Joined: 08 Nov 2003
Location: Deepest, darkest Berkshire
|Posted: Sat Sep 10, 2005 22:39 Post subject: Forlorn World - interview
|We bring you an interview with Simon "LooZ^" Janus, PR for a post-apoc game in the making, love child of two previous projects, Polish Wasteland and Trinity.
- Hi! Who are you and what do you do for the project team?
My name is Simon “LooZ^” Janus, in the new project I practically work in the same field as I used to during the work on Polish Wasteland: media relations, marketing, recruitment and ensuring work efficiency (seeing to it that the directives from the “management” are fulfilled within the given time frame). I also had some input in building the game world, I worked on locations and organizations.
- What will the game that you’re making be?
Forlorn World is a cRPG, in which we’ve stressed the development of plot threads. We wanted most of the quests (which will really be numerous) possible to be completed in many ways. Thanks to that every new game played can be different from the previous one. FW will have the most important characteristics of a good cRPG. We want to provide the players with the best possible interaction with the game world. Hence one will be able to move various inanimate objects, or destroy building walls. This will create new possibilities of solving some of the quests and will positively influence the tactical side of combat.
It is also worth to mention that we’re focusing on attaining as high as possible level of realism, but not at the expense of playability. We’ll utilize a simplified food system, but we’re far from making our game an “adverse condition survival simulation”. Where realism collides with pleasure, pleasure has the priority.
- So, the game is going to be “fiction” foremost, and “science” later? Can we count on mutated foes and fantastic weapons?
Yes and no. Certainly one can find creatures/items that don’t appear in reality and in this respect, it is “fiction”. However, all those differences are based on strong rational foundations. We don’t want those things to be totally improbable and thought up. In the end, a good lie must have a grain of truth ;)
- What are you working on presently?
The writers are polishing up the locations from both projects and are trying to merge the worlds of Trinity & Polish Wasteland into one coherent whole, so the player will have a compelling impression, that such would be the life after a nuclear disaster. Forlorn World will have more than 15 main locations – at the moment, about half of them I at an advanced stage of design. Concept sketches are being drawn, and object and building models are being fashioned based on them. I can’t tell much about the programmers’ work, but I will reveal they’re preparing a tech-demo and a test location for its needs.
- Are you going to use your own engine?
It depends what do you consider „engine”. We’re using the Ogre3D graphical engine, and physics is based on the perfect NovodeX engine. But both those elements are but a small part of the game code.
- You said you’ve established a common vision of the game world. What and how much will remain of the respective projects.
For starters, let me mention that more brings our projects together than divides them. Of course, negotiating the vision of the game world couldn’t do with strife, tears and slamming doors ;) However none of the designed locations overlapped, so practically nothing was discarded.
Polish Wasteland gave us particularly the political setting and the social structures, and Trinity – the world (e.g. climatic conditions and all their implications).
- Impossible, have none of the original designs been invalidated?
Sure, some things did fall out, but only those that utterly didn’t fit in with the new world vision. What was in the old designs, we’re trying to adjust to the current conditions. Wild Irma might serve as an example. You might remember her in a summer dress – now she’s wearing decisively warmer apparel. In this way we try to align the old with the reality of the new world.
- The fusion of PW & Trinity did evoke disbelief in some circles, doesn’t that surprise you?
It’s hard to speak of surprise. For the community, Polish Wasteland and Trinity are totally different projects, few know their full history. Let me remind you that the first boss of PW (along with Matieou) was Przemo_nie, who has later left PW and taken to creating Trinity. The projects developed and evolved with time, coming to a point in which a fusion was possible.
- How numerous is the team after the fusion and did no one leave after it became apparent there’s going to neither be a Trinity nor PW?
The team has about 40 people, but those actively working on the game are about 25. That’s typical for a non-commercial project and ‘I'm afraid we can’t transcend that ;) As far as I know, nobody left because of the fusion.
- Will the game be set in the past or the future?
In near future.
- But it will be, as it was in Fallout, and as designs for PW intended, a future after an “alternative past”?
Yes, something like that. But it will be more tied to real events that happened in a different time and yielded different results. I wouldn’t want to say too much and spoil the surprise. ;)
- Both projects targeted Poland, this was where the action was to take place. I suppose it hasn’t changed. What can you tell us about this frigid Poland of yours?
In our world, the Cold War didn’t quite end as the books say it did. Frankly, it didn’t end at all. It turned into a hot Third World War. It wasn’t the beginning of the end, just a prelude to launching the nuclear warheads that turned the world into a graveyard.
- Will the wastes resemble Fallout’s deserts?
No way ;) They will be cold, frigid and gloomy. In Forlorn World you will see the climate known from Trinity: lots of snow, eternal winter and no view of the coming of summer ;) This assumption led us to the necessity of changing the locations, bestiary, and changing PW’s vision to account for snow. The effect is quite curious for us, we hope it’ll be for you too.
- The characters will have to dress warm. Will one be able to find bear fur caps? What effects will frost have on the game mechanics, survival skill, combat…?
A fur cap will be very popular, as it is very warm a cap ;) The player will have to care for appropriate apparel, which will allow him or her to survive in low temperatures. We don’t intend to distract the player from the game itself, but we don’t want him to embark on a long journey clad only in a t-shirt, through a world where the average temperature doesn’t exceed -15 degrees Celsius (5 degrees Fahrenheit). In fact, hell, let him go, he simply won’t live through the route ;)
- Are you planning to implement food, weather and other such aspects making the game more realistic?
Yes, we will implement a global weather system, a day and night system, the visualisation of atmospheric occurrences. There will be days with bad weather, worse weather, snowing, blizzards… All right, there will also be some ordinary –15 degree days, too ;) I’ll meet the rest of the question with silence for now. ;)
- What character will one be able to play?
The player will have total freedom in creating a new ego, and he’ll decide what type of character does he want to play. The player’s behaviour and game style will have a direct influence on happenings in the game. Taking that into account, we’ve ditched having an enormous amount of locations in the game – instead of 70, we prefer to have 20, highly integral and intricate, comprising a lively and organized world. We’re placing our bets on a differentiation of quests, we’ll strive to move away from clichés like „bring that, haul this, sweep here”. Most of quests will depend on the mutual relations between communities. Doesn’t sound new at first, but as I said, the player’s situation might turn around abruptly, and before he knows that, he’ll find himself in a wrong place, at a wrong time, and definitely on a very wrong side. ;)
- Well then, why don’t you reveal something about those locations and organisations you’ve been working on?
There will be a few of those organisations, but none will be lucidly defined. We’ll try to make it so that the player doesn’t know which are the good and the bad guys (like it was with the BOS and the Enclave). We want the player to live in uncertainty, to not know whether he’s on the good side of the barricade and whether there is a good side at all. There will be some epic occurrences, some action twists, some noir film... More, excuse me, I can’t tell. The boss is watching :)
- Will one be able to complete the game without firing a shot? ;)
It’s not certain yet, but we’d want that to be possible.
- How many meshes, tools etc. have you made yet?
A secret ;)
- Tell us, what inspired and convinced you to take part in this project?
It’s hard to tell, it’s been so many years... I thing in some time of our „gamer’s life” everyone feels an urge to create something of his own, what would reflect his dreams ;) I was lucky enough to meet the right people at the right time and make a game exactly like the one I wanted to see. I guess this is what drives every computer game maker.