A few days ago Sam Mcneil, Review Editor at GamingBolt, had the opportunity to sit down with Martyn Brown, Studio Lead at Team17 to discuss about the studio’s latest offering: Alien Breed Impact. Check out the complete interview below:
Sam Mcneil: Top down shooters have gone the way of Indie games in the past few years; do you think you bring something new to the genre?
Martyn Brown: Given that the original Alien Breed (released in 1991!) is an oft-celebrated release we think we brought a lot to the table then. To have the opportunity to bring the game back dripping with modern day, next-gen audio-visuals is simply fantastic.
Sam Mcneil: Being an Indie development company yourself, is Alien Breed looking to be the big title that may start a new wave of top down shooters, in other words are you looking to set any bars or standards with this title?
Martyn Brown: Three years ago when we were planning the title, we certainly had a good look at the indie/smaller digital download releases and thought we could certainly introduce a higher quality bar. We’re a very experienced studio and I think we’ve delivered on what we’ve termed “AAA lite” meaning it’s a game with AAA production values, but a smaller production compared the mega-budget AAA retail games.
Sam Mcneil:The single player mode of Alien Breed is being bragged up as “Epic” so we are obviously looking at something great. Are there a lot of cinematic scenes or is the action just that amazing?
Martyn Brown: The game has a real sense of scale, the levels are huge, there are quite a few in-game cinematics that are spectacular and the audio certainly plays a major part.
Sam Mcneil:A lot of games are starting to go Co-Operative, What are the advantages of using a friend in game play?
Martyn Brown: Co-op play was something that people very fondly remember from our original game and we’ve reintroduced it in Alien Breed Impact. There’s a real sense of camaraderie and working together, as well as cheeky fight for those vital weapons and upgrades.
Sam Mcneil:Visually Alien Breed has evolved into the Next Generation of graphics, what else is new with the title visually?
Martyn Brown: The game is hardly recognizable from the original given the make up courtesy of Epic’s Unreal3 tech and it features a broad range of special effects, we’ve worked hard to make the atmosphere of the game spooky and fitting with the story really, we’ve not simply gone out to tick various technology boxes.
Sam Mcneil:Some people say Alien Breed has a very large influence from the “Alien” movies, what are the inspiration in developing new content and any type of ingenuity for this title?
Martyn Brown: It’s fair to say that we’ve certainly been influenced by that and other movies, but then most games generally have their own influences. The general storyline is one that has been covered by a few games and I’d like to think that we gave the plot enough interest and twists.
Sam Mcneil:Team17 has been around for nearly two decades, how has this helped with the development of Alien Breed?
Martyn Brown:We’re obviously a pretty experienced development team. We’ve also self-funded, developed and published the title. This is no mean feat in today’s games industry, especially the scale of a game like Alien Breed (which had 35 staff working on it at some stages). Our relative experience in production, the commerce and obviously design has helped at all levels.
Sam Mcneil:You have also seen a lot of success with the Worms franchise; Do you think Impact will bring a new interest in Alien Breed? Could this possibly the start of a new set of Next Gen titles for Alien Breed?
Martyn Brown:We’ve committed to a trilogy of Alien Breed titles, that’s for sure. They certainly escalate in effects and intensity as the story continues to a dramatic closure. In many ways it’s very refreshing for the studio to work on a game that’s almost the polar opposite of what Worms is, in terms of both audio-visual production and gameplay. On the whole, we’d like people to enjoy Team17 games irrespective of the genre.
Sam Mcneil:Are we dealing with Commander Reynolds or Orisis III?
Martyn Brown:We didn’t retain any of the original universe of Alien Breed, other than our Intex Systems computer workstations and input stations, since we’d have been attacked and pillaged.
Sam Mcneil:In Alien Breed 3D 2 we had 10 solid weapons to use, are there more or less weapons, and are there any new weapons?
Martyn Brown:The weapons are entirely unconnected and there’s some great weapons with great special effects in Alien Breed Impact. The new upgrades in the PC version are also dramatic.
Sam Mcneil:Are there any Easter eggs we can look forward to e.g. crazy cheat codes or hidden items?
Martyn Brown:There’s not so much in the way of Easter Eggs in Impact, but we’re looking to sneak a few in our future titles.
We at GamingBolt really appreciate Team 17 and Martyn Brown for lending us their precious time for us.