Interview with Techland (Hellraid)

1. We like to start of every interview with the same question, to see the many responses we will get. The question is very simple. What game has been the biggest influence in your life and why?

It is hard to pinpoint one game. There’s Heretic and Hexen, then there is Quake, and of course, Diablo. I loved the atmosphere and gameplay of those games. They were some of the clear inspirations for Hellraid, and the games I played countless hours of way back in the day. A big part of our team shares the same nostalgia.

2. How can you reassure those who are assessing the game as a mere “re-skinning” of the Dead Island series, (i.e. swapping the modern-day apocalyptic setting with a more medieval fantasy focused realm, and the decision to maintain an almost identical combat system), that Hellraid is indeed a unique, innovative IP? In what (gameplay-specific) ways does it differ from the Dead Island games?

Well, the new engine should easily alleviate any doubts that the game is a re-skin of Dead Island, especially so in terms of visuals. As for gameplay, Hellraid features a fully developed magic system in addition to the melee system. The combat system in Hellraid is different, and rewritten from scratch, but remember that the original Dead Island was a trendsetter in terms of FPP melee combat, and it would be a waste if we didn’t use that experience in our other games. Hellraid is also a much more diverse game, with three gameplay modes: Story, Arena and Mission.

3. For those of us who love the style of the game, but would prefer a more pacifist approach does the game offer any sort of a stealth feature?

Combat is the cornerstone of Hellraid. As such, stealth was something we didn’t want to include, especially so in co-op play. However, for the more ‘rougish’ characters, there is a whole selection of agility-based skills.

4. From what we have seen enemies in Hellraid are not afraid to charge after the player once provoked; would a ranged character be able to defend themselves in close combat against such an attack. What options would be made available to them?

We will be balancing out the ranged combat together with the community, but already the player has a lot of mobility options to maintain the distance, especially so if they invested in the agility based skills. And if it comes to worst, you can always use quick slots to switch into a melee weapon backup.

5. Are Staffs required to cast spells or does the character possess some sort magical ability?

The magical staves are the core of magic system in Hellraid, similar to Hexen and Heretic, but players are also given options to cast various spells using active skills. Those spells are purchased during character development, and are available regardless of their equipped weapons/spells.


6. Is the world of Hellraid open for exploration or is it more linear? If it is open would exploration benefit the player in any way?

Hellraid is a level based game. Exploration is an important part of the game, with secret areas and collectibles scattered throughout the levels, but it’s not an open-world RPG. Think more about it as a modern Hexen/Heretic with a hack’n’slash twist.

7. Do enemies scale in level as you do or will you be able to cut through lesser enemies with ease as you level up?

Enemy balancing and level-scaling is something we’d like to fine-tune together with the community in the Early Access, but we’ve already thought about it extensively – the content will level up and adjust itself for various numbers of players and their level, but we want to preserve the feeling where you can just one-shot hordes of skeletons with a high level spell or active ability.

8. From watching the trailers of Hellraid we see lots of enemy variations from the smaller normal enemies ranging from Skeletons and the Undead to larger tougher looking enemies. Do these larger enemies consist of Boss Battles or does Hellraid simply like to throw a large variety of enemies at the character?

Those larger enemies we’ve shown will, in the later levels, become more common enemies, but Hellraid will also feature proper, unique bosses for the players to kill. We’d like them to remain a mystery, though.

9. Hellraid will be coming to the Xbox One using Microsoft’s newly implemented [email protected] program. How has your teams experience been using the program? Would you recommend it for other Developers?

We’re really excited about taking part in this program, and so far everything is really smooth. This is our first game that will be released through [email protected], so we’d like to share our final thoughts once the game is actually released.

10. First off I would like to thank you for taking time away from Game Development to help us get to know your upcoming title a little more. We have one last question for you. Will there be any PvP elements in Hellraid or will all enemies be AI controlled?

Right now, Hellraid is all about hacking and slashing hordes of enemies with friends. PvP is something we’d love to have in some form in Hellraid, but right now we’re focused on bringing a quality game with the features we originally designed.

This interview has been republished from our old website. The original post was in late 2014.

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Written by: Hugo

“Don’t be so gloomy. Like the fella says, in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love – they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.” ~ The Third Man

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