People either love 'em or hate 'em, but Facebook games provide 10-second increments of gaming fun in between work for a lot of gamers trapped in an office every day. There are a mind-boggling number of options out there, so even if you hate farming and think the Mafia can fight its own wars for all you care, you can probably find a Facebook game that you'd enjoy. One of the games that I've been playing on and off for the past few months is a Vikings-themed RPG called Vikings of Thule ( main site , facebook page , which just launched its first expansion. I sat down with the game's Senior Producer, Íris Kristín Andrésdóttir, to discuss the update and where she wants to take the game in the future.
Giveaway: Leave a comment telling us where you would pillage if you were a Viking in today's world and guaranteed to succeed to be entered to win one of 20 Vikings of Thule Posters (picture at the end of the article). This contest is open to everyone, everywhere (yes, even Canadians).
VoT just launched an expansion titled "Chapter 1: Slayer of Wyrms", which introduces the game's first questline. Before now, the game was all about dueling other players in turn-based combat by using abilities in the deck of powers, movements, and buffs that you've collected by winning duels. The quests are a more story-driven experience (although I still wouldn't consider it a reading man's game), with less combat choices and more watching cool art flash across the scene as dice rolls behind the screen calculate the outcome. It was a fun change of pace from the rest of the game, but I wanted to know more of Gogogic's plans before I was sold on the new direction.
PCG: What did you want to accomplish with single-player content that you felt like you couldn't do in the existing multiplayer gameplay?
Andrésdóttir: We read through a lot of feedback, and many of our players were requesting single-player quests. We instantly liked that idea because it enabled us to come up with more content within Vikings of Thule--mini-games, new storylines and other cool things. We would like to add more quests, but the frequency and size of them really depends on player reaction.
PCG: Combat functions fairly differently in single player--with a very hands-off approach to deciding who wins--than even fighting against AI in duels. What inspired that decision?
Andrésdóttir: As this was the first quest we were going to release for VoT, we wanted to add something new to the game. The first quest is basically introducing some new story elements while broadening the scope of the game. There is a real possibility that we will use the “traditional” combat system used in duels for future quests. We may even make a hybrid of the two.
PCG: The story feels very Norse-y, but how closely are you actually sticking to authentic Norse lore?
Andrésdóttir: The story is inspired but Norse lore, but it is not supposed to follow it to the letter. We are definitely writing our own stories while doing our best to keep the look, feel and stories authentic. In that sense the game serves as a good introduction for those who want to learn a bit about Norse mythology and Viking-culture. For example, the quotations from Norse poems found within the game all actually date back to the time of the Vikings.
PCG: Will players be able to make decisions that affect the story or will every player's story play out the exact same?
Andrésdóttir: The game can be played in different ways. You can focus on gaining riches and maximize your economic gains or you can go berserk and fight your way through the game. How the game plays out depends on the preferences of each player. So, yes, the story you write for yourself within the game really depends on your own personal approach.
PCG: Right now, there's just the one questline implemented into the game. How often do you want to release new quests in the future?
Andrésdóttir: Ideally, we would like to release new content on a monthly basis. Again, this depends on player reaction and the size of our ideas. Right now, there is no shortage of new content and potential features which we hope to include.
PCG: What are some stories you'd like to explore in future quests?
Andrésdóttir: As the game is rooted in Norse mythology and the incredibly rich Viking culture and history, there are many areas to explore. We would like to expand on different conflicts between mythical creatures and the gods. We may also have the players involve themselves more in the day-to-day life in Thule. Another idea is to build up quests and specific storylines for each of the map's four major settlements to get a sense of their own identities. The possibilities are endless, but we will first hear what our players say before moving forward.
So what do you think? We all know Vikings are the epitome of masculinity, so what heroic Viking feats would you like to see made into a quest in the game?