Co-Optimus: Once players run through the campaign together, what kind of re-playability will there be? Will there be other cooperative game modes?
Shams: Besides the regular stuff (discovering new stuff, trying new spells/tactics) the game will have harder difficulty levels which mixes up the gameplay a lot. It makes the game much more tactical. You can't run&cast anymore, you'll have to plan a bit ahead and have a game plan. If the regular campaign is great with a beer, the higher difficulty is great with a cup of mind sharpening coffee. We also have a challenge mode (survive wave after wave of enemies) and versus (free4all deathmatch) that'll increase the replayability more. Finally we have a long and nice roadmap ahead of us with fun stuff we're doing post release. We're really interested in hearing the players feedback and adding new stuff they'd really like to see.
Co-Optimus: Currently Magicka is due to be released for PC. Are there any plans to bring Magicka to the XBox 360 and/or the Playstation 3?
Shams: There are always plans. We're aiming for a PC release early 2011 and by then we'll have additional info about other...stuff.
Co-Optimus: Ahh..."stuff". That sounds..."exciting." One thing we've noticed from the trailers for the game is the humor. Were there any influences or inspirations for this particular brand of tongue-in-cheek satire of the fantasy genre?
Shams: Monty Python is a great source of inspiration. The intro to the Search for Holy Grail for instance, absolutely hilarious. Similarly the boardgame/cardgame Munchkin by Steve Jackson is great. The challenge with humour is that it often is very reliant on timing, and as you know games are a interactive medium, meaning that "timing" is often dictated by the player. It's a tricky path, reference jokes are great, but you don't want to become too lame either. I think we've found a great path for the game. Everyone who plays has a good time. Paradox CEO cracks up all the time while playing Magicka, so we can't be entirely wrong.
Co-Optimus: What have been some of your favorite co-op moments during the playtesting sessions of the game?
Shams: I was playing the challenge mode with a friend on a hard difficulty. We're fairly good but we were absolutely getting overwhelmed by all the monster. We ended up having to cast invisibility on ourselves and sneak around on the map trying to stay clear of the hordes. Finally we had to "de-cloak" and fire off some spells. We counted down to one when we were supposed to unleash a lightning / water combo. It was a really tense situation and in the final moment my friend chickened out and stayed invisible. There I was surrounded by trolls and monsters. I was totally taken by surprise. I looked at my friend and he just shrugged and said "I'm sorry, they were so scary". We finally ended up beating all the waves, but it took us 20 minutes of sneaking, reviving, blasting, reviving, healing, dying before we made it. Great fun.