Warhammer Underworlds: Online – Interview with Steel Sky Productions

Last week the WHU community was requested to drop the most relevant questions about the release of WHU: Online (Check the article here). 1182 votes from 52 countries decided which are the most relevant questions. WHU truly has a fantastic community.

Neil Rennison and Amelia Laughlan from Steel Sky Productions in Australia took the time to go through these questions and gave interesting Insights into the current state of development of Warhammer Underworlds: Online.

Before we head to the interview, let’s take a moment to understand the roles of Neil and Amelia in the development of this game and most important: Which warbands do they play!

Neil Rennison

Neil is the Creative Director for the project and handles all the business development side of things. With a background in 3D animation and twenty years of experience in video games, Neil has worked on almost every aspect of development except programming. He’s a dwarven loyalist, so The Chosen Axes have long been his favourite warband, although now that Thundrik’s Profiteers have been released, he may have a new favourite. 

Amelia Laughlan

Amelia works in production, marketing, and narrative for Warhammer Underworlds: Online as well as doing community management for the project. When she first started playing Underworlds back in the Shadespire days, she was a big fan of her Sepulchral Guard objective deck. These days she gravitates between the Farstriders and trying to pull off a decent deckbuild for Eyes of the Nine.

Alright, let’s head over to…

The Interview!

WUO players in Europe are excited as a playable demo version will make its debut at Warhammer Fest (Coventry, UK, May 11th & 12th). Which warbands will be playable at Warhammer Fest?
Steelheart’s Champions and Magore’s Fiends will be playable at Warhammer Fest. And yes, this means you’ll be able to play with everyone’s favourite Khornite doggo – Riptooth – as part of your warband.

Will the multiplayer version be playable at Warhammer Fest and/or the single player version?
The demo is two player multiplayer – so make sure you bring a friend to play with!

Which steps players know from the board game will be playable at Warhammer Fest (e.g. board placement, action phase, power step, end phase)?
The demo is pre-alpha and we’ve custom crafted an ‘express’ version of Underworlds to serve the format of the event. Decks are pre-crafted and board, objective, and fighter placement are randomised. You will then play through two rounds of Underworlds with normal action, power, and end phases. The game ends after this second round and third end phase objectives are instead scored here. 
We’ve also decided to ramp things up by giving each player one starting glory, so they’ve got the chance to get some of their upgrades into play. 
We will be continuing to add more features during development, and players can expect to see full board setup and rules, deckbuilding and full length games at Early Access release.

Will Warhammer Underworlds: Online be a 1:1 port of the board game?
We will be striving to make WUO as close as possible to the board game. There will be some aspects of the game that will need to be tweaked and changed in order to make the game function smoothly as a digital version. Our goal with any changes of this nature will be to make the digital game as great an experience as possible for all players.

Will the game maintain the tabletop Banned and Restricted card list?
This is yet to be decided. As we will be releasing the cards in a different order from Games Workshop’s physical releases, our meta during Early Access will be different. We intend to work closely with Games Workshop to address any problem cards that arise in this divergent meta.

Will the cards release similarly to the board game?
While warband cards will always be made available alongside their associated warband, we are planning on releasing universal cards in a different order from the physical game.

Will microtransactions be a thing in Warhammer Underworlds: Online? If so – will players who engage in microtransactions have advantages compared to those players who do not (in terms of gameplay)?
Warhammer Underworlds: Online will not feature microtransactions. The game will be premium priced with no hidden costs. All players will receive two warbands at launch and an extra two warbands during the Early Access period at no cost, making for a total of four warbands. New content will be distributed in two ways: 

  • All players will receive continuous, free card releases at regular intervals. 
  • Extra warband DLC expansions will be available for an additional cost.

In short there are only two things you will be paying for in the PC release of the game – the base game and warband DLC.

Will there be a multiplayer mode for more than two players? 
The Early Access release will focus on two player online multiplayer. We will consider developing additional modes based on feedback and production demands following Early Access release.

Will you still be able to choose and orientate boards?
We have yet to determine how many board setups will be available on Early Access release, but players will be able to choose from a selection of boards.

Will there be tournament support for the game?
Early Access will not feature formal tournament support for the game. However, we are well aware that Underworlds already has a thriving tournament scene and we are keen to hear from players and figure out what this might look like for WUO as we move into Early Access.

Amelia and Neil, thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions! I can’t wait to play WHU: Online myself soon.

Please make sure to join the discord channel for WHU: Online which is a great way to stay in touch with Steel Sky Productions.

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