The Northmen have landed in Conqueror’s Blade: Helheim, and the weather has followed. Reworked maps with rain, lightning, and thunder are now available to battle on, and we talked with Anton Mamhionov, Creative Director at Booming Tech, about the obstacles and experience of adding a storm to some of your favourite battlegrounds.
Where did the idea to rework existing maps to include new thunder and lightning weather effects come from?
It is largely about delivering the overall Viking mood – water, sea, boats, rain, and thunder. Our goal with those reworked maps was to create the atmosphere of a Viking invasion by using weather and music. By adding a new soundtrack that we specially composed for Broch Eastray, and a remixed version of Heilung’s ‘Alfadhirhaiti’, we hope it also contributes to players’ immersion.
What do you think these storms add to the overall gameplay experience?
Gameplay-wise, we added AI-controlled squads for defenders and attackers to change the match pacing compared to the original versions of those maps to shake up the experience. Weather effects also influence the effectiveness of ranged units, vision, and fire effect damage.
Did you face any obstacles when adding these weather effects to the maps?
We actually did, and it was related to team colours. The initial idea was to create a dark, unfriendly, and chaotic environment with heavy rain and lightning strikes that would cover maps with storms when Vikings would raid. But during tests, while it was really atmospheric, there was a problem recognising allies from enemies, and for a competitive online game, this aspect is quite important. It made us change the atmosphere design direction to a brighter, less-contrasting one.
Vikings historically raided the lands of Britain and France. After Highlanders and Paragons, we received feedback from some players and content creators that they didn’t have a chance to play on the new maps enough. We also decided to make some balancing corrections on those maps and thought that they fit perfectly with all of our goals—-express the raid message, let the players play on recently added maps, create new music and atmospheres, add AI, and make balance fixes on those maps.
Check out behind-the-scenes looks at Conqueror’s Blade: Helheim with our look at making a sequel season, and stay tuned for more articles coming soon!