LA Times Interviews Gray Matter on RtCW
6:00 AM | John Rousselle | Comment on this story
Although the game industry is huge (edging past the film industry over the last few years, according several criteria), games still receive relatively little coverage in the mainstream press other than the occasional article deploring game violence. Perhaps that is why it is so refreshing to see The Los Angeles Times running quite a good interview with Gray Matter Studios regarding the development and creation of Return to Castle Wolfenstein.
While id Software oversaw production of RtCW, Gray Matter built the single-player mode (the multiplayer mode was handled by Nerve Software) and had a lot of choices to make in deciding how to revisit "one of the granddaddy titles" of first-person shooters.
Here is an excerpt from the interview with Drew Markham, creative director of Gray Matter in Los Angeles:
Q: What are the hallmarks of a first-rate game in this genre?For more of this interesting read, follow the link to the full interview at the bottom of the page. Westlake Interactive is developing the Mac version of RtCW for Aspyr Media and currently has a final candidate version in testing.
LA Times.com: Updated Shooter Aims to Stay True to Classic
A: Pacing. That's one of the things that's missing in a number of games. You can't have the volume at 10 all the time. The notes you don't play are just as important as the ones you do. If you want the player to be hyper-aware, you can use silence. I like the roller-coaster-ride feel of having lots of contrast. I think that's what makes a great movie and a great game.
Of course, visuals need to be top-notch. And sound is key. If you don't get the sound right, it can kill a game. There was a game that came out three or four years ago that was stunning visually, but the gun sounded like it was shooting Jell-O. You need that sound element to be on target the gun has to sound like a gun. We got to play around with an interactive music system. It was amazing watching people play the game with and without the music and watching how their bodies tense up so much more with the music on.
Q: What about the artificial intelligence engine?
A: AI is critical. That's an area that's nascent right now. In the early days, it was easy because you had the player and you had enemies. And the enemies were all hostile. That's an easy behavior model to develop. There's no gray scale; it was pure hostility. When you get into ambiguity, that's when it becomes a lot more difficult.
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