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H7: Would you prefer 2D or 3D townscreens?
I don't care.
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Heroes of Might and Magic V  → Fabrice Q&A (April)

by Angelspit

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.


ThunderTitan at 2006-01-03 21:14 wrote:
130 creatures with the Expansion, if it ever gets made! "crosses fingers"

To dark raider:

That wasn't a Beta.

dark raider at 2006-01-03 20:00 wrote:
WAAUUWW....I have tried a beta version of the new heroes 5, and I must say, that although You can only play one level og the haven campaign this is a GREAT game....personly I think haven is one of the greatest factions.... the royal griffins and the upgraded monks....man they are strong units....and the graphics in the game are SO cool....especially the battle scene....when you use the spells...man there are a lot of different spells in this game.... I can't wait until March 2006 when the final game is released.... GO UBISOFT..... HAIL HEROES OF MIGHT & MAGIC....

Shogun_Razor at 2005-10-06 19:08 wrote:
Go Fabby Go! Sleep is for wussies - burn till you can't feel your mouse fingers anymore!
submarine at 2005-05-01 00:58 wrote:
I checked out the heroes V website... makes me want to buy the game even more.
dalriada at 2005-04-21 09:02 wrote:
Heroes V Mac OS X .... please. Have been a faithful follower since Homm3 and am holding my breath to hear news that Homm5 will be ported to the large Mac community. Thanks to not forget us !!

Jude at 2005-04-13 22:08 wrote:
Please let there be a Mac version! I've been playing (and buying) the Heroes of Might and Magic Games since King's Bounty. I've written to Ubisoft about whether there will be a Mac version but have gotten no answer. Maybe the next time you compile questions, you can include that one?
SiD at 2005-04-13 08:42 wrote:
How do they count the number of creatures? If the creatures are upgradeable like in Homm3 will both the standard creature and the upgradeable version be counted as 1 or 2 creatures? If it is counted as 1 I'd say that 130 creatures is alot, but if it is counted as 2 creatures it's about half the number of creatures.

Nevertheless... quality of creatures is always more important than the quantity.

About the graphics... The only thing I want in Heroes is the atmosphere and the cozyness that has always been there in the previous games. The music did its job as well in the other Homms. If they can get that into Homm 5 I don't mind how it looks or what style they use. But I do want many types of pickups. Do I choose XP or gold... hm :P

Zamolxis at 2005-04-12 17:24 wrote:
I second Vitirr: I'd rather have 130 well ballanced creatures also (instead of just 60 well ballanced creatures) ;)

I also second necro95: the upgrade through gained experience is one of my older ideas that I really hope I'll see it working in Heroes V.

About those that are still doubting there'll be upgrades: read the interview again - he made it pretty clear they'll top the 130 only with upgrades and ADD-ONs (so we won't have 130 in the first release). And that doesn't mean topping Heroes III as he said, 'cause Heroes III had (with upgrades & add-ons, like he says about Heroes V) 9 towns x 14 creatures = 126 + 12 neutrals = 138. And that's not counting all the WoG creatures (!!!). This makes Fabrice not 100% honest, and I don't like this. Nevertheless, I'm still pretty happy anyway (as I was afraid of almost half of 130), so I'm not gonne be upset with him for this detail, but more greatful for revealing this information and not letting me burn in fears anymore. ;)

Vitirr at 2005-04-12 14:19 wrote:
To Loco Blutaxt:

I'd reather have 130 that are well balanced .

Asmodean_HC at 2005-04-12 13:08 wrote:
Yes the creature number is great, it's what all the fans wanted. And upgrades are back like we all wanted too.
The thing I'm most pleased to hear is that from now until the release, most of the effort will be going into polishing and tweaking.
That's good for AI, for balance and for ironing out multi-player problems.

Loco Blutaxt at 2005-04-12 12:31 wrote:
I don't know if 130 creatures is a good or a bad news.
I know that many of you think that the more creatures there are the better the game. I'd rather have 60 creatures (5 Levels/Town - upgradeable) that are well balanced then 130 creatures that look diffenent and are in fact the same.

Paladin at 2005-04-12 09:06 wrote:
Lots of creatures, Heroes feeling... This is just so great. Can't wait for this game much longer. :Ž

necro95 at 2005-04-12 09:05 wrote:
Maybe they'll implement stack experience? The more battle the stack of creatures fight, the more powerful they get and evolve.

HodgePodge at 2005-04-12 00:03 wrote:
I'm getting breathless!! Just dreaming about Heroes V - YAY & HOORAY!!! Eeeeeeeeeeeee!!!! I love more creatures. I love upgrades. I hope the Heroes will be tough, buff, gruff, have the right stuff & be cool enough! Heehee!

Anyway, I think I'm gonna faint. Whew! I'd better continue playing Heroes IV while I have to wait. Hone my skills. I'm sure glad I bought my new computer when I had the chance; now I'm READY! Bring IT on (Heroes V)!!!!!

The Filth at 2005-04-11 21:21 wrote:
Theay are getting the "HEROES" feeling!!! An more thann 130 creatures! Awsome! what more can i say? Just Awsome!

Ryder at 2005-04-11 20:40 wrote:
More than 130 creatures? I really dont know if that's a good thing or not. There's bound to be a few that are rather pointless.

Oh well, that well make a lot of people happy.

A few screenshots would have topped off the interview perfectly. :p

Marelt Ekiran at 2005-04-11 20:30 wrote:
That almost makes upgrades certain. Heroes 3 after all only had about 70-80 (didn't bother to count exactly) unique creatures, which is as much as Heroes 4. Somehow I doubt they could make 130 unique creatures appear.

Anyway, assuming a 20% neutrals rate, that means that there will still be approximately 18 creatures per town. Somehow that makes me think they will use a pure chaos system or a yet unknown system for the creature lineup.

Falsted at 2005-04-11 20:16 wrote:
Yep, the comment on the Creatures total numbers is awsome indeed :)
King Imp at 2005-04-11 19:30 wrote:
The creature comment has me very, very excited.
Are you all aware that Heroes 4 only had 74 creatures? This means that if HOMM5 plans on passing the 130 or so from HOMM3, we may be seeing close to a doubling of creatures from HOMM4.

That is simply incredible!
Camay at 2005-04-11 19:19 wrote:
Great ! at least 130 creatures !!

Monastor at 2005-04-11 19:00 wrote:
Hmm... So they're so happy because of changing the style (I mean the graphic)... OK... There are only some games for the masses nowadays :(

Anyway... Do you know anything else about these beta tests?

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