Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (aka MOBA) games are the new craze as of late. From the most popular ones such as League of Legends or DOTA 2, to the up and comers such as Heroes of the Storm, to the flat out weird like King of Fighters MOBA, this new genre will be here to stay. Now, Bandai Namco is putting the hand in the growing market. At TwitchCon 2015, Bandai invited us to an Interview with Cory Maggard, Assistant Producer of Supernova, an upcoming free-to-play MOBA that takes players to an epic Sci-fi experience, battling as humans or aliens for their race’s right to exist within the galaxy!
CFG: Would you give us your interpretation of Supernova?
CM: It’s a Sci-fi MOBA RTS. The cool thing about it is, you don’t really get to control what your units do. And in this one, you actually get to pick which those are. We have two different factions in the game, human and cyborg, and they have their own unique set of units that they use. What players may be able to do is pick 10 out of 12 units that each faction has and take them into battle, and pick which units of those that they actually want to use. Players on the human side may use tanks, stingers, and dragonflies. On the cyborg side, they have things like scorchers, cruisers, and beetles. So players will have control over what they use in lane.
CFG: What are some key mechanics to the game?
CM: There’s two distinct paths: On one side you have commanders, which should be pretty familiar to most players. You can level them up, gain more abilities, etc. On the other side, you got the unit control. You’ll be able to pick what units could go on what lane, you can upgrade those units in game. For example, mammoth tanks, a human unit, you can actually up
grade them so they’re more effective versus turrets. And Engineers, another human unit, you can actually upgrade them so they could heal friendly turrets. In addition to that, there’s a whole bunch of stuff that you can do outside of the game to further customizer your army and your commander. You’ve got augmentations, which are craftable power-ups which you can equip to your units. And for the units themselves, they have their own technology slots and power-ups. So, basically you’ll be purchasing those and then configuring your units and setting up your strategy in advance as you prepare for your game.
CFG: The game seems to cater to the more hardcore MOBA players, are there developments that make Supernova accessible to an amateur player?
CM: The nice thing is, the developers actually built a number of systems that make the game more accessible to new players. The auto-deploy system allows the AI to take control over what units it thinks you probably want and it will build units based on what your opponents will use. And that is something we have implemented to just take down the complexity a little further, a brand new player to the MOBA space. In addition, another complicated feature is: How do I build my commander, what build do I use, where do I put my points? And we have a feature in the game that lets you auto-spend the points and the AI will automatically spend the points when you make it back to home base. In addition to that, we don’t want this game to only be accessible to the most hardcore players. We don’t want people to have to spend hours and hours and hours as a brand new player, trying to figure things out. Which is why we’re planning on making some adjustments and making sure that the game can be understood for a new player.
CFG: What were some issues during the Alpha and Beta phases?
CM: We actually had some player concerns that the game was too slow, which is why we were really careful, we did our homework and we made sure we understood what we were changing before we changed it. Primal slowly increased the movement speed and some of the turning speeds in the game to make sure it wouldn’t overbalance the game. They adjusted a lot of the commanders and the way their skillshots work. In addition to that, commander balance has always been a thing that has been going on in unit balance as well and we’ve just been adjusting that in response to the way the player base feels and in response to what we’re noticing on our end. If it seems like this commander is winning too much, we need to go in and take a look at why is he winning so much and make really small changes. So we’ve been trying to be really careful about it, take it slow, not over-nerf and not over-buff.
CFG: What is your overall impression of Supernova?
CM: I’m really hoping for this game. I’m really excited for when we actually get to release it and start doing a lot of the really fun things that I know the community wants us to do, like for example, tournaments. I think in general, Sci-fi, RTS, MOBA, is so exciting! I’ve been excited to play this game since I first started doing QA on it. I think the people that are probably the most interested in this game right now are people that like Sci-fi, MOBA, or RTS. MOBA players are going to feel really familiar, right at home with this game. And if you want to learn more, there’s supernovagame.com. You can register for an account and then you’ll be all set for when we come back up for our next round of closed beta.