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Brutal Legend Video Interview Transcript
Post by Steve Farrelly @ 05:25pm 26/06/09 | Comments
AusGamers chats with Anna Kipnis, gameplay programmer for Double Fine's Brutal Legend...

Click here to watch the full video interview.

AusGamers: We're here with Anna Kipnis from Double Fine Productions. Anna, can you tell us a little bit about what you do on Brutal Legend, and maybe give us a spiel?

Anna Kupnis: Heh, my spiel... Well, I'm a gameplay programmer and what that entails is doing the artificial intelligence and bringing the characters to life - I work on a lot of the scripted events in the demo especially.

And here's the spiel: Brutal Legend is a third-person action/adventure game in an open-world. Jack Black plays Eddy Riggs; a roadie for a really terrible metal band who gets a little bit of blood on his belt buckle one night and he gets transported back in time, back to when everything looked like Heavy Metal covers and he just happened to take his guitar back by accident and when he picks it up to try it out, he realises it actually does magic attacks, like, it shocks people; it throws people up in the air, and a lot of these attacks are heavily based on the heavy metal visuals and moves you have at shows.

He also discovers he can easily wield his 'Axe' which he calls his 'Separator'. And later on he actually builds a Hot Rod out of parts that just happen to be in a museum, as you will see in the demo. He dubs it the 'Druid Plough' and it's very effective at running people over, but it's also just a really good ride to get around really fast in the game's open-world.

AGN: As an AI programmer for this, how much fun was it creating all these evil cool metal inspired creatures?

Anna: It's been really, really amazing, like, a lot of the art is inspired by Frank Frazetta. So just being able to watch the development of these characters as the game goes on has been awesome. Every day you see something new and you're kind of stunned by things, like, "oh look, the new sky tech went in". And it's like you get a little distracted from whatever you're testing to check out the game.

It's just been an amazing experience, and has been fun to just try and create really plausible behaviours for these characters that just look so awesome.

AGN: Did Frazetta work on the game with you guys? Or was it just inspiration?

Anna: No, he was just the inspiration and we kind of took it in our own direction as well.

AGN: Are you a Metal person? Are you into Heavy Metal?

Anna: I am now (laughs). I've always been into Black Sabbath though.

AGN: Which I guess is another core foundation...

Anna: Yeah. It's, like, the gateway drug to Heavy Metal.

AGN: So in terms of level progression and stuff, are we talking 'Hack 'em up'? Or is it a little more complex than that?

Anna: Yeah, there's an element of strategy. I don't want to spoil the game too much but there is definitely a lot of variety to the game. For one thing you'll have your deuce; your Hot Rod and there will be missions focused on that. And there are missions that are a little more brawler-specific. Then there are quite a few missions that introduce a whole new strategic element. So there is going to be a great variety of things you can do.

AGN: Is there anything you can tell us about content, like, there's a lot iconography from Metal history - was there anything that went too far, that you had to strip back?

Anna: Honestly? I don't think that's possible (laughs).

AGN: Awesome. So it's unhinged? Full-on?

Anna: Definitely.

We also have plenty of information about Brutal Legend available on our game page as well as a full preview from this year's GDC you can view here.