EUROGAMER 2012: Video Walkthrough of Merlin: The Game Plus Interview with Lead Developer Imre Jele

After wandering through the spawning gaming metropolis that is the Eurogamer Expo 2012 trying to locate the Merlin stand I caught a glimpse of the distinctive purple banner that stood like a magical beacon sent by Merlin to  guide King Arthur his knights back to Camelot.

Taking time to pick my way through the crowd I am greeted by the friendly Bossa Studios team led by  Imre Jele, co-founder of the company and the lead designer of the Merlin The Game.

I settled down beside Imre, after  a brief chat  about the origins of the company and the game,  and he gave me a tour of the game, which runs on Facebook.  The first thing that struck me was that considering it’s a Facebook game it looked really good with some nice animation on the in-game characters and creatures (of course the game had to have spiders..oh how I hate spiders!). As I watched Imre play through the game he explained that they wanted the focus to be on fun and co-operative gameplay rather than just stat checking and  levelling up game.

The goal was to develop a light and fun RPGs with a lot of the heavier grinding elements scaled back to allow for quick drop in co-op gameplay.The kind of game that you could pick up and play over a lunch break. One way they have tried to active this in the way you can assign a class to your character. There are several classes that you can choose from to pal in the game but you have the option to switch to a different class rather than being locked into that class for the duration of the game.

Where they may want to scale back is on the facts and figures of the RPG side of things and ramp up the story part of the game. Bossa has its own writer for the game and they work closely with the producers of the TV show to make sure they are on the right track.

The game has its own storylines  (with links to the show of course) and will be split up into seasons. Where the TV show is currently on series/season five the game will start on season 1 with different plot lines and adventures leading up to a  conclusion which will take the player into season 2 when it is released.

You won’t be able to play as any of the characters from the show but as you go through the game you will be able to interact with them.  The in-game representation of Merlin, Arthur and co are not in the demo Bossa had at the Expo but promised that they would be revealed soon.

The entire game is free to play with micro transactions if you want to level up faster or wish to buy a cool looking item or weapon. Imre  stressed  that you did not need to pay for anything to be able to complete the game but the option is there for people looking to up their armour and weapons a little quicker.

One of the future ideas that the team is looking at is in-game chat, rather than standard Facebook chat and the idea of maybe looking at some of the side characters in upcoming episodes of the show and maybe expanding their story arc a little more than what we see in the show.  Imre and his team are very keen to get feedback from Merlin fans on what they think of the game and ways that it can be updated and improved.

In terms of launch dates the game has just finished some closed beta testing and will be looking to launch very close to the launch of series 5 in the UK. For a game that is free to play, easy to access (ok not everyone is on Facebook but a good many of us are) it looks great and has a lot of potential for growth.

So I would say if you’re Merlin fan with a Facebook account it’s worth checking out as the game is free so the only thing it’s going to cost you give it a look-see is a few lunch breaks. For those who want to have a look at the game and hear a lot of this from Imre himself, with some more detail, then check out this video of the walk-through I did with Imre plus images from the game below:

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Reporter: Nuge

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One comment

  1. Balinor /

    Actually this looks much better than expected, and the early responses are good, too. I’ll give it a try.

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