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FORCED: an interview with BetaDwarf artist, Klaes Simonsen

By 3dtotal staff

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Date Added: 29th October 2013

FORCED is a top-down fully-3D cooperative arena combat game for 1-4 players, which has won an Intel award for ‘Best 3D graphics in an indie game'. Find out more in our feature interview...



Klaes Simonsen is the 3D environmental artist on BetaDwarf's award-winning computer game, Forced. Forced is a top-down fully-3D co-operative arena combat game for 1-4 player. It won an Intel award for ‘Best 3D graphics in an indie game' and was released recently on 24 October. There are lots of interesting things about this game and the story behind it, so let's jump right in!

The approach to Wrathhoof's lair

3dtotal: There are a lot of computer games on the market these days, what makes FORCED special?

Klaes Simonsen: FORCED is about fun mechanics, a mix of enjoyable combat, tactics and puzzle-solving. At BetaDwarf we share a common love for co-op games and playing games with your friends. A lot of the main mechanics in FORCED are made to create communication between the players playing together e.g. talking about the selection of skills, the tactics in each arena and the control of the spirit mentor; Balfus (the player-shared Orb). Each player can control Balfus by pushing a button and he floats towards your character, and you have to utilize his path and control him. It becomes really collaboratively demanding and interesting because people now have a lot of reason to communicate.

In Bloodforest, the trees feed on the vitae soaked ground

3dt: Your website makes a big deal of FORCED being about arena combat, but your screenshots give the impression of area exploration. What's going on there, are the arenas really big? Are there areas outside of the arenas to explore?

KS: All of our levels are based on the arena concept. Meaning that you are restricted to fight in one area. But sometimes we take that experience a bit further and have the player run around in a bigger environment, containing smaller areas in which the arena fighting takes place.

In accordance with ancient fantasy tradition this boss room features lava

3dt: You also make a big deal of being able to customize your character and fighting style. A lot of games that offer this sort of option fall flat because for all of the choice a system offers you end up having to go with one of a handful of optimal builds to do well. How has your design team avoided this pitfall?

KS: In FORCED you don't have to go with a certain skill setup to complete a trial. As the player progresses through FORCED, they will unlock new abilities by collecting crystal that you are being rewarded with when you complete a trial. This way, they can learn and master the different abilities as they progress through the game, and over time they will find the right skill set that suits them and their character perfectly. We have given the player the option of choosing up to three different abilities and passive skills before entering a trial.

The heroes face Wrathhoof, the boss of the first chamber, in a gladiatorial arena

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