Magicka is a light hearted four player co-op game about casting spells and working together for the PC. It's being developed by Arrowhead Game Studios and Published by Paradox Interactive. We sat down with the game's producer, Shams Jorjani to talk about the title - which is coming out next year.
Co-Optimus: Tell us a little bit about Magicka and what you think makes it so unique.
Shams Jorjani: Magicka is co-op (or single) fantasy action/adventure game set in world based on Norse mythology. The player assumes the role of a wizard from a sacred order tasked with the ultimate goal of stopping an evil sorcerer who has thrown the world into turmoil, his evil creations besieging the forces of good.
Sound familiar? It should. Because that's one of three things that makes Magicka unique - it's a humorous game that (frequently) pokes fun at the fantasy genre, video games and itself at every turn and bend. The Joker said - Why so serious? Magicka couldn't agree more.
Secondly Magicka is built from the ground up as a co-op game. The designers wanted to make a really fun "sit-in-the-couch-with-your-friends-and-play"-game. Whether you are healing your friends or zapping, flaming, freezing or throwing your enemies to their deaths you can be sure that the more you are, the more it's going to be.
Third and finally, Magicka sports a unique spellcasting system which presents some really cool gameplay scenarios. You basically have access to a bunch of elements, earth, fire, water, cold, arcane, lightning and a few more which can be combined into lots of crazy stuff. Cast flame as a flamethrower or combine with water to shoot steam. Combine fire, earth with a shield to create a fiery lavafilled moat. The spellcasting is brought to even a higher level when you have 3 friends blasting away. Be sure not to cross those streams though.
Co-Optimus: Ok, you win the Ghostbusters reference. So how did the idea for Magicka come about? Were there any games that served as an influenced for its design?
Shams:We were influnced by a lot of games, there are so many great dungeon crawlers out there. Diablo is of course one of the best ones.
Co-Optimus: Agreed, it seems like Magicka has a very Diablo-type feel, yet it seems like the focus is less on "who can collect the best/most loot", and more on the magic itself. What lead to the decision to shift away from a feature that is so often associated with this particular game genre?
Shams: Ultimately we decided to focus on the spellcasting instead of getting bogged down with inventories and rpg stats. That's fine and we love that as well, but we wanted players to get right into the action. That doesn't mean that the spellcasting is simple. In fact it can be really challenging. It's been really interesting to see how our testers play style changes as they get better.