Meet the Team – Erich Schaefer

August 4th, 2009

Hi, I’m Erich Schaefer, one of the co-founders of Runic and a designer of Torchlight. This is the first time I haven’t been the lead on a game. I’m taking more of a support and mentor role and it feels great; passing the baton on to a younger and smarter team.

For the last couple weeks, I’ve been knee-deep in item design, giving stats, names and powers to what feels like millions of magic items. More accurately, I just cooked up 20 ‘Sets’ which are groups of armor, trinkets and weapons that combine to give additional magic properties to a character as they equip more than one. I’m sure this is a familiar dynamic to players of Diablo II, but I think we’ve handled it better this time around. They are certainly easier to make! Anyone firing up our mod tools will see that creating 20 sets is not such a tough job. I struggle most with the names. In any session, I usually come up with a few powerful sounding examples, like Ophidian Fang Grips or Magma Destroyers, then as I lose my ability to focus I go to joke-y ones, like Blue Steel, and finally degenerate further into nonsense with ‘gems’ like Leone’s Shootin’ Gloves. You’ll probably scoff at these actual examples of my brilliant design style, but I’ve been doing this for years, so listen up!