Interview with War of the Vikings’ Executive Producer

Last month we, at Analog Addiction were lucky enough to get our hands on the Early Access for War of the Vikings, the following title from War of the Roses.  Vlad Pintea (PC Editor) and I thoroughly enjoyed our experience with the fast-paced game, which you can check our impressions here. Now, we had the chance to speak to Gordon van Dyke, Executive Producer of War of the Vikings to provide us with some behind the scenes knowledge and more detail about their new game.

With the Vikings battling it out against the Saxons, what was your motivation to move towards the medieval setting?

The team really wanted to do something others weren’t, and that was closer rooted to our Norse heritage.  It was a nice break from the more cluttered Knights in shining armor and took it to a more gritty time where it was about the skill of a warrior more than the wealth he had to buy an advantage.

Do you have any plans on bringing Vikings to the consoles? Maybe on next-gen?

Next-gen is very much a realistic option with the power the PS4 and Xbox One are packing, but for now PC is our focus.  Once that’s released I can’t imagine we wouldn’t examine all possible platforms that could support a game like War of the Vikings.

Will it feature any kinds of single player modes? Maybe offline bots or perhaps a short-campaign?

War of the Vikings is a multiplayer only game, though if the game does well the team would love to make a Singleplayer experience in the War of the Vikings brand.

Will the customisation features go beyond choosing specific weapons and beards? Maybe different clothes or helmets?

Absolutely, we’ll have at least 32 color options for each class, lots of helmet options, paint patterns for your shield, taunts, etc… These are also differences between the two factions.

With this style of game getting the combat system to be quick and response is absolutely crucial. How do you feel you have achieved developing the right balance in fights, especially for people who use the archer class?

I think we’ve done a really good job, of course there’s always a long list of things we’d like to improve I feel we’ve achieved our goal of a more accessible combat system that doesn’t lose its depth when compared to War of the Roses.

As for Archers, well… that’s hard to answer.  They are loved by those that like to play them and hated by those that don’t.  Personally, and I play a lot with the community, I see them as annoying at times but also as an easy kill. To fire an arrow you sacrifice a wide field of view and Archers often stay in this limited view.  I often get killstreaks thanks to Archers. : D

Since this is a medieval styled game, how important was it for you to develop a soundtrack which encapsulates the medieval setting? The music we heard in the Early Access was great by the way.

This was extremely important to us, music really is an important part of taking people back in time.  For the music we hired a local artist that had experience and knew local musicians familiar with Norse musical instruments. I think the music we’ve heard thus far is evidence we went the right direction. At least I feel so. : )

How do you feel War of the Vikings stands up to War of the Roses overall?

I feel they both really express a different identity.  Kinda like two brothers who have similar core behaviors but express them differently. The technology of the time periods also really affects this.  Our games take this very serious and try their best to reflect combat based around the respective era.

With Steam recently reaching a landmark of 65 million active users, how do you feel this will affect the ongoing debate between PC and console gamers? Particularly with titles such as yours?

I feel the debate has finally stared to become less common and less relevant. Times are changing and so should the debates.   Especially when it’s gamers that win with choice and options.

Personally as a gamer, I’m in the best place I’ve ever been with the most choices ever in my lifetime. It’s not too far off a memory of me as a kid begging my dad to drive me to an arcade to play a selection of 14 games if I was lucky.