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'Planet Prison' - Developer Interview

by The Six Billion Dollar Man on April 2, 2003 @ 12:51 a.m. PST

Planet Prison, is a thrilling tactical strategy game which takes you, a stranded starship captain, into the depths of space where an empire controls a planet of prisoners enslaved for evil purposes. It will require a variety and a large range of skills and resources to overcome the evil forces of a mean and powerful empire in single or multiplayer game modes. Today we cornered NumLock Software lead programmer Alexander Filatow and asked some annoying questions ...

Q : Who has the honor to talk to us? State your name, rank and occupation!

My name is Alexander Filatow, I am leading programmer at NumLock Software.

Q : Why did you choose to make Planet Prison a tactical strategy game?

AF : Well, we had some very fresh ideas for this genre and we wanted to realize them in our beautiful game.

3. What is the current status of Planet Prison?

AF : The game is still in development, we plan the release date in the end of September.

Q : What are the current system requirements?

AF : Oh, don’t be concerned about that point. I develop it on my PIII 800 with GeForce Ti 4200 and it runs fine. We also tried to overload the screen with effects and characters and it still runs fine.

Q : We know there are two main characters. One is the space ship captain. Who is the other?

AF : The other character is his female co-pilot. All the other members of the team may be hired during the game. They all have unique special abilities, and the configuration of your team will play a very important role in the game. You may fill it with cyborgs having great health and endurance and play it like an action game or use humans or mutants, requiring well planed tactics.

Q : Can you give us some more info on the story behind Planet Prison? For example what must the main character do etc?

AF : Oh, the story is pretty simple- the captain and his co-pilot survive an emergency landing on a planet having a prison functions. If you remember the movies “Escape from NY” or “Escape from LA” and the societies mentioned there- that’s pretty much the same world that we want to offer for playing. The goal is to escape the planet, I don’t want to give away more for the moment.

Q : Since you are required to use your skills. Can you give us some info on what kind of skills you will have in the game?

AF : Oh, this will be the main focus of the game. Imagine your team with completely different individuals- the cyborgs are real war machines, the mutants have healing abilities, nomads are masters of camouflage.

Q : How many types of weapons are you planning to have in Planet Prison?

AF : This is still in discussion, at the moment we also experiment a lot with different kinds of grenades- stun gas, smoke gas etc. is in test. We also plan some futuristic weapons, but all in all there will be maximum two dozen of different weapons- it’s not the point we want to focus on.

Q : Since you can make your own weapons, how will that be implemented? Will you have to find parts or can you make your own etc?

AF : The weapons may be bought in weapon shops, one-two unique weapons will be found during some hidden quests. Every character will only be able to use his own weapon class.

Q : Will the battle system be similar to other tactical strategy games like Fallout or will it be something totally new?

AF : At the moment it is similar to Commandos or Jagged Alliance, but it’s real-time.

Q : What kinds of items will Planet Prison feature? For example health packs, drugs, etc…

AF : Health packs are there, with the drugs it’s difficult theme- the protection of children and young people in different countries bind us hands to develop a really bad game, but we are trying to keep the world as criminal as it is possible. Other items: time bombs, keycards, invisibility belts: everything is there.

Q : How interact able with the game world be? Can you kill whoever you want, destroy whatever you want?

AF : The destruction of the buildings is not there, but the rest is pretty GTA.

Q : How about your AI NPC system, Will there be any kind of factions or will everybody be available to you?

AF : We have different gangs controlling their territories and acting together. The rest is for now still in development.

Q : Will you have a difficulty setting for the AI?

AF : No.

Q : How large will the maps be? Will they be randomly generated to keep the players attention in the game?

AF : That’s good question. Because every level will be _very_ big, with it’s own life and a lot of missions. But in common there are only 8 of them- the player will have to learn the configuration as best as it goes to be in tactical advantage- there are about 20 missions which may be fulfilled on each level.

Q : How many different types of enemies will Planet Prison have?

AF : In common : 5. Humans, cyborgs, nomads, mutants and an evil empire controlling them all.

Q : Will your character gain levels in Planet Prison? Elaborate how.

AF : No, we don’t have any RPG elements, except some different weapons.

Q : Will your character experience fatigue or hunger during their travels and fights?

AF : No, but we have energy as a resource required for some weapons.

Q : Since there is a multiplayer side. How many multiplayer options are you planning on?

AF : One: anarchy.

Q : How in-depth will the battle system be? Is it based on a classic dice roll or will it be sectionalized? For example a head shot is worth more than the chest or arm?

AF : PP bases not on a 3D engine, but we developed a very revolutionary system allowing us to set dangerous points on every rendered character sprite. The battle system will correspond in other points to known real-time tactical strategy games- I want to name
“Commandos” on this place again.

Q : Any chance we will see a demo before the game appears on shelves?

AF : We work hard on it, but until summer there will be nothing interesting to be seen.

Q : Finally is there anything you would like to add perhaps something I missed?

AF : I hope I mentioned the main points which may interest the readers. We have a webpage, www.planet-prison.com, we will actualize it as frequently it goes.

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