F-Centre Interview

Original content, in Russian, can be found at the F-Centre.

The Introduction

Heroes of Might and Magic... Some have started with the age-old game of King's Bounty, while others have begun playing this legendary series step-by-step since the third or fourth part... As has been noticed by one of my colleagues, in due time after the release of one of the "Heroes of Might and Magic" (I shall try to transfer provisional sense) - "... On my computer gnomes, fairies, dragons and other living creatures have made me suffer nedosypanie, red eyes, crumbs on the keyboard from meal in front of the monitor ... ". And business was - strategy with an inexpressible atmosphere and fascinating charm once and for all.

The 3DO Company has sunk into oblivion, and the question concerning who will develop Heroes of Might and Magic V - has hung in mid-air. With pleasure we have accepted a message, that this responsible work was incured by Nival Interactive. And it is twice as pleasant, that we can conduct an interview with developers Heroes of Might and Magic V in our native language - Russian...


Alexey Perevertajlov: Hello. First of all, it would be fitting for you to introduce yourselves.

Ilya Karpinsky: Ilya Karpinsky, the assistant to the project head of Heroes of Might and Magic 5.

Alexander Mishulin: Alexander Mishulin, creative director of Nival Interactive, one of the leading game-designers of Heroes of Might and Magic V.

Alexey Perevertajlov: Our first question: what influences do Ubisoft have on development? Whether it makes audit, and whow frequently? Do they strongly interfere with the process of game creation? Do they participate in the creation of the game (indirectly or directly), as well as the people who created the previous parts of Heroes of Might and Magic?

Ilya Karpinsky: Ubisoft, certainly, makes audit of all event and acts as the constant adviser by development. The people created previous parts Heroes of Might and Magic in development do not participate - the company 3DO has gone bankrupt, and at present I do not know anything about destiny of those people which were in its structure.

Alexander Mishulin: I would like to add. The music of the game is written by Rob King, who created musical score of the previous parts. And here if you wished to ask about John Kaningema's participation it - does not participate. This was the decision of Ubisoft.

Alexey Perevertajlov: It is clear. Have you received any information from the previous versions to keep in the game?

Alexander Mishulin: Naturally, certain information was given. But, more likely, it has been given to us just for reference - and we have not been obliged to use this information in the development.

Alexey Perevertajlov: That is, to you have given space for own ideas? How much are you allowed to change or add to the game?

Alexander Mishulin: An amount of our ideas have entered into game. Therefore there is big enough space for your own decisions. At Ubisoft there is a precise representation of what they want from this game, and much of their wishes also have been included. At Ubisoft there is a command which supervises development of all the Might and Magic world, both for game developed by us, and for the subsequent games in this Universe. They know what wish to see in this world, and wantit to be carried out. In their command there are artists who are engaged in graphic style of each of races, and represent sketches on the basis of our finished models.

Alexey Perevertajlov: A question on the graphic cursor. Whether there was at it a donor? Whether the "Demiurges" project has affected the creation Heroes of Might and Magic V? In general, whether the project "Demiurges" (in the western variant - Etherlords) has given Ubisoft an idea - instead of whether to entrust Nival Interactive development Heroes of Might and Magic V?

Alexander Mishulin: It is clear, that a part of the internal operating time applied in other projects, is and in game "cursor" Heroes of Might and Magic V. Therefore it is possible to tell, that it partially is based on other cursors. In general, any "cursor" for a long time an existing command of developers partly is based on available operating time. But as a whole game "cursor" Heroes of Might and Magic V - independent enough. Now as to "Demiurges"... The Art-director of "Demiurges" and art-director Heroes of Might and Magic V is the same person, therefore there certainly is communication. But other communications are not present - we did not re-use creation from "Demiurges" and did not insert them into the world of Heroes of Might and Magic V, do not worry. What is certain about Ubisoft and on the decision on work with us? Basically, our personal desire to do this game, and, certainly, our experience including development turn-based strategy, also has played a role. We have requested Ubisoft that we can make this game, and we really wish it to make. We participated in the tender for reception of the given project, and we have won it.

Alexey Perevertajlov: Well, it is interesting enough information... Now we shall be passed on races. What of them were kept, and how many are absolutely new? And still, if it is possible - to give the brief characteristic [special ability] of each of the races.

Alexander Mishulin: The First race is Haven, the humans.
It is a little defensively-oriented, the strongest creature - the Archangel. We at each race have a unique feature (for example, earlier in the Necropolis was Necromancy, while other races had none but now each race has something unique). People have an opportunity train the weak creatures into stronger ones. Roughly speaking if you to train peasants, eventually they can be transformed into Knights and Paladins after a long time. But for a big price. This mechanism is balanced enough at present.

Further there are demons - Inferno.
The foundation of the Haven is basically centred on crusaders, religion, and the highest essence of these two elements - the Archangel, and paladins - the knights of church... And here Inferno are demons (the opposite to humans). They are very offensive, but in exchange they have a weak defense and low hit points. Their main ability - is to summon creatures on the battlefield. The strongest creature in Inferno - Archdevil.

Sylvan (formerly Rampart and Preserve).
The Natural town. Though, we have tried to focus towns around any certain idea or race. In case of Sylvan, it is the evles. Their main feature - the ability to choose your opponent and change yourself accordingly. For example – I am playing against the Necropolis faction and I am bothered by his Liches. I decide to fight better against the Liches. I can’t choose too many “favoured” enemies, their number is rather small. But after making a few choices – I can fight effectively better against my opponent. The strongest essence - Green (or Emerald) Dragon. The town is constructed on elves, and there are some unique creations like Hunters, War Dancers and Druids.

The dead wizards, the Necropolis.
Is based on necromancy. At race - most a simple way to fill up the army (due to an opportunity to transform alive essences into re-animated the fallen soldiers). The strongest creation - the Spectral dragon.

Academy (formerly Wizard, Tower, Academy)
It, first of all is a magic town, with the specialty of realising flight. All towns are constructed around of idea of that we have a magic, that construct their own creatures, such as the Golem, and also are available are those called essences (for example, the Genie or Rakshasa). It turns out - magicians and their assistants created or caused in the various ways. The most powerful creature - the Titan. The race has an opportunity to create the mini-artefacts for the creations with which can have a small influence on the army - in more defensive party or more attacking or in afaster army.

The town devoted dark elves. Previously, the Dungeon has been devoted to the creatures living in dungeons or vaults according to the developers. And if cave men still somehow could live in vaults that jellyfishes - for me a riddle there did. And to have the town as simply certain collection of essences to us it would not be desirable. At all of us towns concentrate around of any idea. Here as uniting idea have served dark elves which basically, earlier in Universe Might and Magic were, but in Heroes of Might and Magic they did not appear. Actually, now they will appear - having introduced with themselves novelty in Universe Heroes of Might and Magic, in fact this race - absolutely new to this series. The basic idea - in the town is not enough creatures, they - elite. They grow very slowly per week, and they cost - dearly (much more dearly, than creatures at other races). However, thus they noticeably are stronger. The town is strongly focused on magic - in it will find magicians with all advantages of attacking magic. The strongest essence - the Black dragon, who the dark elves worship. Yes, and yet another feature of the dark elfves - an opportunity of a defined attacking combination. The correct sequence of impacts puts greater harm to the opponent.

Alexey Perevertajlov: Please tell us about the towns. How many structures will there be in them, whether there will be upgrades of buildings, whether there will be restrictions on development of cities? Whether there will be shipyards, the ships, travel on the sea? What buildings in cities will be unique?

Alexander Mishulin: We shall begin with more simple things. Shipyards, the seas, the ships - are all in, actually, as it has been in all previous games of the series. In cities will be approximately as many structures, the same as in the previous games. It is natural, if there are upgrades of creatures, that there are upgrades of buildings. For example, the same Mage Tower which always gradually built up up. The concept of construction is similar to the previous games. However, it will not work as in the fourth part of Heroes of Might and Magic where there was a branching at the further choice of buildings [i.e. the magic annexes of the neighbouring alignments]. I shall not recollect now all unique buildings... I shall tell one - they are responsible for unique opportunities of each race. Accordingly, time unique opportunities of races unique buildings were added also were added. There are also structures which simply give certain additional bonuses to city. At any of races it will be the best defense of city, another town can buy artefacts... Basically, such ideology was as it was before, but now these buildings will be reshuffled.

Ilya Karpinsky: Well, there are more in some towns and less in others.

Alexander Mishulin: It depends on the features of the race.

Alexey Perevertajlov: About town siege, has the mechanism changed, or remained how it was? Are there ballistae, siege instruments, towers of a defending party?

Alexander Mishulin: There are Catapults, towers, walls. There are also barrier before walls (and it - is unessential (not necessarily a moat). Naturally, to be protected in the town it is easier, than without the town.

Alexey Perevertajlov: It would be desirable to hear something about the plot. What campaigns will be accessible?

Larissa Nuretdinova: If we tell you now, it won't be fun to play!

Alexander Mishulin: But the general words any it is possible to tell. The plot will cover all races, and during a subject line you will manage to play for each of races. The plot is transferred by different ways, and is more colourful, than usually (the standard static screen with two pages of the text). A concrete plot - meanwhile the strict secret, about it becomes known only when the game is released.

Alexey Perevertajlov: There is a question on such aspect as reorganization and destruction of towns. It is already known, what in Heroes of Might and Magic V that it will not occur, therefore it would be desirable to learn, how personally you concern to such idea? Particularly - to such opportunity, how reorganization of the town in the town of that race for which itself you play, or destruction of the enemy town up to the basis? Examples of such mechanism already are - the same Warlords, for example. In fact sometimes towns of enemies on strategic boundaries are annoyances, and to type under the banners groups of devils, playing missions against them (for noble people) - it is somehow illogical...

Alexander Mishulin: I shall formulate so. Warlords differs very strongly from Heroes of Might and Magic on game processes. That and at other series has fans. If we shall enter a described element into game may be, that only to fans of both series will have on a shower such risk. To please all at once - it will not turn out. Besides, too different are these games key ideas. Many fans of Heroes of Might and Magic, winning the town, start it to defend, care and cherish, they can control it. Though basically, the idea is clear, it is possible to try to construct the game and thus, and it can be interesting enough, I agree. But how much it is pleasant to fans - I, to tell the truth, I do not know...

Alexey Perevertajlov: I think those who like to care and cherish towns will protect them, and not destroy them, there are no problems...

Alexander Mishulin: Well, but, for example I, in Warlords, very much value town, but I should destroy them to have a safe dead zone. Besides on a card of Heroes of Might and Magic it is much less than towns, than on card Warlords... And the role of towns in these games also strongly differs. In Universe Heroes of Might and Magic from the very beginning each new captured town are resources, additional opportunities which give special constructions, well and at last, army. And we do not wish to break this tradition. [I.e. no razing or creation of towns]

Alexey Perevertajlov: It is clear. Was it difficult to balance the game? Can you tell us something about the artificial intelligence? The difficult levels of the AI?

Alexander Mishulin: The game balance is still being sorted - proceeds beta-testing - process, just and called to balance game process. Therefore there is no problem in balance - I am assured of it. As for AI... We have been working on the AI for 1.5 years already. Everyone who now has access to game, steadfastly study it find that it is pleasant. Though, it while still has flaws, and we it yet have not learned a number of artful things - for example, as to the opportunity of griffins to fly up and land through a course. Here, the player can already predict what creature it is going to attack. The person does it at times due to intuition, and the AI needs to be changed. And we almost at each creation have any features which should be used. Therefore to any complex things to us still will have to train AI. And so, in fight it already is looked pretty well, being the clever opponent who at times presents surprises can exploit the AI. As it turns out, it prompts us to study the weak places of the balance. Second part AI - a strategic card and movings after it. This part already now looks not bad though we have not finished still its development. We still have time, and we shall finally grind it by the moment of an output of game. Levels of complexity - it is doubtless, will be. Probably, them will be not five as it was earlier. Though at present we cannot press in such details.

Alexey Perevertajlov: Could you tell us about the units? What the special abilities, what upgrade system will there be? Whether there will be a conformity of units concerning morale?

Alexander Mishulin: It is natural, that if you had one army of the same race, it would be better than an Archangel and an Archdevil fighting together. Morale and luck will return. As for special abilities... Now practically each creature possesses a unique ability. A number from them is realized around of idea of attacks on the areas - around of itself or on some cells before itself. Earlier it was only at some creations. Many special opportunities such as the griffins' sky attack are still unbalanced, and consequently we cannot go into details - they can vary, and they are effective enough. And though we while are compelled to keep silent, some abilities we can already designate. For example, the charge of the Paladins will return. A number of creatures have received new abilities which earlier have not been available to it before. By the way, fight became more interesting - tactical opportunities become more prevalent. It will be necessary to move armies more accurately on the battlefield.

Alexey Perevertajlov: How many will be unique units at race?

Alexander Mishulin: Seven units in towns, plus their upgrade.

Alexey Perevertajlov: How about the resources?

Alexander Mishulin: In this sense there won't be anything new - the same resources, as before - gold, sulfur, mercury wood, ore, gems and crystal... The Economic model and base have not been changed.

Alexey Perevertajlov: And the possible structures? All have remained the same?

Alexander Mishulin: No. Some old structures haven gone, some new ones have been added. I do not remember the list, but about ideological classes to tell it is possible. There are the creature dwellings, there are the buildings, giving bonuses to morale and/or luck. There will be also places where you receive treasures if you beat the guards. There are structures which strengthen characteristics of the hero. So classes of structures have remained, and here in a reality there were somechanges.

Alexey Perevertajlov: As for magic; are there any new spells or spell schools?

Larissa Nuretdinova: We will reveal more about the magic system in late November.

Alexey Perevertajlov: But all in fact already was seen spellbook on demos, and with some kinds of magic - Magic Fist and some others.

Ilya Karpinsky: that you could see in the demos is there could be a simple visualization of effects. Though the same Magic Fist was already in the Might and Magic Universe.

Alexander Mishulin: Certainly, there will be also favourite old spells, but there will be also new ones. Naturally, the Bless spell. ?At heroes on a battlefield also will than borrow.? Thus on their course it is allocated not only a spell, more aggressive, instead of magic heroes can make any other actions, actively participating in fight. In the Haven the hero can leave on a battlefield and strike on enemy creature. [Holy Charge ability]

Alexey Perevertajlov: Tell something about artefacts in game. As you have already slightly opened a veil above an ability of their creation on the battlefield.

Alexander Mishulin: Yes, the Academy can create tiny artefacts for the creations. And these artefacts will be kept by the units, and vanish only at destruction of all creations of a stack. There will also be a Grail with obelisks, well and artefacts in game, certainly, are present. Them as it is usual, it is not possible to hang up on the hero, and here the concrete list result for memory I can. There will be also old known artefacts, and, naturally, new. I can tell, that as "combination of artefacts" which was in Heroes III will not be seen. You remember - has come to be at war, has killed the enemy hero and you has fallen down one and a half ten artefacts. At times on their hero already there is no place to hang up, twenty more pieces in a backpack, " and one more on road rolls, but well it, I shall not follow it "... Such situations at us will not be, as they appear on an artefact. There will be less magic artefacts, but they will be more powerful.

Alexey Perevertajlov: Will there be a Map-maker tool? Will players have any tools to create their own campaigns? Is it possibile for a player to create his own mini-addons, like mods in Neverwinter Nights? Alexander Mishulin: Aurora (a tool of module creation for Neverwinter Nights) - is a very serious thing. Certainly, we thought about such things. Neverwinter Nights is build around Aurora, we understand the demands of player community to be able to create their own maps and campaigns, but we will not give such freedom as in Aurora - Neverwinter Nights. You will be able to create and change maps, but campaigns - is a future matter. HoMM entered the 3D, and it will be more difficult for players to create good maps, it will take some skills. The rules of world-bulding changed and detail is rather high, so it wont be easy.

Alexey Perevertajlov: And can you tell us something about the multiplayer mode?

Alexander Mishulin: It will be possible to play on a local network, through the Internet by means of the Ubi.com site, and there will be Hot Seat. There is a usual game in the strategic mode, there is a mode with simultaneous turns of all players is when some players on strategic card go in parallel until there will be a conflict of interests. The conflict of interests - concept complex enough, but roughly speaking if I am within reach of another hero there is already potential for conflict. If I am within the limits of a course and have an access to Dimension Door is too the conflict of interests, and it is necessary to be switched in a step-by-step mode further. They are only some examples. So, while there are no conflicts, it is possible to play in parallel, that strongly saves time to all players. There is still mode Ghost Mode - when the player can something be engaged during the opponent's turn. It will be possible to operate some phantoms and to soil to the contender. It pressures the player to make his/her turn quicker, as the longer he/she takes, the more time you have to move your ghost, enforcing faster play. There is the Duel Mode - when it is possible to play quickly hero against hero. If usual game with a strategic game is some hours, then in the Duel mode it will be ten minutes or so.

Alexey Perevertajlov: Previous "Heroes of Might and Magic" games paid off due to uncountable packages of expansion and add-ons. Do you reflect on such prospects?

Alexander Mishulin: The owner of the license - Ubisoft, therefore all questions concerning packages of expansion will be solved there.

Alexey Perevertajlov: Last question - what current system requirements and when game will be published?

Larissa Nuretdinova: System requirements are not formulated yet.

Alexander Mishulin: Still, it is necessary for us to test for hardware compatibility. We already know more or less the standard configurations where Heroes of Might and Magic V works quickly or more slowly, but un-identified variants have not yet been tested. Therefore something will be finally declared by us when we shall receive the most exhaustive results of our testing.

Larissa Nuretdinova: Concerning the release date, we will announce it later.

Alexey Perevertajlov: Many thanks for interview, good luck in development!


- There will be unique town structures corresponding to the special abilities of the town, as well as some new ones.
- Heroes III artifact combinations will not be available. Though magical artifacts will be less frequent, they will be more powerful.
- AI balance is fairly strong at the moment, but there are a few problems concerning special abilities and other battlefield defects.
- Creation of maps and campaigns will be as in the previous series.
- Town siege system is quite similar to Heroes III, with only the type of moat having a different and at the moment unknown effect on the attackers.
- There will be no magic annexes, as the magic system are not based on the towns.
- Razing and creating towns will not be possible.
- A global storyline will be adapted so the player can use all the different towns.
- Facts on the magic system and schools will be made available in late-November.

Town Specialties
Haven: Have the ability to upgrade less powerful creatures to higher level creatures (Peasants to Knights/Paladins for example). The whole faction is more defensive.
Inferno: Have the ability to summon creatures on the battlefield. Experts in Destructive magic, have strong attack power, but compensated for by low defense and hit points.
Necropolis: Re-animation of dead units to fill enemy ranks (Necromancy as in previous games).
Dungeon: Attacking combinations. If made in the right order, attacks will deal more damage to the enemy. The main theme for Dungeon are 'elite' units. They grow slowly each week, but are expensive compared to other units and therefore very powerful. Additionally, the city itself is also magic-oriented.
Academy: 'Artificer'. Can create of small artifacts for units (creatures) that improves their defense, attack or speed. This town specialises in magic and ranged combat.
Sylvan: Can choose enemies to which they deal more damage and are dubbed 'favoured enemies'. There are a limited number of these that can be selected, but you will be able to fight more effectively against them.

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