this would just not be possible on the older generations.
We would have had to heavily rework a lot of assets and effects and that was just too costly for us in the timeframe that we had. So we focused on doing one thing, and doing that as good as possible.
HW: What are your thoughts on cross-platform (e.g.: games released for Xbox 360 and Xbox One) games? Does it help or hinder a game?
JK: If you have a big budget, I think you should always go for covering as many platforms as possible because that will help sales. On the other hand, it hinders development because you need to work for the constraints of the lowest platform which means that some awesome stuff simply can’t be done.
HW: Lords of the Fallen, developed by Deck13 Interactive and CI Games, is available now on PC, Xbox One and PS4. Look out for our review of the title in the coming weeks.