Warhammer Quest: Silver Tower The Mobile Game Interview with Ben Murch
As recently revealed the awesome Warhammer Quest Silver Tower will be coming to mobile phones in a new game by Perchang! After failing to find a Gaunt Summoner to divine the future, we instead went to Perchang’s Creative Director Ben Murch to see what we could glean about the upcoming game…
S&B – Hi Ben! How’s it going? Can you please tell us a little about yourself and the team developing Warhammer Quest Silver Tower and what games you have worked on in the past?
Ben – Hello! I’m Ben Murch. Creative Director and co-founder over here at Perchang. I was in the AAA industry working at Criterion, Codemasters and Rebellion, before leaving and setting up two studios. Rodeo Games, and now Perchang. I’ve always been in the turn-based strategy area. At Rodeo, we created a new IP called Hunters, then worked on two Games Workshop titles, Warhammer Quest and Deathwatch. Perchang continued the tbs work and did Warhammer Quest 2: The End Times, and now Warhammer Quest: Silver Tower. When we started Perchang, we also created a puzzle game, confusingly named Perchang as well. Which was like a cross between Lemmings and Marble Madness.
Perchang is a really small studio. We have 4 developers. 2 artists and 2 programmers. Everyone is from the AAA industry and remote works from various places in the South East of England.
S&B – The Warhammer Quest franchise stretches back years now, have you and the team been fans of the original boxed game and do you still play it now?
Ben – I mean, I was a fan of Hero Quest back in the day! That was one of my first forays into fantasy gaming. We played a lot of Warhammer Quest when making the digital version. Nowadays, we play Silver Tower. Although, that turned into us using the Silver Tower board and models, and trying out our own ruleset. I’m looking forward to getting into some Warcry and Blackstone Fortress next! 😉
S&B – What did you think of Warhammer Quest: Silver Tower when the new board game was released?
Ben – I was quite thrown initially, because the rules and setting are quite different to original Quest. I really loved the new minis though (which is normally enough to get me to try something). Once I started playing, the story and overall sculpt of the game really grabbed me. Splitting the game into trials for the different amulet pieces is really really cool, and a neat way of keeping track of your progress. Since Age of Sigmar v2 arrived, I’ve really fallen in love with the universe, so the prospect of adding new Champions from the realms is really exciting.
S&B – Do you and the team play any Warhammer games or paint miniatures? What armies do you collect?
Ben – Yes! Our character artist just collects whichever minis he likes the look of, but has a particular love of Skaven. I’m currently painting a Stormcast host in classic colours, and a small warband in a bespoke colour scheme (see below WIP image). Am eyeing some Slaves to Darkness and Nighthaunt for later in the year. I also play Blood Bowl and Necromunda when the opportunity arises!
S&B – It’s been a couple of years now since Silver Tower was released, have you wanted to do a digital version of the game for a while? How long have you been working on it
Ben – Yes, we almost did Silver Tower instead of WQ2, but I really wanted to say goodbye to the Old World before jumping into the new realms. We’ve been working on Silver Tower for around 18 months, with quite a hefty chunk of that being spent on design.
S&B – Does the new mobile game differ in any ways to the original board game?
Ben – Yes, it’s really different. We still use the setting, basic storyline and heroes / enemies. So you’ll still be trying to get through the labyrinthine Silver Tower, fighting the forces of Tzeentch and finding the Gaunt Summoner’s amulet fragments. However, the gameplay is quite different. Each character now belongs to a class. Melee, ranged, or spell. These play quite differently from one another, and provide a large part of the tactical gameplay. Each character can also make two actions per turn. These are moving, attacking, or using skills. As I said, we’ve spent a long time on making the rules fit for a digital game, and the end result is (hopefully) a fun, tactical experience.
S&B – Do you have plans to release the game on any other formats?
Ben – Right now, we’re just focusing on the mobile game.
S&B – How well received were the previous Warhammer Quest mobile games, and is anything changing in Silver Tower based on what you have learned?
Ben – Every game I’ve ever worked on has had the full range of reactions! Some people love what we do, others, not so much! I’m not a fan of just re-skinning the last game and keeping everything the same. Warhammer Quest 2 was very much an exploration of player freedom in creating their team and how they played. They could take whoever they liked into dungeons, equipped with almost anything they wanted. This was a reflection of the chaos during The End Times setting. One of the problems we had was that the game was super hard to balance, because of all the permutations! However, loads of cool stories came out of that freedom.
With Silver Tower, we’ve focused on small tactical encounters. Making every move count, every attack can be lethal. When I played WQ2, I would just charge in and bash everything. In ST, I’m always stopping and planning what to do, which tile to move to, and who to prioritize. It feels very different to play!
S&B – Can we expect to see new characters and expansions in the form of DLC?
Ben – I hate using this term, but it’s a “live game”. New updates with characters, stages and game types will be appearing post launch.
S&B – Do you have a planned release window for the game?
Ben – Probably around Summer….ish.
S&B – What are you most excited about in the new game?
Ben – The Daily Quests are constantly surprising me. Solo trials for certain Champions will appear. Fights against other hero parties who have been driven mad by the Tower. Sprawling trials that test players to their very limits. I feel like the Daily Quests are a continuation of the WQ2 freedom. They’re off the main track of the campaign, so we can afford some interesting experiments.
S&B – Would you like to visit a Blackstone Fortress mobile game in the future?
Ben – I mean, yeah, that would be great! One game at a time though…
S&B – We always like to end our interviews with this classic question – what is your favourite sprue and what is your favourite brew?
Ben – Hands down its the Vindicare Assassin from Inquisitor. Thanks to a very very kind friend of mine, I now have an ‘Eavy Metal painted one!! It’s amazing.
Green tea first thing. Proper coffee during the day. Chamomile tea for bedtime.
Thanks Ben! We will be watching this one very closely and look forward to venturing into the Silver Tower when the game releases later this year!