Lately I've been hearing a lot of people mention their Warhammer fatigue, which they state is a direct result of having so many titles using that license releasing within a short time. As a Warhammer fan, I could not be happier. While not all of the titles have been fantastic, there have been more than enough that I can honestly say I've thoroughly enjoyed. Warhammer 40,000: Deathwatch is one of the latest games to release using the Warhammer license, and I recently was able to ask a few questions to Ben Murch, Creative Director of Rodeo Games.

Warhammer 40,000: Deathwatch is a port of the turn-based strategy game that was originally developed for iOS. While many of you may be groaning at the thought of yet another mobile port, developer Rodeo Games have put in a lot of work improving the graphics, overhauling the interface, and ensuring that the mouse and keyboard controls are as solid as possible.

Deathwatch places you in command of an elite team of Space Marines as they face the ever-increasing threat of the Tyranids. The battles are extremely tactical, and take place in a variety of diverse environments from destroyed urban areas to the bowels of a Tyranid bio-ship. As you progress through the missions, you'll gain access to upgrades for your team, as well as collect unique Space Marines that you can customize and equip with various weapons and other gear.


One thing I noticed immediately about the game was that the asking price seemed a bit high for a mobile port. Typically, we see these sorts of titles priced between 10 and 15 dollars. Although they have done a lot of polishing as well as adding new Space Marines to the game, I still feel like the game would have been better priced around the 15 dollar mark. However, I think that most fans of the Warhammer franchise are willing to shell out a fair amount of money to play entertaining games. As someone who grew up with few choices in terms of digital Warhammer titles (Fire Warrior and Dawn of War come to mind), it's fantastic to see the license really picking up some traction in the gaming world.

With a few curiosities regarding the development process of Deathwatch, as well as how Rodeo Games got into the business of developing Warhammer titles for mobile, I turned to Ben Murch for answers:


1. Why did you guys decide to create a game using the Warhammer license?

After we finished Warhammer Quest, it seemed to be the natural choice. We're all such massive Games Workshop fans, that staying within that license was a bit of a no-brainer. However, we all wanted to go back to a more sci-fi setting, so Deathwatch seemed to be the perfect fit.

2. What prompted the decision to create games for mobile?

Five years ago, when four of us started Rodeo Games, mobile games were the perfect place to start a company in. The App Store was much more accessible than it is these days, and turn-based strategy titles were quite light on the ground. We decided to fill that void with our first two games Hunters, and Hunters 2. From there we carried on pushing the mobile limits until they couldn't really be pushed much more! That's when we took the decision to jump over into PC!

3. What changes can we expect in the PC version?

The PC version has completely overhauled graphics. From high-res character models and textures, through to new lighting solutions (every single level in the game was re-lit from scratch), and brand new Physically Based Render Materials (they make things look really nice!!). It's a very different looking game. Other than that, we have reworked the controls just for PC players. Figuring that out was quite a process, so we really looked at what other similar games do and tried to build on that. There is also brand new content in the form of three new Space Marine Chapters. The Dark Angels, Imperial Fists and Black Templars. All these have new weapons and heroes to go into battle with.

4. What were some challenges you encountered during the porting process?

Well, we always planned for Deathwatch to be a PC game, so the challenges weren't too bad from a technical aspects. We authored all our assets to the highest quality first, then down-rezzed them for the iOS version. The biggest unknown was going through the "Getting our game on Steam" process (which turned out to be ok as well). It was just more of an unknown quantity, which made it hard to plan for.

5. Do you guys have any additional content planned for the game?

I can't really give details away. However, this certainly won't be the last you see of the Deathwatch!!

Warhammer 40,000: Deathwatch can be purchased on Steam for $24.99.