Interview: Heroes of Might & Magic V

Creative director and game designer at HOMMV dev Nival Interactive talks ambitions for the strategy sequel

Thanks to Ubisoft turn-based strategy series Heroes of Might & Magic is making a welcome return in a fantasy-fuelled fifth instalment. In the development at Nival Interactive, number five in the series plunges players into a world overrun by demon swarms and it's down to a few legendary heroes to assemble armies and give evil a good platemail boot up the jacksie.

Alexander Mishulin, creative director and game designer at Nival, has recently spoken about the team's ambitions for Heroes of Might & Magic V in an interview appearing on the sequel's official website. He discusses, among other things, Nival's vision for the title, influences and what features lend the HOMM series a unique edge. You can read the interview below.

First of all, could you introduce yourself?

Mishulin: Hi, my name is Alexander Mishulin. I am Creative Director of Nival Interactive and one of the game-designers for Heroes of Might and Magic V.

Why did you want to develop the next Heroes of Might and Magic game? Was it important for you?

Mishulin: Of course, we are very excited about developing the next Heroes of Might and Magic game. We have many fans of the series among our team (actually, most of them are ?). But besides this desire we also had a great experience in game developing, including games in TBS genres and/or fantasy universe. We really felt that we COULD do the next Heroes of Might and Magic game, and that we could do it good. And now we are trying very hard to make it as great as any fan of Heroes series would dream of.

What is your ambition for this title? From what we heard so far there will be few innovations regarding the core of the game. So where is the challenge for you and what can we expect?

Mishulin: Our ambition is the "Best PC Game" of the year - the "Best Strategy" at least. ? Heroes of Might and Magic V is not just transferring the old gameplay into 3D. The game has enough innovations in it to keep several game-designers occupied for a couple of years. We tried to make the gameplay more mature, with even more strategic and tactic choices, with more complex yet still clear schemes and structures. On the other hand, we wanted the fans of the previous games feel at home in the new game with all these innovations. This is our biggest challenge, and although the game has not been played by outside gamers yet we can already see that we succeeded with that.

Etherlords, Silent Storm, and now Heroes... Your teams seem to enjoy turn-based gameplay a lot. Could you explain us why you appreciate this way of playing? What are - according to you - the advantages/disadvantages of it vs real time?

Mishulin: Turn-based genre gives you time to think the situation over and to implement the best solution possible. So I would call it the most thoughtful gameplay among all genres. Of course, real-time strategies also make you think but because you are tied with the time factor you have to do it fast - and usually you really can't afford wasting the precious time on tactics, you think more global, building your strategy. Yet because TBS is so time-consuming it is not as dynamic as RTS, and this is its main disadvantage in our present era of speed. It is especially a disadvantage in multiplayer mode, when you wait not for the computer, but for another human brain, that is thinking over all possible combos. That's why we are focusing on making the multiplayer in Heroes of Might and Magic V dynamic, smoothing the waiting time with various means.

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