Just recently I got a chance to speak to Daniel Connery (the leader of the Dragonpunk team) about his “Dragonpunk” project, and good thing that. As the project is a really impressive Dark Fantasy/Cyberpunk mod for “XCOM 2” (“Dragonpunk” is currently running a gofundme campaign to take its development to the next level). Furthermore, the mod also offers Co-Op functionality (I find that to be freaking awesome!), something of which should be a huge plus for anyone who loves “XCOM 2”. Any ways, so what did Connery tell us then? Well, scroll down the page to find out 😉
Could you tell us about yourself and your team?
Team Dragonpunk has nine core developers and 16 total members, including volunteers. We’re a diverse and multicultural team with members in the UK, Israel, USA, and Colombia! We have both new modders and industry legends from Bungie, Sony Interactive, and Bethesda Game Studios.
What exactly is “Dragonpunk”? I mean, is it a mod, a game or both?
Dragonpunk is a total conversion mod, which means that the Dragonpunk Universe is not necessarily the same as the XCOM 2 Universe, though we would love to have a few tie-ins. Maybe a cameo from Bradford or Shen during a mission? Using the same engine as XCOM 2 reduces the cost of development by 90%. This is not uncommon in the industry, and a great example is how Bethesda uses the same engine for both their Elder Scrolls and Fallout series.
We hope to create Dragonpunk by releasing about nine unique, free mods over the next year and a half. Once complete and funding permitting, we would love to create a standalone campaign that brings the nine mods together in refreshing, story-driven way. Each of these nine mods can be used to augment a player’s vanilla XCOM 2 game through configurable options menus, but the default settings are designed for use in a Dragonpunk campaign. Each mod is completely open source. So other modders are absolutely welcome to remake them for a more traditional XCOM 2 experience. We posted a tutorial over a month ago on how to change the picture in our new “Dragonpunk: Goblin Bazaar” mod, and I’m honestly surprised no one has yet.
Could you perhaps give us a list o the features that we can expect to see in “Dragonpunk”?
As Dragonpunk is an homage to Shadowrun, we hope to include everything that makes a great dark-fantasy meets cyberpunk game: dragons, metahumans, magic, a wider selection of drones, and a greater emphases on guerrilla tactics.
A description of each of the mods is found on our website www.dragonpunk.org
How much funding do you need in-order to fund the development of this project?
In short, we could make Dragonpunk for only 10% of what a normal AAA game currently costs, since we’re using the XCOM 2 engine. That’s even half of what platformers like “Might Number 9” costs, and this would include an entire new campaign. The difficulty in raising the needed funds comes from years of disappointing or canceled crowdfunded video games. Our goal is to rebuild player confidence, and win over the community one mod at a time. Instead of waiting for years for a game only to be cancelled with no clear explanation, we’ve provided over 52 weekly updates on twitter and quarterly playable mods. Not only does this give us excellent player feedback. So it also helps to ethically manage expectations, while still promoting the game. We want players to be as excited about Dragonpunk as we are, but don’t want to over-promise. Playable mods leading up to a campaign, lets a player know exactly what to expect far better than any crowdfunding video or E3 trailer.
Will those who have helped to fund this project get a copy of “Dragonpunk” in return for their support? Or is the mod going to be released for free to the public?
All our mods are absolutely free to the public and open source. So if we are able to work with Firaxis to launch a Kickstarter for the actual Dragonpunk Campaign. Then we’ll make it very clear what the backer rewards are, and if the Dragonpunk Campaign will ever be free. So if our current fundraising is successful, and we could get just 1 cup of coffee from every player, then every mod and a 20+ hour campaign would be absolutely free. If we do partner with Firaxis for a Kickstarter, then a Dragonpunk Campaign would most likely be a backer reward, and sold as a stand-alone DLC later to non-backers.
Will “Dragonpunk” be compatible with “XCOM 2” DLC´s such as “Alien Hunters”?
Yes, we weren’t sure at first, but all our mods are compatible with other mods including the ones from Long War Studio.
Robin Ek – Editor
The Gaming Ground
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