Chrome Interview - John [JCal] Callaham from HomeLan speaks to Pawel Zawodny from Techland.

07 February 2003 00:01

First, it's been a year since our first Chrome interview. How has the game progressed since that time?

After completing our work on the modern technology of simulation of huge open areas we focused on Chrome's playability. Last year we spent time on inventing an involving plot for the game and arranging the main character's adventures. We have prepared 16 missions altogether, taking place in different conditions on different planets. We have put much effort into the making of the environment for each of them: terrains, fauna and flora. However, designing the storyline of the missions took most of the time. Some prototypes were made and then tested. The conclusions led to further improvements and changes in the game's scenario. Last few months were devoted to the implementation of all adventures the player will face.

Some press mentions of the game have compared Chrome to Halo. How do you feel about such comparisons?

Halo is an excellent game, so we can be proud of this comparison. These two titles are different in many respects, though. They are similar in terms of the opportunity to watch all these extensive terrains but in Halo all you can do is watch, whereas in Chrome open spaces are used all the time to create original playability. Chrome, very much like Halo, is a visual revolution in the world of FPS games. You cannot forget about the differences, though. Chrome and Halo are two different games, if you take the playability for example. Halo is rather an arcade-type of game and Chrome requires a lot of effective tactics and innovative approach. Chrome is also more realistic, so you will need much luck and a lot of skill in using the implants to fight a few enemies at a time.

Why did you decide to use Strategy First as your publisher for the game in North America?

The negotiations concerning the distribution in the USA have been going on for a long time. We are the kind of a developer that rarely makes sudden decisions and that is why we have made a great effort to choose the best partner. What we find valuable about Strategy First is their experience and good reputation, both on the North American and on international market. Besides, Chrome is an important milestone for Strategy First as they haven't released any FPS game so far and a lot depends here on the success of Chrome. Moreover, the contract with Strategy First is a partnership agreement and is aimed at making Chrome a real success. All this makes us believe that both the quality of Chrome and the release of the game in the USA will meet the fans' expectations.

Can you describe a few of your favorite weapons in the game?

The weapons you choose as your favorite depends largely on your tactics. For me the best way to eliminate the enemy is the Cafs 8 mm. It is a light gun designed for precise shooting even at remote targets. It is very efficient when used with the Scoped Eye Effect implant. As additional equipment I usually take the TC234 gun in my rucksack or the same model with a silencer, if the task requires that you keep quiet. Short reload time and high precision make it an efficient short and long-distance weapon, very useful on closed areas of the planetary bases. You can take some plasma grenades with you as well. After some practice they can help you out of serious and hopeless oppressions. A sniper gun Matson ACC is an excellent piece of tactical weaponry in the open or semi-open locations. Its efficiency decreases in the jungle and in closed areas, that's why I use it on planets with poorer flora.

What are some of your favorite enemies in Chrome?

My favorite enemy is the corporate soldier/trooper as a sniper. His exceptionally high precision allows him to shoot the enemies to death with just 3-4 shots. The only sensible solution here is to skillfully use the shaping of the terrain, approach the soldier/trooper closely and kill him before he makes you a target for himself.
Other worth mentioning enemies here are the Walkers TC SteelGuardian. There are not many tactical possibilities in the fight with this kind of enemy. The guns and riffles are of no use with the TCSG. The only solution is using the plasma grenades or a rocket launcher. It is important to change your hiding places frequently to avoid being shot by the TCSG. Equipped with two fast-shooting/rapid-fire revolving guns and two AA rocket launchers, it resembles the Landing in Normandy during the World War II.

What other gameplay elements do you think make the game different from other first person shooters?

The most unique element of Chrome is the tactical gameplay supported by the implants similar to those used in the CyberPunk. We hope you like the diverse environment of the game, going far beyond the typical narrow ravines, being mysterious and undiscovered, with perilous jungles, arid desert canyons and extremely dangerous snowstorms. In Chrome you can freely arrange your actions. You could get lost easily, if you didn't have the compasses and scanners. The high level of realism and the freedom given to the player will bring you into real-life action using the main character's advantages as well as the specific characteristics of the terrains. These three elements should make the game stand out from other FPS games and provide you with absolutely new impressions.

JWhat improvements have you made to the game's engine since our last interview?

The most important improvement included porting the game's engine to Direct3D. There were some reasons for it. First of all, the easy access to all the latest effects performed by 3D accelerators and also our own plans to make the Xbox version of the game. We developed the engine itself in terms of its efficiency and visual effects. We did our best to make the forests look denser and the world more realistic.

Has a decision been made to make Chrome "mod friendly" in any way?

Yes, the game's architecture has been prepared in such a way that you could modify the game itself as well as to create your own separate mods. The difficulty in making them is comparable to creating mods in Half Life or Unreal Tournament. We haven't decided yet if we are going to make all the necessary tools accessible right now or some time after the release. The second option would give us more time to finish them up and make them more easy-to-use.

Will there be a playable demo of the game released before it heads to stores?

Yes, absolutely. No specific date has been set but we will definitely give the FPS fans a taste before Chrome's release.

What is the current status of the game's progress and when will it be released?

We completed the Alpha version some time ago. The Beta version should be ready in mid March. The game will be on store shelves in June 2003.

CHROME on Take-Two Interactive website

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