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FORCED: an interview with BetaDwarf artist, Klaes Simonsen

By 3dtotal staff

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Date Added: 29th October 2013

3dt: There's a mention of smart enemies too. Without spoiling how you did it, what's the coolest cunning trick you've seen one of the enemies spontaneously pull off?

KS: Our enemies all have an AI, with the ability of working together; for example, our 'Boomer' creature is an enemy that runs directly for the player and explodes and does damage when it gets in contact. When this happens, our 'Swarmers' know to stay away from the explosion and wait, before attacking the player right after the explosion. This adds an increasing level of stress to the player, which we love!

Wrathhoof was in a bad mood before well armed adventurers showed up to try to kill him

But to tell you a fun, unexpected element we hadn't planned for: In the trial 'Run For Cover' (chamber 2, trial 5) where we have a laser beam rotating in the middle of the level, we have an enemy called a 'Cleaver'. It is a big monster with an even bigger axe, which runs towards the player and when he hits the player, the player gets pushed away from the 'Cleaver'. We had a funny example where a 'Cleaver' would hit the player and push them back into the laser beam, instantly executing the player – which caused a lot of laughter.

Some objectives are easier said than done

3dt: From the trailer we wouldn't have known that this game had come out of an indie studio rather than being a big-budget production – we can see why it's won awards! How did you manage to pull that off with limited resources?

KS: Our graphic department holds 5 people. An art director, two 3D artists, one animator and one VFX guy. So it's a small team with all the necessary abilities we need to form a strong and solid collaboration. The art style of the game takes inspiration from the art in games like Diablo and Darksiders. When we create objects for the game, we make sure that the object can be rotated and scaled in many directions so we can get full exploitation of any object we create. We do spend a lot of time on making our textures just right, so they can be reused on other objects. Low-poly objects and texturing is such fun to work with, as it challenges your modeling and drawing skills to the fullest.

Winning the award is something we are really proud of at BetaDwarf. It's a really nice pat on the back and to be honest with you, it made my day for months.

FORCED features tricks and traps as well as enemies, such as these deadly beams of energy

3dt: Getting a little more personal, when you got in touch you mentioned that there was an interesting story behind how this game came together, something about annexing a university room for living quarters? What happened?

KS: When BetaDwarf started, they didn't have any money, so they moved into an unused university classroom during the summer vacation. But one morning after 7 months a teacher randomly entered the room and discovered eight guys in underwear brushing their teeth in front of a ton of hardware. They were thrown out and had to go home, resulting in a rapid Googling of the cheapest place to live in Denmark. Consequently, a few weeks later they collectively paid the rent of a very cheap but massive house in the middle of nowhere.

It was like a dream come true. They were 15 geeks in a house working on a cool game.

They stayed there for a year while making a successful Kickstarter and, finally, they left isolation and moved back to Copenhagen again (today only 4 guys live at the office).

Check out the full story here.

The cameraman has a gun in his other hand

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