In anticipation of Rune II: Decapitation Edition released on Steam last month, I had the opportunity to virtually sit down with the Matt Candler and Studio 369 teams, play multiplayer viking action, and chat about the filthy stories they faced as they changed the game. .. From the first release, frankly miserable and cursed, at the Epic Games Store last year. If you’re new to the story, you can check out our coverage here and here.
He defeated the vicious Draugr with his limbs, avoided talking about the simultaneous US elections, and had a wide range of fun conversations, from that night’s Liverpool-Atalanta match to the best Shakespeare quote. Accompanied by on-screen actions. But mainly, of course, we talked about Rune II: Decapitation Edition.
TSA: Obviously, the entire ZeniMax story sounds like a complete nightmare. What was the series of events that saw Studio369 take over RUNE II?
mat: Since November 13, 2019, we have repeatedly requested the final source code and they have repeatedly refused to return our property. In the first few weeks, we talked to about six top Unreal Studios about the opportunity to take over RUNE II, the immediate work we want to do (bug, optimization, localization), and future plans for the game. All studios asked about the status and quality of codebases and assets.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t get the work proposal and agree to the scope / schedule statement because I didn’t have the source code and raw assets. This is because the scope could not be evaluated completely. For this reason, hiring an alternative studio can be very difficult.
However, one of the teams was Symmetric Gaming. We’ve worked with Dan Nikolaides and Vic Lopez on other projects, and they’re very good at using the Unreal engine. We have begun to address core systems that require priority attention (combat, loot, enemy spawns) and delivered this patch in April and May 2020 (LazarusUpdate).
Studio 369 was incorporated in March 2020, when it became clear that the teams worked very well. We were very effective as a decentralized studio and enjoyed the game very much. And I wanted to make a long-term plan for my employees (welfare, stocks) and the community.
TSA: Tell us a little more about the studio. How big is it and what kind of experience did you bring?
mat: Most of the team has collaborated on other projects at Phosphor Studios and Paramount Studios and Activision. Most of the team is in Las Vegas and Chicago, but there are several others.Earlier this year everyone was working in the home office, so there was no impact [from Covid 19] Anything to us. Currently, up to 18 people continue to grow. Our previous experience is unrealistic expertise: action, RPG, survival, build / create, online multiplayer games and operations, F2P and premium monetization.
TSA: The first release of the Epic Store was confusing, but it has improved since then. Will the current owner receive a Decapitation Edition, or is this just a Steam release?
mat: RUNE II: Decapitation Edition is available on both platforms, so the same version of the game is available in all stores. First, we created a custom armor set for Steam users. But coming to our senses, Armor will be available to anyone who has previously purchased the game for a limited time after November 13, 2020.
TSA: In a sense, Epic’s monopoly means that when it hits Steam, it feels like a whole new release. Did this encourage the team to reach a new audience due to hard work?
mat: The expiration date of the exclusive right certainly gave us a decisive “goal” to focus on, and we had many users book the Steam Wishlist RUNE II: DE, which There was a clear demand for games on Steam, so I made the goal very specific. Also, I was keenly aware of what happened on November 13, 2019, and celebrated the first anniversary, but I had a strong desire to fix it. We’ve been updating the game on EGS throughout the year, which has been very helpful in receiving customer feedback and ensuring that we’re on the right track. RUNE II Community Discord has really grown and developed into a very good resource for us.
TSA: I think the elephant in the room is a convergence with Assassin’s Creed Valhalla on the release date. What does Rune II need to offer to gamers looking for an alternative to Ubisoft titles?
mat: RUNE II: Decapitation Edition is very loot and level focused. We are much closer to the open world Diablo and Skyrim experiences than Assassin’s Creed. We are eccentric and wild. An uncontrollable action-adventure where you can play with your friends, have a good time, kill lots of shit and get lots of plunder.
Some other direct functional differences are: Our skill system focuses on three gods and no gods (pagans). You can exchange skills and redesignate them at any time (not in actual battle). We carry out various difficult cooperation campaigns, so you can find the sweet spot of fun. We have also updated PVP Deathmatch Mode and Team Deathmatch Mode. We do not consider this an “elephant in the room” as we are focusing on the launch on November 13, 2020. There are no cutscenes. The conversations and quests are pretty cheerful and just for fun. And it’s fun. And well, we’re going to join Steam.
TSA: What do you expect from RUNE II from a player base and reception perspective?
mat: Players say, “This is a great game and I’m having a wild time”, “What a hell, what can I do with the game?”, “This is a great example of not leaving without abandoning.” hoping. We will do the right thing for you. We have already received a lot of positive feedback and support for discord and other channels. The reception was great and was exactly what we wanted.
TSA: What’s next for Studio 369 (except for unavoidable bug fixes and patches) after a hard-earned break?
mat: Before Thanksgiving, we are planning a patch based on community and streamer feedback. There are also planned December patches that include new dungeons, new loot, and new enemies.
We will probably consider some of the other high-value products we are working on and the community is looking for (ie UI changes, dual wield, undecided). There are also new game designs and concepts that have been marketed and featured by investors / publishers. Production will start in January 2020.
Rune II: Decapitated Edition is available on Steam and the Epic Games Store.