Last month, we took an in-depth look at Paradox Interactive’s then-upcoming Knights of Pen & Paper 2. The game has now been officially released on iOS and Android devices for $4.99, giving players the chance to go on an adventure inspired by pen and paper role-playing games.
In Knights of Pen & Paper 2, players control a team of up to five heroes simultaneously, as well as the game master of the session. Users choose the quests they’d like to complete, and will earn experience points for their many characters with each completed quest or turn-based battle.
Playable characters can be customized in terms of race, class and more, with each choice affecting the final character’s stats and special abilities. As characters level-up, gamers can spend skill points to unlock or upgrade these abilities and make their team stronger.
We had a chance to chat with Florian Schwarzer, senior mobile producer at Paradox Interactive, about the game, and what both newcomers and existing franchise fans can expect from this sequel.
SocialTimes: If gamers aren’t familiar with the original Knights of Pen & Paper, what should they know about the game before diving into the sequel?
Florian Schwarzer: This is a game where you control a group of teenagers, who play a pen and paper roleplaying game. If that idea makes you smile even a little, you already know all you need to enjoy both Knights of Pen & Paper games.
ST: What sorts of major differences or additions will existing franchise fans notice in this new installment?
FS: Our objective was to take Knights of Pen & Paper times two. That means 16-bit instead of 8-bit pixel art, an expanded character and combat system, real ‘80s style dungeon crawls with randomized floor-plans, upgraded item and crafting features, a new and expanded story, and more dice rolls. Oh, so many more dice rolls.
ST: The original Knights of Pen & Paper received very high ratings on iOS and Android. Did you find the majority of fans to be those with experience with pen and paper RPGs, or just avid mobile gamers who appreciated something different?
FS: I think it’s actually pretty hard to find people who don’t have some exposure to pen and paper roleplaying—either because they played or are playing themselves, or because they’ve been playing, or watching, or reading something that was heavily inspired. In our experience, most fans of Knights of Pen & Paper share this common experience—and that’s more than enough, really.
ST: How hard is it to develop a sequel that adds new content, but doesn’t stray too far from the original fans have come to know and love?
FS: One of the great things about Knights of Pen & Paper 1 is that it’s almost effortless to spend time in it. You just keep moving along. We discovered that getting that right—and having new ideas not stick out like a sore thumb—was a real challenge. There’s pretty much nothing in the game that didn’t go through several re-works to make it more ‘Knights.’
Apart from the horse sprite. That was the first thing our artists finished, and it works perfectly.
ST: How much of a role, if any, did fan feedback play in developing this sequel?
FS: First of all, the development and publishing team consists almost exclusively of people who would’ve committed felonies to be a part of this. We all adored the first game before the sequel was even an option.
Beyond that, there are quite a few features that are direct result of fan requests—like the expanded equipment and crafting systems, or more prosaically, the cloud save feature.
ST: Can players expect to see additional quests and content added to the game post-launch? Or, would those sorts of additions be better saved for a third (and so on) game in the franchise?
FS: We’re far from done with Knights of Pen & Paper 2…
ST: Are there plans to bring the game to additional mobile platforms, like Kindle devices or Windows Phone?
FS: That’s of course something we’ll always think about, but we just released the game to about 9,000 different types of devices. Our first priority is to make sure that everything works smoothly on those.
ST: Anything else you’d like to add?
FS: It’s a great privilege to work on the game. We hope the fans will like it.