The Average Gamer

War for the Overworld: Interview with Writer James Heinechen

War for the Overworld James Heinechen
Subterranean Games is a development team of 14 people. None of them share a country with one another but all share a common passion: Dungeon Keeper. In November 2012 they created a Kickstarter asking for £150,000 to make a spiritual sequel to the game. They received over £200,000 in pledges from more than 8000 backers and the game’s beta is now available through Steam’s Early Access programme.

Nick chatted to lead writer James Heinechen during the Eurogamer Expo about the game and what it’s like following the footsteps of such an iconic series. Summary below.

“A lot of people that have come by have been like, ‘Is this Dungeon Keeper?’ and we have to explain to them that no, it’s quite not. But we have the same voice actor and we’re building up off the initial foundation that Dungeon Keeper set up for us,” said Heinechen.

The game does look exactly as you’d expect a modern Dungeon Keeper to look – it’s dark, it’s grimy, the the furnishings are simply hideous. Blood soaked pig carcasses adorn the walls and the monsters are… well… monstrous. All quite unlike the upcoming iOS version of Dungeon Keeper that we saw during gamescom. (Click here for part 1 and part 2)

Nick asked what Heinechen thought of EA’s version. “We’re actually in close contact with them [EA] because it’s obviously so similar. So they’ve been talking to us a little bit and, uh… their games looks interesting.”

Heinechen grew up playing Dungeon Keeper, so it has a huge influence on the way he’s writing the game. “I’m definitely – either unintentionally or intentionally – bringing a lot of that same kind of humour, the same vein of humour back into this.”

War for the Overworld will differ from original Dungeon Keeper in some ways. Subterranean are introducing the Veins of Evil, a skills tree that splits your powers into three distinct branches: Sloth, Greed and Wrath. You can put points into all three or you can specialise down one particular path, accessing the more powerful unlocks that appear farther through the tree. Heinechen told us, “We’re actually seeing people choose different paths and, even though it’s a really small subset right now of the actual things that will be in the final game, it’s cool seeing how differently people play even with just a small amount of choices.”

War for the Overworld will be coming to Windows, Linux, and Mac in 2014. Get more information from the official website.

War for the Overworld - Farm War for the Overworld - Dungeon Heart