Earlier this week, Brisbane independent games studio Defiant Development announced the release of mod tools for its latest collectible card-based RPG Hand of Fate 2. The SDK, referred to as the “Game Master’s Toolkit”, includes the same tools Defiant used to create the game’s campaign, saying: “With the Game Master’s Toolkit, you’ll be able to create anything from a simple encounter all the way up to a full-fledged challenge with its own win conditions, blessings, curses and artefact rewards.”
We spoke to Defiant Development’s Communications Manager, Lee May, about the decision to release not just a regular set of mod tools, but a deep and comprehensive editor that lets players tinker with many aspects of the game’s campaign and challenges.
ModDB: How much of the development and release of Hand of Fate 2’s mod tools was prompted internally, and how much was it prompted by community desire for such tools?
We're always responsive to the community, but in this case it was actually the Hand of Fate 1 community that really showed us that the enthusiasm was there. Then when we were building Hand of Fate 2 we spent a lot of time on getting a great toolset together. Ryan + James especially did an enormous amount of work to build tools that were powerful and easy to use. It seemed a shame that nobody but the designers at Defiant would get the chance to see them.
Tell us about the decision to release such extensive tools that were used internally to design the campaign itself. These don’t seem like your average game’s mod tools!
They're not, and partially that's because of the kind of game Hand of Fate is. We were keen to give players the chance to really get to grips with the nuts and bolts of creating their own stories. We also knew that was the thing our players really wanted to do, so then we made it happen.
We were keen to give players the chance to really get to grips with the nuts and bolts of creating their own stories
What kind of scope and inventiveness from individual mods would Defiant be excited to see come out of the community?
A lot of events and locations are kept intentionally vague in Hand of Fate, and our hope is that mod makers take the opportunity to carve out some territory within that world for themselves. Ultimately we'd love to see the community use HoF2's mission variety as a jumping off point - we want to see wild new challenges and game styles beyond the murder-mysteries and fort construction boardgames on the fringes of our own campaign.
…Our hope is that mod makers take the opportunity to carve out some territory within that world for themselves
We suspect it'll take a while before full-length challenges start popping up in the Workshop, but the HoF2 Discord channels and discussion boards are already full of ambitious chatter, and the community has only known of the tools' existence for a handful of days.
Considering Hand of Fate 2 is available on platforms other than Steam, will the game’s published mods be limited to Steam Workshop?
Steam offers such a great framework for modding content, and we've been leaning on that pretty heavily. At the moment there's no plans to bring mods elsewhere in any official capacity.
For an aspiring junior developer looking to get into the Australian games industry, would familiarity with Hand of Fate 2’s mod tools be a standout point on that person’s portfolio if viewed by Defiant Development?
For design roles, 100%. Our next game won't be the same as Hand of Fate (although we're making more Hand of Fate 2 content as well) but our pipeline for content will be similar enough that it's the best possible way to demonstrate your skills.
Going forward, will mod support be focus or considering for future Defiant PC games?
We don't know yet. Let's wait and see what happens with this set first!
ModDB: Thanks Lee!
The installation instructions for Hand of Fate 2’s Game Masters Toolkit can be found here, while the extensive documentation can be read here. ModDB looks forward to seeing what the Hand of Fate 2 community cooks up!