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Back in May, Black Forest Games launched a Kickstarter campaign for DieselStörmers to make it to Steam Early Access. Last month, they met their deadline and released the Early Access version of the game on Steam. I was able to interview Mario Ragusa from Black Forest Games about the current progress, reception, and future of DieselStörmers – here is what he had to say :

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diesel3Cliqist : First, for our readers who are unfamiliar with DieselStörmers, could you explain a little bit about it for them?

Mario Ragusa : DieselStormers is a hardcore coop-action experience for up to 4 players, set in a dieselfantasy environment including random generated levels, crafting of your own guns, collecting loot to improve your Dieselknight and smashing hordes of orcs.

 

Cliqist : How long has the Black Forest Games team been working on DieselStörmers?

Mario Ragusa : We’ve been working on DieselStormers for 15 months now. But the idea for the setting has been around for 9 years. We’ve been collecting ideas since back in the days in our former studio when the development of Arcania began.

 

diesel2Cliqist : Some time back, there was a campaign for Project Ravensdale that failed to reach its funding goal. With DieselStörmers what aspects of the Kickstarter campaign, marketing, socializing with backers, and additional actions fueled DieselStörmers’s success this time around?

Mario Ragusa : A smaller scope and funding an early access game instead of a full game. In 2013 there has been a lot of internal discussion about what price to set the Kickstarter at with the funding goal of $500,000 being the amount of money to finish the entire project.  In the 2014 campaign we decided to try to fund the money we needed to get us to Steam Early Access and we succeeded.  Also we’ve been involving the community right from the start. Even the name DieselStormers was picked by the community!

 

dieselstormers4Cliqist : What inspired the concept, both story-wise and gameplay-wise, for DieselStörmers?

Mario Ragusa : It is the evolution of the idea of realizing Ravensdale. DieselStormers wasn’t directly inspired by one or two games. Some of the first things that come to mind are Contra and Metal Slug, some parts of Left 4 Dead in respect to 4-player coop against swarms of fodder with some stronger enemies mixed in, procedural loot comparable to Borderlands and layered level generation as can be seen in The Binding of Isaac.

 

dieselstormers3Cliqist : What is the current progress with DieselStörmers, since it is in early access right now?

Mario Ragusa : We are construction workers who just laid down the foundations of a building in record time and who are adding more features with every update (think window frames, heating, etc.).

Our plan is to hit “completed” state in Q2 2015, we’ve chunked our work and now we are working on the most important missing issues for the next update: like having a sense of real progression, more equipment, more content in general.

We are constantly getting feedback from the community and we’re simply excited when our fans inspire us with awesome ideas! There is a lot of awesome stuff coming in the future (epic boss fights, armor and character perk trees, new splashy intereactable objects like the cannon operated by a squad and much more).

The cool thing is, that already now the game is big fun for hours and as a player you see the progress every few weeks. 

 

Cliqist : Is there a projected release date yet?

Mario Ragusa : We’re planning DieselStormers’ final release in Q2 2015

 

dieselstormers2Cliqist : Will there be a local co-op version available in the future?

Mario Ragusa : A preliminary local co-op is already included,  but we will provide a complete new one with final release latest. With optimized camera for example. If you want to try it right now, just press “Start” on the 2nd/3rd/4th controller during an open single player session and additional players will appear.

 

Cliqist : What does the future hold for Black Forest Games? DieselStörmers and Giana Sisters was funded through Kickstarter – will you turn to crowdfunding for any future projects?

Mario Ragusa : Giana Sisters 2 is something to come for sure and there are one or two other very interesting projects in discussion. Our main focus currently is finalizing DieselStormers.  Crowdfunding is always an option for us.

 

dieselstormers1Cliqist : I’m very excited about this one – now that DieselStörmers is in early access, what has the reception from the backers been like so far?

Mario Ragusa : The huge majority of our backers are totally happy with what we’ve got to show in this early stage of development and our on-time delivery of what we promised.

There’s lots of communication between our developing team and our backers/early access player to ensure the huge amount of very useful input finds its way into the final game.

 

Cliqist : I conclude all my interviews with this question, if you could sum up DieselStörmers in five words, what would they be?

Mario Ragusa :

Hardcore co-op action, Yeah, Yeah!

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 [author image=”http://cliqist.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/julie.jpg” ]Julie Morley is a freelance writer and comic artist from Spring, Texas. She attended the Academy of Art University for two years, studying Animation and Illustration. Whilst here, she learned about writing comic scripts, storyboards, and general storytelling.  Since leaving college, she has been working on personal comic projects, stories, and illustrations. She aspires to release a self published comic within two years. For the majority of her life, she has been playing console games, typically being third-person shooters and sandboxes. Her favorite game of existence is Dark Cloud II (Dark Chronicle) and her favorite Indie game is Gone Home.[/author]

Julie Morley
Julie Morley is a freelance writer and comic artist from Spring, Texas. She attended the Academy of Art University for two years, studying Animation and Illustration. Whilst here, she learned about writing comic scripts, storyboards, and general storytelling. Since leaving college, she has been working on personal comic projects, stories, and illustrations. She aspires to release a self published comic within two years. For the majority of her life, she has been playing console games, typically being third-person shooters and sandboxes. Her favorite game of existence is Dark Cloud II (Dark Chronicle) and her favorite Indie game is Gone Home.
Julie Morley