This past month on RUNE II, we duplicated.
Welcome back to the RUNE II Monthly Update series. Whether this is the first monthly update you’re reading or your twelfth, our monthly updates are a place for us to reflect on what we did this month and what’s to come.
Lots to cover in today’s update. Sales, free DLC, winners, a community interview, memories, and more! Fasten your seatbelt and put your tray table up. It’s go time.
For a very limited time, you can get RUNE II 50% off on Steam and the Epic Games Store! These deals are going away very quickly, so move fast!
Earlier this month we released The Duplicity Update. This free update brings a new Goblin Mine dungeon, new PvP modes, 21 new Steam Achievements, 4 new dual wielding weapon sets, and more to RUNE II! You can read the full list of changes on our patch notes page and in-game.
As a special thanks for all the feedback and reviews you’ve given us since launch, all players can now claim the FREE Wolf Armor and Gear set DLC. Please keep the steam reviews and feedback coming! We are actively looking at them and improving RUNE II daily!
Many clips have entered to be judged by the harshest eyes: yours. Three clips have emerged victorious.
In third place, RascalKG combines memes with RUNE II. https://youtu.be/p1S3G5joHq8
In second place, TheDevCalledBen displays masterful combat abilities. https://youtu.be/00b_ta5UZwQ
And in first place, 5hizzle learns the lesson that all RUNE II players know well: Do not stand under falling trees. https://youtu.be/mv9T10Hv_l0
We held a separate contest with our friends at Vast.gg that finished earlier this month. And the winners are…
Congratulations to all of our winners and a thank you to everyone that entered both of these!
Mitch: Hey there! Let’s kick this off and introduce you to our RUNE II community. For those that don’t know you yet, can you tell me a bit about yourself and what got you into gaming?
Torulf McBeard: Well, I don’t know what there is to know. I’m just an extremely opinionated bastard who’s spent far too much time on the RUNE II Discord and forums writing suggestions and ranting about stuff I don’t like about the game and would prefer to see changed. And that simply stems from the fact that I fell in love with the original game way back when I tried the demo that came on a PC Gamer CD, in ye olden days.
As for what got me into gaming, I suppose that was when I was something like ten years old and played Super Mario Bros on the NES at a cousin’s place. Super fascinated ever since, for better or worse. These days I’m slightly less interested in playing the games and more interested in the creation and design of them.
Mitch: Lurkers of our Discord will know that you’re a master in Norse mythology. What are your favorite parts of Norse mythos?
Torulf McBeard: Haha, hardly a master! I know a thing or two about it I suppose. Hmm, this is a tough question. There is a hell of a lot, but I’m gonna try and be brief here and say that I really like how complex the characters, especially the gods are. Loki in particular is a very complex character. The gods are all flawed, and there is no “good” or “evil”. There is “order” and “chaos”, however. Loki is frequently accompanying Asa gods who represent “order”, while Loki himself and his giant nature represents “chaos”. Loki is always the one who makes things happen. Even though his chaotic nature gets the gods into really bad trouble time and again, it seems that in the end they always come away with something really valuable. It’s a really interesting dynamic.
Mitch: Chaotic nature is good and all, but what parts (if any) of Norse mythology do you think are overlooked or under-represented?
Torulf McBeard: That’s much easier! Quite a lot. But to name one specific thing I’d say the shamanistic aspects. Things such as the various kinds of “spirits”. Just to make an example of this, the Norse believed there were land spirits, among many other kinds.. When a longship was about to approach a shore they would remove the dragonhead so the land spirits wouldn’t be frightened or otherwise angered. At least this was the case if it was a friendly shore. When raiding or landing somewhere for violent reasons it would make more sense to keep the dragonheads up, obviously.
Another example is the so-called “Nidstang” or “Nithing pole” – a means to place a curse on an enemy. This consisted of a wooden pole, usually with a recently slain horse’s head placed on top, facing whatever direction the curse is to be cast. Then the curse is carved in runes upon the pole. I just looked it up again, and turns out these Nidstangar, although very rare, are still in use back home in Scandinavia now and again, to my surprise!
Mitch: How do you feel about the way that Norse mythology is represented in RUNE II?
Torulf McBeard: It’s an interesting spin on it, though of course there are a few things that irk me and I’d prefer to see changed. But there are also some things I think both the original RUNE as well as RUNE II does better than most other Norse-themed games. One such thing is how the dwarves are portrayed. Too often you see them represented as typical fantasy dwarfs straight out of Lord of the Rings or Dungeons & Dragons. The dwarfs in RUNE, however, are much darker. They are untrustworthy, wicked, even. And they look far more like something like goblins. I really love that, and I think it’s actually more fitting than Tolkienesque dwarfs.
Mitch: Just so we’re clear, you’re cool with us taking a few side-steps with the mythology to make our video game more fun?
Torulf McBeard: Yeah, fun trumps all when it comes to games. I actually like seeing how developers might put different spins on the theme to better fit their games. I may not always agree with what they do, but it’s interesting to see regardless.
Mitch: Good to know you’re cool with it. Let’s switch gears and talk about your creative side. What got you into art and 3D modeling?
Torulf McBeard: I’ve always liked drawing since I was no age. In my late teens I sort of stopped doing it though, for many years. It’s only in the past year or two that I really decided to go back to it and actually focus on it and my creative side overall. It was around the same time I decided to take the plunge and attempt to learn 3D art. Whenever I played games in the past like RUNE, Morrowind, Oblivion, Skyrim, Jedi Outcast or whatever, I always wanted to try making my own models or skins. I thought it would be far too complex and impossible for me to learn, so I never genuinely tried back then. But about two years ago, like I said, I learned a little about Blender and decided to actually try to learn it at long last. And I’m glad I did, because while I’m not particularly advanced yet, making half decent looking models turned out to be much easier than I thought. So now I’m just going to try to expand my skills as much as I can into other areas too. Next will be rigging and animation, since that’s something I’ve always been really interested in as well.
Mitch: Tell me more about how you created these two weapons. Take me through your process from initial thoughts to the last polishing touches.
Torulf McBeard: Once I got the message from Studio 369 about what type of weapons you wanted I simply started thinking about what I felt was currently missing. I started with the sword, and I felt that even though RUNE II had dwarfs, they didn’t really have any weapons of their own. Any fan of the first game knows how awesome the dwarf weapons are in that game!
I didn’t want to make a copy of the sword, but I wanted it to have a similar overall look and vibe. Studio369 wanted one-handed weapons, so already that would be different from the dwarf weapons in the first game, since those are all two-handed.
As I was working on the sword, bit by bit I tweaked the shape to feel more distinct and striking. I also wanted to give it a pretty unique look, so I was inspired by some naval sabres which had a kind of metal “back” on the grip. I think that helped to make the sword look really distinct and give it a strong character.
Once it came to the axe I felt I should just make it a companion weapon in the same style. I wanted the axe head to have a very bold shape, so I gave it a downward curve which would also serve to focus all energy into the top spike of the axe edge, or the horn. This would enable it to deliver devastating blows against armor. That felt like something dwarfs would appreciate in their axes.
Now, when it came to sculpting details for these two weapons, that’s where I really feel I could have done a lot better. Part of that is how the sculpting works in Blender. It’s very hard to get hard, and in particular SHARP surfaces to look good when using Blender’s sculpting tool. I’m sure there are ways to do it, but since I’m not that advanced yet, I haven’t figured out how to really make that look exactly as I want yet. I’m also not entirely happy with the ornamental pattern I sculpted on the axe head. It looks ok I guess, but I really feel I should have been able to make that look a lot better.
But regardless, I’m overall really happy with how they both turned out. I wanted to design and create two visually interesting but also functional weapons, and I feel I accomplished that pretty well.
Mitch: These two weapons are awesome and a great fit for our new dual wielding weapons system! Where can we find you and your growing portfolio on the internet?
Torulf McBeard: DeviantArt, which still holds most of my stuff for now. There’s my Instagram though I’m still really bad at posting there. I’ll be using Sketchfab now and again. My new ArtStation page will be my main portfolio site going forward though.
For this section, I’m gonna turn it over my amazing co-workers on the development team. I asked them about some of their favorite memories and their favorite piece of content from the past year of working on RUNE II: Decapitation Edition.
In the order that they responded, these are their stories:
James Arbaje – Game Designer
My favorite RUNE II memory from 2020 is probably watching streamers play the game, enjoy the campaign, and get excited about all the updates we’ve made!
Ricky Boronat – Character Artist
My funnest memory was watching the end of a Last Viking Standing where you (I think it was you – not 100% on that tho) dropped meteors on the narrowed death circle thing with everyone in the middle – FTW – epic shenanigans. The funnest thing I got to work on was Batman-inspired Bomb Goblin.
Greg Weeks – AI Engineer
I really enjoyed working on the goblin sapper enemy. As a programmer, I’m rarely given the opportunity to design something with that degree of creative liberty. After working on the enemy ability system, it was nice to actually utilize it to create a fun and explosive enemy.
Scott Lopez – Environment Artist
My favorite content that I’ve had the pleasure working on have been the dungeons. I was given a lot of freedom with designing the overall flow of the dungeons, and of course arting them up to create some visually appealing set pieces. Out of the ones I made, Skadi’s Cavern and the Goblin Mine are my favs
Jason Brice – Sound Designer, Engineer and Cinematics
My favorite RUNE II content I worked on was the Headhunter quotes video and updating our key art earlier this year.
Daniel Felts – Producer
My favorite memories are the friends I made along the way.
Will Kowach – Senior Environment Artist
My favorite memory is first testing pvp with our community and hearing everyone’s reactions.
And with that, we’ve come to the end of 2020’s RUNE II Monthly Updates. As this will be the last monthly update that I write, I’d like to end it on a personal note.
My favorite memories from working on RUNE II in the last year involve the amazing community members I’ve been able to get to know and interact with. In no particular order, shoutouts to: Torulf McBeard, Dankina, Simonus Igorhunter, Fugana, Eisberg, RememberingNever, dark, Stormcrow, phaz0r, and many others. Whether it’s a positive comment in response to our patch notes or just someone talking in our Discord’s off-topic section to share something cool, I will always treasure the memories of the RUNE II community. The community’s positive comments have been a bright light in my 2020 and have kept me going through tough days.
Thank you for everything. For playing RUNE II, for reading these monthly updates and blogs, for viewing our patch notes, for posting in our forums, for tweeting at us, for joining our discord, and so much more.
James will be taking over the bulk of communications from here. Let’s not say goodbye, you’ll still see me around the community as a fan of RUNE II and Studio 369.
Be excellent to each other.
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