Q&A: Eador. Masters of the Broken World

We talk to Snowbird Games about their new epic creation.
Eador. Masters of the Broken World, a fantastic turn-based strategy game of truly epic proportions, with RPG elements, and unmatched complexity, arrives tomorrow on GOG.com. You can still take advantage of our pre-order offer, which either gives you a free copy of the game's acclaimed predecessor--Eador: Genesis with your $19.99 order, or applies a 10% discount if you already own the first game. Since we're really excited about this release, we threw some questions at the developers, Snowbird Games. They hit us back with some answers. We retaliated with some more questions. They nuked us with answers that didn't have much to do with the questions we've sent, but were interesting enough to come up with some questions for them. There was much chaos on the battlefield, but the dust finally settled and we were left with a solid Q&A session.
Here it is.
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Who are you? Tell us about your studio.
Snowbird’s headquarters are located in Moscow, Russia. The developer team operates from Ukraine and we also work remotely with many people in all parts of the globe. Originally our studio was founded in 1996 and was called Snowball Interactive. In 2008 we wanted to try taking the role of a producer and since then we became known as Snowberry Connection having published such projects as Combat Mission: Afghanistan, Mount&Blade: With Fire and Sword, and Goblins 4. Besides our addiction to anything regarding ‘snow’, we all share a love for hardcore games that are made for PC and have a bit of gaming art inside of themselves.
As a publisher we launched in Russia such projects as Machinarium, Amnesia and The Whispered World. So we're very friendly with the indie development scene and the indie movement in general. Since our studio's foundation, we had the ambition to become game developers and wanted to release our own game. Two years ago, we got closer to this dream becoming true when we started working on Eador. Masters of the Broken World.
In less than 200 characters, tell us what makes your game special.
Eador is what you hoped your latest most anticipated TBS would be. It’s deep, challenging and extremely addicting. Simply put, if you’re fan of classic strategy games then this game is made for you.
"TBS" as in turn-based strategy. Nice use of abbreviation to fit in the character limit, guys. Next question! Every game’s setting is unique. What makes up for that special world of Eador feeling? What's the premise here?
In the game, you're playing as a demigod--one of the Masters--who is challenging his competitors for power over the universe. The game world is filled with countless shards that appeared after the magical cataclysm. The winner becomes the Master who'll unite all of the shards under his power.
World of Eador is filled with countless shards that appeared after the magical cataclysm. Now with the world shattered, the Masters, a kind of demigods of this universe, started fighting each other in order to obtain as much of the shards as possible. So the more shards is conquered the more influential power you get. Each shard is a world of its own with different races and inhabitants. Many of them are not even aware of the competition for the shards between the Masters.
You have to decide the fate of Eador’s world, whether to bring it down completely or to try uniting it under your reign. As the game progresses, player finds out more about the Master, the world itself and its mysteries.
Assassin’s Creed could be described as what happens when Thief and Prince of Persia have a baby; what games are the spiritual parents of your title?
If we go with this comparison then Eador is a baby of Master of Magic and earlier games of the Heroes of Might and Magic series with the former being the daddy. After all, if not for Master of Magic, the original Eador game would never see the light. But you’ll find many traits of the other classic strategy games in Eador. For example, management of provinces will remind you of Total War series and random events system will remind you of many of the Paradox titles
What’s the feature or element that you like best about your game?
We’d say that role-playing element of Eador is one of its most outstanding elements.
With every turn every decision you make will have its own effect. That includes many things, from a building you chose to construct or unit to hire to how you decided to resolve a tricky situation in a random event. You choose your way of development and how you will govern your people, whether you make them work till they drop or help them as much as you can. And there is no right way and no wrong way, any way you choose may lead to victory or defeat.
People of Eador think of you depending on where your karma balance leans. The kind races are prone to entering into alliance with a kind ruler, warriors with sinful souls are happy to serve the dark lord and so on. Besides, karma defines your relationships with other Masters as each has their own karma and their own views.
Give us some stats on your game; for example, how long is it? How many quests/items/bad guys/mobs/whatever are in it? How long has it been in development? (and so on...)
The game has been in development for over two years and it’s certainly not short in numbers. You can build around 170 buildings in your Capital, and each one of those will be visible at the city screen. Next, units that can be hired for your army. There are about 80 of them and you can actually upgrade them choosing from different perks thus making your own variations of one unit.
Spells and magical rituals: there about 70 of those with six schools of magic for you to study. The in-game text is larger than Planescape: Torment’s. GOG community should get a good idea how much that actually is. We can go on but you probably get the point.
What’s more important: Gameplay or story? Why?
With the strategy games we’d say that gameplay is undoubtedly far more important than story. That’s not to say that Eador’s main story is lacking in interesting events, far from it. It’s just that with good strategy games more often than not you create your own stories and the main story line stays somewhere in the background. Honestly, do you really care of what will happen in the next strategy title story-wise? Exactly.
Why are you putting your game on GOG?
We think that Eador is a perfect title for GOG’s game catalog and we’re sure that its community will appreciate our game for what its worth. Eador: Genesis was met with huge praise and we can’t say that we didn’t expect it at all because we did. It was also very fun for us to read first impressions of gamers from around the world after three years of release in Russia.
What goodies will the people who purchase the game from GOG get (soundtrack, special wallpapers, etc.)?
You get a soundtrack, early unit and design sketches and lots of beautiful in-game artworks in hi-res. We’re very proud how 2D art for the game ended up looking and think you’ll really like it. Along with this you also get the juiciest bonus--Snowbird team photos.
Juiciest, oh my! Well, that's certainly something to look forward to. Thanks for your thoughts, guys.
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And you, dear GOG.com users, don't forget that this is the final day to pre-order Eador. Masters of the Broken World for only $19.99 and get Eador: Genesis for FREE (or if you already own it on GOG.com, 10% discount on your pre-order!).
Also, remember to get a good night's sleep today, as tomorrow marks the release of your new turn-based strategy addiction!