With a major update bringing co-op and PvP multiplayer features to both iOS and Android, Dungeon Hunter 3 continues to set itself apart as one of the best action games available. We recently had a chance to sit down with one of the game’s producers to learn a bit more about what goes into making a game like Dungeon Hunter 3, and how the game evolved over time.
Check out the interview below, and leave your feedback and questions in the comments!
What is your name and role at Gameloft?
Jocelyn Lefrancois, Local Producer
When did development of DH3 begin?
What did you learn from DH1 and DH2 that you wanted to add/emphasis/subtract from DH3?
The main issue that often returns with RPG games is the scope. With so many features available in RPGs, the question we asked ourselves is how can we stand out? This meant changing the overall scope from DH1 and DH2 by offering an arena focused game, with a much greater emphasis on the combat itself. We also found that players love to play games with their friend, so we wanted to offer more communication and social features.
Can you tell us how the decision was made to make the game free-to-play?
There was some initial backlash, and we understand that some fans wish this version were a spin off. We’re the biggest Dungeon Hunter fans alive, so we understand that reaction! But the game is really great and the free-to-play model allowed us to focus on the combat and has allowed a ton of new players to enjoy Dungeon Hunter. In retrospect we don’t regret the decision at all, but we could have managed expectations better for longtime DH fans who were understandably caught off guard by the change.
DH3 is the first Dungeon Hunter game to offer playable female characters, was that something you had planned to add from the beginning?
Yes. We really wanted to add this option for our fans. There are more and more women joining the ranks for all types of games, and all players like customization. It was an easy choice to make.
What’s your favorite class of character in DH3?
The Shaman, he has some sweet crowd control skills.
There are 4 new class types in DH3, can you briefly take us through the process of creating new character class types, from concept to design to implementation?
First of all, both designers and concept artists brainstorm about what they would want for a specific class (references, character background, etc.). Although we can’t really avoid the warrior class in an RPG, you have to ask yourself what their background is, which can influence what kind of visual look the character will have, what kind of abilities they will use and what kind of weapons they will wield.
Once the class idea is set, both the visual concept phase and the skills creation process begins. For the visuals, we start with some concept sketches (4-5 of them) and we seek out feedback. Ideally you want the entire team to give some feedback on the characters that everyone will be involved with. It is a similar process for skills, conceptualizing their visual style (fire, ice, physical strikes) and designing what damage and effects they inflict.
The last step is implementation. The 3D artists work on the model based on the concepts, animators work on making the model move and attack convincingly, and visual FX artists work on making the skills appear powerful, fun and spectacular.
DH3 was very focused on character combat. Therefore each aspect of the creation process is very important in bringing the classes to life.
Why aren’t there any more loot drops?
Unfortunately, almost no game comes to market without a list of “we would have liked to have had” features. We had loot planned at the beginning of the project. We dropped it because we simply didn’t have time to both implement items and balance the game with loot.
Why was there such a delay for the Android version of the game? Can you speak about the challenges you faced porting the game to Android?
We wanted Dungeon Hunter 3 to be available for as many people as possible on day one! Unfortunately there are a lot of devices out there and we needed to make sure that the game was optimized for enough of them before launching on Android. We understand why players are frustrated by delays, but I think they’d be more frustrated if we rushed the game.
How have fans reacted to the new multiplayer mode?
Really well! The response has been better than we ever expected. Players generally want to play with friends and meet other people in-game. Our MP mode required a lot of time and effort to implement but the impact has been incredible.
Multiplayer was originally planned for launch, right? What were the challenges in bringing multiplayer to this game?
Multiplayer is always a challenge. We face challenges with framerates, synchronization, hosting, server stability and match-making. Small issues that may go unnoticed in single player can seriously handicap the multiplayer experience. We could have released something at the same time as the single player version, but it would have not met our quality standards, and in the end would have hurt the game more than helped it. We decided to delay the multiplayer in order to make sure our players received a quality product at launch. As we see people having fun with the multiplayer mode, we know it was the right decision.
Are there more updates planned for DH3? Can you give us any hints as to what they might include?
Yes, we want to continue updating Dungeon Hunter 3 and making it even better. Planned features include more multiplayer elements like improved leaderboards and additional content such as new arenas and new items for the shop. I can’t share more details yet, but there are lots of exciting updates coming. Stay tuned!
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