News


Jon Van Caneghem
January 2017
JVC 2016


Regular readers will know this name well: as one of the original founders of NWC and creator of the Might & Magic games, Jon is considered the spiritual father of the franchise. As he said it himselt: "I wrote the first Might and Magic while finishing college on an Apple II, and I’ve been making games ever since." After 3DO went belly up in 2003, he moved on to other things while Ubisoft would eventually pick up the baton and continue the series. Currently, he's CEO of VC Mobile Entertainment. After the release of Creature Quest, we were able to get him to answer some questions for us.

CreatureQuest 41. What's your current job? Please outline what your work entails.
"CEO, so I oversee everything involved with running the company, but I try to spend as much time on game design as possible."

2. What's your favorite part of the job?
"Designing new games and playing new games, but working with a talented and enthusiastic team is by far the most fulfilling."

3. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
"Hopefully doing what I’m doing now but with multiple teams."

4. What do you like to do in your free time? Do you still race cars?
"Yes, I’m quite active with several racing organizations and I won a national championship with NASA-pro racing 4 years in row! I still play lots of games on PC and Mobile, but my hobby has always been racing cars."

5. What was your inspiration for Creature Quest?
"I was enjoying many of the current mobile games and I had the idea to bring some of the elements that made Heroes so much fun to the genre. So many people who have mobile devices have never experienced anything like this."

6. What are you most proud of?
"When making something new, it’s very difficult to create a game that’s fun and addicting. I’m very proud of how the game has evolved, the decisions we made along the way and how much fun it is to play."

7. How big is the team?
"We just past 20 people and growing."

8. What are you hoping for with the global release?
"We all hope for a big hit, but just having a large number of players try the game and enjoy playing will be awesome."

9. You're just now launching globally; why the "soft launch", why didn't you launch globally right away?
"In the mobile world, this is quite common. We have made a tremendous amount of changes and adjustments during our soft launch, which is difficult to do in the PC/console world, but it gives us a chance to iterate and polish before we go out to a large audience. Its especially important for free to play games that only generate revenue from players sticking around."

CreatureQuest 510. What are your future plans for the game?
"We have an entire roadmap for the next year and beyond. It really becomes a live service like the MMO world where we have the ability to constantly add and improve the game, and respond to consumer feedback."

11. What does Creature Quest have in common with the games in the Might & Magic franchise?
"The combat system has the same feel as the early M&M RPG’s (party of portraits, taking turns attacking waves of creatures). The adventure part of the game is like exploring maps in Heroes, find treasure, resources, battle blocking armies, completing quests."

12. How is working on a mobile game different from the PC games?
"Embracing the input differences is probably the biggest challenge; swiping and tapping is very different from keyboard / mouse / controller. The play session length also makes for very different focus and scope. This means different types of games will work better than others. The list goes on, but at the end of the day it still must be fun!"

13. Fans like to think about "the road not taken" - did you have any specific plans for the future of the M&M/Heroes series, lore-wise and gameplay-wise? Did you have any visions for Heroes V or other games?
"I really wanted to make Might and Magic Online a long time ago, this was before EQ and all the MMOs. We started on it and had a lot of great systems and ideas, unfortunately I was never able to finish it. For Heroes, I had a very cool design for V that I would still like to do and now with all the connectivity and server power available, so many new cool things could be done with the Heroes franchise… (raising and waving hands in air)"

14. Were you proud of the creature lineups of HOMM IV factions? Were you planning to do radical changes in HOMM V factions due to fan reactions?
"Yes and yes, but the most heated debate was whether or not to allow the heroes on the battlefield (H3 vs H4)"

15. Do you think there's a chance you might work on M&M/Heroes related titles in the future?
"Hmm… maybe?"

16. What do you think is the future of gaming? Will mobile games grow at the expense of PCs and consoles?
"The future of gaming is… more gaming. I think all the platforms will grow, although mobile will always reach a much larger audience."

 

That's it - big thanks to Jon for taking the time and we hope to hear more from him in the future.

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Aeolwyn's Legacy - Update#4

There's a new teaser from Brrapp Games (Tim Lang's studio) about Aeolwyn's Legacy. Not a new demo (demo sits here) just a teaser. For indie game, quite nice. :)

 

Heros 3 Assistent for HotA

It's small and very nifty utility to calculate spell damage, fights, artifacts and guardians (in/out of caches) on the map. And some other thingies. So, in the end, this a treasure mostly for mapmapkers.

h3assist

Visit their homepage to watch their instructional videos and download.

App made by "The Xenofex". You can also subscribe to his YT channel. There are some more Heroes 3 interesting videos.

 

HotA Team send out a teaser about new Factory unit Dreadgnought.

Dreadnought can be considered the magnum opus of the Factory's engineers and artificers. It is a key unit of its armed forces, the cornerstone of its arsenal, and also an indispensable assistant in construction and heavy lifting.

More information about it here, at HC. Still not a word about Factory faction release date.

 

Creature Quest

Current version of the game is 62.20.1507 after update 1.16

  • Max limit for shards in guild storage during Guild Wars set to 7mil
  • Max level upped to 700
  • Various bug fixes (# Fixed an issue when you were not receiving your reward after completing Grand Wish Quest. # Fixed an issue where claiming reward would consume stamina. # No more any creature can display like 5D.)

Doest it helped to fix Guild Wars? No, not enough. But it's a small improvement in the rightdirection. It stopped that hellish growing only in the end.

Just to remember, previous update 1.15 from Oct 2019 introduced galleons sharing limitation: "In order to maintain fair play, there will now be a level 40 requirement for sharing Galleons in a Guild." Full log is is here.

 

Might & Magic Heroes: Era of Chaos

Ubisoft finally released new content, where you can play for Yog and Dracon. And got them both. Dunno with eacts levels now, so Yog starts with 74 and Dracon with 84, probably till 92.

The game got small enhancements, which are:

  • Nerfed Solmyr
  • New artifact "Live Hawkeye" granting you some limited magic dmg resistance
  • New spell slot for heroes, where you can add one speel of your choice
  • New spell Prayer and Spell Bookshelf, for getting spell tokens for your own spells
  • Guild messengers giving your Skillstones and day bonus or teleport to already revealed place. Only for the time of St. Patrick holiday.
  • Minor other fixes, allegedly also text fixes

Wasn't able to notice them anywhere, the overall text quality is still tragic.

 

CANCELLED E3 2020 - Los Angeles

As expected, due to an ongoing pandemic of SARS-CORONAVIRUS-2, this event was cancelled. As a replacement there could be call for an online meeting, which will be streamed. Most likely several of them.

What is clear is, that this year, you are worry free about travelling to Los Angeles.


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Second Dev Diary is here. You can see more from the team, creation process and shaping the game. Also some short memory line, to put it into context.

Still in very early phase of Dev Diary. ;)

FB Link


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Tracy Iwata
January 2017



CreatureQuest 31. A quick bio: what's your story? How did you get into gaming and what's been your career so far?

I got hooked on video games when I was a kid. I took classes for programming and graphics, aiming to be an animator or programmer to work on a game. New World Computing was my first job, thanks to Julia Ulano who liked my fantasy art. It was fun creating 2d animated sprites for Heroes II and seeing the game box in the stores. Things shifted to 3d for Might and Magic VI. From that point on the games used 3d models. When NWC relocated to Solvang, I went around different companies and learned new skills along the way, but I still missed working on fantasy games. Then JVC sent me an email and now I’m working on his Creature Quest project. It is so exciting to be working with familiar faces that I have not seen in years.

 

2. What's your current job? Please outline what your work entails.

I create the visual effects that are used to enhance gameplay on Creature Quest. They help pop out a feature in the interface or creature - such as sparkles over a button, or flames from a creature.

 

3. What's your favorite part of the job?

Watching other people having fun playing the game.

 

4. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I hope to be working on a creative project in some form.

 

5. What do you like to do in your free time?

I enjoy drawing creatures, and playing video games.

 

CreatureQuest 26. How many creatures are there?

There are over 500 creatures in the game, including all the variations of evo states.

 

7. What’s your favourite aspect of the game?

The map quests, I enjoy exploring and uncovering goodies. It is also a good way to collect items that level up your creatures.

 

8. What does Creature Quest have in common with the games in the Might & Magic franchise?

It is from JVC, lol. The strategy of building a team of creatures and improving their stats is there.

 

9. How is working on a mobile game different from the PC games?

There is a smaller limit on the amount of data a mobile game can push compared to a PC. I would love to have higher particle counts for each creature. As the chipset technology improves, mobile devices will eventually play more graphic intensive games.

 

Editor's note: Thanks to Tracy for taking the time. smiley
Creature Quest launches globally in two days, on January 26th. It will be available for free download on Google Play and iTunes.

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HotA 1.6.0

Horn of the Abyss 1.6.0, short new features overview:

  • Resistance skill is back as voluntary skill. Naturally disabled in all HotA maps but available to choose again.
  • New skill "Interference" is introduced. And it does lower enemy power by 10,20,30%. In a similar fashion there were introduced three new artifacts: Plate of Dying Light 25%, Charm of Eclipse 10%, Seal of Sunset 10%
  • Beautiful Wasteland terrain and decorations inspired by Heroes II (but no Factory town, that's yet to come)
  • New Quest conditions and triggers for AI-controlled player
  • Specify Banks guards and rewards
  • New Unit: Steel Golem



That isn't all. For all futures description please go to HC. List to the middle of the page.

For consulting a full changelog.

Download: HotA Site | Acid Cave        


And to discuss in our forums. smile teeth


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M&M Guild is hiring new players, who would like to set up on the new adventure with Creature Quest mobile game by JVC.

Requirements are level 5+, defense in Guild Wars, ship sharing, attacking and logging in. More is merrier, come and ask your questions if you are new. The ad is valid for veterans too!!
How to: Write me PM

Unicorn Duchy at EU-16 is seeking for a new players for Era of Chaos mobile game by Ubisoft. Nothing common with classical Heroes game but if you are curious you are welcome!

Celestial Heavens is looking for new editors and if you are a php programmer with knowledge of Joomla MVC overrides and would like to help us, let me know ;)


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Bryan Farina
January 2017



1. A quick bio: what's your story? How did you get into gaming and what's been your career so far?

NWClogo"I started gaming in the late ‘70s when my tech-loving father got a PONG system for our TV.  Then  he bought a computer in 1982, a used Atari 800.  I was connecting to BBS systems and downloading and uploading games (at 300Bd!) when I was 10 years old.  We upgraded to an IBM clone in ’86 or ’87, and I’ve been upgrading every few years ever since.

My career started at New World Computing in 1995 as a QA tester. In very short order I became a Technical Writer, then a Designer, and then a Producer.  For Heroes I and II, I was the QA Lead, contributed heavily to both strategy guides, wrote the Heroes II manual, and did map building and other design work.  I became more full-time design for Might and Magic VI and VII, and then shifted into more of a Producer role for the later Heroes and Might and Magic games.

After New World, things have been a blur. I worked at NCSoft for a bit on an MMO game that never released. Then I was part of the team that founded Trion Worlds and worked on (what became) Rift. After that I went to Electronic Arts to bring Command and Conquer to the online world. When that was cancelled, I pushed JVC to start VCME."


2. What's your current job? Please outline what your work entails.

"I’m the Executive Producer for Creature Quest.  As exotic as that title sounds, in reality I coordinate all the aspects of the game to try and keep things flowing as smoothly as possible.  Beyond just art, design, and programming you have to factor in external groups (localization, first parties), create release schedules and the processes for hitting them, while also trying to develop the people working for you."


3. What's your favourite part of the job?

"Nothing beats creating something original and having it come to life—moving from paper design to implementation, going through numerous tweaks and revisions, and finally getting a full version finished that you can hand to a stranger.

And when that stranger gets their hands on it and become enthralled—that moment you realize what you dreamed up actually connects with people - that’s my favorite part."


4. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

"That’s impossible to answer!  I wouldn’t see myself where I am today five years ago.  Ideally, I’ll still be here working on who-knows-what awesome, new thing.  If there’s one lesson I’ve learned, though, it’s that this industry is quite unpredictable."


5. What do you like to do in your free time?

"Primarily, I play games in my free time.  I love RPG and Strategy games the most, though I dabble a bit in other categories (FPS and action).  I prefer the PC to consoles, and I’ve been spending more and more time on mobile titles.

Outside of games I haven’t had that many other hobbies.  I’ve started to learn how to golf so that I can enjoy an ‘outdoor’ activity without requiring an organized team.  Recently, I’ve picked up reading books, primarily non-fiction, to gather up ideas and further develop my skills."

6. About Creature Quest: What devices does it play on?

"Creature Quest will be available on both iOS and Android devices through the App Store, Google Play, and Amazon.

7. How large is this world?

"We have over 20 different quests, each taking place in different regions of the world.  It’s hard to compare world sizes, and we’re not close to done building out all the different areas yet."

CreatureQuest 1

8. How do you keep the balance, is there a (battle) formula?

"Fortunately for us, JVC’s pet passion is balance.  He’s been very involved in making sure we have proper boundaries for the Creatures’ stats and abilities. Our ‘battle formula’ is actually derived from the original Heroes combat system."

9. What can you tell us about custom quest creation?

"At release, we aren’t supporting user-generated quests, though we have a lot of ideas for how to expand the guild/community features of the game."

10. Are there also Dungeons and Utopias?

"Not in the specific sense of the Heroes games. The quest maps have specific objectives, but they also have locations gating treasure and quest completion bonuses. The spirit is similar, but the specifics are different."

11. What's your target audience?

"Our primary audience are mobile gamers, and people moving into mobile games, that want games with depth and strategy. Obviously, we want to appeal to fans of JVC’s work (Heroes and Might and Magic), and in a broader sense not restrict our audience. One of the tentpoles that New World Computing had was to create games that could appeal to wide audiences - ages 8 to 80 and both genders - and we’ve tried to accomplish the same with Creature Quest.

12. How is money generated - in-app purchases?

"How to monetize a game is a question based entirely on the distribution platform for that game. Console games and traditional PC games were/are box purchase, primarily because there was no other way to easily distribute them. Modern console games have leveraged DLC more aggressively because they are now connected devices. Modern PC games (built solely for PC) are moving more and more towards free to play. Mobile games have tried both methods, and free to play has won handily. Having the widest possible audience is the smartest approach, and giving that audience the ability to enjoy the game before asking them to spend makes their purchase more considered and valuable.

Given that, our goal in crafting the game was to make sure we were consistent with certain principles: 1) that monetization does not gate progress, and 2) that the game is not filled with annoying ads. We play plenty of mobile games and know how irritating ‘pushy’ monetization can be. Our goal is that players choose to spend because they want more right now, as opposed to feeling like they have to spend to simply progress.

It is possible to play, and progress, without spending any money at all. Spending is like adding nitrous oxide to your car - it doesn’t make the car move, it makes the car go faster once it’s moving."

13. What does Creature Quest have in common with the games in the Might & Magic franchise?

"Creature Quest isn’t really a port of a Might and Magic game - it’s inspired by Might and Magic. There’s a map to explore with random encounters, humor, and combats like in Heroes. Those combats are presented and fought in manner similar to Might and Magic and there’s a wide range of Creatures to encounter and collect similar to both Heroes and Might and Magic. Creature Quest is an RPG game with some strategic elements, as opposed to a strategy game with RPG elements (like Heroes)."

14. How is working on a mobile game different from the PC games?

"For us, it’s been like turning the clock back. Our team is fewer than 20 people, which doesn’t happen much anymore in AAA console/PC development. Outside of that, it’s the interactions that are the most different - the display is much smaller than a monitor and the input mechanisms are significantly more limited - so creating UI and control schemes are pretty different than a PC game.

In addition, the monetization of modern mobile games (F2P), and the design around that, is very different from stand-alone PC development. Our goal here is to make spending in the game something you do to enhance or speed up your playing, without gating enjoyment of the game based on spending."

 

That's it - big thanks to Bryan for taking the time and we hope to hear more from him in the future.

 

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Attention Might & Magic fans,

This is Super Goober and, if you've played Might & Magic VI for as long as I have, at some point, you had to have stopped to admire the art and visual style of the game, particularly, the weapons. The game had some of the most beautiful weapons I had ever seen, and even the most basic of them were pretty. Well, imagine seeing a real sword, built in a forge owned by a real blacksmith. I'm talking about this sword:

warrior sword by malfunit dce1egx

Would you like to see a real-life version of it? This is the Warrior Sword from Might & Magic VI: The Mandate of Heaven, and it just so happens that I know a blacksmith who make swords, and he streams it from Twitch.TV.

In fact, if you want to go check him out and see the process of making swords and knives, here is his Twitch Channel.

I've been talking with this man about making an exact replica of the Warrior Sword. He has agreed to do this for us if we can raise enough money to cover the costs of making and retrieving the sword. I live in Idaho and the blacksmith lives in Georgia. I have a launched a GoFundMe campaign to make this possible and we need all the help we can get.

The blacksmith has given me an estimate of how much the sword is worth, and he said it will be somewhere between $2500-$3000. Then add another $1000-$2000 for air travel expenses. Not cheap! But when will we ever get the chance to do something crazy like this? Not only that, I am in contact with a few of the former New World Computing people, including Tim Lang (lever designer of MM6), David Mullich, Paul Romero (composer), Shelly Garcia (Heroes 2 artist) and even Jon Van Caneghem himself. I think they would be delighted to see something like this come to life.

An actual sword from Might and Magic VI...imagine how amazing that would be!


 Pol: I wish you much luck with that Super Goober, you will damn need it! This is both Might&Magic and crazy, seeing that sword 'alive' would be wonderful! Hopefully it wouldn't just sit on your ledge and travel with you around the globe a bit..


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Hello all,
I decided to start with a summary of a maps submitted to our site:
 -- Maps Overview from Page 1 (2017 up) --

Maps Sent For Testing:
H4_WoW: Archmages (Sent for testing by Kuron)
H4_WoW: Stone Soup RPG (Sent for testing by Aranei)
H3: It's time for rebellion! (Sent for testing by Sensai.)
H5_ToTE: Demonic Defense (Send for testing by mctronic)

Final:
H5_ToTE: The Initiation (by mctronic)
H4: Maximus (by NATSSIRK)
H7TbF: The Hunger Games Map (by Antalyan)
H5.5: The Keymaster (by Silentine)
H3: Kill 'em All (Allies) (by Adam Simms)
H3: Hold the Line (by Sachertorte)

 I have some renewed hope that we will get new map database in this year, some things moved, some things not. There will be another page with updates 2015-17. These will be added (still temporarily) on the same page.

Just as a reminder our old "Map Page" is still available but you cannot log in and rate them, as these features were tied together and log in to the old site is permanently disabled.

Happy gaming! Because even inspite of all these new mobile games, the original H2+ line is still more fun. Especially HotA spurred lots of attention, finally. :D

 


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