Welcome to the second entry of the developer diary for Defenders of Ardania. Last time we covered the general idea of what the game is about, and now I would like to discuss the campaign and story in more detail.
We already knew during the planning stage that Defenders of Ardania would mainly focus on multiplayer, and that we could not imagine not setting it in the world of Majesty.
Basically, we had three goals when coming up with the plot. First, we wanted the entire story to be entertaining and approachable; second, that it contain tutorial-style information vital to understanding the mechanics; and lastly, that it should fit into the world of Ardania in terms of both history and atmosphere.
All three races in the game will reveal themselves during the story, demonstrating their strengths and weaknesses, and also displaying their unique visuals; however, only the Humans will be playable in the campaign. In the early stages of development, we considered breaking down the campaign into three smaller parts to introduce each race. However, because of the set number of levels and the nature of the story, we decided to have just one campaign, but one that was more detailed. We then shaped it so that you will be familiar with both the Nature and the Underworld races by the time you finish the campaign and begin to enjoy the multiplayer modes, but more on this in a later post.
The story itself is based on historical concepts found in the Majesty games, but it does not follow what has already happened; instead, it precedes those events and attempts to show what life might have been like in Ardania before the better-known ages.
Still, you will run into familiar characters, like the Royal Advisor, who will act as the narrator. Obviously, there will be new faces as well, those who will have a role not only in the telling of the story but also in the game and the battles.
These characters are called “heroes,” and eight of them will be found on every side. Each hero has their own special abilities, and their strength matches that of a small army. For instance, there is Gilbon Hammercrush, the leader of the dwarven hammer-wielders, who most loves three things in life: swearing, drinking, and hammering. I guess it is no big secret that he is a master of all three.
Gilbon Hammercrush (Human)
Gilbon is the lead scouting battlemaster of the dwarven halls of Beergard. His dedication to the mines, and especially their beer supplies, knows no limits. While he is considered a youngster among the dwarven elders at 80 years old, he has earned recognition with his formidable hammer in numerous battles. Although his directness verges on stupidity, it is also what helps him through most problems.
For the Nature fans, allow me to introduce Gunju, the heroine of the jaguars.
Gunju the Huntress (Nature)
Gunju the Huntress always gets her prey. She is quick, quiet, and as deadly as a 300-pound predator can be. Her love of the hunt comes from her elven past, for she was once the master huntress of the Elven Kingdom. Because her new form suits her soul so well, her transformation did little to alter her soul and mind.
And lastly, here is Lord Arawn, the greatest – and surely the ugliest - zombie of Ardania.
Lord Arawn (Underworld)
Lord Arawn, the Rotten One, is a mindless, emotionless beast of dark magic. In his meaningless life, there is only pain and death. The sight and odor of his rotten body nauseates nearby enemy units, and reduces their walking speed by 15 percent.
In addition to the campaign's 18 levels, there are also different single-player modes that will be at your disposal, two of which I would like to introduce now:
Limited Resource mode
In this mode, you can replay the campaign levels that have already been completed, but with a small restriction. Every means by which to gain resources is disabled, so you must rely on your increased starting resources to complete the level.
Survival mode also consists of levels already completed in the campaign, but the objectives are different. The enemy base cannot be destroyed; instead, you have to endure the enemy's ever-increasing assault waves for as long as possible. The attacks never stop; the aim is to survive the siege for as long as you can.
Obviously, the completed campaign levels are fully replayable at any time, allowing you to learn the levels and perfect your strategies.
That is all that can fit into today’s entry. See you again in two weeks.