Ananki Game Studio is developing a new tower defense game called The Fate of Baldr. We spoke with the developers to ask them a few questions and learn more about the project. You will find out what came of it from this exclusive interview from the MMO13.ru portal.
Hello. First of all, I would like to say thank you very much for agreeing to give us an interview. Please tell us more about your Ananki Game Studio and why you decided to develop The Fate of Baldr.
Ananki Game studio is a small indie game studio based in Oslo, Norway. The company was founded in 2017 as a hobby project, but we quickly discovered that game development was much more fun than our day jobs. In 2020, we received funding that allowed us to quit our day jobs and focus 100% on game development. To date we have released the following games:
- ZMOCK is an old-school voxel-style arcade game for iOS and Android. — 2020
- FANDUS – developed in collaboration with a Norwegian speech therapist. It is an educational tool for Norwegian children in preparation for learning to read. — 2021
Since the summer of 2021, we have been fully engaged in development of The Fate of Baldr. The main reason for its creation is that we really wanted to make a co-op game that would be fun to play as a single player game.
Tell us what the title The Fate of Baldr means?
Balder is the son of Frigg and Odin. He is loved by every creature in the world, but he has nightmares about his fate – his own death. Frightened, his mother Frigga sets off on a journey to all nine worlds. In each of them, she forces every living creature and object to assure her that they will not harm Balder. However, she forgets about Mistletoe. When Loki, the god of cunning and deception, learns about Mistletoe, he creates an arrow from it and arranges the death of Balder. Seeing Balder’s death, all the gods are afraid because they know that this event marks the beginning of Ragnarok, the end of times! This is where the game begins: Frigga, Balder’s mother, asks for the help of brave players to raise Balder from the dead in order to change his fate and prevent Ragnarok.
Judging by the graphical style and setting, were you inspired by the once popular game Valheim?
To some extent, of course! Although the similarities lie mainly in the fact that they are both third-person co-op games with a Viking theme. The Fate of Baldr is primarily a tower defense game. In terms of game mechanics, we’re probably closer to games like Orcs must die!, Dungeon defenders, and Kingdom Rush.
Is The Fate of Baldr a service game with long-term support? Or will we get the full version of the game after purchasing?
After purchase, the player will receive the full version of the game. We have ideas for some DLC, but we haven’t made any decisions about it yet.
Tell us about the amount of content in the game? How many cards, monsters, towers are there in total?
Each game level represents one of the nine worlds known from Norse mythology. Additionally, there is a tutorial level at the beginning of the game, for a total of 10 unique worlds.
To complete the game, players must defeat the bosses of all worlds. Each world introduces several new enemy types, inspired by creatures/gods known from mythology, with their own unique abilities. Enemies will appear in increasingly difficult waves, with the last wave on each planet being the most difficult. You will then face the boss of the planet, as well as several of his minions.
There are three main categories of towers in the game:
- Physical – These towers deal physical damage. They are effective against unprotected opponents and weak against shielded ones. The basic physical tower has low damage, rate of fire and attack range, but can be upgraded to a long-range tower or a massive damage tower.
- Arcana – These towers deal arcane damage. They are effective against enemies with shields and weak against enemies without shields. The basic Arcane Tower has low damage, shot speed and attack range, but can be upgraded to a long-range tower or a massive damage tower.
- Totems – Each player class has access to unique totem towers: one slows down enemies, another makes them vulnerable to incoming damage, a third increases the player’s energy gain*, and the last one can heal players. Each tower can be upgraded to increase its damage, rate of fire, range, health, and more.
*Energy is the currency you receive and spend while on the planet. The main source of energy is from the player character performing “active” actions such as destroying resource nodes, harming enemies and others, but you will also receive a small percentage of energy when towers or other players harm enemies.
You can spend energy in a few different ways: use it to briefly buff a selected tower, increasing its effectiveness, to increase the player character’s stats (see details below), or to perform a ranged “ultimate attack” (if you’ve unlocked one).
Does the strength of opponents change depending on the number of players in the co-op?
Yes, the enemy’s strength and health increases depending on the number of players.
Is there leveling in the game, and what does it affect?
Yes, there are many things that can be upgraded:
- Planet Upgrades/Temporary Upgrades – While on a planet, you can spend energy to increase your melee damage, ranged damage, health, or speed. These upgrades will be reset as soon as you leave the planet.
- Host Upgrades – Between each level, the Vikings rest on their ship. Here the host (Player 1) can spend a special type of resource on “global” improvements. Some upgrades unlock abilities such as shielding, parrying attacks, strong melee attacks, gaining ammo, and so on. Others reduce the cost of building towers, improve the characteristics of towers (damage, range, rate of fire)
- Class Ranks – When you complete a stage, you increase the rank of the selected class. Increasing your rank unlocks higher levels of your unique totem, as well as unlocking class-specific abilities. For example, the Hird class (sniper) at rank two unlocks the “piercing shot”. After a headshot, the next shot will be a piercing one, giving him the ability to damage multiple enemies with one shot. Class rank is saved for each player, so a player who reaches Rank 2 in a single player game will retain that progress when joining their friends in a co-op game.
Replay value is very important in games like this. What do you do to prevent the player from getting bored after two missions?
We are very focused on making the gameplay fun for players. As you move through the world, you unlock new towers, skills and abilities. We are confident that players will have a lot of fun in both single player and co-op modes, encountering new enemies and unique bosses. We’ll also be adding Steam achievements for those who like to complete games. For example, “Finish the game with the Hird class (sniper)” and so on.
Will there be modes with alternative rules in the game?
We will add a difficult mode for experienced players. Here, players will face stronger enemies while having access to fewer resources.
How do you feel about user-generated content? Is there any plans for official support for modifications? If not, will you prevent them from appearing?
We believe that some mods are great additions to games, however we did not plan to support any mods.
Are you going to release the game in Early Access first? Or will we get a full release right away?
The game will be released as a full release version.
How much will The Fate of Baldr cost?
If you look at the pricing algorithm on Steam, then for the Russian market it will probably cost about 920 ₽.
The Fate of Baldr will not have Russian language support, according to the Steam page. Is there a chance of a translation in the future?
Yes, we are definitely considering this option.
Are there any plans to release a console version?
At the moment we have no plans to release a console version. However, the game will support a gamepad, so that may be an option down the line.
Thanks for answers. Would you like to say a few words to the visitors of the MMO13.ru portal?
Thank you very much for reading about us! If you think this game sounds interesting, feel free to wishlist it on Steam to receive news and release offers.