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Codex Interview RPG Codex Interview: Dreadline, Party-Based Monster ARPG by Ex-Irrational Games, Ex-Harmonix Devs

Discussion in 'RPG News & Content' started by Crooked Bee, May 15, 2012.

  1. Crooked Bee wide-wandering bee Patron

    Crooked Bee
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    Tags: Dreadline; Eerie Canal Entertainment; Freedom Force

    Dreadline, announced yesterday, is a party-based action RPG for PC ("a Diablo/Freedom Force mashup, but faster and with more blood!", as described in the press release) currently under development by Eerie Canal Entertainment, a recently formed ex-Irrational Games, ex-Harmonix, ex-Iron Lore developer studio. In particular, Bryn Bennett worked on Freedom Force 2 and Steven Kimura was a 2D Artist on System Shock 2. In the game, you take control of a group of time-travelling monsters who visit history's greatest calamities, such as the Titanic tragedy or the destruction of Pompeii, with the simple but elegant goal of killing as many humans as possible in the nastiest way possible. Heck, they are destined to die anyway! Monsters that are perversely moral in addition to being perversely bloody? Count me in!

    The art style is pretty unique (unique and pretty), too, as evident from the teaser trailer:


    Excited about the game's announcement and premise, we have reached out to Bryn Bennett (Programmer/Designer) and Aaron DeMuth (Artist) of Eerie Canal Entertainment for a short interview that would hopefully introduce the game better than just a usual press release. Have a snippet:

    Dreadline's premise - controlling a group of monsters who travel through time to kill those who are already doomed to die in history's calamities - definitely makes it stand out, as does the look. What were the main inspirations behind the game's unique concept and art style?

    Bryn Bennett: Steven [Kimura, Lead Artist] is a huge Edward Gorey fan, which explains a lot of the look. We are also trying to bring the creepy look of '70's animation, which I don't think has been represented much in video games. Cartoons like The Hobbit and Watership Down were terrifying!

    The concept just came from us throwing around ideas for a few weeks. We all generally have dark senses of humor, and this concept really cracked us up. We knew we were on to something right away.

    Aaron DeMuth: Yeah, Steve already has a pretty distinct drawing style, mix in Edward Gorey, Quantum leap, and Ancient aliens and I think you'd arrive at the same place.

    Dreadline has been announced as an "action RPG/RTS hybrid." From a gameplay standpoint, would it be fair to call the game "a Freedom Force-like, but with monsters instead of superheroes"?

    BB: I think that's a good place to start, but doesn't really describe what we're shooting for. The game is going to be much faster paced than Freedom Force. It will still be necessary to control your team well in order to complete levels, but we won't have things like pause-time. We want it to feel very frantic and high energy. Additionally, we are a small indie studio, so we're not going to be making something the size of Freedom Force, since we just don't have that kind of man-power. (people-power?)

    The press release says we will control "a bloodthirsty monster squad." How large is the squad the player controls going to be and how many recruitable characters will there be? Can you perhaps give us some examples of the special skills the characters will have?

    BB: You will control a squad of 4 monsters at a time. We played around with the number a bit, but larger numbers of monsters started to feel unwieldy. There also may be some early level with less, to keep things simple and allow the player to ramp up with the controls. Then again, they have a time machine, so they could always go back and replay with more monsters and really bring the doom.

    Again, I'm not trying to be secretive, but there are a lot of things up in the air right now. Our skill system currently allows for a ton of different types of abilities, so I'm really excited about that.

    Right now, our character Cuberik (the Evil Cube), is kind of like a harvester of souls. One of his abilities is to drain life from humans, and can then use that life force to heal his monster friends. He's like a terrifying recycling machine.​

    So if you ever wanted an RPG that would allow you to play on the side of monsters that kill a lot of people in a bloody way - and with an (ahem) moral justification of "eh, they were all going to die anyway" - this might be just the game for you. We thank Bryn and Aaron for their time, and personally I'll be keeping an eye on Dreadline and patiently waiting for its release scheduled for Q1 2013.

    Meanwhile, be sure to read the full interview: RPG Codex Interview: Dreadline, Party-Based Monster ARPG by Ex-Irrational Games, Ex-Harmonix Devs
     
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  2. 20 Eyes Liturgist

    20 Eyes
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    I'm a huge Freedom Force fan. I was interested in this game until I read this part.
     
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  3. likaq Arcane

    likaq
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    I stopped reading here:
    Yet another shitty "action rpg" ( read: clickfest hack&slash ) nr 12342354.

    We don't need any more shit like this.
     
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  4. Crooked Bee wide-wandering bee Patron

    Crooked Bee
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    Gosh, you guys are extreme. :P It's specifically designed as an unpausable game with a competitive element (kill as many humans as possible), so I don't see any problem with it being real-time. Pretty sure it may be fun, and the premise is cool.

    Also, I don't know why you would consider a party-based action RPG as something too ordinary -- there aren't really many of those. And Freedom Force, for one, was great.
     
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  5. Nattvardsvin Learned

    Nattvardsvin
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    if unique and pretty means "looks like shit", then yeah it's unique and pretty alright.

    FF and FF Vs The 3rd Reich were good games. I don't know about this one. I want a demo.
     
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  6. BrynEerie Novice

    BrynEerie
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    Hey everyone. Thanks for checking it out.

    I could see the game not having enough depth for ultra hardcore RPG fans. There isn't going to be mounds of loot falling off humans to decorate your monster with. The group dynamic does allow for a lot of different strategic options that aren't possible in a traditional ARPG though. And yeah, likaq, I don't like clickfests either. It makes my finger hurt.
     
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  7. Gakkone pretty cool guy eh Patron

    Gakkone
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    "Freedom Force with monsters" would've been so awesome, I really liked those games. I guess they're going for a much simpler action game with this one, which is too bad. I'm with Crooked Bee on the art style though, looks pretty cool. We'll see if they can cook up anything interesting gameplay-wise.
     
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  8. joeydohn Savant

    joeydohn
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    What's the point in a trailer for a game that shows ~5 seconds of gameplay?
     
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  9. UnknownBro Savant

    UnknownBro
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    They only streamlined the gameplay... that's all... join... die... join... die..
     
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  10. FrancoTAU Liturgist

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    We might be getting a little liberal in calling this an RPG, but it's silly enough and I like the art direction enough to want to see more.
     
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  11. Rivmusique Arcane Patron

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    It's going to be extremely easy for anyone with the reflexes of a 5 year old? Okay.
     
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  12. garren Arcane

    garren
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    Thanks for replying Bryn. Don't let the codex get to ya. :codexisfor:

    Yes, more gameplay wouldn't hurt.
     
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  13. 20 Eyes Liturgist

    20 Eyes
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    My concern isn't with piles of loot or RPG depth, Freedom Force didn't have that either. I just think the lack of a pause limits how much thought I can put into these strategic options you mention, which usually limits how much I enjoy this sort of game. I like games like Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale, and both the Freedom Forces (I own both physically and have Steam copies, I even went to the effort of making a custom character for the campaign), but I usually don't care for games like Dawn of War 2 where you can't pause to issue commands.

    Just a personal preference. Good luck with the new game, though. I do like the art style.
     
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  14. Haba Harbinger of Decline Patron

    Haba
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    It looks interesting but yeah, hard to say from that brief glimpse yet.
     
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  15. Shannow Waster of Time

    Shannow
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    Stopped reading there.
    Sry, Bryn.

    CB, I don't exactly know why you put this up as news. We'll have perhaps 4 members who might be interested in this, and at least 20 who'll do nothing but trash it and the rest won't give a fuck.

    Oh, and I don't see what's "moral" about murdering innocents who are already fearing for their lives, but I'm just not interested enough to argue the point...
     
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  16. nihil Augur

    nihil
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    "Cube"-rick. :lol:
     
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  17. Metro Arcane Beg Auditor

    Metro
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    Please please please... please please please please puh-leeze stop making RtWP and real time/RTS like RPGs. For party based stuff, just stick with turn based.
     
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  18. Crooked Bee wide-wandering bee Patron

    Crooked Bee
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    There are always those who will trash or not give a fuck, but thankfully RPGCodex isn't only about turn-based or mainstream titles, but about all kinds of PC RPGs, including ARPGs, which this game is. Also, you shouldn't think our news and interviews are for forum users only. Our front page receives tens of thousands of visits, and the vast majority of those people never even browse the forums. Lastly but not least, interviews tend to spread around news sites like Gamebanshee or RPGWatch, so it's not only Codex users who benefit from it. Our task as staff is to spread awareness about new RPGs released or under development; the people reading the articles decide whether this particular thing is up their alley, but it is of no concern to us; what matters to us is fair and extensive coverage.

    I also disagree about the numbers you quoted, but I'm not willing to argue about that because ultimately it doesn't matter - first, no matter if they're the minority, if a portion of those who read the interview will now be keeping an eye on the game , it's worth it and my job is done; second, as I said, it's not just about our particular community, which is very diverse thankfully, but also about the front page.

    Also, Freedom Force is one of thoseRPG gems that are minor cult classic, so that alone makes Dreadline worth making the news feed.
     
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  19. Metro Arcane Beg Auditor

    Metro
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    Bee, it sounds like you're polishing up that resume to join Sea at IGN. :codexisfor:
     
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  20. Fens Ford of the Llies

    Fens
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    trailer is crap... but the game's premise isn't that bad, really... reserving judgement until i see some actual gameplay

    when did the codex start caring about people who don't care about the codex ? or is this a PR stunt to make them like the codex ?
    the only way that will happen is, if the codex stops being the codex and starts being like them... and that's when the codex would lose its appeal to actual codexers

    ...not talking about this news item btw. ...this is well within codex interest boundaries
     
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  21. Ulminati Kamelåså! Patron

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    The interview doesn't contain nearly enough rants about how modern gamers should stop feeling entitled to play the games they paid for to be featured on IGN.
     
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  22. Crooked Bee wide-wandering bee Patron

    Crooked Bee
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    You misunderstood or I wasn't clear enough. I care only about the genre and the games within it, both old and new (and, as a consequence, the coverage of said games at the Codex and as a whole), not the people.

    I agree. All PC RPGs are.
     
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  23. Fens Ford of the Llies

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    ok... updating bee.txt

    i wouldn't be as inclusive here... but that's more a matter of opinion
     
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  24. Irxy Arcane

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    Will it have romances between party members?
     
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  25. GarfunkeL Racism Expert

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    At least the art style looks nice.
     
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