We've talked to Deck 13, the true creators of Lords of the Fallen
Have you already hired Hideo Kojima? ;)
We're still waiting for his decision. However we are of course optimistic! We have something great waiting for him.
Was it just a joke, or did you really want to hire him? And if he had agreed, would you start working on a MGS-killer? It must have crossed your mind, that he might say "yes".
I think the project we would offer him would be really interesting for his skills, and that's the truth. It would fit like a glove, that's where the whole idea came from. Mr Kojima is a brilliant game designer and we like the way he thinks and works. We see similarities to our approaches in games, but of course we would never be so bold as to compare our works to his. We still have a lot to learn, but we are eager to take the next steps and deliver something that's at least one step ahead of Lords of the Fallen.
Did you help CI Games with Lords of the Fallen development. Or did you create this game with CI Games help? What was your contribution in the process? I'm asking, because LotF appears in numerous charts - "as the best Polish videogame", or "as the best German videogame", so what is its nationality?
Well, basically it was a typical developer-publisher relationship. We were developing the game and the publisher gave input, on the creative side as well as PR and marketing. Also the funding was a classic developer-publisher thing. We had about 70 people working in our office, and our team coordinated about 100 people in outsourcing at peak times. So I think our contribution was, well, developing the game. Also, the whole technology was done by us, as the game uses our own engine, called Fledge, that we created to make this game happen.
In terms of nationality, I'd say the game does not really have a nationality. We had experts from all over the world consulting the development and adding to the game's quality. We had game designers and writers from the U.S., we had artists from India and China, we had a Polish creative producer and the majority of the team was from Germany. And isn't it great if we can just say that it was a combined effort, as it is most of the time in a video game production?
Jan Klose, CEO/Creative Director in Deck13
Were you responsible for coding and IT stuff, or you did create some aspects of design as well?
I think the art design department was the biggest in terms of people, so that was definitely a major part of our work. Lots of concepts were created on our side, but from time to time we were also supported by very talented people from CI Games. It was a great pleasure to work together with them, and in the end you can probably say that also the art direction was done together. Which is very rare for such a big project, and so we are very happy that we were able to pull that off together.
What were your expectations toward this game? CI Games confirms that they sold almost a million units, but they expected it to be a bigger success.
Starting a totally new franchise from a rather small developer and small publisher with almost a million sales? I don't think that's something you should complain about, unless you are EA.
How would you describe cooperation with CI Games? I'm asking, because the breach of contract from their side was quite a surprise.
It was quite a surprise for us too. I think working together with them was not always easy, but we are used to working under rough conditions with publishers, so we have been able to manage, and they have been able too. In the end there was a cool and successful game. Therefore we are not sure what is really behind this move and we are investigating right now.
CI Games claims that reason for the breach of contract was "not properly execution of the terms of it". But at the same time, they maintain that it was their first not only financial, but also artistic success. Frankly speaking - I don't get it.
We don't either.
Did you know, that this type of behavior just after (or even before game release) is kind of a trademark of CI Games? They were involved in similar cases in Poland, where one of the company they cooperated with sued CI Games for this decision and similar accusations.
Well, I hope it's not something that they do intentionally. It wasn't my impression when we were working together with them. But it's their business, so we never know. We've been working with a lot of smaller or mid-size publishers in the past, and some of them went bankrupt before or after the release of a product, so we have a lot of experience with contract issues and the likes, and we are always prepared that these things can happen. But we never really expect them to happen and we're of course very unhappy in such a case.
How much did it affect your plans for the future. Did you consider cooperation on LotF 2?
I can't say much regarding this right now. However our future plans are not affected, as they were not linked with Lords of the Fallen 2. If you take a look at our jobs page at deck13.com, you will see that we have a lot of great open positions right now, and this might hint at where we will go next.
You are very experienced and you developed your own technology. You don't have LotF IP, but are there any obstacles to create your a brand new Souls-like game? "From the true creators of LotF" or sth like that?
Yes, we have our own engine, and also the whole gameplay programming and scripting was done by us, so you can definitely think of the possibilities for a future game...
Generally speaking - what are your plans for the future?
We will continue to do what we think we can do best: Create core games for an audience who loves challenging games. We know that Lords of the Fallen was just another step after Venetica which we released back in 2009 (it's on Steam, so everyone can take a look at where we came from!). And we know that there is still so much that we can learn. We hope to deliver an even better experience with our next game, and we will stay true to the core fans, definitely.
Will you be working on your own engine on next projects? The most popular tools are almost free of charge right now, have you considered switching to them? Or would you like to license your own?
Our engine is strong at the moment, it runs on the current gen consoles and the PC, and we're right now doing amazing technical improvements. Also, we have a very strong game editor for our designers. So for us it is logical to build up on that. The next thing that we're doing with our engine has the potential to look and feel even better than Lords of the Fallen because we're steadily developing new features.