This week we spoke to Sebastian Rahmel, Game Director for encurio GmbH about the upcoming Viking game Valnir Rok. The game brings a fresh classic Nordic take on the survival genre. The appeal to fans comes with a fresh look at the pantheon and mystical elements which go deep into Viking history.
MMORPG: Valnir Rok follows a fantastic Norse tradition with Viking lore, tell us about your inspirations.
Sebastian Rahmel: I love ancient stories, and have read lots of books about it. It was my idea to create a Viking game, but to be honest, the whole storyline was mostly written by novelist Giles Kristian and film director Phil Stevens. They just loved to come up with a story and had lots of fun to write the storyline, creation myth and the quests.
MMORPG: What aspects of the survival genre drew you into the game?
SR: For me it is looting and combat. I like to feel the fear, when an enemy approaches you with war gear. Also, I love to explore and find things. For others on the team it is all about crafting and building. But I actually like to solve puzzles and discover things. So we added a discovery system to crafting. You need to experiment with resources and use logic to craft items.
MMORPG: How does Valnir Rok set itself apart, what are some key factors in the game that players will really enjoy?
SR: Quests are probably the most important thing. On private servers you will also be able to build your own storyline and quests soon. As I said earlier, crafting is all about experimenting and discovering. Combat does not only consist of one only one animation. You can do combos, dodge and do some tricks. The gods are very important too. Every action you take has an impact. To get the favor of a god you can make sacrifices. But you need to figure out which god you will please and which you will upset with your actions. Artifacts in the game can boost your gear but there will always be a downside to it.
MMORPG: What are your plans to support the community as the game progresses? Do you have any server designs or ideas to support smaller groups of players?
SR: We went into Early Access not only to fix bugs, but also to get feedback from what players want to see in the game. We are very close to our community and really love their feedback. We will create this game together and already improved a lot of things because of their feedback. There will be private servers from Nitrado for smaller and larger groups.
MMORPG: Valnir Rok has a solid core for fans, what are some of the updates you have planned down the line?
SR: Currently we are focusing bug fixing, but we are almost finished with dungeons and have started to implement the female character. We are also expanding the bounty system, so they are more compelling. We will also add player generated jobs tied to the bounty system.
After that we will introduce the skills and abilities system, riding and city management with employable NPCs. So you actually will be able to hire guards for your base as an example.
MMORPG: When building a character in the game, what are some of the important aspects when working with skills and choices?
SR: We will have 4 specialization trees (i.e. blacksmith, bowyer) at first and a few skills you can only get when you are favored by the gods. Quests will guide you to become an apprentice and maybe a master blacksmith later on. But you can also learn it by practicing. Some quests will have choices in them.
MMORPG: What has the feedback been from the community? How has it been going when working on updates with them?
SR: The feedback from the community is mostly positive. We know we have some issues, but we are trying to help as much as we can. We have rolled out 3 patches in 4 days so far. And we also try to answer every comment in the forums. We are working hard to build a thriving community and then continue to grow it with fun and exciting updates every month. Game development is like the Viking life – it’s hard and you will sacrifice blood and tears, but we wouldn’t want it any other way.