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PC gamer, WorthPlaying EIC, globe-trotting couch potato, patriot, '80s headbanger, movie watcher, music lover, foodie and man in black -- squirrel!


'Serious Sam' (Xbox) - Developer Interview

by Rainier on Nov. 8, 2002 @ 8:45 p.m. PST

Yesterday we had an interview with Serious Sam producer David Nottingham, today we took a jab at Croteam Game & Level Designer, Davor Tomicic. In anticipation of the Xbox release on Nov12th, this will have to do until then ;)

Q: For starters, why is Sam so damn serious?

DT: Well, saving the Earth is a serious job. And serious job, needs serious people. Sam is serious. Serious Sam.

Q: For the console gamer who may not be as familiar with Serious Sam, what can they expect when they fire up their Xbox?

DT: Humor and action blast straight in their face. Without a rest. Better be ready.

Q: Were you stunned by the success of Sam on PC?

DT: No. We always knew what game we have on our hands, the world didn't. So, world is stunned, not we. Seriously. The bad guys in Serious Sam are just plain freaky.

Q: Explain the inspiration for the hoards of ghastly enemies Sam faces?

DT: All enemies are inspired by ours neighbourhood friends or their pets.

Q: Which is your favorite weapon in the game?

DT: Definitely the cannon. Big black pirate cannon that shoots giant iron balls and smashes everything in front. Devastating weapon, the one that you will turn to when you face the roughest trouble.

Q: Which bad guys do you relish obliterating the most?

DT: Headless kamikaze is our favorite. This bad guy runs straight at you with bombs in his hands, screaming all the time (Aaaaaaaa...). Well, at least, he screams untill minigun starts its singing. Also, nothing can pump adrenaline like breaking all the bones of Kleer Skeleton with shotgun from a pinpoint range.

Q: In your office, who kicks the most ass when you play Deathmatch mode?

DT: Anyone who plays with Groovy Gregory or Santa Sam character. Those are so damn funny, that you can't fight them because of laughing tears in your eyes. Meesterious Mia character has some BIG advantages on her side, too.

Q: Tell the future Xbox Sam fans how they might get through all 36 levels unscathed.

DT: Play cautiously, avoid enemy attacks and their bullets, shoot anything that moves and don't smoke during the gameplay. If you keep like that through all 36 levels, you have some chance to get throught unscathed. Nooo, just kidding, it's impossible.

Q: Let’s explore Sam Stone the man. Tell us about his sensitive side?

DT: What side?

Q: What will the future bring for Sam in the console market?

DT: Sam came to stay. Consoles will never get rid of him.

Q: Please explain Sam’s fashion sense. I mean, red high-tops and yellow t-shirts don’t exactly seem like proper save-the-earth-from-complete-destruction attire.

Hmm. Hotshot's here in Croatia dress like that. Don't you?

Q: Is there anything you can point to in your background (say, being dropped on your heads as children) that can explain why you guys have such twisted imaginations?

DT: In fact, I can. As kids, we watched too much of Tom & Jerry cartoons.

Q: Are your offices a dangerous place to work?With the non-stop carnage in Serious Sam, it seems that one would have to crawl to their desk to avoid flying spitballs and other projectiles while you guys are, um, creating.

DT: Yes, it's dangerous, but we all mastered sidestepping. Only the newbies face some troubles with accomodation.

Q: Do you guys stand out in your country or is everybody as nuts as you?

DT: We are here considered as normal people. So, according to your standards, I guess you would say all Croatians are nuts :)

Q: What is the typical day like for a Croteam developer?

DT: I wake up before noon, enter my Ferrari and driver drives me to the office while I drink champagne. There I'm reading internet news and drinking coffie. Afterwards, I play some single play games, till I get hungry. It's time to eat pizza and McDonald fast food, which really exhaust me so I must take a nap. After waking up, I'm ready for a good Deathmatch game that I play till late afternoon, when it's time to go back to my mension where six blonde chicks are waiting for me. Then clock rings and it really wakes me up from a dream. It's early morning, and I walk to office where I work hard until night falls. Exhausted, I'm coming home, where my beloved one waits for me to prepare her a supper. As always, truth is somewhere in between :) Unfortunately, closer to the second version :(

Q: Americans are dumb. Name something that Croatia is famous for so we can get a better idea of what your country is like.

DT: I shouldn't say this because of potential flooding of tourists, but Croatia is the most beautiful country in the world, with warm and clean sea, more than thousand islands, and equally beautiful continental part. Air is clean and food have a taste. Water is fresh, and you can drink it from the pipes. Over 95% of the girls are slim and beautiful, fats are really rare. Also, here you can found architecture influenced by all great empires that raged around (Roman, German, Turkish,...), some of it more than thousand years old. What more man can ask?

Q: You are obviously Sci-Fi fans. What movies, books, comics, etc. do you turn to for entertainment and inspiration?

DT: On the first place it's Star Wars series. It perfectly blends hero character, epic story, fight between good and evil, action and fun. That's our goal, too. Serious Sam is Arnold Schwartzeneger meets Star Wars universe type of game. And I must tell you Sam is much bigger hotshot than Luke could ever be. Other than that we watch all Sci-Fi and Epic movies (Gladiator) we can found, series like Simpsons, Southpark, Northern Exposure, we read Heavy Metal, Hitchhiker Guide Through Galaxy, etc.

Q: As a group that is outside of the U.S. or traditional game hotbeds in Europe, what unique perspective can you lend on the state of the gaming industry?

DT: I can see some trend towards a realistic war games, horror and violence, probably influenced by a boiled present situation throughout the Earth. We are offering an alternative. Mindless, non-realistic, but fun frantic shooter. Cure for all your troubles. Such games we need more. Games are games, made for fun and relaxation, not to imitate reality.

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