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Lethal Dreams: The Circle of Fate Interview|
(hx) 12:49 PM EDT - Aug,25 2002
GGMania got a chance to talk with an unnamed developer at Boolat as he answers a few questions regarding to Lethal Dreams: The Circle of Fate, the upcoming role-playing strategy game from Ukrainian studio Boolat Games and publisher Russobit-M. We also received four exclusive screenshots from the game.
GGMania: Please introduce our readers to your identity, your history in game development and the nature of your duties pertaining to Lethal Dreams and Boolat Games.
Boolat: I have been developing games since computers became available- mini-races, business games, RPG. They were simple of course, but still containing some ginger. And I have been gradually gathering a like-minded team. When the time came to start game development as a business, I proposed some experienced game developers to join the team. In
Boolat I carry out management responsibilities and also participate in solving the most complicated gameplay problems.
GGMania: How would you summarize Lethal Dreams, and where does it stand in terms of strategy and RPG elements? Clarify the difference that sets Lethal Dreams apart from other fantasy games combining RPG and strategy elements?
Boolat: As a strategy. Lethal Dreams provides 2 playing modes: strategic turn-based, where the player select his next strikes targets, negotiates, learns new spells etc., and dynamic real-time combat. The RPG background of the Lethal Dreams forms up of characters deep plot work-out, of their relationships and of the game's story line, the work-out of which gives a player a free hand making the game non-linear.
GGMania: What's the background story behind the game?
Boolat: This is a story of 6 Disciples of Magic in a fantasy world. They have been taking their magic art lessons from Magister Wintrix. Once upon a time an Astral Vagabond have given a gift of an
unknown artifact - the Crystal Lotus. As he refused to research it, he they made an attempt to unravel its secret on their own. As they broke into his cell and made a number of experiments, they activated it accidentally Alas. But then all of them find themselves in an unknown location having just a part of the Crystal Lotus in their hands.
GGMania: What are the different types of locations players will see?
Boolat: Locations vary from totally fantastic and historical to totally technologic ones.
GGMania: What options will players have in terms of the starting character? How will the character development system work?
Boolat: The player makes a one-time selection from 6 preset characters. The reason for this lies in the game plot significant work-out.
GGMania: How does the magic system work? What are some of the spells and creatures we can expect?
Boolat: The magic system is what we are proud of. A spell's effectiveness depends on various parameters, from location and incoming mana amount to spell's target. All this looks rather sophisticated
at first glance, but it's only at the first glance. The spell is set out clearly, and the game's interface demonstrates the result to come. For example, when you apply the Word of Flame Spell to a territory, a fiery explosion will occur, when you do that to the Fire Storm, the Fire Storm will come to life and a creature called Fire Spirit will be brought into being.
GGMania: Please describe the combat system, will there be any form of non-magical combat?
Boolat: Combats go on in real-time. The combating sides are two magicians who use spell to summon creatures, direct hits or special effects creation which alter creatures properties or protect from
external forcing etc. Seven properties determine the combat effectiveness of the Magicians and their subject creatures. A Magician is able to fight with no magic used, as well. Moreover, one the player can improve his properties so that the magician becomes an unrivaled fighter. Still the character is Magician, and the path of warrior is not the most effective way for him to go.
GGMania: Aside from enemy magicians, what other kinds opponents we can expect in Lethal Dreams? How is Boolat Games handling the AI for the game?
Boolat: Each and every game level has a kind of local inhabitants in it. They side with the domain's master, however their actions are independent. Magicians also can summon or create a host of various creatures staying under their control. There are some rather no-ordinary images, for example, incarnations of emotions. And also the familiar images, e.g. demons, have an extraordinary interpretation. The game's AI is highly
various and all unit types and rivaling magicians behavior has been designed to have its own temper.
GGMania: What can you tell us at this point about how the single player missions will be handled? How many levels will there be, and how much will they differ from one another? How linear or non-linear is it?
Boolat: Single-player game process resembles Master of Orion to a certain extent. Domains are placed on a hexagonal map and you can conquer them in an arbitrary order, taking into consideration
that your domain can be also invaded by the enemies and you will have to fight them off. Game's quests never appear to be a long chain of interrelated events, they are set out by the domains custodians and the player has to decide whether
to accept them.
GGMania: What other gameplay elements do you consider to be important and unique in Lethal Dreams?
Boolat: The combat. Every location allows different combat tactics. Some players may always initiate simple raids with a large number of units, others might prefer smart forays. But none of the tactics will be continuously effective. For example, in domains which provide pretty low amount of mana, the player with a large number of units is exposing himself to quite a risk to destroy, for he can expend all its energy for his
units maintenance, and still stay far from the domains center.
GGMania: What can you tell us about the engine that is being used for the game?
Boolat: The engine allows display of good 3D graphics (you can see it in the screenshots), speed and 3D sound. But its key peculiar feature is the AI and Spells block, which allows to create such a various set of behaviors.
GGMania: What the current system requirements are for Lethal Dreams?
Boolat: P3 500, GeForce 2 and 128MB RAM should be quite sufficient for the game.
GGMania: What multiplayer options will be put into the game?
Boolat: Currently we are working over a powerful single, striving to present best our game world and our vision of magic. Still I'm sure that our promising plans on multiplayer version are going to be
accomplished very soon.
GGMania: Will there be a mission editor provided in the game?
Yes, we're planning the mission editor.
GGMania: Is the game still on target for a fall 2002 release?
Boolat: The planned release date is Q4 2002.
GGMania: Do you plan to release a playable demo?
GGMania: Thank you very much for taking the time to do this interview. Finally, is there anything else you wish to say about Lethal Dreams?
Boolat: We consider the Lethal Dreams to be an extraordinary game attractive for both RTS and RPG fans. One can play it as a simple "kill 'em all" game, as well as a "ponder-over" game with a large role diplomatic aspect. And there's a host of things which are going to be appreciated by those who love to scramble the games' nooks. We do our best to combine our ideas novelties with worked-out historical game design elements in the Lethal Dreams: The Circle of Fate.