Recently, We Got This Covered got a chance to sit down and talk to Steve Taylor, President of NinjaBee studios and creator of the Keflings videogame series. Boasting titles like Cloning Clyde, Band of Bugs, A Kingdom For Keflings and more, NinjaBee now brings us A World Of Keflings, a new XBLA game coming December 22nd. We had the chance to ask Steve some questions about the game, check it out below.
We Got This Covered: For the uninitiated, how would you describe what type of game this is, imagine you were pitching it to someone who never played A Kingdom For Keflings.
Steve Taylor: It’s fundamentally a city-building simulation, but you directly interact with the inhabitants of the kingdom through your giant avatar character. Collect and manage resources, assign Keflings to work, build pieces, assemble them into buildings (following building blueprints), and make a happy kingdom! That’s it in a nutshell.
WGTC: Will the awesome music from the first game return?
ST: The main menu theme is a new rewritten track based on the old main menu theme, but all the other music in the game is brand new. If you liked the first game’s music, you should really like the new music, too – it’s very similar in feel.
WGTC: How much bigger is A World Of Keflings than A Kingdom For Keflings in terms of scope and size?
ST: Hmm… it’s about 3x bigger in terms of raw assets, but it’s hard to measure the actual impact of the tons of new gameplay and content – it’s really a new game, familiar to players of A Kingdom for Keflings but a whole new thing in its own right.
WGTC: Can you tell us about the three lands we’ll be experiencing here in A World Of Keflings? How are they unique from one another?
ST: In the Ice Kingdom the local inhabitants are “Kefkimos”, and they build things out of ice and rock and brambles. The Forest Kingdom is a lot like the traditional A Kingdom for Keflings worlds. The Desert Kingdom has an Arabian feel to it.
WGTC: Do you choose which lands you play in, can you roam from land to land as you please or do you just progress through them as you go along.
ST: You always start a new game in the Ice Kingdom, and you travel from there to the Forest Kingdom and eventually from there to the Desert Kingdom, but once you’ve unlocked a kingdom you can (for the most part) travel freely back and forth!
WGTC: Can you tell us about the addition of local multiplayer and what players can expect from it?
ST: Local multiplayer was one of the biggest requests we got for A Kingdom for Keflings, so we started on it early and gave it a lot of attention. It features a dynamic split screen system that lets two players play on the same screen if they’re near each other, but it dynamically goes to split screen when they’re far apart. A second local player can join and leave on the fly, just like in LIVE multiplayer.
WGTC: One big addition to A World Of Keflings is the story, can you tell us about that? What’s the plot? What characters will we meet? Will the story lead you down a linear path or will it give players choices to make etc.
ST: The overarching story is linear, but there are various side-stories and paths that the player can pursue independently. The story takes the player through the three kingdoms in an oscar-worthy journey of adventure, love, redemption, and bears. Except there are no bears. Along the way, you meet a king and a princess, scare away a dragon, build a robot, help out a creepy witch, and a ton more I don’t want to spoil.
WGTC: Some of the buildings got pretty big in the last one, will we see the huge blueprints return? And if so, can we expect to see buildings/blueprints that are even bigger than some of the ones in A Kingdom For Keflings? And how many blueprints will there be in total.
ST: We actually tried to keep buildings from getting too complex, but there are a few large blueprints (most notably the final fancy buildings in each kingdom). I think at least one of the new blueprints is bigger than anything in the previous game… There are more than 60 blueprints total, including a few surprises.
WGTC: What are some new things we can expect to build? What about new resources? Any new resources that we can expect to use?
ST: Each kingdom has its own unique resources (e.g. sand in the Desert Kingdom) that are collected and processed in different ways. Each kingdom also has its own building pieces, as a result, and of course new buildings. I don’t want to spoil too much. In the Desert Kingdom, you can build an Enchanter’s Tower for the grumpy old man enchanter. In the Ice Kingdom, you can build a snowman shop!
WGTC: Can you give fans a quick recap of the core gameplay changes/tweaks?
ST: The core gameplay has an astounding number of changes in it, including the new story focus (totally new quest / cinematic system, new character-driven quests), the new resources and processing options, new decoration options, new emotes, new control improvements, camera improvements, new shop menus, multiplayer improvements, and a lot more. There isn’t a single system in the game that didn’t get touched. And I’m just answering your question about core gameplay changes, ignoring all the truly new stuff like builder Keflings, sharable components, ilomilo and Raskulls features, new avatar features, etc.
WGTC: Did you take advice from the fans while making the sequel and if so, which changes/additions did fans ask for the most?
ST: We absolutely did. We made a big list of the most commonly requested features, and ended up adding most of the things on our list. The top items were things like local multiplayer and then a lot “more” requests, like more Keflings, more quests, more resources…
WGTC: Any news on the achievements? Can you give us some examples?
ST: The achievements are all completely new, of course. A bunch are story-progress based, like visiting all 3 kingdoms. All of them match the overall game feel of exploring, building, growing, creating…
WGTC: What about DLC? Any plans for it?
ST: Yes! We have awesome new DLC planned! Keep an eye out for it!
WGTC: Thank you very much for your time Steve and good luck with the game!
A World Of Keflings launches on Dec 22nd, be sure to check it out and keep your eye on the site for our review.