Monte Cristo's upcoming fantasy RPG Silverfall has received a lot of press ahead of its planned release in the US via publisher Atari later this month. FiringSquad got a chance to chat with the game's producer, Monte Cristo's Jehanne Rousseau, to find out more about the title.
FiringSquad: First, how did the idea for Silverfall come about?
Jehanne Rousseau: We wanted to create an RPG, as we are all fans of the genre. The overall lack of action-oriented RPGs in the last few years (Titan Quest was not out when we started) also encouraged us to go into this direction. However, in order to build a bridge with more story-oriented games and to enrich the concept, we added other elements, such as the notion of choice between two paths. While thinking about this idea, which we didn’t only want to be aesthetic but rather be like a central element of the project, we came up with the concept of a nature/technology conflict, which determined a large part of the gameplay and the universe. With those different ideas, Silverfall was born.
FiringSquad: What can you tell us about the storyline for the game?
Jehanne Rousseau: The world of Nelwë finds itself in a struggle between the forces of nature and technology, with the city of Silverfall – the last remaining unaffiliated settlement – at the center of the conflict. The land had been governed by elemental sorcerers whose power was threatened when Goblins invented the steam engine and started making great technological advances. As various cities adapted these powerful new technologies, the vegetation around the settlements began to deteriorate, prompting the formation of a nature-oriented faction that opposed everything technological. When the player begins the game, he is thrown into the mage city of Silverfall, which has been besieged by undead creatures sent by an unknown force. Naturally, the story escalates from there, but we don’t want to give too much away.
FiringSquad: What will the playable characters be like?
Jehanne Rousseau: Silverfall features four playable races: Humans, Elves, Goblins and Trolls. Players can choose their character’s sex, and they have various customization options, like skin tone and hair style.
What sets Silverfall apart from other hack-and-slash titles, and indeed, from many other RPGs, is that we’ve abandoned traditional classes in favor of a very open-ended skills system. Players will be able to create the exact character they’d like – one that suits their play style and needs. So, for example, players could choose to create a powerful mage who is no less dangerous in hand-to-hand combat, or a brooding warrior who surprises his foes with devastating dark magic.
FiringSquad: Is there character generation in Silverfall and if so how is that handled?
Jehanne Rousseau: The character creation is very quick: the player starts by choosing his race (which gives him access to 5 particular skills, but which is in no way an obstruction in other domains such as combat and magic) and his sex (which will influence certain dialogues with NPCs), he can then modify his visual appearance and the game will start. Little by little, as the character levels up, the player will assign more specific skills to his character, eventually leading to a very unique character that suits the player’s gaming style.