Monday, June 16, 2008

The Conduit: Developer Q&A

Dan Kaufman - Software Development Director for High Voltage Software.

Rob Nicholls - Lead Game Designer on the Conduit.

Q1: We see alot of images of all different kinds of alien species, what are they called? Ex: Halo has the Covenant, The Conduit has?

Rob: Our alien race is called “The Drudge”.

Q2: Could you give us a brief glimpse into the story of the Conduit?

Rob: The Conduit is a first person adventure game that takes place on Earth in a fictional near future. The main character, “Mr. Ford”, works for an undisclosed government agency that has assigned him to investigate a possible extra-terrestrial encounter. The whole situation ends up going terribly wrong when the player discovers that there's a lot more going on behind the scenes than anybody could have realized. Players are going to be very surprised when they discover the real truth that surrounds us all.

Q3: In lots of the images and in the trailer their are aliens standing in front of what appears to be portals. Care to explain?

Rob: That’s because they ARE portals. The alien Drudge has the ability to set these up in various locations in order to easily pour in reinforcements. It also means these portals should be prime targets for players, in order to keep from having to face an endless horde of enemies. =)

Q4: How would you describe The Conduit's gameplay?

Rob: The Conduit is a fast-paced action shooter, intended to cater to a wide variety of play styles. It doesn’t matter if you are the “run and gun”, the “cover to cover” or the “sniper” type of player, there will be something for you in The Conduit.

Q5: What kinds of Online and offline modes can we expect to see?

Rob: The Conduit has an engaging single player mode for offline play and will have at least three competitive multiplayer modes for online play.

Q6: You mentioned in an IGN article that the framerate was currently at 30 but you were aiming for 60. Have you hit your goal yet?

Dan: The game will run absolutely solid at 30fps. For HVS, choice is either to have less visual splendor and run at 60fps or achieve the look we want for the game and run at 30fps. 30fps is a frame rate that is plenty responsive for FPS gaming and we are valuing the increased visual detail we can offer over the slightly smoother gameplay we might otherwise get by scaling this back.

Q7: Are we going to see voice/text chat or any way to communicate other then ducktaping out phones to our heads?

Dan: We are exploring the possibility for voice chat. It is too early to make any promises along these lines, but we agree it could make the game even better!

Q8: Any plans for local/splitscreen or lan multiplayer?

Dan: Splitscreen multiplayer – not this version. LAN multiplayer – very likely.

Q9: What has been the hardest part so far in the process of making The Conduit?

Rob: There are hard parts on any project, but since this is HVS’s first big internal title in some time, I would say that my biggest challenge on this title has been to maintain the focus and the vision. Not because people have wanted to make a different title, but because everyone is so excited about this opportunity that they all want to contribute above and beyond their normal roles. However, I think we succeeded in staying focused on making the best fast-paced action shooter on the Wii. =)

Q10: Lots of other third party developers have loaded their games full mini-games with... interesting controls. Any chance we will see any in The Conduit? (Yes, this question may be considered a joke)

Rob: Seriously, we _do_ have one “mini-game” in our title, but it plays so well that you don’t even notice that it’s a mini-game. I think that says something about how far we’ve come with our game design. =)


So there you have some nice information from the developers themselves. I'm liking the Lan possibilities since there is no game like that on the Wii yet. I'm just hoping they nail the art style and make some better looking Aliens.


Travis Hendricks said...

I find it weird that Battalion Wars had LAN working at various conferences and then pulled it. I would love the option of LAN play.

Anonymous said...

IS THIS GENUINE INTERVIEW.....not seen it before.... you can double up textures polygons etc by halfing the frame rate so ether high voltage are rubbish and the frame rate is low because the game stinks or its 30fps as there trully pushing the wii i just carnt fathom out whether high voltage are hyping or really doing a great game.....its that weak alein art direction giving me doubts...

Anonymous said...

How does that affect multiplayer game? If I understood that, the only way of multiplayer will be online, and the "no splitscreen this version" means there won't be any multiplayer on the same Wii?

Metaldave said...

No split-screen but Lan means the game will have online and off-line multiplayer, which is much better than off-line split-screen far.

Travis Hendricks said...

It seems weird to me though that split-screen isn't even an option. It seems like it would be an easy thing to implement if all the online and LAN stuff is already being worked on.

I agree that split-screen is no where near as good as online or LAN but I just think it's weird not to offer it.