ZAM Talks to Three Rings Design on Spiral Knights

Staff Writer Mike "Krelumian" Schaffnit sat down with Three Rings Design to talk about upcoming Spiral Knights features, the future of the game, and more!

It's no secret that we're big fans of Spiral Knights' simplistic hack 'n slashing mayhem, but it's been a little while since we had the chance to hop into the game to see what new things were on offer. Just four months ago, Spiral Knights was announcing that they had hit one million player accounts, and they've been almost constantly generating content for their players, ranging from adding in a shiny new PvP arena, as well as the addition of Shadow Lairs.

Eager to catch up on how Spiral Knights has been doing in the past few months, as well as what's to come for this gorgeous retro game, ZAM Staff Writer Mike "Krelumian" Schaffnit had a brief interview with Three Rings Design on all things Spiral Knights. Read on!

ZAM: Spiral Knights has been going strong since its release on Steam and has gained a reputation as a game comparable to Zelda: Four Swords! Thank you for taking the time to sit down and talk about the game's future!

Three Rings Design: Always happy to share stories from the Clockworks.

ZAM: Now back in June, Spiral Knights became one of the first to be available for download via Steam. How has Steam served for you as a releasing platform?

Three Rings Design: As I'm sure many developers would tell you, we love Steam. Steam makes the process of finding an audience easy and they have a really great, enthusiastic user base that clearly loves to play and try new games. Since Spiral Knights is fully integrated with Steam (you don't even need to create a new account!), it's very easy to give the game a try. That alone is one of the hardest parts of getting a game off the ground.

ZAM: Just last month Spiral Knights was expanded, with the addition of the Shadow Lairs. What kind of challenges are players looking at facing in these new depths?

Three Rings Design: Shadow Lairs feature the most powerful bosses in all of the Clockworks.  Players who explore these dangerous depths will also discover the face of an all-new threat to the entire world of Cradle as well as some kind of force that seeks to aid them in defeating it.  It's a big mystery that we're very excited to reveal to players in future updates!

ZAM: Is this style of deeper floors in the Clockworks a type of expansion we can expect to see consistently? Or are there other ways you intend to expand Spiral Knights?

Three Rings Design: When it comes to content updates we try and have an even spread across all depths of the Clockworks so that we're always offering something new for everyone.  Most content in Spiral Knights scales, so if we add a new level to one area of the Clockworks, it can also appear at deeper depths with different features. It's a very flexible system.

In the future we plan to continue to expand the content within the Clockworks as well as open up some new, exciting frontiers for players to explore, like the Core. 

ZAM: There have been reviewers who complain about the energy system, saying it's too restrictive and cuts you halfway through a session with your friends. With more floors to go through, do you feel this could potentially exacerbate the problem?

Three Rings Design: It's true that free players may be faced with a moment where their energy runs out, but we put a lot of thought into the system's design, to ensure that both paying and non-paying players could experience everything the game has to offer. Also, very few games give free players the opportunity to completely fund their adventures through clever play, but our in-game exchange system provides just that. It allows us to try all sorts of things knowing that the content we release can be experienced by each and every player and, ultimately, the only limiting factor anyone should ever face is time.

ZAM: Also, this expansion has a Halloween themed event where you could potentially gain flavor items that would last forever. Are we going to see more holiday events as Christmas comes around?

Three Rings Design: We really enjoyed our Halloween event and were happy to see so many players wearing festive masks. We're definitely considering events for future holidays.

ZAM: We saw the integration of PvP content back in August with the launch of King Krogmo's Coliseum. Are we going to see any more game types in the future? Maybe something objective based?

Three Rings Design: We've been really happy with the player response to our Coliseum games and plan to incorporate more PvP gameplay in the future. Lockdown was a big success and every player seems to really enjoy how it takes what they've acquired in the main game and puts a twist on how it can be used. We're very interested in incorporating Lockdown-style gameplay into future content releases.

ZAM: We've seen some amazing features come out in just a few short months: any future direction or insight that we can expect to see in Spiral Knights over the coming months?

Three Rings Design: Currently we're working on a host of largely player-suggested features that we believe will improve the game for everyone, such as allowing players to swap their gear out in dungeons and adding powerful explosions to reviving. On top of that, we're always working on new content, so expect more monsters and interesting levels soon!

ZAM: Is there anything else you want fans of the game to know?

Three Rings Design: We've really appreciated everyone's support of Spiral Knights since launch and we're routinely floored by the amount of enthusiasm many of our players have shown us. We're happy that we can offer you something different in the MMO space and plan on providing you with lots of fun and crazy adventures in the future!

ZAM: And that's all we have for now on Spiral Knights! Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions!

Mike "Krelumian" Schaffnit, Staff Writer.



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