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Posted on Aug 24, 2007 in Electronic Games, Front Page Features

CrossCut Games Interview

By James Lombardi

ACG: CrossCut Games is also working on a computer RPG (cRPG), can you give a little background on that?

Adam: We’ve made a few cRPGs in the past. Our latest is called Dungeon Delvers. It really represents where we are in computer games today at CrossCut. We’ve got professional art now and a great engine underneath it. We’ve really poured all our ideas from past games into this one – and I hope learned a lot from other games too. And it’s completely inspired by Talisman and other fantasy board games like Dungeon Quest. A main goal of Delvers is to complete adventures in about an hour – but give you a bunch of these so you have a nice game value. You have a group of Delvers (adventurers) in a guild and as you complete quests, you gain fame. With the fame, you can attract more Delvers to your guild – each is unique and brings special abilities in. You can mix and match them to form teams – and if you get a complete team, you get even more special abilities. Also each Delver reacts certain ways to encounters in quests – some are great around shrines for example, but terrible with crypts. So the team is key here getting the right group to complete an adventure.

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Another big part of the game is you can create all the parts yourself. It comes with over 30 adventures that comprise probably 100 levels. It has I think over 100 monsters and zillions of spells, items, artifacts – all that. But then you can build and extend all that yourself using just a text editor! You can create new Delvers, new abilities for those Delvers, new monsters, spells – all parts. You can even text edit an entire new adventure. And you just drop this new text file of stuff – whatever parts you want – into a folder and the game recognizes it and can use it. So if you create a new encounter, it can plop it in any existing adventure or any new adventure. It’s a bit like adding new cards to a deck.

ACG: As you look back on the projects you’ve gone through so far with CrossCut Games, do you foresee more board games or more computer games? How have the unique challenges of each medium really shaped your opinions, especially as an Indie developer?

Adam: In reality, I’ve been making board games longer than computer games, so I have a bit of a back long in board games now. But computer games are wonderful and I have more ideas than I can realistically do. CrossCut has been entirely about computer games so far – Galactic Emperor is our first board game. I can’t say what we’ll do more of in the future. If GE does well, I’m sure I’ll do another (I’m working on a few already). But I really want to finish Delvers as soon as we can too. Both types of medium take a lot of time and energy – and a lot more business parts than you’d expect. They are also I believe very different mediums in design and certainly different in development and distribution. There are certainly far more moving parts in a computer game. But I enjoy both a lot – GE has been terrific fun for the last several months – just really fun, but we’re getting to the really hard part now – manufacturing and distribution. Delvers has been a very long journey – longer than I thought it would be. And it too is at the really hard part – balancing and testing! So board games and computer games are just very different things and both are very hard to do at all, let alone do well. As an Indie, we can’t hit with a thunderous wave of promotion or a million pre-sold fans. All we can do is creep into the hands of a few hundred gamers. So far, I think we’ve seen that a homespun game can still make an impression on a market flooded with rehashed ideas. I just hope we continue to get the chance to do just that for a long time to come.

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Be sure to check out CrossCut Games (http://www.crosscutgames.com/) and Galactic Emperor directly (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/27463).

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