Saturday, 3 September 2011

Kalypso Media Talks about OnLive, Tropico 4 and The Future

Kalypso Media has brought a number of games to the OnLive cloud gaming service. They include Tropico 3, Tropico 4, Ceville, Disciples III: Renaissance, Elements of War, Patrician IV, and Grand Ages: Rome. In fact, there is a special going on right now for Tropico 4. If you purchase the game, you will receive Tropico 3 for free.

OnLiveFans had the opportunity to interview Ted Brockwood, the Head of Public Relations for Kalypso Media USA.

Thanks for doing this interview, for the sake of our readers, would you mind telling us a little bit about Kalypso Media?
Thanks for giving us the opportunity to talk about ourselves. Kalypso Media is a worldwide publisher and developer of PC, console and digital games. We were founded in Germany by Simon Hellwig and Stefan Marcinek, two industry veterans who have taken a love of gaming and turned it into a great business. We self-publish games (we own three development studios) along with acting as a third party publisher for other studios.

Most people recognize us from titles such as the Tropico series, though we’ve also certainly had successes with titles such as Dungeons, DarkStar One for Xbox 360, and The First Templar. Next year, we’ll be publishing The Dark Eye: Demonicon, Port Royale 3 and several other exciting titles.
How did you all hear about OnLive? What made you want to put your games on their service? How did you go about working with them?
We had seen and spoken to the OnLive business team at various industry events, and since we consider digital distribution an important channel, especially for PC gaming, it made sense to work with OnLive.
Right now there are several great games from Kalypso Media on the OnLive service. How did you go about picking which games of yours we would get?
I’m glad you like what we’ve published on the service so far! There are many more great games to come. As far as choosing what goes on the service, we look at our games with a critical eye towards what the OnLive consumer would want to play. If it fits the demographic, then we’ll put it up on the service.
Let’s talk about your Tropico series. Can you tell us a little bit about the Tropico games and how it may differ from other games of the same genre?
Tropico 4, which OnLive now has available for both demo play and purchase, is the latest in the Tropico series of city-building/economic simulation games. In the Tropico series (excluding Tropico 2), you play as El Presidente, the newly elected leader of the island of Tropico. Your job is to build up the island’s economy, and in the process, fill up your Swiss bank account. As the leader of Tropico, you can be a man of the people, or a total dictator, or something in-between; it’s all up to you. You have a huge selection of businesses, housing, entertainment and other types of buildings you can construct on the island, all of which play a role in building the economy. You’ll need to keep your citizens happy (with jobs, entertainment, health care, etc.) or they will revolt, and throw you out of power. The game relies on a very humorous feedback system, where your advisers will offer you tasks/quests, while also telling you how you’re doing in general.
There are a ton of Tropico 3 fans on the service, so thanks for bringing Tropico 4 to OnLive. What have you done differently in this game than previous iterations?
Tropico 4 adds a significant amount of new content and features, while maintaining the gameplay the fans love. We’ve added 20 new buildings, huge island maps (for your sprawling cities), interactive disasters (how will you deal with a tornado decimating the island?), new nations to negotiate with, a fantastic new story campaign, enhanced import/export controls and much much more.
What are some of the cool things that people can do in Tropico 4? Are there any elements of the game that give it that “just one more turn” flavor?
One of the things people will really enjoy (and the reviewers have loved so far), are the additional “quests” or challenges that pop up during play. One of the weaknesses of some city building games is that once you’ve built a cool city, there’s nothing left to do. Not so with Tropico 4, as we’re constantly giving you humorous and useful tasks to complete. Maybe it’s something as simple as providing Saudi Arabia with beef by building and managing more ranches on the island or maybe you have a cave-in at a salt mine, and have to figure out how to rescue your workers (Do you leave them there? Do you pay for a special drill to dig them out?). We make sure players never get bored, and are always trying to complete one more mission, and we give them several options for completing that objective.
How was the process of getting Tropico 4 or any of your other games on OnLive? What were some of the obstacles that you had to overcome in porting your games over?
The OnLive team has been phenomenal to work with. With OnLive, we use their SDK to create a customized build for the service. We submit it to their QA team for testing and publishing and we’re done.
What does the future hold for Kalypso Media? What games can fans of OnLive look forward to playing?
We have a great publishing catalog planned for 2012, which includes games like the 4X space strategy game – Legends of Pegasus, the action-RPG The Dark Eye: Demonicon, the economic/trading simulation – Port Royale 3 and quite a few other exciting titles. Keep an eye on for the complete catalog of what’s coming in 2012, we think there will be something for everyone.

SOURCE: OnLiveFans.

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