Team 21, a small indie studio based in Prague, have now announced the launch of their Kickstarter campaign to create Dungeons of Aledorn, a classic old-school, open world RPG.
Dungeons of Aledorn is Team 21’s first attempt to return to the classic hardcore style of gaming, where games are fun and balanced but at the same time challenging, where players will die and are forced to think about how they play.
Intrigued by this return to old-school gaming, we got in touch with Team 21 to learn more about their vision for Dungeons of Aledorn. Here‘s what they revealed about the game.
For anyone who hasn’t heard of Dungeons of Aledorn, how would you describe the game?
Dungeons of Aledorn is a hard-core RPG/dungeon crawler, which can be considered the spiritual successor to the old-school dungeon crawlers. It uses the older proven principles and is enriched with new modern elements. It combines first-person exploration and tactical turn based combat. The entire game puts great emphasis on the reality of the game and the resulting possibilities are placed in the hands of players.
How did Dungeons of Aledorn come about? Why did you choose to create a melding of RPG and Turn based games?
It seems to me that the first RPG games were more or less an attempt at how best to move the classic board RPG (D & D & GURPS) on the PC; I also wanted to go this way. So for exploring the environment I have choosen a first-person view, because in this view you most enjoy the surroundings and environments. The fights were a clear choice towards a more precise, tactical turn based combat with hexagonal system – just as you do when playing these board games. Only of course, thanks to algorithms the system can be considerably more complex.
With most RPG’s comes endless customisability options, will players get to customise their characters and skill sets in this same way in Dungeons of Aledorn?
Within DoA it will be a very important step when the player is presented with the selection of races and classes. The selection will preset options in what direction the character will evolve. However, for a move to a higher level, we are able to choose skills and improve them by your own choice. At the same time some characters are able to learn special skills or spells.
What will the learning curve be like for Dungeons of Aledorn? Will players new to this genre be able to pick up the game quite easily?
Personally, I think that new but experienced players in other genres will not have a problem at all. New unexperienced players of any genre will probably face the most problems. For them it is planned to use an optional difficulty ‘by the hand’, which will walk players through the game so that they always know what to do next. However, this mode kind of hurts the game itself, since players will make very few decisions and most of the issues on which the player should figure out will be told to him by some hints. This mode is only available on the difficulty of ‘easy‘.
How will players be able to expand their group? Will these be characters integral to the story that you meet along the way or can you recruit specific individuals that you come across in taverns and villages?
The game is currently set to the system for the development of five characters immediately after startup. At the same time we are still working with a second scenario that early in the game a player creates only 3 characters and 2 gained during the game. But at the moment the game is made up so that from the beginning to the end, you have the same 5 characters that you create at the start of the game.
You say that the player’s decisions will have consequences within the game; does this mean there will be different endings of the main quest, or certain locations that can only be visited when making a certain decision?
In the main task of the game you can often choose ways to move further and progress in the story. However, the shift will be the same, it’s just about how you will achieve this shift. In the side quests, however, it will be different.
For example, one quest there is a farmer that has lost sheep. You, as a player, have got several options how to solve it. You can go to try to track down and reveal the source, or wait for the night, hiding in the shadows for the sheep thief, or to ask whether anyone was seen. 2 paths will lead you to the source, waiting will bring the source to you. But again, there’s the question of whether it comes directly to the source, or the underlings, whether you kill them or run away.
Will there be consequences if players avoid camping (resting, repairing items, cooking food) in an attempt to progress quicker?
Definitely yes. Characters will have to eat and sleep. There will be no direct indicator of food such as in Dungeon Master, but just as time goes by in the game and the characters do not eat they get hungry as well as tired. These will then have a knock on effect and decrease certain abilities.
The only way to avoid the management of the camp is to play the game at a lower difficulty, where all camping activities will be automated and the player simply clicks and sleeps and then characters recover stamina and some of the life energy. But the player looses an interesting part of the game.
Along with the main quest line, will there be many side quests for players to complete in the open world?
Yes we are planning a lot of side quests; some very small and others where you almost act as a detective and that will last longer – where the player has to use his brain and can figure out how to complete the quest. Quests will take place between locations and some of them within only one location. Open world is not planned. One of our stretch goals is that we can develop even more side quests.
Will there be many opportunities for players to learn more about the history of Aledorn and the events that have occurred, such as discovering letters and books, or through talking with NPCs?
Yes, we have lots outlined in a plan. For the curious player, there is an option to detect and find out about the background around the world and its history, especially through the books, scrolls and rumours.
Why did you choose to KickStart Dungeons of Aledorn?
Well, we have been working almost two years as Team 21 and would like to make a game in a quality that would suit us and our players. Unfortunately, the time and resources that we have available are limited, and so we’d like to do this to form a little space for the development of DoA. At the moment everyone in the team has second and third jobs, as well as working on the game in their spare time. A successful campaign would allow us to work on the game full time and complete at a quicker pace.
Then there is another reason and that is to promote the project. Thanks to Kickstarter we can present and expose the game quickly to the public. Nowadays, there are many games and many indie studios and it is difficult to step out among them and be seen. Kickstarter helps a lot with this task.
In an a culture now flooded with quite easy and simplified games, where players are offered hints rather than being forced to work things out, Dungeons of Aledorn looks already at this early stage, to be a great reminder of how games used to be.
Thank you to Team 21 for speaking with us and telling us more about this intriguing new game. Make sure to go check out their KickStarter Campaign for even more information, as well as tech demo for several combat levels within Dungeons of Aledorn. You can also visit Dungeons of Aledorn’s Steam Greenlight page, where you can support them by voting for them to get accepted on Steam