When Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes arrived last year on the Nintendo DS, it was a revelation. Achieving high ratings across the board, it was a game that proved that new ideas and brilliant execution were the key to a great RPG on the DS — not merely touch based gimmicks. With its 30 hour long campaign, as well as an engrossing story and head-scratching puzzle-based gameplay mechanics, it’s a game that would definitely qualify as one of my favorites on the platform.

So when the Xbox Live Arcade/ PlayStation Network version was announced, I have to admit I was a little skeptical. Clash of Heroes was perfectly suited to the dual screen setup and although the idea of a redesigned game in glorious HD sounded enticing, I was worried that the guys at Capybara Games were simply in it to make a quick buck.

Fortunately however, Game Rant‘s very own Rob Frappier was able to get an interview with Dan Vader, writer of Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes, at the C2E2 in Chicago, and all those fears can be put to rest.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RjPVZhhd6b0

Game Rant: What changes were made to the game as it heads to PSN and XBLA?

Dan Vader: We started from scratch. This is in no way a port of the DS game. We took the things that work about the original game and we kept the story, we kept the characters, we kept the mechanics and then we just completely redid the art from scratch. The original game was a very cute, very beautiful pixel game and as a company, we’re very passionate about pixel art and that ‘retro look’, and we’re big old-school gamers so it was a thrill to make that kind of a game. And now, for the HD crowd, for [XBLA/PSN], we knew we had to bring it to that next level.

We had a similar experience making another game of ours — Critter Crunch – where we made [the game] for iPhone, mobile… [It was] a really beautiful game, we brought it to PSN and completely rethought the art from scratch and the whole game was hand-animated. We did the same thing with [Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes] — the same animator that worked on Critter Crunch, Kiko — the lead animator from Critter Crunch — is also the lead animator for Clash of Heroes, except this time, he’s got the whole art team working together to really bring this beautiful, high quality, hand animated artwork. So you have animations that are incredibly detailed and minute, all hand animated by the artists. Some attacks have a hundred frames of animation, so it’s sort of blurring the lines between game and animated movie. That’s what we tried to do with Critter Crunch (and I think we did a fantastic job with it, we got a lot of great response on that) and we’re doing the same thing with Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes. It’s just making it this beautiful, lush, sumptuous visual experience.

GR: What is the future of mobile gaming?

DV: Well, I know we’re very excited about downloadable platforms. We think it’s a really cool way to deliver the games to the audience. We’re definitely committed to doing things — we’ve already done things on downloadable platforms (Critter Crunch for PSN) — and we have some upcoming things we’re working on. So, we love the downloadable marketplace. As far as mobile; we started in mobile development and, I mean, look at the way the iPhone is going — there’s a lot of cool things happening on there. We’re developing a really cool iPhone game right now and so, I think ideally, we like to try to do both — have the freedom to do both. They’re both really exciting and they’re both going to morph and change — they already have changed so much since their inception that I think they’re both really exciting.

GR: Do you have any advice on getting into the industry as a game developer?

DV: We’re a small, independent company made up of game lovers who wanted to work in the industry and didn’t know how. The way that the company started was just a bunch of people on a forum saying “Let’s start a game company” and that’s what happened! It was sort of a collective, and little by little, people left and it focused down onto the most committed and those people are still there today, and it’s a true indie spirit within the company. I guess my advice would be to just… try to make a game! You know, make a small, focused game and hopefully someone will take notice.

And that’s the cool thing about the downloadable platforms and the new surge in attention towards indie games — you don’t have to be a juggernaut to make a game. You can be one guy in your apartment — look at Braid. You can be a really small team making a really focused thing and it can be a hit! It can really strike a chord and connect with people, so I’d say now is the best time ever to get into games. You just have to believe that there isn’t this giant wall in front of you.

GR: When will Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes launch?

DV: We don’t have a launch date, but it’s coming sometime this Summer.

GR: Great! Thank you very much for your time.

Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes HD is coming to the Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network sometime this Summer, but until then, you can find the original title out now on Nintendo DS.

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