Das Tal is a MMORPG set in a sandbox world where the focus is for players to interact with one another. Unlike others of its kind, Das Tall combines the hardcore tactics and planning of MOBA games with the strategy of MMOs. Early access for this game is available at their website.
David Wells, Head of Communicatins, was willing to answer our questions below.
Hello David! Let's start directly with the first question. Could you tell us what was the process of becoming Greenlit by the Steam community like? How well did the community receive your ideas?
Getting Greenlit was one of our first PR pushes, so it was quite a busy time. We needed to make contact with the press, who had no idea who we were. We were also a lot younger as a team, and were still ironing out how we worked well together. As with any game, some people said they disliked our ideas, but the majority were very supportive! I think at least a few of our diehard fans first discovered us on Steam Greenlight. When the news came through that we had been Greenlit, we were definitely excited. Many milestones ahead, but this was one of the first, so there were celebrations for sure!
I really enjoy the look of Das Tal. Who does the artwork?
Our Art Director's name is Michail Mamaschew, and with guidance from the rest of our team, he hand shaped the art style of Das Tal from the ground up. From there it was a matter of turning concepts into textures and 3D models. This process was handled by Michail, our Lead Developer Sebastian Dorda, and a couple of part time team members. From here we are moving on to expanding the diversity of assets in the current art style (more logs, more landmarks). We have also recently added an entire new 'biome' or environment, which is cold and mountainous. More biomes make for a more varied and colourful world, and we already have plans for a third.
What other games had the most influence on your ideas during the creation of Das Tal?
From a design perspective, the heaviest influence on Das Tal is Shadowbane. The runner up would probably be Bloodline Champions, which inspired our combat system a great deal. Aside from these we obviously take inspiration from a lot of games for specific features, like the dynamic events that you can see in Guild Wars 2. Those would be the two big ones though!
What are your thoughts on these Steam early access releases that aren’t completely finished or aren’t exactly what they advertise to be? How are you going to ensure that Das Tal isn’t one of them?
The simplest answer is that we are not rushing things. We have a number of features which we could have lazily tacked onto the game over the last 2 years and used to hype the game. In stead, we have worked on perfecting our combat system and core features like character progression. This of course does not make us immune to the hardships of indie development. The point is that Das Tal is not a hollow game with a shiny wrapper, designed to wow people into getting out their wallets. We genuinely care about the quality of our project. Words are cheap, but anyone who has joined us for a chat during our test events would tell you the same.
Has the feedback from the community helped steer the development much?
Absolutely, every single test event is aimed at gathering feedback from our community. We have made changes to anything from the damage of an individual ability all the way up to adding entire features because of demand. We do have a number of core principles we won't compromise, but outside of these if enough people poke us in the ribs and ask for changes, we will add them to our list. We also have a noticeboard dedicated to collecting ideas, where anyone can post and vote.
How would you compare Das Tal to the other MMOs out there?
We hear a lot of comparisons, the most common probably being Albion Online. Honestly though, aside from the perspective and some pretty basic feature overlap, we are two very different games. Crowfall is the most recent comparison that has popped up, and I would say there is more of an overlap with Das Tal here. In particular our Time-Boxing feature in relation to their dying worlds. Other than that, I would actually avoid making too many comparisons, considering what we are trying to do is cut out portions of the MMO formula that we see as being problematic. Part of our whole design approach is the blending of MMO and MOBA mechanics.
Are you worried about players griefing, camping, or harassing other players based around the fact that PvP is enabled globally?
Yes and no. We will definitely be putting a lot of thought into how we design features around full loot and open PvP. Our goal is obviously to excite players with danger and give them awesome memories of intense fights, not to upset and frustrate them as they are spawn ganked for half an hour. So while we understand that it is near impossible to remove the issue of griefing while keeping open PvP, the feature is an important part of our game and allows for much more than just these specific situations.
Are there any last words you would like to speak to our readers and your fans?
Always! If you are sitting on the fence with Das Tal, please remember that you can just talk to us. We engage with our community on our forums daily, so tell us what you think or throw out some questions. We also invite people from our alpha list to join is for events every now and then, so if you sign up there you are bound to get a chance to check out the game first hand. No need to purchase anything unless you love the game and want to keep playing!
Thank you for the information and good luck with further development!