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AusGamers F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin Dave Matthews Interview Feature Transcript
Post by Steve Farrelly @ 05:53pm 21/01/09 | Comments
AusGamers chats to F.E.A.R. 2 project lead, Dave Matthews about development of the sequel, procuring the name F.E.A.R., colours, multiplayer and that overturned ban from the OFLC...

AusGamers: We're here with Dave Matthews, project lead on Project Origin, F.E.A.R. 2, Dave thanks for joining us today...

Dave Matthews: My pleasure.

AusGamers: I guess one of the first questions we have for you is why F.E.A.R. 2? Why not a brand new IP starting from scratch?

Dave Matthews: I think everybody out there who played F.E.A.R. saw that we had a really great story to tell and it started with Alma, the little girl and at the end of that game she's unleashed but we left a lot of questions out on the table, and when we really started looking at expansions and everything else we started thinking about it and we really wanted to continue that story, and that's ultimately why Monolith decided to come back and make F.E.A.R. 2 - so we can finish that story we wanted to tell about Alma.

AusGamers: How difficult was it for you to get the license back and bring it across to Warner?

Dave Matthews: Well, a little bit of history: Monolith actually own the [F.E.A.R.] universe, the story, the characters - everything but the name. Vivendi actually owned the name and so there was some brokering going on between the two big corporations and ultimately we were able to get it back in-house which is great because I guess I like to say Alma is the cornerstone to the universe and the F.E.A.R. name is kind of the polish to that cornerstone.

AusGamers: Why a different character then? He kind of seems to be the same guy in the same place...

Dave Matthews: (Laughs) yeah, well obviously this time around you're not playing Point Man again. In F.E.A.R. 2 you're playing Michael Beckett and I would so love to tell you all the nitty gritty reasons as to why you're playing as Michael Beckett, needless to say, by the end of the game you're going to understand completely why it would be absolutely impossible for you to be Point man from the first game for F.E.A.R. 2.

AusGamers: Okay. Now a bit of a throwback question for a lot of our readers: Blood and Shogo - any chance we're going to see any of these come back?

Dave Matthews: I'll say never say never (laughs). We get a lot of feedback about it from our community - guys asking 'make a Blood game, make a Shogo game', um... it's always in the back of our head, so we'll see.

AusGamers: Multiplayer - are you guys going to offer any of the free content you did with the first outing?

Dave Matthews: We're still figuring out which way we want to present it. Ultimately we want the experience to be synonymous with single-player so you understand a lot of the single-player actions and what to expect inside of single-player so that when you do finally get to multiplayer it feels natural to engage it in combat. So whether or not we decide to treat it as a separate piece and get that out on its own, we're yet ti decide.

AusGamers: There seems to be a big shift now throughout the gaming industry that sees development shifting more and more towards consoles with less and less focus on the PC platform. Will you guys be supporting the PC platform with, like, multiplayer - dedicated oceanic servers etc? Or are you guys just looking more at console proliferation?

Dave Matthews: Well what we've done is we've leveraged a lot of things we felt were a little short from the first game. Things like voice (chat) were always handled separately, so when we really started thinking about multiplayer on consoles as well as PC we really wanted to make sure we were able to integrate as much interactivity between squads so you can basically have tactical choices to combat. What that basically means is we kind of piggyback with some of GameSpy's activities and it started to force us into a direction that's kind of a hybrid between what people have with old PCs and consoles...

AusGamers: Right, but will guys be offering serious support, like the aforementioned dedicate servers...

Dave Matthews: We won't be offering dedicated servers, but all that other content such as downloadable maps, skins, mods, that kind of stuff we'll be supporting.

AusGamers: So there will be support for the mod community?

Dave Matthews: Well we'll see how we go. To create content for F.E.A.R 2 is day and night compared to what it was like with the original game.

AusGamers: So you've brought back the name, you've brought back Alma - all that sort of stuff, how do you make the series fresh? What's so innovative about this iteration? The FPS genre is very dime a dozen...

Dave Matthews: Well I think what helps set F.E.A.R. apart is the whole horror aspect and one of the mantras we had at Monolith when we started working on F.E.A.R. 2 was variety. We worked with variety in differences with our characters, that the gameplay evolves with them as we as the environments and how we change them up. In the first game it was very claustrophobic, but with the sequel we're allowing you to move through the city and see the devestation that Alma created.

Also we brought a lot more colour into the game (and by a very specific intention). So much like a Pixar film, they'll create a colour story which creates very specific moods through use with very specific colours. We've kind of done that here so if something starts to become a real somber piece we'll bring down a lot of the hues and bring it into more blues and greens and reduce some of the contrast, where as something more aggressive we're going to increase that contrast and get more into the warm and aggressive colours.

AusGamers: Now, how devastated were you guys when you first heard about the ban here in Australia by the OFLC?

Dave Matthews: It was definitely a hit. I mean we were a little concerned but ultimately we were really excited that the ban got overturned and now we get to release the product we intended to, to Australian audiences.

AusGamers: Can you give us any history on how you managed to get that overturned?

Dave Matthews: I really can't. From the dev side of things I guess I've had my head down in my big white ivory castle (for lack of another word) just working on getting the game out the door, so we left that to all those other great people at WB to deal with and they worked it out thankfully.

AusGamers: Okay, well thanks heaps for your time Dave.

Dave Matthews: My pleasure.

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