[Entrevista] "The Darkness"

Conversación publicada en el foro General

Bueno aqui os traigo una entrevista que han hecho en los foros de PS3land.com (Aunque lo encontre en Ps3Forums.com). Es un Q&A con los creadores del juego "The Darkness".

We at PS3Land.com have had the distinct pleasure of being in contact with Starbreeze Studios, the Swedish makers of 'The Chronicles of Riddick', and the people behind the next-gen game 'The Darkness'.

Founded in 1998, Starbreeze has grown to be a 50 man studio and has been delivering great games since their early PC titles - 'Outforce' and 'Enclave'. Today, they are working on their first next-gen game for the PS3 - 'The Darkness'.

Over the last few weeks we have been speaking with Jay Boor, who has been kind enough to get our questions answered by those busy people currently working on the game.

Without further adieu, here is the exclusive interview with Starbreeze Studios:

1. What is the story behind Starbreeze, how did you guys get started and where are you at now in terms of staff and game development?

Lars Johansson, Producer: Starbreeze was started with a handful of employees back in 1998, and we have now grown to about 50 employees. We usually focus on one
production at a time, right now it is of course The Darkness. Between 2002 and 2004
our main focus was the "Chronicles of Riddick" production. We are located in
Uppsala, just north of Stockholm, Sweden.

2. What was your inspiration for The Darkness, what kind of games, movies, ect. inspired the game and its characters?

Jens Andersson, Lead Designer: Obviously, the main inspiration for the game and its
characters was the comic but other than that there are many other influences. There
was a lot of stuff in our previous game, The Chronicles of Riddick, that we wanted
to take further and you will see some of that in Darkness. Also, since we are a
pretty big team and with a development of over two years, there is so much stuff
that we get inspired by so I won't even try to remember it all. But here are some:
Burnout, Six feet under, ICO, A Very Long Engagement, Metroid Prime, Half-Life,
Sopranos, Max Payne, Dark Days, Call of Duty, X-men, Pokémon.

3. How long has the game been in development?

Lars Johansson, Producer: We started working in the fall of 2004, so it is about a
year and a half into production now.

4. What is the story of The Darkness? (ex: characters, world, whats going on)

Mikael Säker, Story Writer: The game tells the story of Jackie Estacado. Jackie is a
hitman for the Franchetti family in the New York mafia world. Beginning the night of
Jackie's 21st birthday when Jackie becomes possessed by "The Darkness", an ancient
evil entity, we follow him through his struggle within the Franchetti family and
with the Darkness that he now carries. So it is a physical struggle as well as a
psychological one for Jackie. Since the Darkness mythology is rather large we have
selected the elements we feel are most true to the core spirit of the comic and put
that into the game. The game is loosely based on the "Resurrection" comic-book by
Paul Jenkins. The game features many familiar elements and characters so fans of the
comic can expect to meet Butcher Joyce, Jenny and aunt Sarah, for instance. However, the game does not require prior knowledge about the mythology so we hope that the
game will attract both long-time Darkness fans and players new to the Darkness

5. What are some of the technical features of The Darkness (Ex: physics, animation, resolution)

Magnus Högdahl, CTO: The Darkness uses Starbeeze's in-house engine which has been used in all our previous projects. Among the things we've developed for The Darkness
are; a new physics engine, a system for destructible objects, lots of lighting
related rendering enhancements, better animation system with more IK usage and
better facial animation.

6. The Darkness is coming to PS3 and Xbox 360, what kind of thoughts are behind the decision to go multiplatform?

Lars Johansson, Producer: This time around the 360 and the PS3 are more similar to
each other compared to the current generation of consoles. This has made it a little
easier and more cost efficient to go multiplatform.

7. Developing for the Sony Playstation 3 and its next gen hardware, how is it? Further more, are you happy with having much larger disc storage in
Blu-Ray...allowing for more capacity for game content?

Jens Andersson, Lead Designer: It's a difficult question to answer for a lot of
reasons (and not only for the political ones. . The PlayStation 3 is powerful but
you need to write some very complex code to take advantage of that. Luckily, with
having our own engine we've been able to make some technology choices to go in that direction, so we are starting to take advantage of that now. Personally, I think
Blu-Ray is going to be the thing that will make most difference. Since the start of
the development we've been discussing whether or not we will fit the game onto one
DVD, and that is not counting all the bonus materials we want to cram onto the disc.

8. In your personal opinion, do you see a difference in PS3 vs Xbox 360? Hardware and Games (ex: graphically, processing, ect.)

Magnus Högdahl, CTO: It is hard to give a fair judgement of the games until there
are final versions on the shelves that I can buy for a retail version PS3.

9. Will The Darkness utilize the new sensor system in the PS3 controller? And were you shocked by the new addition of the sensor system?

Jens Anderssono, Lead Designer: I think surprised is a better word than shocked, but
I really like that they are going to put something like that in there. We haven't
really talked about utilizing this feature yet.

11. Do you have any other projects in the works? Do you plan to continue creating for the PS3?

Lars Johansson, Producer: We will certainly keep working with the PS3. Unfortunately
we cannot be more specific about our future plans right now.

12. What is one of your favorite features in The Darkness?

Jens Andersson, Lead Designer: The Darklings. You only have to take a look at one of
the screenshots with them in it and know that they will make a difference.

13. What is it like developing on the Cell processor?

Magnus Högdahl, CTO: The PowerPC part of the Cell is very similar to a Xbox360 CPU
core. They share most of the common performance problems and are both quite bad at running generic c++ code. This is something we can deal with relatively easily,
though. The Cell's SPUs are a lot better and have great peak performance numbers,
but adapting any moderately complex system to run on 256k memory for both code and data is a very time consuming challenge.

14. Will there be any sort of online content or multiplayer (downloadable content, coop, etc)?

Lars Johansson, Producer: We cannot really comment on this yet, all we can say is
that there will be an online component in the game. The Darklings are very much
involved in this...

15. Is there anything that you would like to say to the gamers?

Mikael Säker, Story Writer: Well, it does not really matter if you are a fan of the
comic or if you have never heard about it before. The Darkness game is a unique take
on the whole Darkness universe and the game will drag you into that world from the
first frame of the game. And it is a cool world. I mean, who wouldn't want to be a
mafia hitman with demonic powers? Being able to fire away with two heavy duty
handguns and at the same time smashing a couple of mobsters with a car! That's
something! So I believe the game has very unique and strong game play, and on top of that we have a story that is a serious treatment of a young man's struggle with
evil, power and love. The narrative aspects of the game is a high priority for us
and we really try to push the envelope and make this a memorable and intense
experience for all players.

Iniciado por Q&A The Darkness @ PS3Land
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