Now that Heroes of Might and Magic V has finally been announced, its producer Fabrice Cambounet is ready to talk again! Celestial Heavens gathered some questions that were frequently asked in forums and sent them to the Ubisoft representative. Read what Fabrice has to say about Nival, the game's system requirements, the towns and creatures, the upcoming beta tests, and more!
The announcement was originally supposed to happen last year. What took so long?
Well, the first thing is that we werent quite ready. :Ž Also, Ubisoft decided to increase the commitment and timeframe on the project, to raise the quality bar. That meant we could push back the communication start a bit further. Now we have more time and more people on board, and the contact with fans and journalists will be better.
On a personal level, I also became extra-busy this time last year with Alexander getting the movie license on top of the thing, and Pacific Fighters on the side.
How did you end up choosing Nival Interactive for the development of the game? Have you guys been playing Etherlords II as well?
Nival was pretty motivated for the job :Ž They were banging on the door here all night, waking up neighbors, shouting to get the production. It was no big deal, as they are one of the most experienced companies in the field in turn-based strategy : I played a bit of Etherlords 1 and 2, but mostly played Silent Storm to death. This game is impressive, especially in the gameplay field (beyond visuals and technical). And shouting flying nazis is a gripping challenge :Ž As gameplay is the critical element to develop, and Nival proved its ability for that, the choice of developer was easy.
What can you tell us about the minimum system requirements that appeared on the Net recently?
I don’t know where they’re coming from. They’re pretty much higher than our target minimum. We’ll be narrowing this later in the development. I do keep in mind that we’re aiming for a broad fan base, not the tech-crazy.
The official teaser site is simply gorgeus. What kind of content can we expect to find on it in the future?
You’ll find everything you can expect :Ž Art, screens, videos, data, tidbits…
When do you expect to tell us a little more about that second title under the Might and Magic brand? Can you at least tell us if it's the Chinesse MMORPG?
Cant tell. Hint : it is NOT the Chinese MMO. There are many more things behind the curtain that you can imagine. (yes, you can start drooling :Ž)
What do you think of the reaction of the fans until now? Is it similar to what you expected?
I was happy on the feedback on visuals. The reaction last year on sketches was positive, but only slightly. Put in context, it seems most people like the style we chose to use. And they’ve only seen a small part of it… At this stage there is not much to comment on other than the few screenshots released with the announcement, but this will grow up quickly, especially with the E3 looming.
Since you probably don't want to reveal what the towns are at this point, can you tell us how you ended up with a number of six? Is it a continuation of the Heroes IV system?
It is not linked with Heroes 4 in any way. :Ž Six is a pretty fine number, in terms of variety, balance, and production. As we want to achieve a high quality game, that means we cant do 20 towns and hope to reach a good tuning and great visuals for all.
The concerns I’ve read regard more the number of creatures. I was very interested in reading a fan’s calculations on the number of creatures, including upgrades and addons. I think he ended on around 130 creatures in Heroes 3. I dare say we will easily top that :Ž
How useful were the game proposals, the fan feedback, the suggestions that were posted last year?
They were critical. That’s why I wanted to get in touch early – the longer you wait the more difficult it is to integrate other opinions. I received a large number of summaries (from CH or the french fans) and even detailed research (from the russian community). I’ve read a few threads here and there, and especially what the fans were concerned about (through the questions thread). This was very important in focusing the attention to one area or the other. I hope you’ll see that in action.
The next step, beyond comments on the released elements of course, will be the beta test. It is planned later this summer. There will only be a limited number of seats !
How far are you into the development of the game? Is it playable at this point?
As I like to tease, I must say that we’ve been able to play for a few months now :Ž We’re starting to get this “Heroes” feeling quite clearly ! This is really a great opportunity to work on an ambitious project, with a highly motivated team. There is a mountain of work left ahead, but all this time will also be dedicated to tuning and polishing, and its not that frequent in games development.