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Age of Heroes Headlines:  
5 Oct 2016: Heroes VII development comes to an end.. - read more
6 Aug 2016: Troubled Heroes VII Expansion Release - read more
26 Apr 2016: Heroes VII XPack - Trial by Fire - Coming out in June! - read more
17 Apr 2016: Global Alternative Creatures MOD for H7 after 1.8 Patch! - read more
7 Mar 2016: Romero launches a Piano Sonata Album Kickstarter! - read more
19 Feb 2016: Heroes 5.5 RC6, Heroes VII patch 1.7 are out! - read more
13 Jan 2016: Horn of the Abyss 1.4 Available for Download! - read more
17 Dec 2015: Heroes 5.5 update, 1.6 out for H7 - read more
23 Nov 2015: H7 1.4 & 1.5 patches Released - read more
31 Oct 2015: First H7 patches are out, End of DoC development - read more
5 Oct 2016: Heroes VII development comes to an end.. - read more
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Heroes Community > Heroes 7 - Falcon's Last Flight > Thread: MMH7 Q&A Announcement
Thread: MMH7 Q&A Announcement This thread is 2 pages long: 1 2 · NEXT»
Elvin
Elvin


Admirable
Omnipresent Hero
What if Elvin was female?
posted August 13, 2014 09:46 PM
Edited by Elvin at 22:14, 13 Aug 2014.

MMH7 Q&A Announcement

I am happy to present you a Q&A with Gary Paulini(Game Producer) and Stephan WInter(Limbic Entertainment CEO), enjoy

How long have you been working on Might & Magic Heroes VII?

[Gary] The discussions about the project started in late 2012. Around March 2013 we began Might & Magic Heroes VII pre-production with Limbic Entertainment. We are now roughly 15 months into production.

What was your main motivation for developing Heroes VII?

[Gary] Might & Magic Heroes VI was a good game, but not without its flaws.
To create the Heroes game that the fans want we decided to start anew, with an experienced studio (Limbic Entertainment) and a tried-and-tested technology (the Unreal Engine 3).
Our main ambition with this game is to deliver the best Heroes experience ever and to do so we felt that first and foremost we needed to go back to the very essence of Heroes.
Now that we have a solid game architecture combined with the depth of the Might & Magic universe, we know we can tell players captivating stories and deliver to our fans the Heroes game they all deserve.


Can you tell me more about the studio in charge of the development of Heroes VII?

[Gary] Limbic Entertainment is the development studio currently working on Heroes VII. They are based in Germany, close to Frankfurt. They have been working with Ubisoft Partners for many years and in that time we've managed to establish a great collaboration with their talented team of multicultural developers. The team is very experienced, it has a good understanding of the Might & Magic IP, and it is really passionate about strategy gaming and Heroes titles.
Limbic worked first on Heroes VI post launch and then went back to the roots of the franchise with Might & Magic X - Legacy which was released in January 2014. During the development of this classic Might & Magic game, a second team of Limbic developers was formed to start working on Heroes VII.

What are the main features you have updated in the formula?

[Stephan] Basically, our goal is to take the best out of the previous Heroes titles and build Heroes VII from there. Of course we˘re also bringing in new features or new ideas without compromising the spirit of Heroes, such as more interactions on the Adventure Map allowing more strategies. For now we won't delve too much into the details but we have brought in hundreds of small improvements which will help to perfect the formula. All in all we believe that we have the perfect mix of proven features, adjusted ones and new ones.
Another important development change is that we are developing Heroes VII with the Unreal Engine 3. This enables us to focus on game architecture, features, gameplay and narrative instead of worrying about the underlying technology.
In addition, one of the main parts of our vision for this new Heroes title is to empower our players wherever we can. To do so we have designed powerful yet accessible tools to put at their disposal. Our fans have repeatedly requested these features, and we consider these tools as being part of meeting their expectations.
Finally to bring this concept even further, we have designed a unique community platform-spoiler ahead!-allowing our fans to create avatars, access info, influence the game, create and share content, and get rewards.

What did you learn from the previous Heroes' installments Ubisoft developed?

[Stephan] From a developer perspective, Limbic Entertainment learnt that Heroes games are challenging productions. The nature of these games is that they are made of multiple layers of gameplay which have to fit each other. In a Heroes game you have to make sure at every single stage of the production process that the adventure map and the combat map, along with the economic and the RPG dimensions constitute a coherent structure. Such challenges make working on such a game very exciting!

[Gary] We also learnt (the hard way, let's face it) that we should invest more time in tools for our players to create content, but also for our development teams to maintain an effective level of support once the game is released. With Heroes VII we have anticipated those needs and we are ready to offer both to players and developers the means to make their wildest ideas a reality in the game.

What Heroes VII story is all about? What is your main inspiration?

[Stephan] The story of Heroes VII depicts the civil war that changed the ruling dynasty of the Holy Empire. The Empress' murder has left an empty throne, a realm in flames and too many hungry rivals intent on claiming it. Our main character Ivan, the Duke of Griffin, is the only one who may restore peace and prosperity. On his way to claiming the throne, Ivan will learn what it means to become a true leader - including all the tough choices and consequences it implies - with the help of The Council.
The Council consists of six councilors who have their own agendas, have their own backgrounds, and have their own goals. Each councilor represents one of the playable factions and with each campaign Ivan will learn about these factions, their uniqueness, and eventually how they can impact his own quest to the throne.
We obviously do not want to spoil the Heroes VII story, but you will know more soon!

You mentioned councilors. What is their role and how do they shape the game experience?

[Stephan] Each councilor represents one of the six unique factions. During the Heroes VII campaign each of them will tell Ivan ancestral stories that shaped the fate of their people. Each councilor's story results in an important lesson Ivan will learn that will help him fight his way to the throne and face his destiny.
The interesting thing with the councilors is that the game campaign is structured around a Hub allowing the player to play the 6 different campaigns in the order of his choosing.


With the game announcement at GamesCom, we heard about The Shadow Council. What is The Shadow council all about? And to which extent does it differ from the classic council?

[Stephan] The Shadow Council concept is probably the biggest community empowerment we have ever done. Starting today we would like to invite fans, players and people new to the Heroes franchise to join us and live a unique experience which will influence the game's development.
There are decisions to be made that will forge the final game experience forever, and we put some of these choices into your hands. As an example we picked four factions we want to have in the game but we offer you the power to vote for the two remaining factions. It's a huge decision that deeply impacts the game development, affecting everything from the story line to the environments to the available creatures and their abilities.
Beyond this Voting feature, The Shadow Council is a unique platform where you will be given the opportunity to get the latest info on the game, interact with the community and the dev team, play and progress to level up and unlock exclusive rewards. More info on The Shadow Council will be available soon!
So please don't miss the opportunity to join The Shadow Council and actively participate in the game's development--ultimately helping you to play the Heroes game of your dreams!
To join The Shadow Council you simply have to visit mmh7.com website and log-in with your Uplay account.


Why did you opt for a co-creation development process?

[Stephan] We are not developing in an ivory tower. We have many team members who are either active community members themselves or have been board lurkers for many years now.
In 2012 when we worked on the patches for Heroes VI we followed all the discussions from the Heroes community including those related to the faction choices, the random map generator, simultaneous turn gameplay, the skill wheel, the map editor and many other topics.
All these discussions already had a huge influence on Heroes VII pre-production, but we wanted to bring the concept to the next level. In the end we came with this idea of The Shadow Council, a platform dedicated to the players by gathering feedback from the whole Heroes community. In this way we get continual inspiration, helping to nurture the production.


What are the advantages and drawbacks of such a development process?

[Stephan] The main advantage of such a process is that we are constantly challenged by fans. We always need to question ourselves about decisions, design choices that have been made, iterating and reinventing the way we conceived games. On our side it also pushed us to be as transparent as possible about on-going decisions and stuff we are working on.
The main drawback is that we have to constantly anticipate what's going on. Depending on the feedback we receive we have to adapt our development schedule. As a consequence we need to be as flexible as possible to limit the impact on both project timing and budget.
Another frustrating aspect of this process is that given the huge amount of opinions we have to deal with, we can˘t simply answer every request. That˘s why we consider the voting feature as the most democratic tool to take into account players˘ opinion.


Will Heroes VII propose an online multiplayer experience?

[Stephan] Of course! Skirmish and Duel modes are already in!
Ah and by the way, Hot Seat mode is still there! More stuff about multiplayers mode will be revealed soon.

- Gary Paulini & Stephan Winter
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Storm-Giant
Storm-Giant


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
On the Other Side!
posted August 13, 2014 09:51 PM
Edited by Storm-Giant at 21:52, 13 Aug 2014.

Elvin said:
Will Heroes VII propose an online multiplayer experience?

[Stephan] Of course! Skirmish and Duel modes are already in!
Ah and by the way, Hot Seat mode is still there! More stuff about multiplayers mode will be revealed soon.

Simultaneous Turns, please!

A really nice interview, game's very promising
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Stevie
Stevie


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
posted August 13, 2014 10:09 PM

Elvin said:

[Gary] We also learnt (the hard way, let's face it) that we should invest more time in tools for our players to create content, but also for our development teams to maintain an effective level of support once the game is released. With Heroes VII we have anticipated those needs and we are ready to offer both to players and developers the means to make their wildest ideas a reality in the game.



My wildest.. ideas... reality?...
There WILL be consequences

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DoubleDeck
DoubleDeck


Promising
Legendary Hero
Look into my eyes...
posted August 13, 2014 10:43 PM

Thanks for the post Elvin

So Limbic already started H7 while H6 was still going....so they must be quite deep into it...
Gary mentions going back to basics, that is good, no more area of control, more adventure map items....nice!

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fuChris
fuChris


Promising
Supreme Hero
Master to the Speed of Light
posted August 13, 2014 10:46 PM
Edited by fuChris at 23:57, 13 Aug 2014.

Quote:
for Heroes VI we followed all the discussions from the Heroes community including those related to the faction choices, the random map generator, simultaneous turn gameplay, the skill wheel, the map editor and many other topics.

Fat load of good it did us back then...
Development has to be based around the map editor to begin with since we rely so heavily on fanmade content(maps). RMG is what makes a good game great in my opinion, it certainly was the hallmark feature of both H3 and H5. Get these things right and we can only hope they fix the conflux making the game playable unlike its predesessor, although the very concept of the unlockable stuff they forced on us still makes my blood boil.

Lets hope for the best.

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Kivo
Kivo


Famous Hero
posted August 13, 2014 10:50 PM

Storm-Giant said:

Simultaneous Turns, please!

A really nice interview, game's very promising


What if they'll make a poll and let ys vote between Simultaneous Turns and Random Map Generator?


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Storm-Giant
Storm-Giant


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
On the Other Side!
posted August 13, 2014 10:53 PM

Kivo said:
Storm-Giant said:

Simultaneous Turns, please!

A really nice interview, game's very promising


What if they'll make a poll and let ys vote between Simultaneous Turns and Random Map Generator?

I would kill them. They can't be so cruel...
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markkur
markkur


Responsible
Legendary Hero
Once upon a time
posted August 13, 2014 10:53 PM

Thanks Elvin, this indeed is good news. I now have some hope that "third time's a charm" comes to pass...mainly by the "tools" comment. We've said that enough the last few years.<L>
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LucPatenaude
LucPatenaude


Famous Hero
Owning all 7 Heroes games
posted August 14, 2014 01:00 AM

So...The Random Map Generator could be one of the 'Tools'.

Anyway, that is wonderful news, indeed.

The fact that Limbic started the whole project with the Editor in mind, I really do hope the RMG is one of those tools.

Keeping the Simultaneous turns as an option within the pre-made maps would be, indeed, a very nice asset. Although the option could be, somewhat, integrated into the RMG's editor engine, by making it as a toggle on or off like check box within the window of choices to be made be the host player of the map.

Only 11 types of troops instead of 21, sounds promising. That is the only approach that comes from H6 that I liked. Hope that the Village Hall to Capitol will be in and, that you can access building military establishments such as the Fort up to Castle without being stuck having to be forced at x number of military dwellings in order to be allowed to do just that: having the ability to build the Castle walls before finishing the whole line-up of the possible creatures.

24 months of development and, 15 of these months have consumed already. That leaves only 9 months left to complete its overall development + testing and erradicating the unknown bugs that surfaced after x number of hours spent on playing the prototype game.

Yep, up to the artists to finish up their arts and counselling on how the development of the sprites of these specific creatures should come up. Hope it comes out smooth and consistent.


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Dave_Jame
Dave_Jame


Promising
Legendary Hero
I'm Faceless, not Brainless.
posted August 14, 2014 06:40 AM

Can we post our questions for a potential next Q&A you'll be doing Elvin?

I've got one, not really a big one, but I think some people would be interested in it as well.

What was the reason that the Haven art design, converted from Griffin/Falcon duchy pompous wings and eagles to a more rugged, dark and practical Wolf duchy design.
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We are many, and you can be one of us.

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alcibiades
alcibiades


Honorable
Undefeatable Hero
of Gold Dragons
posted August 14, 2014 08:17 AM

fuChris said:
Quote:
for Heroes VI we followed all the discussions from the Heroes community including those related to the faction choices, the random map generator, simultaneous turn gameplay, the skill wheel, the map editor and many other topics.

Fat load of good it did us back then...

From what I read between the lines here, fairly quickly they realised that H6 was a sinking ship and thus limited the resources they put into further development of it. If that ment starting sooner on H7 and thus having more resources to develop that game, all for the better - at least then the money I invested in buying H6 was not completely wasted.
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Nelgirith
Nelgirith


Promising
Supreme Hero
posted August 14, 2014 09:02 AM

Storm-Giant said:
Elvin said:
Will Heroes VII propose an online multiplayer experience?

[Stephan] Of course! Skirmish and Duel modes are already in!
Ah and by the way, Hot Seat mode is still there! More stuff about multiplayers mode will be revealed soon.

Simultaneous Turns, please!

A really nice interview, game's very promising


Tbh, I'm quite sure they're already beyond that point and already made their choice as this is among the first features they'd have to code in the game engine

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Avonu
Avonu


Responsible
Supreme Hero
Embracing light and darkness
posted August 14, 2014 09:07 AM

Kivo said:
Storm-Giant said:

Simultaneous Turns, please!

A really nice interview, game's very promising


What if they'll make a poll and let ys vote between Simultaneous Turns and Random Map Generator?

It's easy: RMG. You can play game without both of these features, but it's RMG (and easy and user-friendly map editor) which prelong game life (as you can create tons of new maps), while sims turns only are usuable in MP and, while shorten game time, are not so crucial for overall game experience.
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Elvin
Elvin


Admirable
Omnipresent Hero
What if Elvin was female?
posted August 14, 2014 09:36 AM

Disagree. Unless the RMG is incredibly well made, I'd go with sim turns. Sim turns are quite simply essential for multiplayer and a game like heroes needs an online fanbase. Back in the day most of us could make do with hotseat but arranging friendly heroes gatherings is not so easy as people grow up From personal experience, I know that people in multiplayer prefer custom than random maps for both balance and quality. Take H5 RMG, it was so poorly done that it might as well have been scrapped. In the end it all comes down to implementation.
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Avonu
Avonu


Responsible
Supreme Hero
Embracing light and darkness
posted August 14, 2014 10:31 AM
Edited by Avonu at 10:32, 14 Aug 2014.

Elvin said:
Disagree. Unless the RMG is incredibly well made, I'd go with sim turns.

Disagree. Unless Sims turns are well made...

Elvin said:
Sim turns are quite simply essential for multiplayer and a game like heroes needs an online fanbase.

First, sims turns are very helpful in multiplayer, but only in online mode and not in all MP games. You can't get sims turns in hot-seats or duels.
HoMM series is not online game first of all (unlike MOBA games for example). It's targeted to all kind of players and multpilayer fanbase is only one faction of them all. I think that it is save to say, that solo players are majority of fanbase and they first of all need more mana maps. And they are a core of HoMM fanbase.

Elvin said:
Back in the day most of us could make do with hotseat but arranging friendly heroes gatherings is not so easy as people grow up

But you see, old fans are not target of Ubisoft. This company wants to sell its products to the largest amount of costumers, not to small circle of grumpy-old-fans , who even don't care about HoMM series anymore in much cases. And to do that, Ubisoft need to encourage new players and RMG is better tool in that then sims turns.
Without new blood fanbase will dry eventually.

Elvin said:
From personal experience, I know that people in multiplayer prefer custom than random maps for both balance and quality. Take H5 RMG, it was so poorly done that it might as well have been scrapped. In the end it all comes down to implementation.

Indeed, but as far as I know they also plays mainly small to medium maps, not these (extra)large, where RMG could shine.

So first and main answer to above question, about RMB vs. Sims Turns poll, should be: user-friendly and easy to learn map editor... and to build in-game and not require to be buy from third parties (as MMX editor was).
Without that no gamer, single- or multiplayer, will have reasons to play the game after (s)he finish campaign/play all (always to few) maps created by developers.
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"Details are everything."
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Maurice
Maurice

Hero of Order
Part of the furniture
posted August 14, 2014 11:08 AM

Very nice Q&A, Elvin! After what I saw in the screenshots, I realised that production was already happening for quite some time.

Based on that, I think they're already planning to finish the game with 8 factions and that the vote is only aimed at figuring out which of the factions will belong to the core game and which two are going to be introduced through expansion packs. As it is, they've already had to put considerable thought to the 8 faction line-ups and develop resources for each of them, this far into production.

In fact, such an approach could already introduce (some) of the creatures of those two factions in the core game as neutrals or something like that, with the corresponding faction itself introduced later on.

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Nelgirith
Nelgirith


Promising
Supreme Hero
posted August 14, 2014 11:26 AM
Edited by Nelgirith at 11:28, 14 Aug 2014.

Avonu said:
Elvin said:
Disagree. Unless the RMG is incredibly well made, I'd go with sim turns.

Disagree. Unless Sims turns are well made...

I don't see how there could be well or bad-made sim turns, there's either sim turns or not.

On the other hand, so far we've only seen bad RMG (blocked passages, blocked objects, players that can't reach each other, etc...

I'm with Elvin on this one, I'd love a RMG but only if it's flawless, so I(d rather have sim turns than a RMG. As I've said in another post, if there's sim turns then it's already in, so it's nothing we will be asked to vote for or not. Sim turns are part of the game engine an as such have to be among the first things to be coded.

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fuChris
fuChris


Promising
Supreme Hero
Master to the Speed of Light
posted August 14, 2014 11:42 AM

Nelgirith said:
Avonu said:
Elvin said:
Disagree. Unless the RMG is incredibly well made, I'd go with sim turns.

Disagree. Unless Sims turns are well made...

I don't see how there could be well or bad-made sim turns, there's either sim turns or not.

On the other hand, so far we've only seen bad RMG (blocked passages, blocked objects, players that can't reach each other, etc...



The problems with the RMG were due to the mapeditor in H5. H5 RMG was bad becouse the map objects had a a different relative size to the map than in H3 so it was more problematic to make the map look like its filled with stuff. H3 RMG in regards had a lot more freedom in object density, allowing a bigger variety of templates.
Blocked passages, roads that lead to nowhere, players unable to reach eachother are all problems that i refuse to believe are really that unsolvable.

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Nelgirith
Nelgirith


Promising
Supreme Hero
posted August 14, 2014 11:49 AM

fuChris said:
The problems with the RMG were due to the mapeditor in H5. H5 RMG was bad becouse the map objects had a a different relative size to the map than in H3 so it was more problematic to make the map look like its filled with stuff. H3 RMG in regards had a lot more freedom in object density, allowing a bigger variety of templates.
Blocked passages, roads that lead to nowhere, players unable to reach eachother are all problems that i refuse to believe are really that unsolvable.

Even though, the problems I listed were from the H2 and H3 RMGs. You could be lucky enough to have a playable map, but most maps had to be rerolled either from start or even after several dozens of turns ... I remember a game with a friend where we played about 2 monthes ingame, explored the whole map only to discover that there was no way to reach each other and none of us had town portal either.

That's why I said that if I had to choose the RMG over sim turns, then the RMG would have to be absolutely flawless ! Sim turns is imo a more important feature from a multiplayer point of view since what killed H5 (pre sim-turns)/H6 skirmish games was the duration of the games.

If the map editor is really that good then player-made maps will be flourishing and the RMG will be a non-issue or a feature that can be added later to the game.

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Avonu
Avonu


Responsible
Supreme Hero
Embracing light and darkness
posted August 14, 2014 11:58 AM
Edited by Avonu at 11:59, 14 Aug 2014.

Nelgirith said:
Even though, the problems I listed were from the H2 and H3 RMGs.

Nice to know after all these years that HoMM2 has a RMG.
Blocked passaged in H3 RMG are an issue but they appear less then you will think and overall map generated by H3 tool are playable. Not the best or even in league with even average maps from mapmakers but you can play them just after they are created. It save a lot of time if you want new fresh map and don't have a time to create one.
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"Details are everything."
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