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Title : Shade: The Wrath Of Angels Interview
Date Added : 2003-03-02 04:05:51
Written By: Daniel Crabtree
The following is our interview with Aleš Horák, the 2D graphics artist of Cenega about the upcomming Shade: The Wrath Of Angels game.
Q: Can you please give us some idea about what type of game this is?
A: Shade is a combination of 3D action, along with strands of adventure with a strong and compelling horror atmosphere and theme. We are working hard to convey menacing events whilst also trying to be very subtle. It is certainly not about out and out action. Imagine the scenario – you are alone in a strange place. You sense that something is wrong but you can’t put your finger on it. You have no idea what or whom you may face and the chilling ambience of the location makes you feel uneasy. You do not know whether you will survive the next hour, let alone minute. You must rely on your wits and resolve whilst overcoming the fear welling up inside you. This is just the kind of atmosphere and mood we are trying to create for gamers who play Shade.
Q: With the game being from the horror genre, what does this mean for the end gamer? Will “Shade: Wrath of Angels” be full of suspense and surprises, keeping gamers on the edge of their seats throughout the experience?
A: Of course, as I explained in the previous answer. As you can imagine the horror theme brings great potential not only to impress the player but also embroil him in the action. The overall atmosphere and gloominess, combined with the action and scenic reverses should keep the player’s attention and ensure that the interest level is high so they will eagerly want to see what will happen next as well as what may happen at the end of the game! There are some great hooks in the game, so don’t believe all you see!
Q: With regard to the game engine and game play, how realistic does the game feel and how much interaction with the environment is available to players?
A: We are trying to implement as much reality into Shade as we can. However, you have to draw the line somewhere for the overall enjoyment and playability of the game is the most important aspect. Getting this balance right is the difference between a good game and a perfect one. Many games tend to have fully destroyable environments, objects, lights, and in many cases this is absolutely pointless. We will not add things just to be clever - this has no importance for us. Some players are certainly accustomed to embellishments. e.g. a shot lamp illuminating a room bringing no tactical advantage. All this is a waste of time! In effect the darkness is your enemy, the light is the only salvation for you.
Q: How open will the game be, does it follow a linear story or is it more dynamic? Are you able to divulge information about the plot for the “Shade: Wrath of Angels”?
A: The overall story is mainly linear. A non-linear story of course would not be a problem, but in our opinion, a non-linear character would infringe, to a great extent, the thrust of the main plot line. Although the player is quite free to solve puzzles and move around a level, the main plot line will not be influenced by this fact.
Q: How powerful is the graphics engine that we are going to see in the final game and will the engine be making use of the features of the latest graphics cards? How detailed will the environments and other character models be?
A: I guess you have heard developers talk in glowing terms about their engine but I dare to insist that our engine is fully comparable with many of the current superb engines on the scene. In spite of the immense detail within the environment, our engine still keeps its speed, so it would be possible to play Shade on an average configuration in full quality mode. Check out the quality in the screenshots. Contrary to the current trend we are trying to focus rather on the game itself than on technological achievements, although they are quite important as well. It is getting the right balance once again!
As everybody must know, many super games were visually average, but their impressive drive compensated for it all. We are trying to combine many factors including visual presentation and overall playability. I don’t want to bore you with technicalities!
Q: What type of level environments will be seen throughout the game, will it be mostly indoors, mostly outdoors or some combination between the two?
A: Parts of the levels are purely indoor (e.g. sewers), other parts are in between (e.g. medieval temple, military base) and some parts just outdoor (e.g. medieval town). A great mix! Put simply, everything is subject to the plot. We don’t consider the percentage of indoor and outdoor locations although gamers will love the variety on offer.
Q: What types of game play will be found in the game and how much thinking and strategy will it require? Will we find puzzles akin to the old adventure games, or maybe stealth, or will the game be more focused on the combat and action?
A: It’s up to the player, which way/style of play he chooses. Though the story is linear, the proper solution and the ways of achievement for each level are individual. Of course, the player will encounter puzzles and will have to use the right objects in the right places, as in any other adventure game. The action element/focus is more up to the player’s decision. He may try to creep around without shooting. He may try to move and weave his way through the enemies. He may even ‘waste’ them one by one or be aggressive and kill them furiously. This is entirely up to the player, however he should keep in mind that the spare ammunition is rather rare in the game.
Q: What type of weapons and items will be available in the game? Will they have multiple uses? Will we be able to combine them together to create different weapons/items? And what type of enemies and obstacles will we be able to use these against?
A: Most of the weapons are firearms similar to current real firearms, supplemented with cutting weapons, along with a collection of improvised weapons (knife, torch, pipe, etc.). During the game you may find some stronger or modified weapons, but you cannot use them for other than their original purpose – i.e. killing. As for other items, of course you may combine them and use in various places.
Q: How much personality does the main character have and are there any other characters that are featured through out the story, and will they all have unique and interesting traits?
A: The main character is first of all a personality with a capital ‘P’. At first sight he may seem rather unobtrusive and grey, but his real power and charisma is hidden below the surface.
This is perhaps caused by a horrible mystery he is harboring; this mystery is even more horrible as he is not able to determine it himself and so it is gradually developing pending a dramatic finale. You may look at a view of how he got into that trouble on the homepage of Shade: http://www.shade-game.com. And I would like to stress that during his adventures he meets a lot of interesting characters and not all may be unfriendly…
Q: Will there by any multiplayer options, and if so what type of gameplay modes can be expected?
A: Unfortunately we don’t consider any multiplayer, even co-operative options. It would affect the plot and the atmosphere of the game. The player’s loneliness and isolation is a key feature; he must fight against all that is evil, all by himself.
Q: How is the development of “Shade: Wrath of Angels” proceeding and when can we expect to get our hands on it?
A: The development is proceeding like with any other game. It has its delights, successes and difficulties. So far, everything is going the way it has been planned. I cannot tell you the exact release date of Shade: Wrath of Angels but it will be worth the wait – believe me!
Q: With there being both PC and Xbox versions of the game, what will be the differences between the two if any?
A: Shade is primarily developed for PC. Our publisher will decide on when the eventual conversion for Xbox will be done. We will definitely try to make the XBox port as good as the PC version.
Q: What is the thing you like most about Shade: Wrath of Angels?
A: Blood and zombies.
Q: We would like to thank you for giving Game Score the opportunity to do this interview with you and is there anything else you would like to add?
A: Thank you for the interview, too. We all hope that the players will enjoy our game as well as we enjoy making it (although sometimes it is very stressful). There will be plenty of surprises in store!