Book of Demons (Early Access) Preview and Interview

Sep 1, 2016

While previewing Book of Demons, the kind folks at Thing Trunk provided us a few keys to raffle to our community. Enter below and enjoy this preview in process.

ss_10e72c2739bbd6686b45819f950a0598c08c0aa8.600x338(October) I had an opportunity to exchange emails with the great folks at Thing Trunk regarding the development of Book of Demons. Enjoy 🙂

GWW: Clearly Book of Demons is inspired by Diablo 1 – my favorite game in that series. I’m curious, why did you not draw inspiration from Diablo 2?

Thing Trunk: It is not entirely true. Diablo 1 is our main inspiration when it comes to mood and atmosphere, but when it comes to mechanics I would say that we also draw from Diablo 2 and other games from the genre. Also, Diablo 1 was our favorite too and it always brings the most intense memories.

GWW: When you delve into the cathedral, each level is procedurally generated. You’ve created a system that understands the player’s play style and offers small to large options for predicting the play length of the player. That’s a system I absolutely love. Did you create it because you’re target demographic has limited playing time? Regardless, what was your motivation behind this system?

TT: We wanted to build a game that would give deep and engaging experience to players regardless of how much time they can dedicate to gaming. From our experience, there is a big chunk of people, who used to play a lot when they were kids, but now they have jobs, work, family, hobbies and just can’t play games all of their spare time. Such people can play casual and mobile games, as those games are easy on your schedule, but it’s rarely deep and engaging. And this is what we are trying to solve with the Flexiscope system.

GWW: Do you have interest in adding mod support, such that new hero classes can be created by the community of players?

TT: Yes, we do, but it’s really difficult to tell how it will look and when it will be available. There is still a lot for us to work on in the basic game. One idea is to make an advanced level editor so that players could create custom challenges and share them with others. We also want to eventually release the tools we used (like our engine editor) for people who like to do some low-level tweaking.

GWW: After completing the game, will there be a “new game +” option?

TT: We’re working on new game modes right now (including the perma-death mode, that so many players are asking for) but I don’t think you will have to complete the “normal” game to enable them.

GWW: Why do you feel the Paper Mario-like design of the characters is the best route? Why not give them animation?

TT: The decision about the papercraft style of the game was a very conscious one, and there were multiple reasons behind it. We wanted to give the entire R2G series a unique, distinctive, high-quality appearance, one that would unify graphics from different source genres. We also wanted it to be symbolic so that hardcore, gory and violent elements are presented in a nonliteral, humorous way. We could have gone with a pixel-art look, but we thought that it was overused and often associated with low profile indie and mobile games. We felt no need to add more animations to the game, but even if we wanted to, it would probably be impossible for us – just take a look how much effort went into making the game how it looks now:

GWW: Will the art style of BoD be consistent throughout the “Book of” series?

TT: Yes 🙂

GWW: What’s next for the series? What can we expect from the 6 other books?

TT: We haven’t announced the second game in the series yet, but I can say that if you do some digging, there are hints hidden inside the teasers we released, even on the R2G website. Each game will be a different story, a different take on a different genre, but the core values will be the same. Just like we did with Book of Demons we will be trying to build an engaging gaming experience basing on a familiar theme, but with some unique twists to the game mechanics.

(August) An email came to me from Steam, recommending Book of Demons, which is in Early Access with a price tag of $14.99. I clicked through. Moments later I was downloading the game because it looked so much like one of my favorite games of all time: the original Diablo. You delve into a dungeon, level by level, killing not too many enemies and collecting not an egregious amount of loot. I’m not suggesting Book of Demons is simple.

There are several strategies to consider while traversing each floor: which monsters to attack first, how to manage your distance (you can only attack enemies within your light radius) and which cards to equip for battle. Cards are really where Book of Demons separates itself from Diablo. Sure, their implementation of traversal is different than anything I’ve seen in an ARPG, but it’s something you get used to. I don’t love it – truth be told, but I can learn to live with it. Cards, on the other hand, are where you manage your skills and, get this, your loot. You don’t find boots as items that you snap onto your character in the inventory screen. In fact, there isn’t an inventory screen. Instead, you find cards symbolizing boots, helms, weapons, etc. and you choose to battle with them or not. It’s quite different.

Diablo co-creator, David Brevik is no stranger to Book of Demons. He’s had a hand’s on with the game and gave it a thumb’s up to me via Twitter.

There are six other books coming to the “Book of” series. I’m pumped to see what is next and will continue to update this post as I learn more.

Enter below for your chance to win one of four Book of Demon keys for Steam:

Win a copy of Book of Demons!