Gas Powered Games has always been a supporter of co-op with games like Dungeon Siege and Space Siege. Demigod is a new game coming out that is going to offer a slightly different take on co-op, something more akin to Unreal Tournament rather than a strong story based game.
We talked with Mike Marr, lead designer, from Gas Powered Games about their upcoming unique hybrid game. All the details you wanted to know are right ahead.
Co-Optimus: Could you explain what the single player game is like? Is there going to be story cut scenes?
Mike Marr: The single player game is a tournament where Demigods are fighting one another for favor with the gods. The ultimate goal of the single player game is to ascend to the Pantheon. The tournament takes place on a variety of maps and game modes and even though the Demigods fight in teams during the tournament, skillful individual performance is what turns a Demigod into a God.
As to your question regarding story cut scenes, each Demigod has a unique FMV for when they ascend to the Pantheon.
Co-Optimus: Is your Demigod character persistent through the campaign? IE - As you upgrade him those upgrades are available for the next mission?
Mike: Yes and no. Each round of the tournament wipes the slate clean for you and your opponents in regards to level, skills chosen and inventory. However, as you compete in the tournament you earn favor points, which persist from round to round and can be used to purchase items that persist. There are over 30 of these items in game, and they support a wide range of play styles. One of my favorite items is Heaven's Wrath, which lets you summon a powerful bolt of lightning anywhere on the field to devastating effects.
Co-Optimus: Is the single player campaign playable at all in co-op?
Mike: While the single player tournament is not co-op, there are multiplayer tournaments. These multiplayer tournaments emphasize the battle between the Forces of Light and the Forces of Darkness.
Co-Optimus: What options are there for cooperative play above and beyond the skirmishes?
Mike: Along with skirmishes, the multiplayer tournaments I spoke of before. Players choose to fight for either the Forces of Light or the Forces of Darkness, which also determines who their ally and enemy Demigods are. The tournaments themselves are expected to go on for weeks.
Co-Optimus: Will we see new Demigods added via DLC?
Mike: Definitely! As well as new items, maps and game modes.
Co-Optimus: What's your favorite Demigod of the bunch?
Mike:Unclean Beast. There's just something about a plague-spewing hound chasing down and obliterating enemies. The Beast is a fast skirmisher that requires good situational awareness, since he can't take too much damage. You're always on your toes trying to find that next soft target while avoiding being someone else's target.
Co-Optimus: Do Demigods get any benefit from working together? For instance do powers combine or have any counteracting effects?
Mike: One of the design goals of Demigod was that you should feel like a Demigod when you're alone, and you should feel invincible when you're working with your friends.
For example, Oak can use Penitence to force an enemy to take more damage, which enables Regulus to dish out a super powerful Snipe. We didn’t stop at Demigod abilities though! One of my favorite defensive plays is to use the Orb of Defiance when I'm low on health, which makes me invulnerable but unable to do anything and buys me enough time for an ally to a heal or a shield.
Co-Optimus: What's your one favorite standout feature of Demigod?
Mike: The huge range of things you can do to with a single character. There's at least three different builds I can use for Unclean Beast, and they all have their place based on what I'm fighting. Then there are a slew of items on top of that, and I can change those as the game goes on based on what I've learned about my enemies. Once you toss in a partner, the number of options just explodes.