At E3 2004 I was first face to face interviewed for the chance of becoming a part of the Age of Conan development team. At the time I did not know what the design position was going to be for and was very interested to learn what Funcom was up to after having spent many many hours playing Anarchy Online. The hints I had been given were “next gen combat” and “from a major fantasy license”, wracking my brain I had only come up with licenses that were already in the works or completed from Dungeons and Dragon, to Lord of the Rings etc.
When I was told the license was Conan I was blown away and at the same time very excited. I felt it was a wonderful license that had been lurking under the surface like a shark and waiting for a time to strike and make itself known again; getting to be a part of this re-emergence was something I looked forward too. At this time I had no idea HOW we were going to do action based combat, but I went home to “study” prior to leaving for Norway anyway. I played loads of games, and spent a lot of time in Shadowbane to learn about city building and siege warfare. In addition I bought the Chronicles of Conan and read Robert E. Howard’s works and any other book about Conan I got my hands on.
Arriving in Norway there was still lots to be done for design. We had three things for sure. Multi directional attacks, no auto attack, and no click/tab targeting for melee. We made a list of all the games we loved the combat in and looked at different elements of each which we enjoyed.
I will list them off and let you guys think about the different elements of these games and continue with part 2 on Wednesday.
The primary games we used as influences were.
Ninja Gaiden (the Xbox 3d one)
Soul Calibur (Good old Dreamcast)
Mount & Blade
Of course there were many others but each of these had elements we were interested in. Stop by and check out the next part of the series hopefully on Wednesday. And don't forget to do your homework :)