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Runic Games Interview

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I recently had a chance to conduct an interview with the fine folks from Runic Games. If you haven’t heard about their soon-to-be-released Torchlight then I urge you to read the following for some enlightenment. The name Runic Games may not sound too familiar either since it was just recently formed, but take a gander at the first question for an answer that may surprise you. Without further ado, I bring to you, my very first interview (wow maybe I’ll go into poetry instead of journalism…).

Chad Betteridge: Since Runic Games was just founded last year a lot of people may not know that there are some very well-known names involved with the company, tell us a little bit about some of these people.

Runic Games: We are a new company, but we have veteran folks on the team including Erich and Max Schaefer, founders of Condor and the Diablo franchise, and of course our President and Lead, Travis Baldree, creator of Fate.

CB: Tell us a little bit about the upcoming game, Torchlight.

RG: Torchlight is an action-RPG game that is fast paced and fun to play. It features randomized dungeons, pets, mini-games like fishing, 3 character-classes with their own unique skill trees, and it also ships with all the Dev tools that were developed in-house for Torchlight – so you can mod it like crazy.

CB: Is storyline going to be a major part of the game?

RG: Torchlight is a dungeon runner, but storyline is a major part of it. The premise of a magic ore called Ember found beneath the boomtown of Torchlight is the impetus of the entire game going forward – it’s what brings the characters to Torchlight. All the quests deal with going deeper into the mine to find the original source of Ember.

CB: Now there’s also a Torchlight MMO planned aside from the single player release, correct? What can you tell us about that?

RG: Once the SP ships, we’ll focus exclusively on the MMO. The MMO will have more customizable options, more characters and classes, more pet variety, PVP and PVE, and a rich overworld. It will use the same lore, same art style and gameplay as the SP – just more, bigger, better, faster! It will also be free to download and free to play. The MMO will be out approximately 18 months after the SP ships.

CB: What kind of weapons can we expect to see in Torchlight?

RG: All kinds! Ranged weapons like bows and guns, two-handed swords and poleaxes, knives and one-handed swords, clubs and mallets, wizard-like staffs and more! There are also rare, unique, enchanted, and socketable items.

CB: Approximately how long will it take to make it through the game?

RG: We’re looking at 10-20 hours of gameplay for the storyline itself, but that won’t be the end of the game. You can continue to gain Fame and find unique and rare items in an ‘infinite’ dungeon in town and by accepting random quests, until you eventually level up to a retirement option. At that point you can bequeath an item to a new character and play as your descendant.

CB: When is the release date for the game?

RG: October 27th! Via digital download on our website, www.torchlightgame.com.

CB: The game is currently PC only, are there any plans to bring the game to any other platforms?

RG: Absolutely! We’re working on a Mac client now that will be out shortly after the PC version releases. We’d love to put out a console version if you know a good team. 😉

Myself along with the rest of us here at The Bitbag thank Wonder Russell and the other members of the Runic Games team for taking the time to answer these questions. We’ll have more coverage of Torchlight, including a review, coming your way near the end of the month, so stay tuned!

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