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Getting Close To Perfection With Trine 2


In case you missed it, you might want to catch up on part 1 of our Trine 2 interview.


Trine 2 runs on an entirely rewritten, more multiplayer-focused engine, which has enabled Frozenbyte to make a wide variety of improvements to the game, particularly in the physics and controls department.


In part 2 of our interview with Frozenbyte CEO, Lauri Hyvärinen, we discuss some of the changes made to the game in this regard, and the possibility of a level editor on the PC.


Let’s talk about Trine 2’s physics. The first game had a few instances where the Wizard’s levitation was just a tad oversensitive when it came to fine placement of objects. Are you guys revisiting the physics in Trine 2 or are you going to rely mostly on players’ experience with the first game?


Frozenbyte CEO, Lauri Hyvärinen,: This is something we wanted to definitely improve. We’ve made some changes to prevent unwanted physics behavior, and there are some small changes too — objects now keep their kinetic energy for example.


Overall, we got a lot of great feedback on Trine 1 and we have paid great attention to improve many things that players felt wasn’t quite spot-on, and of course we need to make sure we don’t mess up the things that worked.


Luckily, Trine 1 was received quite well so rather than trying to fix something that’s completely broken, we’re able to build on top of something that’s already proven to work. That’s a great position to be in, and it’s also allowed us some extra creativity. Getting close to perfect isn’t completely impossible with Trine 2.


Likewise, Zoya’s grapple was a little difficult to get the hang of, since you needed to aim with the cursor, but even then, she’d only shoot it out at a certain angle, which could be a little confusing. Do you feel there’s a better way to handle this or is it one of those things that just takes getting used to?


Yeah, the PC grappling hook required precise aiming, while the console grappling hook had pre-set aiming targets that made it quite automatic. It’s probably going to stay similar in Trine 2 but we will try to polish it a lot more and make sure it works better. We had some technology limitations with Trine 1, and now with a completely rewritten game engine those are gone, so we should be able to smooth it out.


I noticed there are actually people trying to speedrun Trine, which is fantastic! Are you accommodating these players as well, or do you feel part of the fun is discovering tricks that the game isn’t supposed to allow?


It’s been great to see. Most of the speedruns use tricks that the game readily supports, and some of those we didn’t even know about, such as using a plank to dive faster to the bottom. They seem like exploits but our thinking is that we don’t want to limit the player too much.


The best part of Trine 1 and especially Trine 2 is that players can actually invent their own, legitimate solutions that outsmart even the developers of the game! I can’t wait to see what kind of clever co-op solutions appear when Trine 2 is released.


A game like Trine could really benefit from a level-editor and some sort of mod-creation utility. What’s the verdict on that front?


With Trine 2, everything is possible on the PC (Windows) side. On consoles it’s not going to happen, because all of our tools are on Windows. But I don’t want to make any promises — with Trine 1 we sort of wanted to release the level editor, but then we thought about it again, and again… and again… and it’s still not released, and probably won’t get released in the end.


We know a lot of people would like to give it a try but we’ve been burned by our previous level editor efforts (for Shadowgrounds and Shadowgrounds Survivor) and we know we couldn’t offer the kind of support that our level editors require.


Trine has a much larger user base than our previous games, that’s for sure, but the other problems still remain — it’s still a singleplayer game and the level editor is not intuitive to use. It’s not just the editor either, it’s the whole “system”. It takes a curious mind to get a new level into the game so that it runs properly, and it requires a lot of skill to be able to pull off the kind of visuals that Trine has.


Trine 2 is using a completely new editor so some of the problems are gone, and it’s a multiplayer game, so in that regard it makes a lot more sense. We’ll have to see how it goes!

Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.