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Interview: Martin Malik (english)

del 06 Settembre 2006
Interview: Martin Malik (english)

A cura di Adriano Bizzoco

Q: A hearty welcome to Martin Malik, Future Games's CEO, one of the revelation software house of the last years, who has written games like the wonderful Black Mirror and Ni.Bi.Ru. Can you talk about yourselves? About your work group, your backgrounds? What's the reason you entered in the adventure's games world?

A: There over 20 people who works in Future Games company nowadays. Unfortunately it's not possible (and I think it also would be boring for some of the adventure planet readers ...) to introduce them all. At the same time we can't simply mention just some of them – there is not only one programmer, artist or animator. On the other hand we can tell you a bit about Future Games company itself. Future Games was established in 1999 as an independent developer of computer games. Company founders have had some experience with computer games production because before establishment of Ltd company they produced and within Czech Republic and Slovakia also published two games. Nowadays Future Games works simultaneously on two games with two separated teams and our games as you know are distributed not only in Czech Republic and Slovakia.


REPROBATES

Q: You have just announced two new games: let's start with Reprobates. We have received only few information about the game. Could you introduce our readers into the game world? Which location the main character will have to visit, and which kind of atmosphere could we expect from the game?

A: Part of the story is situated on two uninhabited islands somewhere in the middle of the seas. But do not expect a holidays in between palm trees ... . Other parts of the story are situated into very different environments, but they are part of the whole story and for this reason we can´t unveil them like we did it in Nibiru for example. But I think that those who played one of our previous games knew that we are able to create interesting environments. It ´s not going to be different in Reprobates.

Q: The main hero is surely one of the most important thing for every good adventure. In Reprobates we would play the role of Adam Raichl. Could you talk about Adam, his personality and peculiarity?

A: Adam is not a special skilled hero, for Reprobates we wanted to have a simply normal nowadays young guy. He is 23. When you meet him at the street you probably will pass him without notice. He just had luck when in trouble and for this reason he is going to get a second chance. And he simply wants to stay alive and we assume that he is prepared to do everything in order to do it. But it depends on you, players...

Q: For how many hours could we expect to play with Reprobates? Will the longevity be equal respect to your previous games?

A: Yes, we expect it to be really similar to Black Mirror game. Our estimate is in between 15-20 hours. But it of course depends on how skilled the player is.


TALE OF HERO

Q: The other new adventure is called Tale Of Hero. Could you tell us something about this exciting new project?

A: Tale of Hero is a less serious story then other games from our production. It is a fairy-tale fantasy about a young man who is trying to follow the steps of his infamous father and still stay true to himself. His old man is dead, but Olaf still remembers his teachings and marks he left in this world. Olaf may have same goals as his father had, but uses different means to achieve them. Instead of swift strokes of sword he prefers to use his brain, diplomatic abilities and takes dificulties more easy-going and with an ironic attitude.

Q: So this is your first fantasy adventure. Do you prefer to work on a realistic world (as in your other games) or to have more freedom to create?

A: Both have their advantages. When working on realistic world, it is much easier to gain references for graphic or sounds and you don´t have to explain so much world´s aspects because everyone knows it. On the other hand, this is also what makes it more difficult - everyone knows real world, when playing game from this environment audience is tuned on realism more and is somehow uforgiving when it comes to some sort of stylization or exaggeration.

Q: Don't you fear to fall into the classic clichè of the fantasy genre?

A: Not at all mainly because we aren´t even try to avoid clishes for all costs. We have our story about the hero rescuing damsel in distress, there are giants, sorceress, dragons and other known or original fairy-tales creatures. There are some twist, sure, puzzles, that are, hopefully, fresh and unusual but the main plot is rather classical fairy-tale. Or maybe not... See for yourself when you´ll play it :-)

Rather then make "super-original" story we are aiming for a game which should be fun to play with some sort of not so cheap gentle ironical humour and interesting characters. We even make little fun of that fairy-tale or fantasy clishes as well as of some adventure games clishes here and there.

GENERAL

Q: On your website you have made known that you will use for both games the graphic engine AGDS, updated at the third generation. Which are the differences that you have made thanks to this update? Will you continue to use 3D characters over pre-rendered backgrounds?

A: It´s not an updated engine. It´s a completely new tool for production of modern adventure games. Major differencies are inside the engine and are not that visible. We are now not only using 3D characters, but we work with whole 3D scenes. It allows us to do much more realistic movements, lights etc but in combination with 2D pre-rendered backgrounds it also allows us to keep overall visual quality on high level.

Q: In The Black Mirror the characters' animation were quite slow and "robotic". With Ni.Bi.Ru. this problem was partially eliminated. Could you tell us if in these two new games the problem has been resolved completely?

A: I think that we can say that in Reprobates the character animations were dramatically improved because we knew it´s one of our weak points ... . At the moment we are working on the mimics which we are going to use during dialogues.

Q: The graphical innovations will be the only one, or we can find substantial changes in the puzzles and quests, too?

A: In Reprobates you will find some “classical adventure” puzzles but we also decided to do some of them differently. You as a player will have to solve in selected extreme situations your problem quickly otherwise you are going to die ... . It´s as in a real life. As an example we can mention the situation where Adam have to get out of burning car quickly. But his safety belt is broken and he must be quick! Such scenes are part of the overall game atmosphere and we think it will bring tenseness and emotions into it this way.

Q: The interface of your games represents one of their strength points, too, for their simplicity and efficaciousness. Have you realized some changes in the control system?

A: You are right. As far as we know the players (we even did our own research amongst the players in Czech Republic) found it simply and efficient. However there are few improvements, but they don´t affect the system itself, they are just marginal. A major change that players will find immediately is that Adam is able to run.

Q: Here in Italy, your games have sold very well, especially for the aggressive price strategy the italian publisher (Power Up) decided to use, and because these games hit not only the store shelves but the newstands, too. Are you in favour of such a strategy or do you believe that an higher price could give you more earnings?

A: At the beginning of our cooperation with Power Up there were of course discussions in between us about the price policy. They invited us to Milano to explain everything and discuss it in details. They were very professional so we agreed about the proposed model having in mind that they know italian market better then we do... After some time we evaluate it as a smart move to agree on model proposed by Power Up. For Reprobates and Tale of Hero we will stay with the same model.

Unless Power Up would like to change it and invite us to Milano to have another discussions... We like the town... :-).

Q: Is there something else you would say to italian readers, to conclude this interview?

A: Of course, we wish to all of us (mean adventure games players) a lot of new great adventure games not only from Future Games s.r.o. !

 

Info Requisiti
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Sviluppatore: Future Games
Data Rilascio: Q3 2004
Piattaforma: PC
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Genere: Horror
Grafica: 2.5D
Visuale: Terza Persona
Doppiaggio: Italiano
Sottotitoli: Italiano
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