The video game version of fantasy board game Talisman launches in two weeks, its developer has told Eurogamer.
Nomad Games, which rose from the ashes of Warhammer 40k: Kill Team developer THQ Digital Warrington, is targeting a launch on PC on the 22nd or 23rd November. It costs £5.99.
The game that launches this month is Talisman: Prologue, a single-player quest-based virtual version of the board game. It's officially licensed from Games Workshop and uses the rules, characters and systems fans of the board game will be familiar with.
Prologue includes 10 characters, ranging from the warrior to the wizard, who each have five quests. Once you complete a character's set of quests an “uber” quest is unlocked. It's designed as an introduction to the game, with a bigger version, complete with AI, multiplayer and a new set of quests for Prologue, due to launch on smartphones, tablets and PC early 2013.
“When you look at the rules you think, 'oh gosh, so, in these circumstances that can't do that and this can't do that,' Nomad commercial director Don Whiteford explained. “The virtual product can simplify that and deliver it to the player in a palatable way."
The quest system is designed to give players a way to experience all the different characters and discover their strengths and weaknesses. “If you've got the board game, in order to try out 10 different characters you're going to have to play the thing 10 times,” Whiteford said. “And even then after 10 times you're probably not fully au fait with what that character can really do strategically.
“The questing system is a great way to get people into the game and let you try stuff out.”
Nomad accepted Games Workshop's offer to work on Talisman because of the success it had seen others have with video game versions of board games, such as Carcassonne, Catan and Ticket to Ride - that, and one of its designers was a huge Talisman fan.
“People are finding that environment a comfy place to play this kind of game,” Whiteford said. “It's like point and click adventures. You go at your own pace, do some reading, and you think. It's a completely different experience to flying a fast jet at Mach-2 and trying to drop a bomb into a toilet window.”
Whiteford added: “You won't ever beat that evening experience of, let's get together and play a game of Talisman with your mates. You get a load of beer in and you sit down, you get the physical board game out. There's no mistake. In that environment that's where you play the board game.
“But a lot of people don't find themselves in the situation where their mates are around, or there not enough to play, or they're travelling and they like the game. That's where the virtual version comes into its own.”
Talisman also has a Steam Greenlight page. Whiteford reckons it has a 50/50 chance of being greenlit on Valve's community approval platform. Even if it is successful, it could be months before it launches on Steam.