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Golden Land Preview

publisher: Russobit-M
developer: Burut Software
genre: RPG

PII 433, 128MB RAM, 8MB Video Card
ESRB rating: RP

release date: TBA
» All About Golden Land on ActionTrip

Those industrious lads over at Russobit-M and Burut Software have kindly revealed more about their plans for the upcoming RPG, GoldenLand. Thanks to the Project Leader Sergey Bouravtsov, scriptwriters Eugene Bratkov, and Dmitry Glaznev for taking the time to respond to our inquiries and uncover more details about the storyline, character customizations, various magic abilities, the 7-stat mechanism, creating items, the engine, multiplayer, and more.

Action Trip: How many members of your team are involved with the project? Burut is also working on the sci-fi FPS shooter Kreed. Can you tell us if you're team has had any experience with RPG's?

Sergey Bouravtsov: For the moment there are about 15 people working on the project. Many of them went through the way of children's games with one dice to big role modules. Gaining gaming experience and knowledge helps to realize ideas and gives the opportunity to make a really interesting project.

AT: Just how much of the game is done so far?

SB: The development stage is complete - we're currently testing and debugging. A lot of time was invested into the non-linear plot, so we're happy to be through this portion.

AT: In a few notes, describe the storyline in GoldenLand.

Dmitry Glaznev: The plot starts 300 years after a victory over Drakh-Shu, the leader of a vast army of evil forces. The heroes who freed the Golden Land - Velemir and Velena - became the object of reverence of many Goldenlanders. The subsequent cult that sprang from the devotion to the heroes of old was named the Cult of Great Heroes. Its followers built a large temple in Svetlograd, the capital of the Land of the Golden Mountains. Since the creation of the temple, all who come to this temple as an apprentice search for perfection both in the physical (martial arts training) and spiritual realm. The Great Priest of the temple, Kotar, started to see negative changes which have affected the Golden Land of late. The harvests began low, diseases increased, robbers and creatures that never seen before appeared. The behavior of people, their habits and deeds slowly turned for the worse. Kotar had read the ancient manuscripts from the temple library and knew that such changes took place three hundred years before, just before Drakh-Shu and his dark army's invasion. Kotar fears for Golden Land's fate, and he sends four apprentices of the temple to search for great sorcerer of ancient times, Shurba-Khal, who, as Kotar thinks, can help with the situation. Legends say that Shurba-Khal has learned the secret of immortality and has lived in the tower situated in the center of a faraway land; Marvia's capital. The situation is much more complex because the way from the Golden Land to Marvia leads through the Ripei mountains, and had been lost many years ago...

AT: How many characters can players choose at the beginning? What are their characteristics? Can their skills and abilities be customized in any way?

Eugene Bratkov: There is only one main character in the game, due to storyline features and limitations of dividing characters into classes. In the process of generating the character, and also during his development the player is able to assign the parameters freely, creating an optimal combination of characteristics, depending on the player's preference.

AT: Some characters will certainly have magic abilities, so perhaps you could reveal some of them.

EB: There will be those who can use magic among the characters - the magicians. Magic is divided into six schools and, as a rule, each magician specializes only at one school - it allows him to have good results in a chosen sphere. Talking about monsters, they have various magic skills as taking up life and energy of the enemy, making fire and ice damage, etc. People can use such abilities only if they have proper artifacts.

AT: Will it be possible to hire any henchmen? Or does the player control a single character throughout the entire game?

EB: The player controls only one character at the beginning, but he'll meet some people who will wish to join him during his journey. The character's allies are not faceless dolls but full-fledged personalities, and each one has a unique set of behavior, motives, advantages, and disadvantages in battle. The player cannot control the allies directly, but he is able to control their style of behavior (AI routines).

AT: What are the players 7 main statistics he has to look after as he progresses?

EB: The character develops primary characteristics when he increases his/her level; as you increase the characteristics, it will become more difficult to advance. Each characteristic affects a specific feature of the character:

  • Strength - The attribute which is needed for those who prefer physical force. It affects damage, carried weight, and also is essential for the heavy two-handled weapons.
  • Dexterity - It will be hard to steal something or to pick a lock if you're short in dexterity points. In addition to that, this skill is crucial to the way you character behaves during battle; basically, dexterity allows you to avoid hits and it also affects the accuracy of your strikes. This parameter is very important for those who prefer ranged battles.
  • Constitution - This parameter affects the character's vitality - a parameter that's essential to those who want to survive through at least a portion of close-ranged combat.
  • Attention - Is important for those who want to feel safe during long journeys, and also to detect dangers from a great distance.
  • Wisdom - The main magicians' attribute. This parameter affects the character's energy scale and it determines the power of the skills he can use.
  • Intellect - Is the parameter of diplomats. It allows you to have best results through communication. It also has a great influence on the powers of Dark and Light.
  • Luck - Is the most unpredictable and mysterious parameter. Its effect cannot be tied to a definite sphere; it is important in almost every situation.

AT: Explain how will the players be able to create items.

EB: The items can be created and modified with such skills as Forgery and Alchemy. The knowledge of Alchemy allows you to create potions from different reagents, and it could sometimes be used to regenerate the character's life. By learning Alchemy you may also gain the ability to refurbish the energy and magic powers of your staff. Forgery, on the other hand, helps you create new weapons and armor; furthermore, you can improve these weapons by adding special magic features. And to top it all off, when using Forgery, you can easily replenish your ammo stock.

AT: Although the game is not in full 3D, you revealed that it has a rather promising engine. Can you give us a few examples of what this engine is capable of?

SB: Our in-house called AGE engine was developed strictly for this game. Its graphic possibilities allow for many unique and realistic-looking animations, lively and dynamic backdrops on each and every location. The engine also creates endless possibilities for visual effects which can be observed in some of the spells, and various weather effects (such as snow, blizzard, sandstorms, rains), plus day and night changes. In addition to that, the character's appearance will change according to the equipment he carries. This new engine gave us the chance and the freedom to create many beautiful things and we hope that players will enjoy the final outcome of our efforts and hard work. Our designers have tried to present a genuine atmosphere, adding a touch of originality to the whole picture - thanks to them, the game will include numerous unique-looking locations and diverse inhabitants each with their own look and behavior.

AT: When we speak about the gameplay generally, can you reveal if there are any similarities with games like Diablo, Divine Divinity, Baldur's Gate, or Icewind Dale?

DG: All games which you've mentioned are in one way or another similar to Golden Land. The main similarity of course, is the fantasy setting and a few typical CRPG rules. Golden Land has a step-by-step combat system, like systems of Fallout and Jagged Alliance; a generator of items and spells, which allows gamers to use their imagination and create their very own unique items. Next off, we have the global map, which is sort of like the ones we've seen in Arkanum and Fallout... There are many more details and features, but I'm afraid it may take quite a while to list them all.

AT: You mentioned that the multiplayer will support up to 4 players and there will be a network version as well. Tell us more about these multiplayer aspects and why you think they will be addictive.

EB: We've created a way for players to unite their powers. The multiplayer mode supports the following:

  • Saving the characters, including their characteristics and a list of completed missions.
  • Connecting to the server at any time during the game.
  • Each player can start a mission autonomously.
  • After you've completed the main mission you can return to complete unfinished side-quests.
  • Public list of missions. This will help you know more about new missions.
  • The experience gained from completed tasks is distributed between players in accordance with how much time they've spent playing.
  • The ability to exchange items between the characters.
  • The character gets to keep the ammo after the missions.

AT: The game is to arrive some time in May 2003, correct?

SB: Yes, we plan to release the game during May 2003.



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