We have a hot new interview for you. John Mulkey, Lead Designer of the pending Project Origin, sits down to talk about all things associated with the hotly anticipated sequel to F.E.A.R. I want to thank John for taking the time to answer my questions and to Sarita for arranging the interview. Do not wait months to read it elsewhere, we have it here first.
Questions from Gareth Von Kallenbach
Skewed and Reviewed
1. What is the background and setting for the game and how does it tie in with the previous titles in the series?
The player will take on the persona of Michael Becket, a Delta operative sent with his team to secure Genevieve Aristide, an executive with Armacham Technology Corporation in connection to Project Origin and the events unfolding in downtown Auburn. This mission starts approximately thirty minutes or so before the explosion at the end of the original game that resulted in Alma’s release upon the world.
2. Will the Operative in this game have enhanced powers and reflexes?
Absolutely. I think that the slow-mo aspect of combat is core to the series and the “chaos of combat” experience.
3. What can you tell us about the A.I. in the game and how it has been enhanced from the original?
We have expanded the variety of AI types and the types of combat challenges these different AI present to the player, but we have also added to the soldier type AI as well. We have given them a stronger understanding of their environment and how to use it to their advantage in combat and given them more ways to interact with the world.
4. What are some of the locales gamers will see in the game?
I can’t reveal them all but I think I can tell you about visiting the streets of the decimated city, a hospital under siege and posh skyscraper penthouse.
5. What are some of the new weapons we will see?
I am really excited about our new laser rifle. It feels really good to shoot it…and it slices enemies into pieces to boot.
6. Will the game support Direct X 10?
Yes, the game will run great on DirectX10. Our rendering engine was built to support a wide range of DX9 hardware, and includes advanced rendering features such as soft particles, dynamic lighting and shadows, HDR, motion blur, parallax bump mapping, and depth of field.
7. What forms of multiplay will the game include?
I cannot really talk about multiplayer yet…except to say that it will be cool.
8. What new enemies will players face and what are some of their abilities?
The Abomination character featured in the E3 demo is an agile bundle of muscle that has the ability to leap great distances, scramble along walls and tackle the player to the ground. He presents a very different threat that anything the player has faced before.
9. Blending action with a detailed plot can always be tricky. How have you attempted to create this element, and will scripted events be a part of the game?
Presenting a strong cinematic experience entirely in first person; where the player has control of where the camera is pointing is a really tall challenge, but hugely rewarding to achieve. We give a lot of consideration on how events flow into one another, framing and the psychology of how a player navigates gaming spaces to come up with our best chances of getting everything to play out naturally and deliver maximum impact. There are “scripted” events in the game, but they are presented in the context of player freedom.
10. The scope of the game sounds amazing. What are some of the biggest obstacles you see in creating the game and what are your biggest goals for the game?
The biggest challenge is exactly that…scope. As game content becomes more and more complex it become more difficult and time consuming to create. My biggest goal for the game is that people will enjoy playing it. My hope is that they lay down their controller at the end of the game and say “That was the best game I have ever played.