With the release of The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing 3 just around the corner, we had a chance to ask some questions from the development team at Neorcore Games who has worked hard to give the trilogy the proper ending it deserves.
Fans of the franchise must be eager to know more about the game and we have just the right dose for you. We asked Orsolya Toth, PR and Community Manager of NeoCore Games and she brought us all the answers from the development team.
The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing 3 marks the closing chapter of a trilogy. However, the game was never revealed as a trilogy up to recently. Why did you choose to hold back the plans of multiple Van Helsing games until the very end?
Actually we never really held it back – we just didn’t announce it widely.
We talked about our Van Helsing series as a trilogy many times on our social channels, forums and on our devblog as well after the second game was announced officially in 2013.
We even referred to it as a trilogy in our announcements, but it didn’t get an announcement on its own. It was planned as a trilogy from the very beginning, an exciting adventure in three episodes.
Van Helsing III will once more expand and become more eclectic, such as the addition of the steampunk Phlogistoneer, a crazier version of the Mechanic; something you don’t see often in medieval fantasy themes. Where does the inspiration for these outlandish character classes come from?
The world of The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing is partly gothic fantasy, partly a very particular version of the steampunk genre, featuring the art of what we call “weird science”, which is the over-the-top, impossible science used by Frankenstein-like mad geniuses.
It also means that while expanding the setting, we wanted to create classes that would feel right at home in a crazy fantasy-steampunkish world like this.
The Phlogistoneer, for example, refers to an obsolete theory in the 17th century that assumed that all combustible bodies contain a flammable element, the phlogiston, which really exists in Borgovia, so it made sense to base a flame-wielding, heavily armored character on this weird theory.
The Umbralist, on the other hand, has its roots in the mythological nature of the setting: the name comes from Latin word “umbra”, which, among others, might refer to the “shades”, the spirits living in the darkness of the otherworld, suitable for a specialist who is able to tap into the power of shadows. This line of thinking went into the creation of all character classes.
In total, Van Helsing III will have six new classes. Do the new classes replace the Hunter, Thaumaturge and Mechanic or will they be coming back in a revitalized way as well?
The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing III offers six brand new classes to play, yes. Each of them is a specialist in the monster hunting trade, focusing on a different aspect of their chosen profession.
While these new characters replace the Hunter, the Thaumaturge and the Arcane Mechanic, in fact they all evolved from the original three classes.
There will also be returning side-content in Van Helsing III, such as tower defense section. Can we expect the return of the Lair and things like troop management as well?
Absolutely! A monster hunter needs a proper hideout, doesn’t he? The Hunter’s Lair is still a very important location in The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing III, where you can always return to sell or buy supplies, respec your character, enchant items or enhance them with essences, activate trophies and hide your prisoners.
And the Lair is still the place to manage your agents, send your captains and their soldiers to secret missions to achieve hidden agendas. Though General Harker has been defeated and the Civil War is now over, you still have the Cult of Seven to give a fair challenge to your captains.
Speaking of tower defense, the only recent NeocoreGames project aside from Van Helsing, namely Deathtrap, looks like the fully fleshed out idea of the Van Helsing mini-game, sporting a similar look and all. Did Van Helsing inspire the making of Deathtrap or the other way around?
The idea of Deathtrap came after the overwhelmingly positive feedback we got from our fans on the tower-defense mini-game sequences in the first Van Helsing game.
At first we just took the time to improve the TD mechanism for Van Helsing II and as we continuously received even more positive feedback and many even demanded we make a standalone tower-defense game, we decided to make that happen. It is not as easy as it sounds though 🙂
A proper tower-defense game requires a different pace and mechanism, we couldn’t just cut the mini-game out of the Van Helsing series and say it’s a game on its own. We had to rethink the whole concept and create a game that can fulfill all the TD standards.
Multiplayer has always been a concern in the Van Helsing series, periodically troubled with connection issues and such. Given Van Helsing III will once more allow up to 8 players online, what measures have been learned and adopted to ensure a smooth multiplayer experience?
We developed a stable multiplayer engine for Deathtrap, which has been working great ever since the release. We are planning to use it in Van Helsing III too and we’re also adding it to the previous Van Helsing games to make monster hunting a smoother experience.
Van Helsing III marks the third iteration in the series in as many years. After this chapter, can we expect the annual releases of Van Helsing to continue in some other form?
Probably not 🙂
Looking at other projects, there hasn’t been a lot of talk of Broken Sea, your tactical project, since its reveal, prior to the success of the Van Helsing series. With the trilogy now wrapping up, can we expect a return of Broken Sea or has it been shelved?
It has been shelved back in 2013 and it’s not likely we’ll continue working on it in the near future. We already have many other ideas in mind, some of them have already taken shape and hopefully we can reveal at least one of those projects at this summer’s game-shows.
You’ve recently acquired an Oculus Rift Developer Kit. While concrete projects are still too far away, can we expect an eventual project to continue in the Van Helsing theme or look and will there be a transition to first-person or do you think games will be able to stay in third-person?
We didn’t think about this yet. Even if we decide to develop a game for Oculus Rift in the future, I don’t think it will continue the Van Helsing theme or be set in its universe. This is still just our first glance at this device, to see what it is capable of and to explore the possibilities for the future. But nothing specific yet 🙂
Finally, Van Helsing III is planned for release in May of 2015 and that deadline’s creeping up fast. Are you planning for an Early Access launch or are you confident to get everything done for a full release? And also, are there any extensive DLC plans?
Our team is working very hard to get the full game out this month, so no Early Access is planned for Van Helsing III. We’re all really excited to see how our community will respond to the final episode of the Van Helsing Trilogy. We have no DLC plans so far for the game.