Changing Shaman's design. What pushed us?
Making game is not an easy task, and listening to gamers feedback is often a key to success. In this short article I wanted to discuss what lead me and my team to considering the change of one of our favorite heroes in the HordeBoss Universe - Shaman Karzul. There were three main reasons why we had to shift from the initial design : potential copyright violation, mostly negative feedback about his similarity to Gul'Dan, and our desire to step it up a notch and separate our game from other titles.
First and foremost, as a small indie game studio, we definitely understand that we can not combat large AAA companies like Blizzard, so any potential copyright violation can drag us to the bottom of the sea instantaneously. We know that we can not afford to risk and play with fire, and any similarity to characters of major established universes are in acceptable.
Second, while we presented our game at indie show, and to various communities in general, we often heard right away - is this Gul'Dan from World of Warcraft? No it is not. Its our character - Shaman Karzul, we responded. But why does it have spikes like Gul'Dan? Etc. Having those conversations is tiring, and they should simply not take place. If large amount of people think that there is a definitive similarity to other game heroes, don't use this type of hero - try to stay away from what is already there.
Lastly, we want to be different. We want to differentiate our game from others, create something unique. Make the story that we want to make, thus using characters that maybe a reflection of heroes from other universes is not acceptable for us.Hopefully our new design will be even better than our old man Karzul! For the Horde.