We Just Played Demigod, and Chatted With Chris Taylor

We just finished playing Demigod, the upcoming downloadable online strategy game from developer Gas Powered Games, creator of Supreme Commander and Dungeon Siege. Like League of Legends: Clash of Fates, Demigod will draw inspiration from the Defense of the Ancients mod for Warcraft III. Demigod...

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We just finished playing Demigod, the upcoming downloadable online strategy game from developer Gas Powered Games, creator of Supreme Commander and Dungeon Siege. Like League of Legends: Clash of Fates, Demigod will draw inspiration from the Defense of the Ancients mod for Warcraft III. Demigod apparently has a story somewhere about being a divine being waging some kind of holy war, but cutting to the chase, it's really more of an excuse to take control of a single, powerful real-time strategy "hero" unit and stomp all over the battlefield, beating up other little real-time strategy units and other, slightly-larger heroes who have their own powers.


Welcome to Demigod, where your hauberk armor and healing spells will make all the difference. (Unless you suck at the game.)

Demigod lets you play as one of two types of characters, an "assassin" and a "general." The assassin characters are generally a bit more straightforward, since they're devoted to sallying forth and pounding on enemy structures, enemy cannon fodder, and enemy heroes. Both types of characters start their lives on any given map next to a friendly health-and-magic-power-regenerating tower and a shop where they can purchase wearable armor and consumable items such as healing potions and teleportation scrolls. But generals can also purchase up to three different types of additional cannon fodder units that they can summon into battle; these units appear in small clusters after a brief "spell-casting" delay and will automatically attack the nearest enemies. Like in DOTA, Demigod has plenty of cannon fodder units; either the ones that general characters summon, or those that pour out of generators on either team's side, and like in DOTA, none of these units is under your direct control.

Unfortunately, using just about any ability, whether summoning armies, quaffing a potion, or activating one of your character's four magic powers (hotkeyed to the 1, 2, 3, and 4 keys on your keyboard) has an associated delay, so if you're getting slaughtered by your enemies, you'll need to be smart about timing those emergency healing spells and chugging that last-second healing potion and make sure you can survive long enough to benefit from the effect before you fall over dead.

Like in DOTA, your Demigod character starts off at level 1 in every new match, but continuously gains experience points in exchange for dealing damage to any enemies, and constantly killing enemies and capturing conquest points in the "domination" mode (which works like the constantly-ticking-away requisition points in Battlefield 2) nets you a continuous stream of gold that you can use to either purchase more items (or armies if you're playing a general), or to purchase pricey upgrades for allied defensive structures.


Demigod will be a pretty intimate experience, but the largest maps will accommodate five-players-versus-five-players.

Demigod's ongoing beta currently includes eight playable characters; four assassins and four generals. The assassins that are currently available are Rook, the massive melee juggernaut; Torchbearer, the maniacal fire-and-ice wizard; Regulus, the archer; and Unclean Beast, the...unclean beast, a powerful four-legged melee monster. The generals that are currently available are Erebus, the vampire lord; Sedna, the bear-riding healer; the Queen of Thorns, an evil, half-naked fairy; and Oak, a lumbering giant with defensive powers.All characters have numerous voice samples attached to them that play with every order you give them to help lend them some personality.

Our sessions included brief times with Torchbearer and Oak, first in a skirmish game which we auto-populated with computer-controlled allies and opponents, then in a multiplayer co-op session with Chris Taylor himself as our ally, playing as Unclean Beast. In our first single-player skirmish session with Torchbearer, we quickly learned that this character was a sickly wizard--not a heavy-duty frontliner. The character has plenty of voice samples that play whenever he's given orders--he's got a screechy voice that's clearly supposed to make him seem like a psychotic pyromaniac, but interestingly, he can use both fire and ice magic. All characters in Demigod can unlock new special powers along branching skill trees (unlocking new powers is a matter of gaining enough levels and, each time you gain a level along with a skill point, spending those skill points along certain skill ines). In the case of Torchbearer, he basically has two separate skill lines of fire and ice spells and can only use one type of magic at a time (switching between the two schools of magic requires you to fill up one of your four ability slots with an effect that toggles one or the other on or off).

Our multiplayer session came down to a war of attrition as we joined Taylor on an intimate, two-players-versus-two-players-sized map in domination mode. As Oak, we did our best to frequently summon the neutral armies we purchased at the store (werewolves, clerics, and siege engineers in this case) while using our defensive skills, such as an ability that briefly makes its target immune to damage, to keep ourselves alive. Later, we started investing points along a skill line that improved the health of our cannon fodder followers and healed them after killing off our foes, and through sheer force of numbers and slogging forward (with a telephone receiver cradled under one ear), we finally won the day.


You'll have plenty of chances to crush your enemies and see them driven before you when Demigod launches later this year.

It's possible we might've done better if we weren't trying to get some more details from Chris Taylor himself about the future of Demigod, Gas Powered Games, and his studio's next project, Supreme Commander 2 (which is being published by, of all studios, the Japanese console role-playing publisher Square Enix). Unfortunately, Taylor had come prepared...to not say anything. It's too early to talk about the Supreme Commander sequel, or about Demigod's post-release plans, though it's likely that the game will be considered a "living, breathing" entity with a lot of post-release support that could come from downloadable add-ons, as well as the inevitable patches to help balance out the gameplay. When asked about the state of his studio and his vision for the future, Taylor was pensive; he admitted that yes, originally, Gas Powered was founded to develop marquee PC game titles like Dungeon Siege and Supreme Commander, but that times have changed, markets have changed, and he and his team have explored different directions and grown along the way. For instance, Taylor mentioned he'd "be happy to put Demigod on consoles," as he feels "it would work really well on them," but for now, the game remains a PC exclusive on Stardock's Impulse online download delivery system. It'll be out later this year.

Discussion

29 comments
ganzzu
ganzzu

I'm a DotA player for a long time and i tried Demigod too. I can tell u Demigod has good graphics, kinda bad map view, too little chars and items, but it's fun if u wanna relax a bit (maybe cuz of pretty good AI).

dark-wolf12
dark-wolf12

wow, starting at level 1 for each level sounds really annoying, i mean wont people play this to try and get a really strong demiGOD! and having to start again for each level well . . .

Rheq
Rheq

Oh my mistake, thanks for picking up on that 24k_Solid_Gold, I haven't really followed GPG for a while, not really since the Dungeon Seige days where they did actually have limited employees. They do make great games though.

24k_Solid_Gold
24k_Solid_Gold

@Rheq "Keep in mind that Gas Powered Games is a very small development company and it takes a lot longer for a handful of people to develop a game than it takes a group of 30 or so." Umm, GPG has over 90 emplyees...look at their website "http://www.gaspowered.com/team.php" ,just so ya know they got alot of people, or at least enough to make great quality games, which they've been doing since day one (okay Space Siege wasn't that great, but hey, they were more focussed on Demigod at the time).

dwtaylornz2
dwtaylornz2

i hope this game does well - then hopefully GPG will have a bit more cash to throw towards SupCom2! Thats the game i'm waiting for, good to see that the moho engine has been kept up to date though. Should help with their next implementation. Still i'll give this a go - probably a nice break in between SupCom battles. I have to agree some of the "siege" games of late have dropped the ball for me. But SupCom has always kept them on the level. Hopefully Square give them the resources to build Chris's vision this time.

shaunwongwk
shaunwongwk

LOL, that pre game lobby really reminds me of dota... this game seem to have potential . it has good graphics and also some interesting ideas... hope it turns out satisfactory.

vno
vno

I think this will be an epic fail. This is just my opinion though. I love DotA. It is a great mod. But this isn't DotA, it won't be as successful as DotA.

jb511
jb511

Great potential hopefully it'll pull all of the DotA fanatics away from DoW II. I do not want to see it changed like WC3 was. Although I like DotA I just feel like it corrupts an already good game.

Thing2
Thing2

i dunno, it looks pretty neat but gas powered games is gonna have to prove to me that this game is worth my $$, space siege was poo poo

Kubilius
Kubilius

Another game in style of World in Conflict? I like it :)

TheReaper180
TheReaper180

It could be difficult to release a constant stream of characters since it takes a lot longer to model and script things nowadays.

gabi098
gabi098

Hell yeah a full fledged DotA game. Great potential as lon as just lke DotA they release constant updates, new heroes, and unlike DotA new maps. Has Great potential and looks very well done, lets hope this gets the blood flowing with 3v3 and more matches.

Rheq
Rheq

@ YoJim8obaJoe Keep in mind that Gas Powered Games is a very small development company and it takes a lot longer for a handful of people to develop a game than it takes a group of 30 or so.

YoJim8obaJoe
YoJim8obaJoe

sounds good but a bit shallow for how long they been making it

prince_2009
prince_2009

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

prince_2009
prince_2009

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

enix165
enix165

Looks okay, but...hope the AI wasn't inspired by DotA, I don't want to be playing against virtual 10 year olds who think cursing is fun and cry if you're fighting in the same area as you, they're the only reason I never played it on Warcraft 3. XD

DieselCat18
DieselCat18

lobsta21....every word you speak is the truth...you are absolutely correct Sir !

Razious
Razious

I played a lot of DoTA in my high school days and loved every minute of it. The one problem I did have though was that after the game was over you didn't have any progression. Looks like these guys felt the same. Best of luck to them. I know I'm buying a copy.

renato1988
renato1988

DotA like a real game not just a map, can't wait for it

lobsta21
lobsta21

"pensive", "not come prepared".........\ Without us to spend the money on His Games, He may have to rebuild that Ego. This whole article told me nothing except that Chris Taylor thinks himself God and the game buyer willing to buy anything He dishes out, Space Seige for one. Obvioiusly I didn't understand the game since I thought it rushed and a poorly implemented game anyway. I wonder what it's like to work for Him? John Romero comes to mind. For the record, Supreme commander was and is one of the best and most innovative games ever. What happened since then is something to ponder. Over and Out

REd_toe
REd_toe

Wasn't too much of a fan for Dota but this sounds good.

Saurosy
Saurosy

Maybe this will rock !

AndrewP
AndrewP

We just finished playing Demigod, the upcoming downloadable online strategy game from developer Gas Powered Games, creator of Supreme Commander and Dungeon Siege. Like League of Legends: Clash of Fates, Demigod will draw inspiration from the Defense of the Ancients mod for Warcraft III. Demigod apparently has a story somewhere about being a divine being waging some kind of holy war, but cutting to the chase, it's really more of an excuse to take control of a single, powerful real-time strategy "hero" unit and stomp all over the battlefield, beating up other little real-time strategy units and other, slightly-larger heroes who have their own powers.

Welcome to Demigod, where your hauberk armor and healing spells will make all the difference. (Unless you suck at the game.)

Demigod lets you play as one of two types of characters, an "assassin" and a "general." The assassin characters are generally a bit more straightforward, since they're devoted to sallying forth and pounding on enemy structures, enemy cannon fodder, and enemy heroes. Both types of characters start their lives on any given map next to a friendly health-and-magic-power-regenerating tower and a shop where they can purchase wearable armor and consumable items such as healing potions and teleportation scrolls. But generals can also purchase up to three different types of additional cannon fodder units that they can summon into battle; these units appear in small clusters after a brief "spell-casting" delay and will automatically attack the nearest enemies. Like in DOTA, Demigod has plenty of cannon fodder units; either the ones that general characters summon, or those that pour out of generators on either team's side, and like in DOTA, none of these units is under your direct control.

Unfortunately, using just about any ability, whether summoning armies, quaffing a potion, or activating one of your character's four magic powers (hotkeyed to the 1, 2, 3, and 4 keys on your keyboard) has an associated delay, so if you're getting slaughtered by your enemies, you'll need to be smart about timing those emergency healing spells and chugging that last-second healing potion and make sure you can survive long enough to benefit from the effect before you fall over dead.

Like in DOTA, your Demigod character starts off at level 1 in every new match, but continuously gains experience points in exchange for dealing damage to any enemies, and constantly killing enemies and capturing conquest points in the "domination" mode (which works like the constantly-ticking-away requisition points in Battlefield 2) nets you a continuous stream of gold that you can use to either purchase more items (or armies if you're playing a general), or to purchase pricey upgrades for allied defensive structures.

Demigod will be a pretty intimate experience, but the largest maps will accommodate five-players-versus-five-players.

Demigod's ongoing beta currently includes eight playable characters; four assassins and four generals. The assassins that are currently available are Rook, the massive melee juggernaut; Torchbearer, the maniacal fire-and-ice wizard; Regulus, the archer; and Unclean Beast, the...unclean beast, a powerful four-legged melee monster. The generals that are currently available are Erebus, the vampire lord; Sedna, the bear-riding healer; the Queen of Thorns, an evil, half-naked fairy; and Oak, a lumbering giant with defensive powers.All characters have numerous voice samples attached to them that play with every order you give them to help lend them some personality.

Our sessions included brief times with Torchbearer and Oak, first in a skirmish game which we auto-populated with computer-controlled allies and opponents, then in a multiplayer co-op session with Chris Taylor himself as our ally, playing as Unclean Beast. In our first single-player skirmish session with Torchbearer, we quickly learned that this character was a sickly wizard--not a heavy-duty frontliner. The character has plenty of voice samples that play whenever he's given orders--he's got a screechy voice that's clearly supposed to make him seem like a psychotic pyromaniac, but interestingly, he can use both fire and ice magic. All characters in Demigod can unlock new special powers along branching skill trees (unlocking new powers is a matter of gaining enough levels and, each time you gain a level along with a skill point, spending those skill points along certain skill ines). In the case of Torchbearer, he basically has two separate skill lines of fire and ice spells and can only use one type of magic at a time (switching between the two schools of magic requires you to fill up one of your four ability slots with an effect that toggles one or the other on or off).

Our multiplayer session came down to a war of attrition as we joined Taylor on an intimate, two-players-versus-two-players-sized map in domination mode. As Oak, we did our best to frequently summon the neutral armies we purchased at the store (werewolves, clerics, and siege engineers in this case) while using our defensive skills, such as an ability that briefly makes its target immune to damage, to keep ourselves alive. Later, we started investing points along a skill line that improved the health of our cannon fodder followers and healed them after killing off our foes, and through sheer force of numbers and slogging forward (with a telephone receiver cradled under one ear), we finally won the day.

You'll have plenty of chances to crush your enemies and see them driven before you when Demigod launches later this year.

It's possible we might've done better if we weren't trying to get some more details from Chris Taylor himself about the future of Demigod, Gas Powered Games, and his studio's next project, Supreme Commander 2 (which is being published by, of all studios, the Japanese console role-playing publisher Square Enix). Unfortunately, Taylor had come prepared...to not say anything. It's too early to talk about the Supreme Commander sequel, or about Demigod's post-release plans, though it's likely that the game will be considered a "living, breathing" entity with a lot of post-release support that could come from downloadable add-ons, as well as the inevitable patches to help balance out the gameplay. When asked about the state of his studio and his vision for the future, Taylor was pensive; he admitted that yes, originally, Gas Powered was founded to develop marquee PC game titles like Dungeon Siege and Supreme Commander, but that times have changed, markets have changed, and he and his team have explored different directions and grown along the way. For instance, Taylor mentioned he'd "be happy to put Demigod on consoles," as he feels "it would work really well on them," but for now, the game remains a PC exclusive on Stardock's Impulse online download delivery system. It'll be out later this year.