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Shadow Warrior 2 Interview


May 12, 2011
Hey, I know it's a bit late, but I've published a new interview, this time about Shadow Warrior 2. The game launched a couple of weeks ago, but if you don't know about it, it's interesting. Also confirms than an expansion is in the works, which (maybe?) wasn't confirmed until now.

Thank you for this interview opportunity. Can you please introduce yourself and tell us about your role in regards to Shadow Warrior 2′ development?

Tadeusz Zielinski – PR & Marketing guy

The ninja warrior Lo Wang is back again in the sequel to kick some demon asses. Only this time, there are multiple RPG elements thrown in the mix. Why did you feel this was a necessary evolution for the franchise?

I woulnd’t say necessary – it was rather a natural evolution of the franchise. We have many borderlands and Diablo fans in the company, and we wanted to put our current (or « at the time ») fascinations in our game. Also it felt like a cool addition to FPSs and nice nod to now-so-popular looter-shooter subgenre.

Shadow Warrior 2

Coop is a huge part of Shadow Warrior 2. The game allows up to four players to battle hordes of demonic monsters in procedurally generated levels. Are there skills or maybe features that really shine in a group?

There is a whole upgrades section dedicated to multiplayer upgrades. With a specific upgrade you can, for example, shoot weapons at your companions to heal them. There are also numerous auras that influence damage dealing, resistances and such.

Knowing of all the loot present in the game and how gory it is, please tell me there’s some kind of PVP?

Quite opposite – beacuse of the loot system there is no way we are going to make any competitive PVP mode. Why? Pretty much of the same reasons as Diablo 3 ditched the whole PVP component – it’s impossible to balance with so many variables. The system would be broken from the beginning without any chance to fix it.

I’m curious about your sources of inspiration for this sequel. Learning there are quests and a hub area, I can’t help but think of Destiny or Phantasy Star Online. Are there examples out there that you’d love to replicate or, at least, learn something from?

Biggest inspiration was, without any doubt, Diablo series. But you will find traces of Borderlands, and of course, classical shooters such as Doom or Duke Nukem 3D. It’s an amalgam of different ideas and gameplay styles.

Shadow Warrior 2

One thing I’m a bit concerned about is grinding. Which steps did you take, if any, to alleviate this feeling?

Grind is sometimes necessary to make players feel they earned something. That they worked really hard to obtain the prize. That being said – grind is something that only the most dedicated players will actually experience. During your normal « first » playthrough you will not feel it at all, because there are no places in the game for grinding. Only when you play numerous times from the start, you will start to experience some grindiness, but that’s unavoidable.

On the other hand, one thing I’m really excited about is environment traversal. Being able to climb up walls, jump from rooftop to rooftop, this all seems pretty cool. How does that new verticality/freedom impacted the creation of content in Shadow Warrior 2?

Verticality was one of the biggest tasks to tackle, especially when you think of enemy AI. Preparing the traversal for the player is fairly easy – you just prepare some ledges they can grab onto, or some ladders to climb. With AI you have to program the behavior, and then manually place all the connectors within the different layers of the level. It requires a lot of work from our level design team.

Can we expect even more clever/hilarious easter eggs in the sequel?

The whole game, from the beginning to the end is one huge easter egg. Besides all the hidden secret rooms, all the popcultural references in dialogues and in the gameworld itself, every single name of every weapon is a nod to something. Nothing there is random.

Final question: do you plan to support the game after its launch with updates and content? Since it’s now an action-RPG hybrid, updates to balance, weapons and maybe bosses could engage the community for a long time.

Well, we are kinda already doing it. Since the launch we’ve published the game we provided our community with 5 patches and we are still working on more. There are special challenges coming, and of course – we are also working on a proper expansion to the base game.