RPGPlayer: What was the game concept and the location inspiration? Colleen McCullough, Morgan Lliwelyn or De Bello Gallico?
Haemimont: “"De Bello Gallico" was the ultimate source of inspiration. At that moment in the history there was a very strong conflict between Rome and Gaul. Ceasar wanted to demonstrate his skill and gain strength. Vercingetorix wanted to live in a free and united Gaul. It was an epic clash between two strong men and two different nations and cultures. An excellent setting for Celtic Kings.”

RPGPlayer: What was your purpose when you thought at the beginning about Celtic King? Do you want to do an RPG with some strategical aspects or a stategic game with RPG aspects?
Haemimont: “We wanted to make a mix between them. The ultimate goal was to let the player take the role of a general. He leads armies into glorious battles, but he also has a life of his own and has to communicate with the people around him personally. Being a general is much more than being good tactician. I leave it to you to decide whether that is an RTS with some RPG aspects or an RPG with some RTS aspects.”

RPGPlayer: The CK economical structure is the evolution of the normal concept of pick-up-store-destroy. Do you think that the RTS standard structure has to be restyled?
Haemimont: “I think that there should be more variety in the RTS genere. A lot of people are sick and tired of playing virtually the same games over and over. I belive Celtic Kings shows that there is a lot that can be done to improve the gameplay and explore new territories. Also, the strategy games have a long way to go towards being more accessible.”

RPGPlayer: Do you think that there is enough space for the other 2D isometric games? Is the 3D games really the predominant?
Haemimont: “The high-end 3D (hardware) technology has reached a point where it can look as good as a 2D while still keeping the camera freedom. We have yet to wait for this technology to become available to everybody. I play a lot of 2D games and enjoy them - ultimatelly I like games because of their gameplay, but as everybody else I'm first attracted to a game because of its graphics. In the long run the boundaries between 2D/3D graphics will disappear and you will not be able to tell whether a game is 2D or 3D. A lot of the 2D technology is being implemented in 3D games. A lot of 3D technology is implemented in 2D games. For example Celtic Kings has full 3D terrain with surface deformation and lightning.”

RPGPlayer: What is your opinion about the new software houses? Could they survive?
Haemimont: “Well, since I'm working in one of them, I'm betting that they can survive. It is not easy, but then it never was. There will always be need for fresh ideas and people who have them. The game development is becoming more and more like the movie industry. It is no longer one developer and one publisher per game. We see many more companies doing specialized work in various steps of the development. You have companies offering graphics enignes, physics engines, motion capture services, prototyping tools, etc.”

RPGPlayer: Are you really sotisfied about CK? Have you ever thought to modify or improve something?
Haemimont: “Yes to both questions! I am satisfied with Celtic Kings because it reached its goal - we wanted to introduce fresh gameplay in the RTS genere and we did. We have an excellent blend of RPG/RTS gameplay, polished interface and stable product. At the same time I have many ideas how to improve the game. You just have to know when to stop. "Games are never finished, they're abandoned." (I've read this somewhere)”

RPGPlayer: Will you give away an expantion pack in the future? Maybe something dealing with the Romans?
Haemimont: “We have lots of ideas in our minds. Only the future will tell which ones you will be able to see.”

Gabriele "AarnaK" Dal Fiume

Official site: Celtic Kings
Developer: Haemimont
Publisher: Wanadoo
Distributor: CTO
Screenshots 1 - Screenshots 2 - Screenshots 3 - Italian version