Jetzt Vorbestellen

Spieleflut.de sucht dich!


1. May you introduce yourself quickly?
My name is Alexander Mishulin, I am a game designer for Etherlords. Is this quick enough? :)

2. Please name us the most terrific and most important features of Etherlords?
When I answer such questions I always say two things. The first thing is: Etherlords is the first title that brings the fun of collectible magic card games into a PC strategy. You will find here resource management options the purpose of which is to get control over the choice of spells you will have in combats. Etherlords combat is based on principles similar to those collectible card games. In short, it gives you a vast tactical scope and freedom of choice. With over 300 spells, you have an immense choice of winning combinations of spells to create individual battle tactics against your enemies. You will never have two similar battles: each one is unique, and the variety is almost never-ending. The second thing: Etherlords is one of the very few (if there are at all) turn-based strategies with true 3D graphics, free camera, and great attention given to details in models and textures, animations, special effects, etc.

3. How will Etherlords be able to compete against such big names like Warcraft III?
I don't think Etherlords will actually have to compete with Warcraft III just because it's a very different game. Warcraft is a real-time strategy and its gameplay will apparently be focused on commanding groups of differently skilled warriors, while Etherlords gameplay, apart from being turn-based, mostly centres on tactics. Etherlords has more similarity with such titles as Heroes of Might and Magic, but it still different enough to be set apart from them - first and foremost because of its innovative combat, where you don't depend on your ability to hire a strongest unit (or, in our case, summon a strongest monster), but can find and apply various combinations of spells that will enable you to apply a unique tactics at any stage of the game.

4. Why did you take the card game Magic as example for Etherlords?
What excited us most in trading card combat system was the virtually endless number of individual tactics you could and should develop to fight effectively against as many differently skilled enemies. The freedom of choice was immense, and this has always been what we loved in games most. One can put the idea as a 'highly combinatorial combat', where every single action you perform has a new and much greater meaning within a combination of a number of other actions. A combat system based on this principle offers a great variety of tactical opportunities. We felt that we really lacked a computer game that would offer a similar profundity of game play.

5. How long is Etherlords in development?
Discussions started as far back as spring 1999, so the game has been in development for over two and a half years.

6. Can you tell us already a little bit more about the background story?
The background story is all there in the title: ether and lords. Ether is something of which everything in this Universe consists of; lords are what you will actually become if you play this game. The game world is divided between four rival empires inhabited by four races (they can sometimes be allies, but actually they just hate each other, you'll see; no wonder, because they really have very different mentalities). Empires are ruled by Lords of races, and their population (probably including the lords themselves) is a product of very mysterious and undoubtedly magical powers possessed by the four flows of Ether emitted by four planets. Once in a while the planets line up in the sky and their rays are united to give something that every decent Lord wishes to control: White Ether. The Lord who seizes power over this substance will have omnipotence and power over everyone else. That's why they hate each other that much: the reward will find only one.

7. Do you have a certain release date or do we have to expect that Etherlords is another time delayed?
Etherlords estimated release date is November 2001.

8. Will there be per race or at all 20 levels?
You will have two campaigns with 7 missions in each. Within one campaign you will be playing for two of the races allied with each other. For instance, in the 1st mission of the Vitals/Kinets campaign you will control heroes and castle of Vitals, and in the 2nd mission those of the Kinets. All in all there are 10 different strategic maps in the game and 2 levels that are similar for both campaigns. Besides, you will have 10 additional missions that are not included in the scenario.

9. Do the different terrains influence the gameplay or are they only there for nice optics?
Well, it's easier and faster to move along the roads than along rough terrain, naturally. Besides, four races have their proper realms, and if you are on your type of terrain you will always start battle first if you collide with someone.

10. Is there and if yes how far is it possible to trade with the Computer? And will you be able to create an alliance with the PC?
In single-player each campaign is played for two allied races. You can trade resources, artefacts, and 'global spells' with your allied race, but the enemy side would most likely consider your proposal as a possibly dirty trick ;) In multiplayer you can trade with computer players more freely and establish alliances based on trade deals, where you can exchange the items I have already enumerated.

Jörg Frohberg - 10.10.2001