President of developer Infinite Interactive Steve Fawkner says that adding a new type of damage to Puzzle Quest 2
actually made the game easier to balance and more flexible, despite the increased complexity.
As part of a new feature-length Gamasutra interview
, Fawkner said "We've added a third channel of dealing damage in Puzzle Quest 2, which is the action points and weapon system. We feel that it makes it easier for us to balance the game."
This, despite the fact that it's "quite a complex system", said Fawkner. "There are 33 different types of weapons in the game, each with slightly different stats and different abilities."
However, despite the fact that the game was a crossover casual hit, Fawkner is adamant that the team is not losing sight of its broad audience.
"We do a lot of usability testing. We really need to know what hardcore people think and what casual people think -- so a lot of people testing all the time. We're constantly streaming people into the studio to have a look at the game. And we have the design team sitting around and watching them play, and watching the facial expressions, because the face never lies. So it's a constant process. And it's very important."
The full interview
, which goes into a great deal of depth on the design process for the game and lessons learned from the development of the less successful Puzzle Quest Galactrix
, is live now on Gamasutra.