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Q&A With Shadow's Project Manager

by Rainier on July 12, 2002 @ 7:14 p.m. PDT

Yesterday we introduced Vae Victis and its upcoming tactical action game, codenamed Shadow (read story and check screens), based on modern military special operations. Players will be immersed in a setting of black operations and clandestine political agendas in a multiplayer environment. Selecting from one of ten different elite Special Forces from around the world including US Navy Seals, UK SAS, and Russian Spetsnaz, players will battle in missions based on actual locations. Today we cornered Vae Victis' Project Manager Paul Burkhardt and had a few beers .. ermm asked him some questions ..

1. Identify yourself recruit! State your name, rank and unit. What other missions have you been involved in?

My name is Paul Burkhardt and I am the Project Manager. This is my first undertaking in the game development industry but it is something that I have had my eye on for awhile.

2. Are you going to tweak the Torque engine to make it fit your idea of Shadow?

Definitely and we have done quite a bit in that regard. Most of the major changes have been in graphics rendering but there are other areas where changing the engine is required to meet our design goals, such as adding new movement abilities, etc.

3. Which aspect of the game are you going to concentrate on? Will the game story be tied together in a campaign, will the game be all skirmish missions or will both be available (and have different maps)?

We can’t say much about the missions at this point, but we will say that there are mini-plots which hopefully provide intrigue and enough of a premise to account for the objectives.

4. Will this be a team based game or a one man show?

The emphasis is on teams in a multiplayer environment.

5. Are you going to limit the amount of weapons one player can carry?

Yes, in keeping with a realistic theme each player will be restricted to a finite number of weapons and items that can be carried at a time.

6. There has been a glut of Spec Ops tactical shooter games lately. How are you planning to have yours stand out?

We feel the addition of vehicles and variety of maps and game-play options will help to set our game apart. There are other features which we are excited about but these will be announced at a later date.

7. What platforms are you planning to make Shadow for?

Currently the PC is our target platform.

8. Are you making your own sound effects from scratch or are you going to use the ones already available?

Most of the raw audio material comes from libraries that our sound artist then modifies to suit our needs.

9. How many people are on your development team right now?

There are currently twelve on our staff that are working on the game content. We hope to add a few more in the programming and art departments.

10. Will you be able to interact with the world/environment? Such as hide behind bushes or snipe from trees?

Players will be able to climb, crouch, prone, jump, and drive their way into areas of tactical advantage. Vegetation, debris, and other objects can serve as cover.

11. Will there be an editor available with the game for the player to use and create there own extras, new maps etc..?

The Torque editor can be used for some modifications in our game. Those already familiar with editing in Tribes2 and Torque will be able to carry their skills over. The addition of per-pixel effects will require some familiarization with creating bumpmaps, specmaps, etc.

12. Since this game is in the early stages of development, do you have rough estimate of when you expect the game to be complete? How many missions/maps are you aiming for?

Our goal would be to finish sometime in 2003, but the best we can really say is that we’ll get it done as soon as we can. We are planning on 10-12 maps but this may vary.

13. Are you planning to support a specific graphics hardware type? Or will it support everything that supports DirectX?

The focus is mainly on OpenGL and current high-end video cards. We are interested in what the new hardware from ATI, nVidia, and 3Dlabs can offer.

14. Do you have any sort of system requirements hammered out as of yet?

Not at this stage. We are still exploring a lot of new territory in terms of how far we can push hardware.

15. Can you elaborate on the game modes you are planning to implement?

We’ll announce more details on our game modes at a later date.

16. Assuming there will be multiplayer, will vehicles be available for players to use/drive and what type of vehicles are you planning to incorporate?

Players will be able to drive and control most of the planned vehicles. The majority are military transport used in stealth and fast-attack roles. There will be water, air, and land vehicles that can carry individuals and small squads. Currently we are planning on having fifteen selectable vehicles and then a few prop vehicles that players can access.

17. What sort of terrain types are you planning for the stages? Will the game be mainly indoor, outdoor based or a mix of both?

That really depends on the mission but overall it is a mixture of both.

18. Will there be real time weather effects? Will they be adjustable (as in preset in the options menu) or totally random during game-play?

There are plans for weather effects which can be adjusted by the editor.

19. Will a demo be available before launch or after?

We would like to put out a demo/test before launch.

20. Since Vae Victis is relatively new and the game in early stages of development have you any idea yet on who will publish/distribute the game?

We are still open to publishing/distribution offers.

21. Will Project Shadow be the final/full name of the game or is this more of a “working title”?

Shadow is just the working title.

22. Thank you Paul for taking the time to face our firing squad and out up with our annoying questions

The pleasure was all mine

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