Dragon Commander – as defined by a fan

The Dragon Commander negotiating

One of the problems we’ve been struggling with is how to communicate what Dragon Commander is all about, given that it’s a genre-buster blending RPG, strategy and action gameplay. And suddenly, out of the blue, somebody sends me a mail that captures the feeling we’re trying to create. It was so spot on that I wanted to share it with you:

“I’m seeing a trailer of Dragon Commander that has camera zooming in on the council, with the general stamping his feet and pointing at the invasion target – then moving past to the bedroom, here’s the dragon knight kissing his wife and donning his armor – and then to the deck, with the fleet taking off – and then into the battle, into the glorious battle, where there’s almost a loss, a retreat, a re-groupment with a top-down view, – followed by victory, followed by negotiation with captured prisoners, – followed by the council again, clapping and drinking, and in the background – a wife calling to the bedroom, and a scientist eager to show new blueprints. This is what would make me buy the game.”
  • http://www.facebook.com/Dragonseekers Sergei Klimov

    It’s pretty hard, normally, to find a good definition of a game because people who played it define differently from people who only consider whether or not to play it.

    For example, if I try to define Star Con 2, I’m going to say that this is an intergalactic adventure where you meet funny aliens and save the universe, constructing ships and fighting other ships in the process, but I doubt that this delivers the right image.

    I may have been better off saying that it’s a genre blender, a space opera, and a cult game. There, it makes me get my wallet out…

    • Illusive Man

      “Intergalactic adventure” would sound great for a new release, but “cult game” best suits a many-years-old-game like this one.

      However, the best way to communicate on a game recently is not written words, it’s by gameplay videos. Eventually commented ones.

      Maybe it’s the evolution of the “social networking” generation, the rise of YouTube and alike :
      WYSIWYW ( What You See Is What You Want )

      • http://www.facebook.com/Dragonseekers Sergei Klimov

        The YouTube reviews? Yes, yes, yes 😉

        I’ve been looking at the games media back home in Russia, which is looking for the new exciting format, and the most successful attempts resulted in 2 things:

        * the editors/journalists play something brand new, in real-time, broadcast to readers who can twit comments and get a response to them

        * they play something real old, like 8-bit classics, and make fun of it while they play

        Reading a simple review after that is a challenge.

        On the other hand, what I’ve seen so far in the video format is that it tends to make some things better, and some things worse, for example a static-screen game like a 4X strategy would look more boring that it is, for all the management time, but a dynamic action or RPG would look more promising than it is for the reason of viewers thinking “well well well, and probably there’s a whole new level and a whole new world that the reviewer did not show me yet” – i.e. the big promise of exploration.

        With @DragonCdrGame:twitter we’re budgeting a lot of time specifically on game trailers, for this reason. How do we show what the game is really about, without cliche descriptions, and in under 10 minutes.

        • Illusive Man

          Great ! One more follower now 😀

          But please don’t show too much of the game. It’s terrible when players can say during the game : “Oh, i saw that during the propanganda … err … promotion. And that. And this too.”
          And finally there’s no surprises left, or so little.
          I guess/hope Dragon Commander will be huge enough for surprises…

          What made me looking forward to this game was :
          1) gamescom vidéos
          2) informations through this blog

          Yet my first impressions wasn’t really good because of the pokemon-style image with the 2 Dragons and some forums post like “we dont know how to define the game”.

          So I can’t wait for some game trailer now !
          F5 F5 F5 F5 F5…

          • http://www.facebook.com/Dragonseekers Sergei Klimov

            thanks for all the good wishes 😉

            i fully agree that the confusion with the definition of the game was there, after the announcement. some press listed Dragon Commander under TBS genre, and people complained – a TBS like that?? – and some listed under RPG, however if you try to imagine it like this, without a strategy, then it’s Action RPG, and maybe even a lot of Action and a bit of RPG.

            in the ideal world, we would have waited until beta to announce the game… but here, we wanted the reaction earlier, and the attention sooner, to work on the local publishing deals.

            we’ve gone through the way we will expose the game this year, and i’m sure you’ll be surprised a few times as you see what’s really inside that big black box. spoilers, we hate. luckily there’s tons of characters and storylines so we’ll probably use 1 to illustrate, but keep the rest for players.