One on one conversation with The Farm 51 and Nordic Games.
Games with a great a storyline and an interesting cast of characters are a rarity these days. This is precisely the reason why games like Uncharted and the recent reboot of Tomb Raider have become a massive success. Not all gamers enjoy a five hour single player campaign like Call of Duty. Some want to invest their time and money into a game that provides immersion.
The Farm 51, developers of the upcoming first person action adventure game: Deadfall Adventures are planning to do the same. Although it seems heavily inspired by the Uncharted franchise, it still feels pretty different. We got in touch with Artur Falkowski, and Wojciech Pazdur, Producer and Development Director at The Farm 51 respectively. Reinhard Pollice, Business & Product Development Director, Nordic Games also chipped in with his thoughts.
We had a chat about how the game is going to be different , the weapons, cinematic experience and how they plan to suck the player right in the experience.
Check out the full interview below.
Deadfall Adventures looks great, but there are many comparisons that have been drawn to Naughty Dog’s Uncharted series; were the comparisons inevitable? Were you prepared for them?
AF: Our game is inspired by the same genre of books and movies, so comparisons are inevitable here, but it is a FPS after all and this affects many things in the gameplay. We didn’t want to just tell a story, but rather to make the player feel like a real adventurer.
RP: I think it’s inevitable but Uncharted had a lot of focus on jump and run passages whereas we have real puzzles. By having a first person view we can also have a deeper shooting experience where the action gets transported in a better way.
"One day someone from the team suggested: let’s add dual wielding! It isn’t realistic, but could give you lots of fun."
- Artur Falkowski, Producer, The Farm 51
The first person perspective is what seems to differentiate it from Uncharted; for a title with a focus on puzzles and platforming, what prompted a first person view?
AF: As I said before, the main purpose of doing it that way is to make the player feel like a hero and not just watch his avatar. Of course a good adventure story needs a strong protagonist, so we have one in James Lee Quatermain. However, we see him only on the cutscenes.
One awesome thing that immediately stood out from the trailers was dual wielding! Tell us more about how that came about.
AF: It came to us quite naturally. We were looking for something which could emphasize the feeling of taking part in a crazy pulp adventure movie. One day someone from the team suggested: let’s add dual wielding! It isn’t realistic, but could give you lots of fun.
Recently, Square Enix released their Tomb Raider reboot to great success, making this style of game and genre even more crowded and competitive than it had been. To fans of either Tomb Raider or Uncharted, what would you say that would attract them to Deadfall Adventures?
AF: In our game, the player will have equipment that’s associated with an adventurer at their disposal, such as a compass; notepad and treasure maps. What’s more, environmental hazards will not only be obstacles for the player; they can use these to eliminate enemies in different and spectacular ways.
We think that the different perspective, lack of jumping, numerous amounts of puzzles, death defying traps and the adventurer’s equipment will create a relatively new and original experience.
"There will be some classic weapons from the WWII era, plus some prototypes and rare weapons. "
Please tell us a bit about the story and the characters in it. What kind of personality does the protagonist have?
RP: Our protagonist is James Lee Quatermain, the great-grandson of Allan Quatermain, who was a famous adventurer known from novels by Henry Rider Haggard. James is a rather simple guy with a good heart but also a kind of misanthrope. At the beginning he doesn’t even believe in supernatural things, although throughout the story this is affected in some way, which is also connected to the involvement of Allan Quatermain in the story.
What kind of weapons will be available in the game? Will you guys be offering skill points, weapon customization etc?
AF: We will have about 30 weapons in the game: pistols, automatic pistols, shotguns, assault rifles and rifles. There will be some classic weapons from the WWII era, plus some prototypes and rare weapons. We have carefully studied historical sources to find some exciting, good looking and after all interesting stuff.
There will be a treasure system, which will allow to upgrade stats of our hero and his weapons, like health, stamina, aiming spread, reload speed etc.
Painkiller was known for being gory and even over the top in its depiction of violence. Are you approaching Deadfall similarly, or will it be a bit more grounded in its depiction?
RP: What made Painkiller that violent was the gameplay approach of having to fight hordes of enemies. In Deadfall you never fight that many enemies at once and the general shooting gameplay is also a lot more slow compared to Painkiller which was really fast paced shooting. The depiction of violence in Painkiller was over the top while Deadfall Adventures is more realistic.
"We created the whole mythology based on popular legends, myths and beliefs. Then we added some hilarious dialogues, because in this kind of tale the humor is a must. "
For a game such as Deadfall Adventures, in-depth story and interesting characters are a must. Can you share how you guys are approaching the same in order to give the players a cliff hanger experience?
AF: We’ve worked very hard on the story from the very beginning of the project. We did thorough research; we watched all the movies that are important to the genre’s evolution (it was fun, I must admit), we even hired people from the movie industry to make sure that our story sticks to the convention.
We created the whole mythology based on popular legends, myths and beliefs. Then we added some hilarious dialogues, because in this kind of tale the humor is a must. Our story is rich but not too complicated. We mixed the fantastic elements with historical events such as the sea travels to the New World from the 16th century, organized by the King of Spain. Also as we mentioned, the hero is a great-grandson of a famous explorer, Allan Quatermain.
The enemies are Nazis! How did that decision come about? Considering just how prolific Nazis are in their video game appearances, was it a challenge to differentiate their role in Deadfall?
AF: The Nazis were very much interested in looking for ancient secrets, like for example the mythical land of Thule, one of the famous lost worlds. It corresponded well with our story.
Apart from that, Nazis as the bad guys are a common motive in the genre, so they just needed to be here. They aren’t the main villains in the story though.
RP: To my mind we mostly see Nazi soldier enemies in all these war shooters. In Deadfall Adventures it’s not a war but instead the Nazis are a party that is on the hunt for hidden artifacts and treasures.
"PC players can choose between mouse and keyboard or to play it with a controller. We will also have a lot of graphic options to fit the variety of system configurations and of course some options that are a matter of taste like FOV."
Deadfall looks good, and the game seems to promise cinematic gameplay. How do you plan on balancing cinematism with interactivity, since that is a point of contention so often these days?
AF: We don’t think about Deadfall Adventures as a mix of gameplay and cutscenes. We rather prefer to think about it as an experience of being a famous explorer.
RP: We know this is a crucial point; we feel that interactivity is of course great and the feel of a game is important in order to keep players excited. This is also to be said with cinematic events. I think The Walking Dead game showed that quite well because in essence I think the interactive parts don’t dominate in my opinion. We have a rather classic approach here and our main gameplay consists of interactive shooting, exploration and puzzle solving. If you have certain things accomplished there will be story sequences.
What kinds of research were done to provide the historical context of the game and make it seem believable? Obviously, it has to be hard to make these scenarios seem plausible for the player!
RP: We carefully researched on how the Nazis approach searching for treasures and artifacts and what was possible in the years the game is set in. We also researched the weapons and the equipment that is used by the characters in our game. But of course there are elements that are not accurate; with such myths like mummies or secret powers, but those are part of the lost world genre.
After all believability is key factor to bringing players an interesting experience.
So far the game is planned for an Xbox 360 and PC release… can we look forward to a PS3 version sometime soon?
RP: We will evaluate that once we have free resources. I don’t want to confirm or deny that it will come at any time to a PlayStation platform.
Are you guys beefing up the PC version with advanced graphics options? If yes, what can avid PC players expect?
RP: PC players can choose between mouse and keyboard or to play it with a controller. We will also have a lot of graphic options to fit the variety of system configurations and of course some options that are a matter of taste like FOV.
AF: As Reinhard said, PC owners will have at their disposal advanced graphics and control options. But apart from that we don’t want to make any version of the game better or different. It’s the experience which matters and this should be the same on PC and on Xbox 360.
What else can we look forward to from you in the future?
RP: We have a lot of interesting opportunities and there might be also some surprises about what projects we will announce in the future. We are also thinking a lot about how the market will change and how we can involve the communities more in our game productions.
Special thanks to Yunus Ibrahim from Premiercomms for setting this interview up.