Fanstratics
国王的恩赐2
英雄无敌7截图
15329911

Fanstratics月更2021-05

EvilP 更新于 2021-05-01 16:13:17,共有条回复论坛链接

来源:https://shoutout.wix.com/so/baNaPJ8HL,以下由Heavenk翻译。

  • Fanstratics Troop: Archangel.
  • 兵种设定:大天使
  • 点击显示过长的英文原文;
  • 这里讲了一个关于当初h3原版的主界面中的大天使的故事,简单说就是当初他们最开始搞了个大天使的设计图,市场部的人觉得不错,应该放主界面上,然后他把设计方案拿去给执行制作人Mark看,结果Mark不太满意,但是又说不上哪里不满意,反正最后一顿交流,结果就是换了个配色,由h2时代的褐色换成了更适合大天使的蓝色、白色和金色,就这么一故事......
  • Fanstratics Faction #6: Zubhewen.
  • Fanstratics阵营6:Zubhewen
  • Largely of Goblin descent, this sub-human faction lives in an underground, Subterranean world. Terror, chaos, and fear are their allies, leading to an amorphous ‘might-makes-right’ form of self-rule. Representing the Zubhewen in the Troll Witch, who can be viewed in the Fanstratics Gallery. For most, the Zubhewen will be remarkably similar to HoMM3’s ‘Dungeon’, but keep in mind... as I mentioned in the last Newsletter... some troops have been shuffled off to other factions. So, some hallmark ‘Dungeon’ troops may have found new homes with other, more thematically consistent cultures.
  • 由一大批地精后裔组成的阵营,这些亚人居住在一个地底世界中。恐怖、混乱与畏惧是它们的盟友,这让它们形成了一种“力量就是正确”的自我信条。Zubhewen阵营的代表角色是巨魔婆巫。Zubhewen阵营大体上与h3的地下城类似,不过就像我之前的文章中提过的,其中一些部队被换到了其他阵营里。
  • Fanstratics Feature: Hardcore Mode.
  • 新要素:硬核模式
  • Similar to the previous two features (Rally Attack & Boss Battles), a Hardcore Mode is not a new idea. Anyone familiar with late 70’s, early 80’s, coin-operated arcade games, have experienced video game ‘permadeath’. While this design choice has a long history, in my personal experience, it wasn’t formalized as a mainstream feature until Diablo 2’s ‘hardcore mode’ in 2000. There is something masochistically romantic about risking your precious time attempting to conquer an intentionally difficult video game. While I personally don’t have the time to grind out repeated hardcore wins, hardcore play has been responsible for some of the most memorable video game streams I’ve ever seen: Diablo 3, Fallout: New Vegas (hardcore mode), XCOM (ironman), Darkest Dungeon (86 or 100 Weeks), etc. Most recently, Moonmoon played Doom Eternal in a pseudo-permadeath mode... and failed during the final fight. While I suspect only a minority of players will utilize this feature, I would like to see hardcore streams of Fanstratics. So, a hardcore mode is planned; one persistent save for your current game, with the difficulty settings of your choice. There may also be other ‘hardcore’ wrinkles, such as ‘permadeath’ for Heroes. If you lose a Hero in battle, they no longer appear in your Kingdom’s Hero Pool. Bottom line... if you lose... you lose. Personally, I want to see people play and stream Fanstratics in hardcore mode, on the toughest difficulty, against multiple AI opponents, with an in-game time limit. It could make for some gripping entertainment.
  • 前半部分主要是说了一下硬核模式源远流长,从雅达利时代就有类似的模式等等。后面具体来说,在本作中的硬核模式主要是:不能sl,只有唯一存档,英雄战死就彻底从英雄池里消失了。
  • Will there be a map editor and random map generator in Fanstratics?
  • 会有地图编辑器或是随机地图生成器么?
  • HoMM3’s map editor and random map generator were released with its first expansion pack ‘Armageddon’s Blade’. For Fanstratics, I expect to rollout both a Community Map Editor and a Random Map Generator, well after the game’s official public release. When? I cannot say at this stage.
  • H3的地图编辑器和地图生成器是在第一个资料片“末日之刃”中引入的。Fanstratics的话,我预期能在游戏正式发售时引入。不过具体时间现在还不能保证。
  • If there will be a random map generator, how will it be configured?
  • 随机地图生成器会怎样运作?
  • It’s been a very long time since I crafted HoMM3’s original RMG templates (using Microsoft Excel). Since then, different methods to random map generation have been developed, and I would like to research a number of them, before I decide on a final design direction. So, details regarding the internal logic and implementation of the Random Map Generator are currently unresolved.
  • 目前的具体细节还没确定,会考虑当前流行的各种随机地图生成方法。

以下是Behemoth Cave的采访问答,共18问。

  • Obviously, the creator’s vision of the game often evolves while still developing the game. Some ideas are dropped out, new ideas come up and are implemented in the game. Some press materials contained unit concepts like the "Demilich" (flying green skull with horns, appendix 1), Kenneth Thomson’s “Lobstrosity” (appendix 2) or an aristocratic elf (appendix 3). Even after the release, we can find Fear spell icon or the Market of Time (the adventure map location) in the game files. Can you tell us something more about these elements/features that didn’t make it into the game? Also, Dendroids, Efreets, Zealots, Unicorns or Minotaurs and a couple of others - they all have additional animations and sounds which aren’t used by the game in any way. Is there any particular reason behind them? Were those units supposed to cast a spell on the battlefield, like Ogre Magi for example?
  • H3当初的设计者版本中存在一些设计废案,比如半巫妖(飞行的绿色有角骷髅头)、Kenneth Thomson的Lobstrosity,以及精灵贵族。甚至在游戏发售后还有恐惧法术的图标,以及时间市场(冒险地图上的特殊地点)这些内容在游戏文档中出现。你能介绍一下这些当初是怎么设计的么?以及还有部分怪物有一些未实装的额外动画和音效等等。
    • Demilich: As you call it, the Demilich was supposed to be a Will-o-the-Wisp, for the Fortress. It was inspired by the Lost Soul monster from Doom, and was cut because we couldn’t get it to ‘glow’ properly.
    • Lobstrosity: I didn’t see the Lobstrosity until long after I left NWC. It was a ‘secret’ Troop, and I had no knowledge it was in the game.
    • Aristocratic Elf: I believe the Aristocratic Elf was an early draft version of the Grand Elf.
    • Fear Spell: The Fear spell was ‘cut’ because it was little more than ‘bad morale’ in another form. Later, I thought it was better to convert the mechanic into the Fear ability for the Azure Dragon.
    • Market of Time: Originally, the Market of Time was called ‘Brigadoon’. It would randomly appear after long periods of time, and for a Day, a Hero could purchase very high value artifacts and very cheap resources. It was ‘cut’ because it required new programing functionality, we were running out of development time, and I was worried players would ‘park’ a Hero at the destination and simply wait for the Market. Also, for the record, it was never a place where Heroes could unlearn Secondary Skills.
    • Additional Animations and Sounds: There is no particular reason why certain characters didn’t get additional animations or sounds. I suspect it was typical miscommunication or misunderstanding.
  • 半巫妖最初设计的是要塞族的鬼火,其灵感来自于Doom里的失落之魂,后来因为它没法正确的“发光”于是就删掉了。Lobstrosity这个在我离开NWC之前也没见过。精灵贵族我想应该就是早期版本的大精灵。恐惧法术这个被删掉是因为它和“士气低落”效果重复了,不过后来我给它安到了圣龙身上。时间市场最初设计是Brigadoon,其作用是在游戏后期出现,可以进去以高价购买强大的神器,或是低价购买资源,后来因为开发时间紧张就删掉了。其他的额外动画和音效这些没什么特殊原因,我猜可能是一些打字错误造成的。
  • Heroes III in its bestiary has plenty of mythological beasts (like Minotaurs, Medusas, Hydras) or creatures that are popular in fantasy in general (Dwarves, Dragons). What were your sources of inspiration while creating Heroes III - not only for creatures but also for spells and locations?
  • H3里面有各种各样神话怪物和生物。这些的原型是什么?
  • Nothing is created in a vacuum, and is always derived from various sources of inspiration. I looked at everything: paper and pencil RPG’s, table top games, card games, novels, comics, movies, and art books. For the various troops and spells, anything and everything was a potential source of inspiration.
  • 原型来自于各种跑团游戏、卡牌游戏、小说、漫画、电影等等。
  • Can we find any direct reference to books and/or movies in the game?
  • 有某些特定的小说或电影的梗么?
  • Obviously the cheat codes reference Star Wars the Phantom Menace, the Matrix, and Monty Python and the Holy Grail. As for in game assets, Gelu’s appearance was clearly inspired by Elric of Melnibone, and the Behemoth was derived from the Rancor in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.
  • 例如秘籍主要来自于星战1幽灵的威胁、黑客帝国、巨蟒与圣杯。游戏内容的话,格鲁的外表来自于艾尔瑞克(麦克·摩考克1927年的奇幻小说中塑造的反英雄形象),比蒙则来自于星战3绝地归来里的兰苛。
  • Are there any heroes that are based on real people (beside Sir Mullich - David Mullich, Inteus - George Almond, Sir Christian - Christian Vanover)?
  • 英雄的形象有来自于现实人物的么?
  • To my knowledge, there are only four...
    • Sir Mullich: It’s relatively well known, Sir Mullich shares the name and likeness of David Mullich. While we were working on HoMM3, Might and Magic 6 was still in production, and needed people and costumes for various character portraits. Of course... David had a Renaissance Fair costume... and volunteered. When Phelan Sykes (Lead Artist) saw the final game asset, she couldn’t wait to tell me how goofy it looked. Immediately, I said to her, “We should put it in the game.” She told me she would clean up the portrait, get it game ready, and deliver it to John Bolton (Lead Programmer). When David was away on vacation, for birth of his first son (if I correctly recall), we put it into the game. Upon his return, we showed the ‘new’ Hero to him, and he got a chuckle out of it. Since then, he’s become one of HoMM3’s most famous Heroes.
    • Inteus: Inteus shares a likeness with George Almond. George did all of the HoMM3 concept art, the manual cover, and the interface backgrounds. He also painted all the Hero portraits, so I’m not surprised he slipped himself into the game.
    • Sir Christian: Sir Christian is named after Christian Vanover, but doesn’t look like him in the slightest. I don’t recall if Christian requested to be put into the game, or I did it as a goof. The entire Sir Christian secret campaign was made to poke fun at Chris, who was a good sport about it.
    • Luna: Luna is based on a young lady from New World Computing tech support, who’s name I do not recall. After 3DO finished its acquisition of New World Computing, her job was moved to 3DO corporate, in Redwood City. I lost track of her after E3, in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1998.
  • 据我所知有四个。
    • Sir Mullich,这个众所周知,就是来自于David Mullich。当时我们正在制作H3和MM6,需要有志愿者来做人物头像的模特,Mullich自愿前来,而且做出来的效果不错。后来等他休假归来,我们就把他放进游戏里了。
    • Inteus,基于George Almond,当时负责h3的主美,手册封面等等,他也负责人物头像绘制,所以自然把自己也画进去了。
    • Sir Christian,基于Christian Vanover,不过不是很像。整个Sir Christian的隐藏战役都是开的一个小玩笑,他也很大度的接受了。
    • Luna,应该是基于NWC技术支援组的一位女士,不过我想不起她的名字了。后来她就去3DO工作了。

Fanstratics月更2021-04

EvilP 更新于 2021-04-01 16:45:12,共有条回复论坛链接

来源:https://shoutout.wix.com/so/b9NXz-gtg,以下由Heavenk翻译。

  • Fanstratics Faction #5: Krasadox.
  • Fanstratics阵营5:Krasadox
  • In the craggy, Arid desert, dwell the vulgar Krasadox. Unkind to the weak, their crass culture, like their environment, elevates the strong and debases the delicate. While most would consider them to be crude and barbaric, they consider confrontation to the purest form of respect and honesty. Nature is not cute. Nature is cruel and uncompromising. Why untie the knot, when you can hack through it? Why solve the puzzle box, when you can simply crush it? Krasadox believe in brutal efficiency. This faction will be familiar to anyone acquainted with HoMM3’s ‘Stronghold’. Representing the Krasadox is the Gnoll Spear Thrower, which can be viewed in the Fanstratics Gallery. This inclusion may surprise some, as the Gnoll was originally in HoMM3’s ‘Fortress’. When building the troop rosters for the various factions, relative themes were adjusted, and in the end... the Gnoll was a better fit with the Krasadox. So, a modification was made.
  • 在崎岖干旱的大漠当中,居住着粗野的Krasadox一族。他们的文化就犹如沙漠环境一样对弱者极为苛刻,膜拜力量而鄙视柔弱。尽管大多数人认为他们粗鲁而野蛮,但他们自己却认为对抗才是最纯粹的尊敬与诚实的表现。自然并不可爱,自然残酷而强硬。既然能砍断绳结,又何苦费力去解开它;既然能摧毁魔盒,自然不比花时间去解谜。Krasadox一族信奉效率至上。这个派系会让人联想到英雄无敌3的据点族。Krasadox派系的代表是豺狼人投矛手,可以在Fanstratics Gallery看到设定图。这可能会让有些人震惊,毕竟英雄无敌3里豺狼人是要塞族的。当我们给各个派系组建军队时,相关的主题也发生了调整,因此最后,豺狼人会更适合Krasadox这个派系。
  • Fanstratics Feature: Legendary ‘Boss’ Battles.
  • Fanstratics特性:传奇的Boss战。
  • In last month’s ‘feature highlight’, I described the Troop Rally Ability as an old idea which never made it past the conceptual stage. Legendary Boss Battles is another such idea... and another logical one. If you look at HoMM3, it is clear where I wanted to have these events, specifically the ‘creature banks’. Why were full boss battles not implemented in HoMM3? Time. We simply didn’t have the time. Like the Troop Rally Ability, it was a new feature and would require new programming and more unique art. So, I quickly discarded the idea, and instead settled for battles where the Hero’s Army was ‘surrounded’ by the Enemy Army (versus the typical Left against Right arrangement). Later, with the Armageddon’s Blade expansion, we implemented the four neutral dragons (Faerie, Rust, Crystal, and Azure), which were arguably the game’s first boss creatures. While these dragons were more powerful, they were not what I ultimately wanted. Almost 10 years later, I specifically remember playing ‘King’s Bounty: The Legend’, encountering the ‘giant turtle’, and thinking to myself, “Yep. There it is.” There were other such encounters in ‘King’s Bounty: The Legend’: a giant spider, a giant lizardman, a giant demon, a giant mech, etc. My favorite was the Kraken. Regardless, for Fanstratics, the plan is to have one ‘boss’ loosely associated with each of the nine Factions.
  • 传奇的Boss战是Fanstratics的另一个特性。在英3里我们就有类似的想法,不过最后由于开发时间问题没能实现。后来调整成了一些特定地点的战斗,也就是英雄的部队开场就被敌军包围的战斗(比如龙城)。到了末日之刃里,我们又引入了四种中立龙族,它们就属于游戏中最初的boss生物。后来,“国王的恩赐:传奇”里出现的巨龟让我又想到这个问题。总而言之,在Fanstratics中,九大派系都会有一个Boss与它们松散的对应起来。
  • It is very interesting to know if you are familiar with the gameplay and game mechanics of the subsequent games of Heroes of Might and Magic (IV — VII), and King’s Bounty Legends? Will you take ideas for the most successful game elements from there?
  • Fanstratics会不会采用一些英雄无敌后续作品或是国王的恩赐系列作品中的一些游戏要素?
  • Speaking of ‘King’s Bounty: The Legend’... While it is more difficult than ever before, due to the sheer quantity of games being published today, I do try to stay market informed. All of the HoMM’s, and HoMM related games, are typically on my radar, and if there is an idea or mechanic I find inspiring... yes... I try to incorporate it. I’d be a fool to ignore a good idea. Keep in mind, for all the people who love a unique element from a specific game, there are always others who hate it. Obviously, as a game designer, this results in a ‘no win’ situation. For myself, this leads to what I find so interesting about this question. It gets to the inherent conflict of any creative endeavor... audience expectations versus author aspirations. Game development is a production triathlon. It requires focused attention, one day after the next, over the course of years. If I’m not in love with the product I’m creating... my desire will evaporate and the production will falter. I must create the game I long to play. With this in mind, for Fanstratics, I have two general design guidelines. First... do I find ‘it’ inspiring (author)? Second... is ‘it’ in the spirit of the original HoMM games (audience)? If I believe the answer to both questions is ‘yes’... I work to integrate ‘it’ into the game (time and budget permitting).
  • 废话了一大堆,不过核心就是有参照这些作品中他觉得有趣的地方,有优点不吸收不是傻么。
  • In my humble opinion, you should definitely consider making the game cross platform. Many users are switching to Apple and Linux.
  • 游戏有没有跨平台的打算,特别是iOS和Linux平台?
  • HoMM3 was eventually ported to Linux, so a part of me wants to continue this tradition. Unity makes compiling the game for Linux relatively easy, Steam encourages developers to port their games to Linux, and there’s always Wine. It’s testing, with different distros, with different hardware configurations, where things become complicated. In the end, it’s a cost/benefit issue, with the ultimate question being, “Will we sell enough copies on Linux to reap the costs spent converting and testing the game?” All I can say is, “We will look into it.”
  • 未来会考虑。归根结底这是个投入产出比的问题。

以下是Behemoth Cave的采访问答,共18问。

  • Let's begin with a topic that always raises a lot of controversy among the community: The Heavenly Forge. Story about the futuristic town and the negative reaction of the Heroes’ fandom which lead to cancelation of the project is well known. The whole criticism was mainly based on materials for the press containing the pictures and information about infamous Naga Tanks, Zombies with chainsaws and Minotaurs with jetpacks. Was this really the actual, up-to-date vision on Heavenly Forge at the time?
  • 关于天堂铸造厂的问题。当初E3上放出的铸造族信息,是当时实际准备推出的内容么?
  • Yes. Everything now known, was planned, with some obvious exceptions (i.e. the Naga Tanks were not going to be partly nude).
  • 是的,目前所有已知的信息都是当时计划推出的内容,只有部分有所调整,比如娜迦坦克当时并没打算设计成半裸的。
  • Have you considered “mitigating the design”, “toning it down”?
  • 当初有没有考虑过对铸造族进行适当的调整?
  • We did go back-and-forth, to a minor degree, about how we might ‘adapt’ the concept, but after the controversy... we were basically unmotivated. We soured on the concept after the negative reaction and the subsequent rift with a portion of the fandom. In the end, it was easier, and more comfortable, to move onto the Conflux, which was waiting in the wings.
  • 考虑过,也尝试过,不过最后发现最轻松的方式还是直接换成当时已经准备好的元素族。
  • What other ideas for this faction came up among the Heroes 3 developers team?
  • 当初英3制作组还有哪些打算推出的种族?
  • Jennifer Bullard and the map making team proposed the idea of a Clockwork Town, but I shot it down. New World Computing’s (NWC) art staff was struggling with the Forge, and I had lost confidence in their ability to craft anything not fantasy related.
  • Jennifer Bullard和地图制作组当时提议出一个齿轮族,不过我否决了这一建议。NWC的美术组当时正在发愁于铸造族的事情,我对于他们还有没有精力搞出另一个非奇幻相关种族实在没有信心。
  • After all these years, can you shed some new light on the technology present in the world of M&M?
  • 这么多年过去了,你对于魔法门世界中的科技要素有什么新的看法?
  • When it comes to deep Might and Magic lore, Paul Rattner is really the best person to ask, but I will do my best. To start, I’m not sure what you mean by ‘new light’, as what is publicly known is relatively accurate. Regardless, from my understanding, at its most basic, the idea was simple. ‘Ancient’ high technology machines, typically hidden, could be accessed and manipulated to produce ‘magical’ events, via ‘physical and mental ritual’. This excluded high tech machines, such as the Heavenly Forge, which made magical artifacts via simple instruction.
  • 我不是这块的行家,不过在我看来,内容其实很简单。远古神民的高科技机器早已隐藏在历史当中,如果能获得它们,则可以制造一些“魔法”事件,比如某些肉体或精神的仪式。这样可以排除像天堂铸造厂一类只需简单指令就可以生产魔法神器的高科技机械。
  • Abandoning the idea of Forge also left an empty slot for a new town in expansion, the Armageddon’s Blade. In the end, Conflux made it into the game - a mix of elemental forces. How do you feel about this decision?
  • 你对元素族替代铸造族的决定有什么看法?
  • In the end, I was satisfied with how it transpired. In general, I like the Conflux town, but I do wish there had been more time to flesh it out.
  • 最终我是认可这个决定的,而且我也喜欢元素族,只是希望能有更多的时间打磨一下。
  • Have you considered any alternatives for the 9th faction? If so, can you name any of them?
  • 你对第9种族有什么其他的设想么?
  • As I mentioned, Jennifer Bullard and the map making team came up with the idea for a Clockwork Town, which I liked, but as I mentioned, I had strong doubts the NWC art staff could deliver. Personally, at the time, I didn’t have any further factions in reserve. This doesn’t mean more couldn’t be done, but the overall plan was two new towns (Forge and Conflux), followed by a pure map pack. In the end, it became two expansions: 1 new town (AB) and 1 pure map pack (SoD). Later, the Chronicles were added, which collectively could be considered a third expansion, but this was long after I left NWC.
  • 就像刚才提到的,Jennifer Bullard他们提出了一个齿轮族的想法,我挺喜欢,但是我怀疑当时NWC有能力做出来。就我自己而言,并没有什么特定的想法。

Fanstratics月更2021-03

EvilP 更新于 2021-03-01 17:14:58,共有条回复论坛链接

来源:https://shoutout.wix.com/so/01NVU95HL,以下由Heavenk翻译。

  • Fanstratics Faction #4: Necrotics.
  • Fanstratics派系4:Necrotics
  • Lifeforce drained from the living, is most sweet when consumed at the moment of their inevitable death. To this end, tyrannical Necromancers create and control vast hordes of undead, directing them to consume all... to feed their immortality addiction. Decayed on the outside, dead on the inside, the diseased Necrotic exist on the vacillating Dead Lands. Forever they creep forward... unrelenting... unforgiving... unbowed. Playing the undead can be a lot of fun, so... did anyone really think there wouldn’t be a faction in the spirit of HoMM3’s ‘Necropolis’? Representing the Necrotic is the Feral Vampire, which can be viewed in the Fanstratics Gallery.
  • 从生者处汲取的生命之力尤为甜美,特别是当这些力量被用来延缓不可逃避的死亡之时。为了这一目标,残暴的亡灵巫师们创造并操控着大批不死军团,指挥它们吞噬一切,只为满足其对不朽的痴迷。腐朽的外表,死寂的内心,这些病态的Necrotic行走在衰败的死亡之地。它们永远在向前蹒跚,无情无义,也永不屈服。扮演不死生物总是充满乐趣,所以有没有人联想到英雄无敌3代的墓园?Necrotic派系的代表就是Feral Vampire
  • The HOMM series has a storied history but doesn’t really have consistency since it has been remade and its previous canon thrown away every time. Are you planning for the longevity of what you’re attempting to make? Are you planning to keep the great writing that made HoMM3 so great going in your successor?
  • FST打算成为一个长寿作品么?
  • My goal for Fanstratics (FST) is ‘longevity’. There may be other stories, involving different characters from different continents, but I would prefer to stick with one world and one line of characters. Truthfully, I didn’t have a lot of time to work on HoMM3s’s story elements, and map makers were given relative freedom to work within established guidelines. With FST, I want to lay a strong foundation and put a considerable amount of effort into the story. We’ll see what happens. There are many hurdles to overcome.
  • 目标是这样,不过目前还是着眼于单一世界和单一故事线。
  • For its time, the graphics for HoMM3 were insanely good, and the method of producing sprites from 3d models made it age like fine wine - it still looks good to this very day (if somewhat small/low res). Something very typical and important in H3 spirit, imo, is the photo-realistic environment. And overall, I think the "realistic" side is an important point, ’cause it makes me feel like going for a true adventure back in old times, not playing a random video game inspired by Japanese anime. For example, for me the undead has to be kind of "sober", not as colorful and distorted as in H5 or Warcraft3, where it feels like Halloween in Disneyland.
  • 英雄无敌3的美术偏向写实,而非5代或者魔兽3那种卡通风格。FST会怎样?
  • Your point regarding sprites from 3D models is well taken, but keep in mind, HoMM4 also produced sprites from 3D models. In my opinion, it really comes down to the people involved: Phelan Sykes, Scott White, Adam McCarthy, George Almond, and David Mullich. Phelan and Scott were not involved in HoMM4... and it showed. Fanstratics’ art will be 3D, but with a forced perspective mimicking an old school 2D presentation (sometimes called 2.5D). This type of interaction is habitual for every HoMM3 player, and I believe it is important to stick with what is familiar. As for the art style, we are attempting to fashion a ‘realistic fairy tale’ or ‘creative caricature’, which I believe Justin Gerard is accomplishing. Just as the game play will be a spiritual successor to HoMM3, I want to art style to also be a spiritual successor.
  • FST会继承英雄无敌3的美术风格。(另注:以下非原文内容,有人以讹传讹说这个原班人马包括美术其实是错了,H3的美术主要是Phelan Sykes, Scott White, Adam McCarthy, George Almond这些人,而FST的主美术是Justin Gerard,一个夫妻档,按年龄算这两人不可能参与了当年H3的开发,不过这对夫妻的画风相当的不错,有兴趣的人可以看他们的个人网站或者instagram,色彩应用相当符合我个人的口味)
  • How soon can we get some map pictures, town screens, or some tiny video?
  • 多久能看到一些地图、城镇界面的截图,或是短视频?
  • Unfortunately, images or video are a long way off. For a couple of reasons, my approach to development has been ‘design and programming first’. This means art and audio will be fashioned only after most of the design and programming are in place. While this method is more efficient and cost effective, the approach is uncommon as it requires ‘vision’. Most people have a difficult time ‘seeing’ anything unless it is shown to them. One of the reasons developers produce ‘fake demos’ for publishers, management, media, and gamers, is to ‘show’ them the ‘vision’ for the game they are attempting to make. In 1998, at E3 in Atlanta, I sat on a chair for eight hours a day, showcasing HoMM3 to numerous industry people. Our HoMM3 E3 demo was effectively fake, but it got HoMM3 the mainstream press coverage it needed. It also helped the team ‘see’ what we were building. Remember the ‘No Man’s Sky’ demos from 2013 and 2014? Heavily scripted. If Sean Murray didn’t have a scripted demo, how many people could have ‘seen’ what he was talking about? Remember Cyberpunk 2077’s demo from 2018? Heavily scripted. I’m not excusing what Hello Games and CDPR did, but I understand how and why it happened. Overall, fake demos are a deceptive practice, but without it, most developers cannot get the external or internal support they need. As for myself, I know asking people to wait is asking a lot, but I want to avoid producing a ‘scripted demo’. So... as I mentioned... images or video are a long way off. Which leads me into the next question...
  • 还要一段时间。毕竟有无人星空和赛博朋克2077这种画饼在前。
  • To successfully crowd fund the game, you say you need 50,000 subscribers, yet you have less than 3,000. Are you concerned? When do you see a possible release happening?
  • 你说希望有5万订阅,但现在只有不到3千。
  • Truthfully, I’m satisfied to see we’re closing in on 3,000. I do sincerely wish I was emailing 50,000 people each month, but I don’t expect to see subscriber numbers accelerate until I reach out to the mainstream media. I can only reach out to the mainstream media when I have a collection of screenshots, clips, and a video. Anything short of this will simply be ignored (as for the reasons detailed above). Until I have more to show, I’m content to fly under the radar, communicating specifically with the hardcore fans. So, to avoid any concerns, miscommunication, or misunderstanding, I’m removing the ongoing subscriber count. As for the game’s release, I have a very, very loose timeline for Fanstratics. This year’s goal is to program, program, and program, while finalizing the game’s design. If things go reasonably well, I want to crowd fund sometime in 2022, with an Early Access release sometime in 2023. I know it’s a long time to wait, but it’s the eternal dilemma of ‘good-fast-cheap (pick two)’. At this stage, I can only afford good and cheap, so development will be slow. For some perspective, consider Valheim, which sold over 3,000,000 copies in February, and is still in Early Access. Most people don’t know the game’s Steam page has been live since October of 2018. In January of 2020, they had ~5,100 Steam followers, with ~50,000 wish lists. Prior to February of 2021, they had ~1,700 Twitter followers, but now have over ~58,000. What changed? A couple mid-tier Twitch streamers played the game. Soon thereafter, larger Twitch streamers liked what they saw and joined in. Add in some Youtubers and the game took off like a rocket. I’d surprised if there weren’t some complimentary Steam keys handed out, but the point is this... at this stage, ~3,000 non-Steam newsletter subscribers isn’t bad.
  • 毕竟没有更进一步的信息,就没法登上主流媒体,所以现阶段我觉得3千这个数字已经很不错了。
  • Fanstratics Feature List.
  • FST基本特点
  • Why am I now revealing a list of features? Since June of 2020, I have sent a Fanstratics Game Proposal to different publishers, venture capitalists, game investments firms, and government grant programs. At this point, what I am attempting to do is not really a secret, so I thought... why not publish the features list and expand upon each one every month? Keep in mind, these are ‘new’ features, in addition to those commonly expected from a HoMM inspired game. Also, this list avoids detailing the real core of the game: heroes, troops, spells, skills, destinations, structures, etc. Some items have been purposely omitted as they have been mentioned before (fully 3D game, 6 resources not 7, etc.), and others have been purposely omitted (i.e. spells, skills, etc.) as they are currently unresolved. In the end, I suspect most fans will find the proposed items to be relatively logical and evolutionary. Please remember, if a feature does not work as envisioned... it will be cut. Nothing is set in stone.
    • 9 Playable Factions
    • Base and Alternate Troop Types
    • Troop Rally Ability (this month’s feature)
    • Ether Gate Structure
    • Player Determined Weekly Events
    • Battlefield Artifacts
    • Artifact Upgrade System
    • Legendary ‘Boss’ Battles
    • Experience Potions
    • Quality of Life & HotA Efficiencies
    • 2 or 3 Campaigns and ~45 Solo Maps
    • Hardcore Mode
    • Community Map Editor & Random Map Generator
    As for this month’s feature, I’m going to start with... Troop Rally Ability.
  • 9个可玩种族、多兵种线、兵种大招、以太门/灵界门建筑、受玩家影响的每周事件、战场宝物、宝物升级系统、传奇boss战、经验药水、QoL(某MOD的功能性修正)HotA(深渊号角)要素、2到3个战役与45个单人地图、硬核模式、地图编辑器与随机地图。
  • Feature: Troop Rally Ability.
  • 兵种大招
  • For those of you who haven’t already figured it out, this feature is clearly inspired by Street Fighter, and was actually an old idea I had back in 1997, when I was working on HoMM3. I didn’t push for it in HoMM3 for a couple of reasons. First, I was already asking for a lot of new features, and the programmers had their hands full. Second, I thought it was foisting upon the fanbase, too much complication too quickly. Now, as to the feature... on the Battlefield, in the course of basic attack and defense, a Troop Division will accumulate ‘Energy’. When a Troop Division acquires 100% Energy, it earns the option to activate a Rally Ability (aka. a Super or an Ultimate). Each Rally Ability is relatively unique to each Troop Type, and largely amplifies a Troop’s unique attributes for one action. Conceptually, the purpose of the Rally Ability is to add an extra layer of strategy to Battlefield Combat. Specifically, ‘focusing down’ a Troop Division may not be the best or most obvious tactic.
  • 灵感来自于街霸。战场上,部队在进攻和防御的时候会积攒“能量”,积攒满了就可以使用大招(Rally Ability aka. a Super or an Ultimate)。不同的部队类型有不同的大招,同时会在一个回合内大幅提升部队的某个独特属性。

以下是之前说的访谈的余下问答(共58个)。

  • How did you join NWC?
  • 你怎么进的NWC
  • I submitted a resume via the internet. Keep in mind, it was 1997, so submitting a resume via email was a new thing. I lived within driving distance, interviewed first with JVC, then a second time with JVC and Mark Caldwell. Later, Mark called me, told me the salary, and I accepted. 7 days later I started my first day, and met David Mullich for the first time.
  • 97年在网上申请,然后面试进来的。
  • What did you like (or dislike) about working there?
  • 你在这里工作有什么喜欢或不喜欢的地方么?
  • Working at NWC was an odd experience. Don’t misunderstand me, it had periodic moments of drama, but in general, it was ‘quiet and repressed’. In personnel terms, the company was filled to the brim with shy, dorky, socially inept introverts. Some might think, “It’s a video game company. Isn’t that normal?” Well, yes, it would be normal, except shy, dorky, socially inept introverts, would point at NWC and say, “Wow. Look at those shy, dorky, socially inept introverts.” Compared to NWC, everyplace else I’ve worked, felt like a Friday night party. With all this in mind, I must admit, I was the most productive when I worked at NWC. Perhaps there’s something to be said for working at the library.
  • 客套话,省略
  • Your impressions in general?
  • 你的整体印象
  • Of all the game companies I’ve worked with, tech and art were rarely an issue. Typically, a company’s weakness was average design and idiotic management. With NWC, the formula was inverted: average art, average management, below average tech, but great design. This led to NWC being the least talented, but the most successful developer with whom I ever worked. It was ironic.
  • 省略
  • Could you tell us about your impressions of HoMM III at its development stage, after the release and now, 20 years later. How did your opinions change?
  • 你在开发阶段对英雄无敌3的印象是什么,20年来有没有变化?
  • While we were working on HoMM3, I felt we would do well, but had to continually remind myself, we aren’t a hot 3D game. It won’t light the world on fire. As was typical, at the time, game magazines and game websites focused more on features, and less on pure gameplay. Specifically, I remember when Starcraft hit the shelves and received a cool reception. Sure, it was a good game, but it was a 2D game in an emerging 3D market. Only later, months after release, did fans and critics discover the excellence in Starcraft. HoMM3 traveled a similar road. It did well when it released, and received excellent reviews, but it took months and years before fans and critics understood the game’s depth and breath. It may be just me, but it feels like HoMM3 gets infinitely more attention and respect today, compared to its initial release.
  • 我一直感觉我们做的很棒,但也告诉自己,这不是那种大热的3D游戏,不可能一下子点燃世界。英雄无敌3这种游戏比较慢热,但有着似乎无限的吸引力,一直持续到现在。
  • What are your favorite features in the game?
  • 你最喜欢的游戏特性是什么?
  • Honestly, I do not have a favorite feature. When I look at the game, I see everything working in concert: design, art, programming, audio, and music.
  • 全部
  • Was it possible to save NWC?
  • 当时有拯救NWC的可能性么?
  • Highly unlikely. Most game companies, who don’t turn into corporate entities, undergo a typical Birth-Life-Death cycle. Where a developer sits in this sequence, almost always correlates to the passion and involvement of the person who founded the company. If you look at organizations like Origin, Bullfrog, and NWC, each company began to falter when its founder simply grew weary from the grind. If I remember correctly, JVC told me it took him 5 years to bring the original MM to market in 1986. This means, by the time I joined the company in 1997, JVC had been making video games for 10-15 years. Putting aside any issues regarding development ‘crunch’, JVC had also seen NWC through some rocky times, leading to it being bought by NTN Communications, and later to being bought again by 3DO. In my observation, JVC had completed his ‘opus’ with World of Xeen, and simply wanted to slow down and take a back seat. He was coming into work 2 or 3 days a week, and everyone at the company was perfectly okay with it. He had earned it. However, the game industry had no interest in giving JVC, or anyone else, a moment’s rest. 3DO wanted yearly franchise releases; the Madden model, not today’s ‘games as a service’. I could go into depth about how bad an idea this was at the time, but I think most people understand how such an approach is incredibly shortsighted. It almost always dilutes product quality, and grinds a developer into dust. Don’t get me wrong, it can be done successfully, but it requires strong personalities, an unflinching commitment to quality, efficient organization, and multiple teams working in tandem. 3DO had none of this. Additionally, in 1999, the video game industry was also undergoing technological revolution. Sega’s Dreamcast on was on the shelves, with the Playstation 2 and the original Xbox on the horizon. Nvidia’s GeForce 256 was laying the foundation for the PC Master Race. Ultima Online and EverQuest were changing the concepts of what makes an RPG. In this respect, NWC was well behind the technological curve on all fronts. As good as MM6 and MM7 played, they simply looked primitive when put up against games like Team Fortress, Half-life, and Quake 3 Arena. Bottom line, NWC as a company, was exhausted on multiple levels, and struggling to remain relevant in a changing market.
  • 基本不可能。许多游戏公司,都走上了标准的诞生-成长-死亡的循环。包括起源、牛蛙和NWC,这个生命周期很正常。JVC曾说过,他花了五年才将魔法门初代于86年推向市场,而到97年的时候,他都已经在游戏界10-15年了。加之在魔法门6-7的时代,玩家的重心早已经变化,网络创世纪和无尽的任务已经重塑RPG游戏的模式,而NWC完全落在后面。
  • Broad question, but do you think that maybe 3DO selling NWC and MM to another company around 2003 would have helped? Or something else?
  • 如果3DO在2003年出售NWC和魔法门系列,会有帮助么?
  • When MM was sold in the 3DO bankruptcy, Ubisoft was the only bidder. No one else, other than Ubisoft, wanted what was essentially a dead franchise. Had MM been sold to another company, say EA or Activision, I doubt the results would have been different. I strongly suspect they would have been worse. What made MM and HoMM special, were the people and company culture (which as I mentioned, typically has a finite lifespan). It’s rare to take a creative property, put it in the hands of someone else, and see an exceptional result. ‘Franchise neglect’ is common. You see it frequently with movie sequels and reboots.
  • 结果也没什么变化。当初只有育碧一个买家。就算假设EA或Activision买了,结果也不会有什么不同。
  • Do you have any funny stories related to HOMM3: the development, lore/story writing, PR field, etc. I still fondly remember your witty FAQ about the whole anti-Forge backlash fiasco :)
  • 有什么关于英雄无敌3的趣闻么?
  • I’ve told this tale numerous times as an industry ‘war story’. I don’t know if I would consider it ‘funny’. At the very least, most might consider it ‘amusing’. We were crunching on HoMM3. I was already putting in 9 and 10 hour days before crunch began. At some point, I began to wonder exactly how many hours I was working, and with my salary, what I was making per hour. So, I began tracking when I arrived and departed from work. After I had accumulated over 300 hours of overtime... I did the math. In the year 1998, I was making about $5 an hour. With this number in my head, I needed a break, so I left my desk, and drove to McDonalds for a quick dinner. I was waiting in line, looking at the young lady who was about to take my order, when it dawned on me. On a per hour basis, she was probably making more money than I was. Something to think about for anyone wanting to get into video game development.
  • 就是工作累啥的...
  • Why did you quit NWC? What were the key reasons? How did you feel about the company and other related stuff at the time?
  • 为什么退出NWC?
  • After we finished Armageddon’s Blade, I was angry for a number of well documented reasons. I remember thinking things over, and asking myself, “Should I stay, or should I go?” It didn’t take long to draft a mental list of positives and negatives. To the positive...
    • Working with JVC, David Mullich, and the HoMM3 team.
    To the negative...
    • Didn’t feel my efforts were appreciated.
    • Wanted a better salary.
    • Long work hours; poor work/life balance.
    • Wanted to work on something other than TBS games.
    • Wanted to work with newer technologies.
    • Felt NWC had fallen behind the industry ‘evolutionary’ curve.
    • 3DO was slowly zombifying NWC.
    I felt the writing was on the wall. NWC’s days of producing quality product were quickly coming to an end. I had the freedom to make a change, and wanted to see if the grass was greener on the other side of the fence. I sent out my resume, took some days off, did a handful of jobs interviews, and got a handful of exceptional offers. In the end, it wasn’t a difficult decision to make.
  • 省略...
  • Even after 20 years, fans continue to support and improve Heroes III. Almost 10 years ago, a team of fans created a non-commercial project named Horn of the Abyss. Its main idea was to create new expansion as it could be made by NWC. It contains bugfixes, new heroes, objects and new town of pirates named Cove. Now the team plans to create a new Factory town. It is a rethinking of the ideas about the Forge town and inspired by classic steampunk of brass and glass. If you know about it, what are your thoughts?
  • 20年来,粉丝们不断改进着英雄无敌3,新mod新种族,对此你有何感想?
  • I’m looking forward to it. Modding and fan patches have kept HoMM3 alive for the last 20 years. Now more than ever, HoMM3 belongs to the fans. Keep going. Have fun.
  • 英雄无敌3是属于粉丝的。
  • What is your vision of the perfect MM game and the perfect HoMM game? We realize that this is a very broad subject, but it’s be nice if you list your key thoughts on both.
  • 你心中最完美的魔法门和英雄无敌游戏是什么样的?
  • Yes, this is a very broad subject and well beyond the scope of this interview. It is also an extremely tough question to answer because there is no objectively right answer. Video game design is one big ‘judgement call’. You create what you find exciting and appealing. In the end, when the final product reaches the retail market, you hope there will be plenty of people who agree with your vision. Nevertheless… As to my idea of a perfect HoMM game… I would respectfully decline to answer. I am currently working on two personal indie projects, both in early pre-production. One of them is a HoMM style game. In any conversation pertaining to an ‘ideal HoMM’ game, I would be effectively talking about what I am currently attempting, and at this time, I would prefer to keep all details private. Within the next 3-5 years, I hope both games will be published, but as with any entrepreneurial effort, the likelihood for failure is far greater than the chance for success. As to my idea of a perfect MM game… this one gives me pause. With a finite scope and limited ambition, one part of me desires a high quality, traditional, single player, turn based, tile based, RPG, with a party of six adventurers. With a larger scope and unlimited ambition, another part of me wants a real time, first person, 1 to 4 player, co-operative, action-adventure game with a moderate story, heavy RPG elements, and a reactive world. With these basic concepts as a starting point, the next step would be 6 to 12 months of franchise research and current market examinations. Along the way, I would expect there to be mild, major, or wholesale alterations. In the end, I would hope for something unique, honoring the franchise’s traditional foundations, with one foot in the past and another in the future.
  • 没看到什么重点,省略之
  • What can you say to Might and Magic fans? Any wishes, advices, etc.
  • 你对魔法门粉丝有什么要说的么?
  • When you think of the ‘old school’ RPG’s from the 1980’s (Ultima, Bard’s Tale, Dungeon Master, and Wizardry), all of them are essentially gone. Surprisingly, M&M is still here in one form or another. When I watch Twitch.tv, it still amazes me to see a moderately active HoMM3 community. On behalf of JVC and everyone who worked at NWC, thank you for continuing to play Might & Magic.
  • 水,省略之
  • Please write a few words of congratulations to the fans from the ru segment and our communities (RPG Geeks, GoodGame, Tavern of Might and Magic, HotA Community)?
  • 对俄语社区的庆祝
  • Just last week, I saw over 12.5k people, largely Russian, watching HoMM3 multiplayer games on Twitch. It absolutely blows me away, when a 20-year-old game I designed, creeps into the modern Twitch top 20. I knew HoMM had Russian fans, but I had no idea the base was so large, so dedicated, and so passionate. To everyone who has played HoMM3, and continues to play it today, know this... there is at least one developer who appreciates your passion. Happy 20th.
  • 水,省略之
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