Q: Who has the honor to speak with us? State your name, rank and occupation!
My name is Romain de Waubert de Genlis, and I am senior producer in the Might & Magic teams over at Ubisoft.
I am Erwan Le Breton, producer in the Might & Magic teams over at Ubisoft.
Q: Why launch a puzzle adventure game within the M&M franchise?
ELB: I have been a fan of Might & Magic for many years now and have played almost all of the franchise's installments. Since Ubisoft bought the property, I spent a lot of time working on the new Might & Magic universe & bible. Fascinated with the world of Ashan, we had a lot of fun thinking about potential new plots based off the world's rich history, and new types of gameplay that really expand the franchise's scope. We at Ubisoft are very excited about the potential of the brand.
RdWdG: And there was this talented Canadian studio, Capybara, with a very dedicated team that had done award-winning games on mobile. As soon as we met them, we knew it was the type of team we were looking for to create a great concept. In the end we are proud to present this brand new fantasy adventure game with very innovative puzzle combat mechanics.
Q: Why launch a M&M game on DS ?
RdWdG: Having the game on DS makes sense for many reasons. We love the idea of playing strategy games with a stylus, the interface is so intuitive thanks to this easy-to-use tool, that it fits really well with our puzzle battle mechanics. Also, even though you are playing an adventure game, we designed the game so that you can also fight during short combat sequences. This is what we call the "short break experience". As you can bring your DS anywhere, you can engage in short combat sequences in training, adventure or versus mode. You can escape for a couple of minute, as well as for a couple of hoursJ!
Q: How far does M&M Clash of Heroes remains a Might & Magic game ?
ELB: In terms of story first, it is a prequel of the acclaimed Heroes series & the Dark Messiah happening. The plot is set in Ashan, 40 years before. You will rediscover your favorite heroes, like Godric and Markal, when they were young and eager to embark onto their very fist adventures.
Second, we wanted to have a game full of factions and creatures, with magic and fantasy themes that the Might & Magic games are well known for.
Finally, role-playing remains at the center of the experience. You will embody several heroes, change your perspective throughout the adventure & develop your heroes during numerous quests.
Although this game has a brand new battle system based on intuitive & easy to play puzzle mechanics, we also kept the turn-based layer of the Heroes games, it allows you to play at your own pace.
Q: By the way, can you tell us a little bit more about the brand new puzzle battle mechanics?
RdWdG: In Clash of Heroes, you will find various battlefields which will allow you to demonstrate your mastery of the tactical arts! Each faction in the game has specific abilities, spells, and units. Before you go into battle, you equip your hero with the best combination of artifacts & creatures (among Core, Elite & Champions units). By making these strategic decisions, your goal is to take the strongest advantage on the battleground.
When you enter the battle screen, thanks to the stylus, you can easily drag and drop or hold units to move or delete them.
Basic battle tactics include creating walls for defense by horizontally combining core units of the same color. After defending, it is your turn to fight to defeat your enemy! To launch charged units, you create different vertical formations of units of the same color. During the battle, you manage your hero's spell meter, reinforce your army and optimize your number of moves by turn. Once you master the basic moves, you will be able to make advanced combinations such as chains, links and fusion! These will help you take the advantage in more difficult battles, including boss fights, special challenges, and more.
Q: Why are you using this new/manga art direction?
ELB: Being a DS game, we also wished to explore a different art style, something more "Anime" that suited more our gameplay & platform. The game's narrative focuses on heroes during their younger years, so we wanted to find a representation of the environment that properly speaks to their age. At the same time, we kept the bright, colorful and fairy flavors / tone associated with M&M. The resulting art direction is a beautiful hybrid, stemming from the close collaboration between the Ubisoft and Capybara teams.
Q: What about multiplayer features?RdWdG: In the multiplayer mode, you can challenge your friends in deep epic battles. Even if both players don't have a copy of the game, two players can engage in battle via by sharing a single cart via DS Wireless connectivity. The multiplayer mode features 12 different heroes, each featuring unique spells and abilities.
Might & Magic Clash of Heroes, developed by Capybara Games, is a puzzle RPG that will be released in August 2009.
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