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'Roadkill' (NGC/PS2/Xbox) - Interview

by The Six Billion Dollar Man on Sept. 21, 2003 @ 1:27 a.m. PDT

Set in a post-apocalyptic world destroyed by a plague and ruled by gangs, players unleash havoc in more than 30 vehicles with weapons such as machine-guns, guided missiles and grenade launchers. Assuming the role of the mercenary, players must build a gang following as they battle rival gangs, city guards and anyone else that gets in the way. We decided to get together with Midway producer Jeremy Airey and ask whats going on ...

Check our previously posted preview

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

Sir, my name is Jeremy Airey, and I’m running for the office of Governor in the great state of California, Sir. Oh wait. I mean I’m a Producer at Midway Home Entertainment.

Q : What is the current status of Road Kill? When is it expected in stores?

JA: Sir, I can tell you it’s not FUBAR, sir. RoadKill is scheduled to ship 10.13.2003 for PlayStation 2, Xbox, and GameCube. Hoorah! Hey, you started it ?

Q : What inspired you to create Road Kill? Are the developer’s fans of the twisted metal series?

JA: We’re really products of our environment. We grew up with great movies like DeathRace 2000, Road Warrior, Mad Max, Escape from New York, and Blade Runner. We loved movies like Full Metal Jacket and Platoon. For me, guns and cars were a way of life back then. I loved modified cars and I loved weapons. My interest in gaming has always been RPG’s – yet I loved the pacing and action in games like Twisted Metal. At the time, there was a big hole in vehicle combat. We couldn’t be another Twisted Metal (arena based combat) - we had to do something more. I really wanted to blend a pseudo persistent world into the vehicle combat genre and to add missions to it. When we added the missions, we realized that we needed something more. What if we got stuck on a mission, what if a particular mission was too hard for some players, what if they just didn’t like a particular mission? We answered this by adding a variety of different systems into the game that allows you to explore other game areas, build up power, and almost trivialize that once difficult mission. So, our inspiration. Love of games and wanting to build the game we’d buy ourselves. That’s what RoadKill is and that’s what we’ve delivered.

Q : Is there any chance we will see this title on the PC platform? Why, or why not?

JA: Midway, has not traditionally done PC titles. However, SpyHunter was recently released for the PC - so who knows.

Q : Can you give us some background info on the story in Road Kill?

JA: In the mid 1980s, a plague, we call the ROT killed 99% of the population. In RoadKill you take on the roll of a character named Mason Strong. Mason was one of the survivors of the ROT and befriended a character named AXL. Their relationship goes sour and Mason gets left for dead in the wasteland. From here, it’s your classic tale of revenge.

Q : Any estimation on how long it will take you to complete Road Kill? What will the game play time be for an average gamer?

JA: Death Match aside- which is it’s own beast. We’ve had people play on average 30-35 hours to do 100% of the game.

Q : Since this will be a multi-console game, what sort of graphics engine did you use? Did it require some fine tuning when developing from console to console? Is it an in house engine or a licensed product? And why this choice?

JA: Terminal Reality had an engine in place, which is why we chose them as our developer. They had a driving engine they’d used for 4x4 EVO, which lead us to them based on experience. Fortunately, and luckily, shortly after starting the project we decided to write a whole new engine and soft body physics system. Our tech directors nearly had a heart attack when I chose to do this, but it was necessary to pull of the game we envisioned. Lucky for me, everything worked out and the Terminal Reality guys pulled through with flying colors.

Q : Since there will be 30 cars available, how customizable will they be? Also what types of cars will you have? Low riders, classic muscle cars, etc?

JA: All the cars in the game are based on the time frame of what you’d expect from cars in the 70’s and 80’s. They are not customizable from a visual perspective, however, through the 3 shops we have in the game, you can get a large variety of upgrades for them.

Q : Can you give us some info on what kind of weapons Road Kill will offer? How many can you carry at the same time?

JA: We have a large variety of weapons in RoadKill, from player-guided rockets, to cluster rockets, to flamethrowers, mini guns, air strikes, and trigger bombs. You can carry only 1 defensive weapon, and 3 at any one time, of the primary weapons. You have the ability to switch weapons out for your primary slot by selecting which one to drop.

Q : How large will each city be? Are we talking Grand Theft Auto size?

JA: Each of the cities is quite large and I’d say comparable to the ones in Grand Theft Auto.

Q : As you travel from city to city will the scenery change? For example going from downtown to suburbia?

JA: They sure will. Lava Falls is the Vegas of RoadKill, an amusement park gone bad. Blister Canyon is where all us white collar workers, worked and sometimes played. Paradise City is the ‘city of the future’ as the residents of New Caanan call it.

Q : It has been stated that each city will be destructible. To what degree will this be possible? Taking down buildings etc.? Give some examples…

JA: Things within the environment are moderately destructible. We made a trade off to have no load times and no city segments. By doing this, we limited ourselves to moderate destruction of buildings. However, we do have a good amount of destructible objects throughout.

Q : Can you give us some info on the pedestrians? The ones that are armed - will they run out into the road to stop you? Or will they set traps etc? What AI can we expect from them?

JA: Each city is comprised of 2 gangs fighting for power – 3 within Paradise City. They are armed with weapons and depending on your actions and what cars you drive (you don’t want to be in a Gaucho car in Daredevil turf or you’re toast) will determine if they try to waste you or not. The Sentinels are the most brutal NPC’s we have, and they’ll set traps, roadblocks, and ambushes, even use some upgraded weapons. They’re mean mutha’s, especially as they build power in Paradise City.

Q : What about the reputation system how will that work? As you gain more and more respect will cars just follow you and act as cannon fodder?

JA: As you gain experience you’ll gain new titles, the titles represent more followers for the player. They’ll arm themselves and patrol the area around the players’ garage. They’ll help out against those you attack and who attack you.

Q : Can you give us any info on how many different levels/maps multiplayer will include? What sort of multiplayer game types will there be?

JA: The only multi-player game we have is deathmatch. However, we have some unique power-ups, like the wingman, which allows you to have a gunner help you out. We have 9 deathmatch levels with their own unique settings.

Q : What is your personal favorite part of the game? Your favorite car, weapons and why?

JA: I love all the RPG elements of the game the best. All I can say is watch out if we do a sequel! My favorite weapon for deathmatch is the air strike and my favorite car is the Mullet. Nice combo for jackin’ foo’s!

Q : Will any of the different platforms have exclusive content that are not in any of the other consoles? If so, what?

JA: The only content change is actually the HD feature of the Xbox. Other than that, all versions will have all the same content.

Q : Will the tunes you will be jamming to on the radio be created by real life artists? Or will it be all home made stuff? Any names you can reveal?

JA: Lot’s of home made music, lots of licensed content – Judas Priest, Leo Sayers, Foghat, Foreigner. I think you’ll fall in love with our talk radio stuff, the Gear talk was 100% improv and the 2.5 hours is incredible.

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

JA: With all the different systems in RoadKill, side missions, RIOT system, Salvage System, Scavenger System, Reputation System, mini-games, and of course death match, the player will always have something to do to keep themselves busy and to build power. The game is addictive and a hell of a lot of fun!

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