This interview is part of a series of developer discussions that share details on the upcoming collectible RPG Game of Thrones Beyond the Wall, to be released on iOS and Android.
If you’ve missed our previous developer discussions, read them here.
This week we talked to the Game of Thrones Beyond the Wall Creative Team about the [Weirwood Quests] game mode.
How do weirwood trees fit into Game of Thrones Beyond the Wall?
Weirwood trees play a very important role in the game: they appear in the story’s first scene that kicks off the story and eventually allow players to access alternate timelines represented by Legendary Events. The mysterious magic of weirwood trees is one of the game’s central themes.
Tell us about the [Weirwood Quests] game mode.
We learned on the show that Brynden Rivers, Bloodraven, ends up becoming a part of a weirwood tree far north beyond the wall. Through this transformation, he takes on the role of the mystical Three-Eyed Raven. Once he fuses with the tree, Bloodraven gains access to immense knowledge through greensight and other magic we probably cannot fully understand. We wanted to evoke the constant quest for this ancient knowledge through a recurring game mode. That is how [Weirwood Quests] was born.
The game mode itself is sort of a daily dungeon with a rogue-like feel. Players build a squad from their roster to go on the day’s quest and enter the Haunted Forest to find a weirwood tree before their characters run out of health.
When players first enter the forest, they cannot see the full level map. Each move forward reveals a small portion of the area that surrounds them. At each step, something random happens: players find a camping spot that allows them to restore health, they encounter an enemy, or find the Woods Witch Mayla and get the chance to buy from her rotating shop of rare items. There is also some randomization to the level layout and daily encounters, so every playthrough is different.
How does gameplay differ in [Weirwood Quests] game mode?
The biggest difference between [Weirwood Quests] and other modes is its rogue-like feel. Players have to manage the characters they bring in much like a party of heroes in a dungeon crawler – getting as deep into the dungeon as they can, with a higher chance at better rewards the further they go.
The ultimate goal of this game mode is finding a weirwood tree and a guaranteed rare item. There is no penalty for losing, other than the unclaimed treasures. But, we hope players will still feel motivated to go as far as they can. The journey itself becomes another way to reward the players’ efforts to improve their squads over time.
What else can players expect from [Weirwood Quests] in the future?
If the mode is as popular with players as we expect, we will look into enabling cooperation with friends in a future update. The idea of playing through a dungeon with your friends, using a collection of Game of Thrones heroes you’ve invested in sounded really fun to us on the dev team, but we’re waiting to see what players think.
About Behaviour Interactive
Founded in 1992, Montreal-based Behaviour Interactive is one of North America’s largest independent game developers with close to 500 employees and over 70 million games sold on every platform, including 10 million copies of its award-winning original IP Dead by Daylight™. To date, the company’s mobile games have reached over 200 million players worldwide. Behaviour counts amongst its partners some of the world’s most recognized brands such as Sony, Disney, Activision, Warner Bros, Ubisoft, Microsoft, Google, Bombardier, Wargaming, HBO, Netease, Gaea, La Capitale and many more. For more information: bhvr.com.
About HBO Licensing & Retail
HBO Licensing & Retail, a division of Home Box Office, Inc., partners with best-in-class licensees around the world to give HBO’s global audience new and exciting ways to engage with their favorite shows. The division leverages iconic, award-winning HBO programs such as Game of Thrones, VEEP, Sex and the City, Silicon Valley, Insecure, The Sopranos, Big Little Lies, True Blood and more to create officially licensed consumer products, innovative merchandise programs, retail activations and live immersive experiences. HBO Licensing & Retail works across a broad range of product categories, including collectibles, apparel, publishing, live branded experiences, digital gaming, fashion and beauty collaborations, luxury accessories and beyond. Officially licensed HBO merchandise can be purchased in retail stores around the world and online in the US at http://store.hbo.com.
GAEA is a global interactive entertainment company with offices in Beijing, San Francisco, Tokyo and Seoul. Founded in September 2014, the company has become one of the fastest growing companies in China, and excels in global game development, game distribution, IP cooperation, and M&A with over 1,000 employees from 12 countries and regions. GAEA has published over 20 games on multiple platforms with over 100 million players, including famous Chinese games Soul Clash and Ace of Arenas in various countries. The company is currently working with CD Projekt Red to publish GWENT: The Witcher Card Game in mainland China and also reinvents renowned IPs such as Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress, Final Fantasy XV and The Legend of Sword and Fairy. More information can be found at www.gaea.com.