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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!


Interview With 'Nina : The Agent Chronicles' Developer

by Rainier on Aug. 24, 2002 @ 7:37 p.m. PDT

Today we serve up an interview with Maciej Miasik, one of the developers for Lemonhead's upcoming shooter "Nina : The Agent Chronicles". If you have never heard a producer call their own game a "play and forget title", then you surely must read this ... Njoy!

Check our previously posted screens, click here

1. Who has the honor to talk to us? State your name, rank and occupation! What is your involvement in the Nina creation?

My name is Maciej Miasik. I’m partially designer, partially producer of Nina. I’m also a sound designer for the project.

2. What is the story behind Nina The Agent Chronicles?

Nina is the agent of secret international anti-terrorist organization –we still are thinking about cool name for it and probably never come up with anything cool and fancy – which tries to free the world of the various terrorist nets. The organization only uses agents which have some extraordinary capabilities. Nina is sent to various places around the globe to solve problems with various terrorist groups, and each episode gives us chance to control her performing their duty. The first episode places us in Far East where Nina has to destroy a secret bio-chemical weapon factory and she also discover traces of much more dangerous conspiracy involving specific nuclear weapons. No need to add that Nina follows those traces in the next episode and the action moves to completely different place and environment. She will discover the traitor within her own organization and finally eliminate the head of that particular terrorist net.

3. In what development stage is Nina The Agent Chronicles ? When can we expect the retail version on the shelves? Who will publish/distribute the product?

Nina is expected to be finished within next 3 months or so. We have most of the code running, most of the geometry finished. We are currently coding some logic and create models.

At this stage I can’t say anything about the publishers/distributors.

4. What game modes will there be? Will there be multiplayer support?

Nina is not very complicated first person shooter – that was our primary goal, create a shooter for not too experienced games, easy to get into and have some fun. The game offers decent amount of shooting and killing, but the weaponry is very limited, similar to that the tactical shooters offer – Nina carries only one weapon besides pistol – this is something the real people usually do. Although she is trained agent of secret anti-terrorist agency, she would prefer to use her tools instead of her physical skills – so jumping, climbing would be also limited. These limits are primarily because of the target audience – casual gamers - who can have problems with using loads of weapons and items, or complicated character’s moves.

Multiplayer support hasn’t been decided yet.

5. How many and what kind of weapons are you planning to have in the game ? How many weapons will the character be able to carry at the same time? Are the weapons authentic or fictional?

There’s limited amount of weapons – Nina carries only 2 pieces of weaponry in each of game’s episodes, we wanted to be a bit realistic in this. The weapons are authentic, or at least as authentic they can be without the threat of legal actions from the manufacturers. The idea was to make the games different enough to allow the players notice the difference. What’s the point of carrying 15 different weapons when you use 3 of them at most, the rest doesn’t make any difference or are simply unusable?

6. Since you mention that Nina will move toward a tactical shooter, will you be able to control more than one person? For example like Rainbow Six etc?

No, Nina prefers to work alone. Tactical elements mean the way the game is played – it requires at least trying different tactics instead of usual – run and blast anything which moves. We wanted to spice up the “ordinary” FPS with some tactical shooter elements and a bit of adventure elements, but we didn’t want to go too far, the game wasn’t supposed to be too complicated to learn and play.

7. What is the current state of development? Will you be able to make Q3 2002 release date?

Yes, it shouldn’t be a problem. But as with any other game, this may change in the future.

8. How many levels will there be? Any specific real life/historical locations or buildings or is everything pure fiction? Will there be a high blood’n gore level in this game or will the game be “clean”?

Let’s start from the end – the gore level is moderate, just some blood on the walls, but we are prepared to make the game “clean” if required. Everything will be pure fictional locations – we don’t want players compare the locations with the real stuff and complaining about how bad it has been done (or praising how good). I can’t say yet how many levels will be in the final product.

9. Will there be an editor for players to make their own maps etc? Will the game be friendly to mod developers?

No, this is strictly “play and forget” product. Have some fun and move along.

10. What sort of changes did you have to make to the Talon engine? Or did it fully meet your needs?

The game is being developed extremely fast which doesn’t leave much time for engine tweaking. LithTech engine is excellent piece of technology and we don’t want to improve it – it would be too time consuming process, requiring thorough testing. We want to concentrate on gameplay and content, rather than fiddle with features only small fraction of potential customers would be able to notice.

11. Thank you for taking the time to answer our silly questions

Oh, you are most welcome

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