Why hasn't anyone made a co-op Dungeons & Dragons game for PC, PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade before? Whatever Atari and developer Bedlam Games are finally doing the honours with Dungeons & Dragons: Daggerdale.
Pick from one of four race/class character archetypes, team up with friends and delve into dungeon after dungeon, looting, levelling and lolling around. There's an overarching story of course, plus the opportunity to bestow feats and powers and abilities upon your hero as they rise through the ranks. What's more, Bedlam's decided to ditch the turn-based rigour of D&D in favour of rip-roaring romp all sanctioned by rulebook overlord Wizards of the Coast.
Sounds good in theory. To find out more, we sat down with Bedlam Games creative director Zandro Chan for a chat. Dicey, I know.
Eurogamer: Where did the idea for Daggerdale come from?
Zandro Chan: This was something brought to us that we'd been talking to Atari about for a little while. The opportunity was extremely exciting for us to be able to work on the D&D franchise. It's something the team are passionate about and we really jumped at the chance to get involved.
Daggerdale to us is something very exciting. It's something that we're very passionate about. Dungeons & Dragons as a franchise is something we're very familiar with. The developers that worked on it are fans of D&D so it is definitely something we want to be associated with.
The Dungeons & Dragons franchise is rooted in a lot of history. There are a lot of fans who are very particular about how rule-sets work and how the adventures unfold. And we at Bedlam want to make sure that we do those fans justice. I don't think we're going to disappoint.
Eurogamer: A Dungeons & Dragons action RPG seems like a radical departure given that your last project was MIA music game Scratch: Ultimate DJ. What happened to that?
Zandro Chan: Bedlam is actually comprised of a lot of very experienced developers and a lot of us come from the action background and have created action titles prior to that. Daggerdale is not actually too much of a departure. If anything Scratch: Ultimate DJ was more of a departure.
That was a very good opportunity for us to stretch our wings and be able to do something that was outside our comfort zone.
Eurogamer: Where is Scratch: Ultimate DJ now?
Zandro Chan: Ha ha - you're not going to let this go, are you? Actually I can't talk about Scratch: Ultimate DJ and its development right now.
Eurogamer: Is it still going to come out?
Zandro Chan: I cannot comment on that right now.
Eurogamer: How many people are at Bedlam Games?
Zandro Chan: Right now we're about 60 developers. We've had all our top guys on Daggerdale since its beginnings in around March 2010.
Eurogamer: You've alluded to there being more Daggerdale games after this. How many has Atari commissioned?
Zandro Chan: This is the first part. That's something where we'll have to see how things pan out.
Eurogamer: Daggerdale's big idea is co-op dungeon crawling. Can you talk me through what my experience will be when I log on?
Zandro Chan: We have a very straightforward lobby system. Once players get in you can play the game in a number of ways. It has got a very robust single-player, and in addition you can play the game as intended, bringing friends together in a multiplayer environment. In Daggerdale you're able to play co-operatively online with up to four players, and you can also play couch co-op on a single box with two players.