Robot Entertainment's first released game, Orcs Must Die, was a new and fun take on the current tower defense game craze, mix with more than a little humor. Now the Dallas based developer is working on the sequel, Orcs Must Die 2, for the PC. While the game isn't due out until later this summer, we got Robot Entertainment's Justin Korthof to answer our questions about the sequel
First, what was the reception like for the original Orcs Must Die in terms of sales?
While we don't discuss specific sales numbers, we were really happy with the reception to Orcs Must Die! It's been great to find an audience for a completely new IP that was outside the realm of what people expected us to make initially.
When the time came to develop the sequel, what were the development team's main goals?
It was pretty obvious, even while we were finishing up the original OMD, that we were going to have to invest in co-op for the sequel. This was one of the first things we focused on - how could we bring Co-Op into the game in a way that was compelling, and not simply duplicating the main character and shoving it out the door. Co-op has influenced every aspect of the game, from enemy and fortress design to UI layout. It's been a driving factor for everyone on the development team.
What can you tell us about the differences between the two playable characters?
That was one of the best things about using the Sorceress character from the original game as your co-op partner. She was powerful, but in very different ways from the last War Mage. The War Mage returns with his usual blunt instrument style. He's the one who can get in the middle of a crowd of orcs and mix it up a bit. With his new default weapon, the Blunderbuss, that's even more true than in the first game. The Sorceress is more nuanced than the War Mage. She has a smaller health bar, so she can't get into the fray directly, but her larger mana bar affords her the opportunity to stand back and control the crowd with magic. She's got some very interesting tricks up her sleeve, like the ability to charm any enemy to fight for her.
What are some of your favorite enemies in Orcs Must Die 2?
We're bringing back all of the original game's enemies, but there are several new enemies being added to the mix. Right now, one of the most interesting enemies is the Greater Earth Elementals. They're massive rock creatures that, when destoryed, crumble into smaller creatures. With each successive crumble, the new creatures move more quickly. If you let them get too close to the rift, they can easily overrun you before you know what's happening.
What can you tell us about some of the new traps and items in the sequel?
Again, we're bringing back everything from the original and adding to the arsenal. There are a handful of new spells and physical traps in the game, as well as a few character-specific traps. For example, only the Sorceress can use the Acid Sprayer wall trap or the Ice Vent floor trap. There is also a new trinket system which features several new ways to augment your character's abilities.
What other new features can we expect to see in Orcs Must Die 2?
Obviously Co-Op is the biggest addition. Beyond that, we've significantly expanded the spellbook. There are more traps than before, and for each trap we're now giving you several upgrade options. The first game required about 250 skulls to upgrade every trap one time - the sequel will require over 1700 skulls to upgrade every single trap completely. It's a much larger, much more personalized spellbook than before. There are a few more exciting elements that we haven't quite talked about yet, but we'll be revealing more as we get closer to the release of the game.
Have there been any graphical upgrades made for the sequel?
Nothing particularly noteworthy. We're very happy with the look of the game universe, and have spent our time focused on creating new traps and creatures, and with them new gameplay.
What is the current status of the game and when will it be released?
We're getting close to code-complete now, but there's still quite a bit of work to do to wrap everything up and polish the game before we release later this summer.
Can you give us any hints about Robot Entertainment's other upcoming projects?
Unfortunately, not yet. The OMD team is very focused on shipping that game currently, and the Hero Academy team has some exciting updates coming in the not-too-distant future. Beyond that, though, there's not much we can discuss.
NeoGamr and Neowin's coverage of E3 2012 is sponsored by War Inc. Battle Zone.