Interview with Michal Marcinkowski, Designer Behind King Arthur's Gold
Ever since I first heard of King Arthur’s Gold I knew it wasn’t a game I could pass up. With its 2D design and focus on objective based PVP, KAG oozes charm. The idea behind KAG was dreamed up by Michal Marcinkowski, who I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to speak with about KAG and his plans for the future.
First of all tell us who you are and what you do.
My name is Michal Marcinkowski and I make games.
What were your major influences and inspirations when making this game?
King Arthur’s World – an old SNES game inspired the overall style, theme and the 2D RTS aspect which I’ve never seen in a side-scroller.Minecraft – it just made me expand my horizons of what is possible to achieve in the indie games business. Ace of Spades – made me realize that building + fighting is the ultimate game.
So what was your objective in making KAG? What game did you originally want to create, and how does KAG differ from that idea?
KAG is exactly the game I wanted to create. It met my objectives 100%. It is a bit unusual for me to make a solid plan of what I wanted the game to be. But I think it was easy to achieve because of the relatively quick development time.
Tell me about the biggest challenge you have had to overcome in the process of this game.
The biggest challenge was to start making the game. When I thought about KAG I had to quit all my other obligations and projects. Like the game I was creating for the last 3 years and dedicate 2-3 weeks of work solely to this new untested idea. So the challenge was the decision to spend 2-3 weeks on this and forget for a moment about all else in life.
What do you foresee as being your biggest obstacle in achieving the vision you have for KAG?
I think hackers and griefers. They spoil the fun for everyone. For players (they destroy their work and fun), for developers (because I have to work on boring cheat detection instead of fun gameplay elements), for server renters, forum moderators, admins and so on and so on.
The low bit art style is endearing to some and can be a source of confusion for others. Was the low rez feel something you were aiming for or is that subject to change?
The year is 2011, no longer a graphic style is dictated by the machine you are working for. The low rez is my aim. First of all because it’s cute and brings back memories. Second it is amazingly fast to develop a game with graphics like this.
Right now there seem to be some hacks/glitches being exploited that generally ruin the fun for everyone. Are there any plans to try and fix this and prevent hacking?
I’ve already taken massive steps in preventing that. For example I’ve made a global banning system which means that if you get kick voted twice on different servers in one day you get banned from every server for the entire day.
Will there be any new units or buildings in future updates? If so, what would you like to implement?
Sure this game is a work in progress. There might be another class to pick. There will be new buildable weapons (for example ram for destroying castle doors). There will be castle rooms. This will be something like in Dungeon Keeper were you have different rooms for different purposes.
The Wilhelm scream is a very distinctive sound. Was it your intent to make it the audio focal point of the game?
I like the whole Wilhelm scream phenomena and decided to introduce it into video games! Also when I hear Wilhelm’s scream I cannot think of an old movie called Crimson Pirate, it has this “cloak & dagger” mood that I wanted KAG to have.
The soundscape of KAG is very scream and *tink sound* oriented. Do you plan to add any music to the game?
Yes. I don’t have anything yet in mind. Maybe some musician can propose something. Contact me.
The inclusion of bombs made knights the harbingers of doom. Are there any such balances in the works for archers to bypass shields?
I don’t agree they are harbringers of doom. Keep in mind that archers can still slay anyone from a range. Also in future versions bombs won’t be available on spawn. They will be probably manufactured in a castle room.
There is word that you are moving to start selling this game. If so, do you have a date and price in mind?
Sure, I’d like to make money. Actually I have to because this is my job. I don’t have any date or price. I’d want it to be completely free for as long as possible. There is some kind of magic that happens in game communities and it only happens with free games.
Do you have a message for your fans?
Keep track of KAG development (subscribe where you can), play the game and share you suggestions opinions. I’m interested in everyone of them. I’m not like a stereotypical King and Ruler, I like to create the game with the community and have their voice heard.
If you are interested in playing or want to follow the development of KAG , or have suggestions for future updates, you can visit the blog.