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Thursday, June 02, 2005
Interview: Lesha, Developer of Evil Invasion

By Tim W.
August 21, 2005


Evil Invasion is the latest challenger for the throne currently occupied by Crimsonland as the king of top down shooters. And judging by the gameplay, the ruler may well be usurped from it's position by a new underdog.

We caught up with the Lesha from VHGames for a little chat about their new title.


INTRODUCTION

Tim: Could you tell us a little about your development team?

Lesha: There's five of us and we're all working in the game industry. We're hardcore gamers; we love playing games as well as developing them.


Tim: Is this your first project as a team?

Lesha: As a team, this is our first project. We developed it during our free time. We started out just to have fun developing a game, but when the game attracted very positive feedback from others, we decided to put all our effort into it to create the final release.


THE GAME


Tim: First off, why was Evil Invasion chosen as the title? Were there any other names considered?

Lesha: It just sounded right. That was the first name we came up with and we stuck with it, since it perfectly describes the gameplay.


Tim: (Laughs) I agree. How long did it take to develop the game? Tell us about the development process.

Lesha: Most of the design and programming were done by me. We spent about one year developing Evil Invasion.


Tim: Evil Invasion have been compared to Crimsonland quite often. But before that similar controls were first introduced in Robotron: 2084 and became popular when it was used again in Smash TV. Have any of your team members ever played those classics?

Lesha: Most of us played classic games on the Sinclair platform :)


Tim: I was quite impressed with the number of spells that were available. Besides using Blizzard's classic as a template for some of the spells, do you draw inspiration for the spells from any other titles?

Lesha: We considered a lot of magic systems actually. Generally speaking, the game was designed without using any particular reference - the spell system is basically a combination of features from other good games.


Tim: I like the fact that your character cannot specialize in one offensive spell because of the protective auras. But what if the character only uses their skill points on two missile spells?

Lesha: All spells and skills are divided into 2 major section:

- damage or instant killing spells and skills
- protective spells and skills

Using just damage spells will work fine in the beginning - but when the hero reaches a higher level (about 35) - it will be impossible to stay alive without protective (or non-damage) spell and skills.

Current game balance perfectly prove this.


Tim: In quest mode, all the accumulated skills are taken away before the start of each stage. What is the reason behind this design decision?

Lesha: Each quest is about eight to twenty minutes of play time, so we have decided to give players a chance to explore different combinations when creating heroes.


Tim: Does the gods in Evil Invasion have names?

Lesha: They are still unnamed. :)

Although it's quite clear which elemental nature are represented by them.


Tim: Any easter eggs or hidden secrets in the game?

Lesha: A couple exists. :)


FUTURE PLANS

Tim: Have you considered having monsters drop items for players to collect and equip?

Lesha: We have received such suggestions from some of the feedbacks. It will require considerable amount of work, though. Perhaps in the near future.


Tim: Any future plans for Evil Invasion? Perhaps new features to be introduced in the next patch?

Lesha: We're currently working on minor bug fixes and balancing the gameplay system.

We do have plans to include a random map generator, and day/night cycle.


Tim: Wow, cool. How about two-player mode? Will it be considered for future versions? Other modes?

Lesha: Yes, there will be a two-player mode soon. If the game design has enough features for multiplayer, why not?


Tim: Will Evil Invasion be ported for the Mac?

Lesha: Most likely. The game architecture consists of two modules, logic and engine.

Logic is divided into graphics engine (using DirectX) and some platform-dependent stuff. Game code is clean, using class hierarchy (written in C++) and well-documented.

So, it's really quite easy to do a Mac (Linux) version.


Tim: Any particular independent title you're currently enjoying?

Lesha: Recently, it's Wik and the Fable of Souls.


Tim: For your fans, what is your next project? Will it be another top down shooter?

Lesha: Evil Invasion II, definitely! Expect all sorts of new features as well.


Tim: Anything you'd like to say to fans of your work?

Lesha: We have a forum on our site. It's http://www.vhgames.com/

Everyone is welcomed to drop by and discuss about Evil Invasion!


Tim: Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to speak to us.

Lesha: Thank you!