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Golem Arise! A Q&A with Chris Gyselinck about Vindictus

Posted Wed, Jul 28, 2010 by jeffprime

Ten Ton Hammer has been eagerly anticipating the action-orientated Vindictus, with its promise of combat mayhem for quite some time. To learn more about this free-to-play game, we tracked down Chris Gyselinck, Assistant Producer from Nexon. He agreed to give us our answers after we showed him some of our patented fighting moves!



Ten Ton Hammer: For those who are saying to themselves, “What is Vindictus,” give us a little rundown. What is this game about?

Chris Gyselinck: Well, Vindictus is all about what we like to call ‘brutal elegance.” It’s very fast-paced, action-orientated online MMOG. You have some very brutal attacks and some of the best looking graphics that you’ve ever seen, definitely within the MMOG space. Really, it’s all about the action involved in all of this. A lot of MMOGs and online games have auto-attacking or pointing-and-clicking, push button and wait for it to recharge; this is not that kind of activity at all. You’re controlling every move your character does onscreen and it’s pretty brutal in there. Everything in the environment can be destroyed or picked up and used as a weapon, and that includes the bodies of your enemies after they’ve fallen. You can pick them up and use them to beat up their buddies. I think that those of you who haven’t seen the game are going to be really shocked at how intense and fast-paced a game this is. Also, it’s fun, which is the number one thing. It’s a lot of fun to play, whether you’re trying to solo through a dungeon or getting together with a group of friends. It’s a blast.

vindictus screenshot


TTH: Let’s focus on this combat aspect. Right away, it’s what stands out the most. The combat is very fast and very furious. The combat that I’ve seen from videos is pretty amazing. In most MMOGs, you are given the time to consider what to do next, or at least, you have stuff mapped out in your head what you’re going to do. How does that thought process and planning out your attacks relate to this world of Vindictus? How do you manage your combat in this game?

Chris Gyselinck: Certainly, you’re still going to be thinking about it, but it’s not going to be as methodical a thought process. You’re not going to be given the time to sit and make these long decisions about what you’re going to do. You’re going to have to take it as it comes, which I think is a much more realistic approach. I haven’t been in a lot of swordfights, but I have the feeling that you don’t have the time to stop and think when you’re in one. But you still are making a lot of decisions. There are a lot of combos in the game, there are secondary weapons that can be used like the environment I mentioned earlier, and there’s a lot of different strategies in attacking your opponents. The real trick is being able to think on your feet and make those things happen on the fly without the benefit of waiting for a cooldown period or waiting for your enemy to start their auto-attack.

TTH: How does this relate to the UI? How big is it and what can you do with it? Is there a lot of junk thrown in there or is it very minimalist?

Chris Gyselinck: We made it extremely minimalist, and that was a conscious decision. It’s a very small section of the screen on the top and bottom, and that’s pretty much your UI. We did that because the game looks beautiful and we wanted players to see all of that artwork and immerse themselves into the game as opposed to immersing themselves into menus and submenus, which I think a lot of MMOGs have. In a lot of MMOGs, it’s in the center of their games; all of these windows open and each window has stuff in them. For myself, if I don’t normally play that game, I don’t even notice where the graphics are. If you are playing, you’re probably spending more time looking at your UI than the actual game itself, and it becomes more a game of management of buttons rather than immersing yourself into the world that has been created. I think that by getting rid of a lot of the UI, we still have a UI and still have the important things there; it’s not the center of the focus. You actually focus your attention on what is happening in the game.

TTH: I smiled when you mentioned focusing and managing the buttons. I think that you’re absolutely correct when you say most games are about managing your buttons, focusing on what buttons you need to push to heal your party and such and how it detracts from enjoying the game that is being played on your screen.

Chris Gyselinck: Exactly. You want immersion, where you feel like you’re doing the things that the character does. We made the game so that it’s not button management. If fact, you can play it with a controller as well as a mouse and keyboard. While there is a lot of nuances to the gameplay, it’s also very easy to pick it up and just play it. If you’ve ever played any action game at all, you’ll be to just pick up Vindictus and get into battle and have a good time. Of course, it’s difficult to master and it takes a lot of work to learn all the things that you’re able to do, but as I said, if you’ve ever touched an action game in the last decade, you’ll be able to have some fun with this and get in there right away and enjoy yourself.

TTH: Can you go into a little detail on that it’s difficult to master comment? What are you referring to? What aspects would be difficult to master?

Chris Gyselinck: First of all, like any good game, it becomes more challenging as your progress through the story. As you get stronger, so do your enemies. That, of course, brings a level of difficulty into it. There’s also learning what play style works right for you, what combos work right for you, what secondary weapon works really well for you, and especially what characters work well for you. We’re going to have different characters which, essentially, are the different classes. Of course, as with any game, different players are going to have preferences of which character works best for them.

vindictus screenshot


TTH: Let’s talk about the characters then. How many characters will be in the game at launch?

Chris Gyselinck: Okay. During our beta phase, which is coming up soon, we will be having two characters, Lann and Fiona. Lann is a dual sword wielding speedster kind of character. He’s got a lot of very fast moves with dodges and rollouts, all while utilizing those swords to take down as many enemies as quickly as possible. Fiona is closer to being a tank sort of character. She has a sword and a shield. She’s a little bit slower than Lann, but she’s definitely more powerful than him. We’re going against stereotype in this because you don’t usually see the female character being the stronger one, but I think that it’s cool that this is the case here. Fiona’s play style is more different; she has the shield that is used for blocking, which she does a lot more than Lann does. She also has some really powerful shield bash attacks. There’s definitely a different style of play for those two characters. Those two are what we’re just starting off with. Soon after that, we’ll be adding a third character that a lot of people have already seen at E3. Her character is called Evie, and she’s our mage character. She can do some really cool things; firebolts, magic arrows, and a golem that she can actually create using the entire environment around her. As I mentioned, everything in the environment can be picked up. When she summons a golem, it is actually created using the stones and pillars and things that have fallen to the ground during your battles. It’s a very dynamic, cool feature. We’re very excited about her, and we have other characters that we’ll talk about more in the future. We’re starting with the two, and then adding Evie.

TTH: With Evie, her golem ability is one of the coolest things that I’ve ever seen. I was watching a video and was thinking, "How dynamic is this process?" Are there about a dozen models of golems or are there literally hundreds of variations of golems that you can build based on what’s around you?

Chris Gyselinck: There’s pretty much no limit to the variation of how the golem looks. It is totally built from what is on the ground when it is summoned. While it has a skeleton, if you will, that is always the same; the meat of the golem is different every time. Especially in dungeons where you have totally different backgrounds and types of objects. Even if you create a golem twice in the same room, it won’t be exactly the same because there’s so much for it to pick up and create itself with. It’s pretty cool. We have this one dungeon that is set in this cave where all the monsters have been what I call a “monster barbecue” because they have all this raw meat hanging around on the ground, and sometimes the golem will be made out of that meat as well as tinder from the fire and a piece from a hut that I just smashed. Other times in different dungeons, it might just be boulders or a piece of a pillar. It’s a lot of fun in that you never know exactly what you’re going to get from the golem.

TTH: Sounds awesome. Right now, I can easily imagine players taking screenshots and having contests on who can create the coolest golem.

Chris Gyselinck: Absolutely. That reminds me of a feature in the game that deals with screenshots. We have it built into the game so you can easily take and manage screenshots and videos of the game. They’re features built right into the client. We really think there’s going to be a lot of that player-generated fan art stuff out there once people get their hands on it. There’s so much action going on that every time you play, you’re going to have different things happen, and sometimes you’re going to get this really cool looking things captured with the screenshot. I think players are going to have a lot of fun doing that and having little mini-competitions like who can take the best golem screenshot or maybe the best shot of a gnoll flying off a cliff. I think it’s very cool that the players will have the chance to very easily create their own art from the game.

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