Dungeon Hunter has been quite the go-to series for adventurers over the past few years, but there’s a new adventure on the horizon with Dungeon Hunter Champions now available for iOS and Android from Gameloft.
The game is a hero-based action role-playing game with characters pulled straight from its universe. And in an effort to provide a better storytelling arc, the team has brought on Marvel Comics and Games Workshop master Dan Abnett to provide some background.
To give us an idea of what to expect from the game, we sat down with Abnett to talk about his contribution, as well as what fans can expect from this new mobile adventure.
First off, what kind of story can players expect from Dungeon Hunter this time around?
Well, A lot of action and adventure as you might expect! This is a fast-moving game, but we’ve tried to bring in a lot of cool styles and genres, in both the characters and the locations, so the game is truly exotic. A blend of fantasy, SF and post-apocalypse! The scope and variety of this game is bigger than anything before!
Fill us in on the characters that you’ll be playing as in the game. How do they tie in with what’s happening?
Some characters will be recognisable from previous games in this series - old favourites - but many will be new. The idea is that all the characters have been drawn into - or volunteered for - a mystical game, which may be just an amusing diversion but may have greater, more serious intent. The ‘champions’ are drawn from all over the Universe, and everything is new to them. Half the fun is the meeting of strange characters (with strange powers and etch) who would never have encountered each other otherwise. There are some immensely cool and interesting characters in the game, something for everyone!
What would you say the biggest challenge is when it comes to writing video game stories compared to, say, comic books?
With this game, as with others, there’s a lot of world building to make it work, and of course - unlike novels and comics - there is a fluidity of structure. It’s not a simple, pre-determined linear story but something that develops according to player choices and successes. The crucial thing here is that we put a lot of work into developing the world, the situation, and the “meta-story”. It’s principally a mobile game, and such games are usually ‘quick fix’ bits of fun that you play on the go in short intervals rather than immerse yourself in. We wanted to retain that speed, but also gently layer in a developing backstory that unfolds the more you play, so that there is depth and greater continuing storyline and satisfaction even if you play it in short bursts. That was the real challenge - layering that in without slowing the game down with lots of backstory and exposition. I think we’ve managed that - it was a really interesting puzzle to solve.
What do you think about writing for such an adventure series as a whole? Were you able to include everything you wanted to when putting it together?
I think pretty much. There was a lot of world building at the start of the process, and that went through many iterations, and inevitably had to be tailored and adjusted to fit the conditions of game-play. But at the start, the creative freedom was huge. I suppose, in a way, a lot of that world building work is ‘invisible’ in that the writing done for it will never be read directly by a player. But it’s all there, informing every location and every character. I suppose I’m used to that kind of creative work being directly transferred to the reader in a comic or novel but this was an immensely rewarding project to work on, and all the ideas take shape through the actual design and construction of the game.
Finally, what’s next now that the game is out? Could you see yourself returning to Dungeon Hunter down the road?0comments
Dan: Indeed I can. I dare say there’ll be more to build and develop if the game is successful and builds out further. I hope so. The developers have done a magnificent job, and I think the game looks amazing and is really exciting to play.
Dungeon Hunter Champions is available now and can be downloaded here.