GGMania got a chance to talk with Carsten Strehse, the lead designer on The
Fall - Last Days of Gaia, as he he answers a few questions regarding to this
Silver Style Entertainment's upcoming post-apocalyptic tactical
role-playing game. The Fall is slated for release in fourth quarter 2004.
GGMania: Could you introduce yourself to our readers and tell them a
little bit about what you do on The Fall?
Carsten Strehse: My
name is Carsten Strehse. I'm the Lead Designer of The Fall.
GGMania: What kind of game is The Fall? What were the main objectives you
wanted to achieve in regards to content and gameplay?
Carsten Strehse: The Fall
is a 3D Post-Apocalyptic-RPG. Fans of role-playing games will love its deep
story and the freaky characters.
GGMania: Why the choice of post apocalyptic? Do you like an idea of
Carsten Strehse: Well, I
would say, it's fascinating to imagine a world after an apocalypse. However, I
like my kind of lifestyle and don't want to live in a cave or something :) The
end-time scenario is much "fresher" and as Fantasy, that's the biggest reason
why we chose it.
GGMania: From where did you get the inspiration to make this game?
Carsten Strehse: First
from our own creativity. But we took a close look on anything that has to do
with the scenario: Post apocalyptic movies, novels, games or music. However, we
created a completely new world with its own mannerisms and characters.
GGMania: What can you tell us about the actual plotline of The Fall?
Carsten Strehse: The
story is about a climate catastrophe caused by mankind. In the year 2062, so
called Terraformers blow enormous amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere of the earth.
Primarily, the machines were meant to be used on Mars to manipulate its
atmosphere and make it habitable for humans. Due to an assault of a fanatical
sect the Terraformers go out of control. The CO2 caused a radical change of
climate on earth. The average temperature increases by equals 18° F resulting in
storms and floods of unbelievable dimensions. Mankind is thrown back in its
evolution several centuries. There is little food and even less water, there is
Our hero was born in “the old times", some years before the catastrophe
happened. The loss of his family drives him out of his home village in the south
of the USA. Reportedly, a new government is being formed in the region of former
New Mexico. Rumors say that even a president was named. It's up to the player to
find out what's going on there.
GGMania: How much choice and what kinds of choices will the player have in
the starting player character and in how it develops through the course of the
Carsten Strehse: To
create a character the player has to apply an ID-Card at the “Government of the
New Order. Each character has 6 Attributes und 14 Skills. The player has
influence on all of them. He can give out points on the stats at the beginning
of the game and every time a characters gains a level. The player can also
choose what life experience and what body features a character should have. Both
have influence on the characters stats. The player has also to make a very
important decision regarding his destiny after death. The new government gives
every character some extra food, water and weaponry if he agrees that his body
can be eaten in the case of his death.
GGMania: What can you tell us about the enemies in The Fall? Can we expect
Carsten Strehse: Yes, but
special ones. We don't have those classical “The bell-ringer of Notre
Dame"-mutants. Our mutants have it's own special look, behaviour and also a
history. But I won't break the whole secret of them yet. Besides mutants the
player will meet different gangs, end-time Indians, task forces of reavers
(called Seekers) and a lot of other interesting groups. If he wants to fight
against them is up to the player.
GGMania: The press release claims that The Fall will bring "an unique
combat system" and "Scalable battles". Could you describe the combat system?
Carsten Strehse: Fighting
can be carried out in real time using the auto pause function and the auto
behaviour settings. The auto pause function enables the player to stop the
action after certain events in order to more easily give orders. The player can
decide if and when the fighting should be paused (e.g., “enemy sighted",
“character was hit", “character has less then 10% life left" and so on). With
the behaviour sets, the player can customize the AI of his characters if he
wants to (“stay in the background", “use mainly throwing weapons", “seek cover
if enemy sighted" and so on). Through this function an optimal control over the
characters is possible an all-combat situations. If he decides to switch off the
AI of the characters plus uses all pause options (especially the one called
“pause after one battle round") he has nearly turn based feeling but with more
GGMania: How will the quest system work, how much variety will there be in
terms of different types, and how will you keep them from becoming repetitive or
Carsten Strehse: Well, I
think we have very creative quests. You won't see a lot of those “bring me an
item and give you something"-quests (even if those type of quests should be part
of every good RPG, you only have to know when you have enough of them). Most of
the quests can be solved in different ways. Example: Your party stands in front
of a huge abyss and need to move on to reach locations. The player can decide if
he uses a crane, which stands near by (for sure the keeper of the crane must be
convinced to let him use the machine) or he can build a glider out of stuff
that's lying around. If he don't want to do both he has to find a around the
GGMania: What other gameplay elements does the game have?
Everything the role-playing gamer wants to see: More than 1000 NPCs with their
own behaviour, lifestyle and dialogues. day- and night-cycle with affects on
sight and battles, possibilities of interaction with the environment such as
digging for water, hunting and gutting animals, more than 300 different weapons,
armor and other items and a lot of other stuff. It would be too much for this
interview. A special feature is the use of vehicles. The player can drive
pick-ups, buggies or even a tank.
GGMania: What sort of interface have you guys prepared for the game?
Carsten Strehse: It's
very easy to use and can be adjusted to the liking of the player. Menus can be
minimized or switched transparent. Of course the game can be played by mouse or
keyboard or both at the same time.
GGMania: Can we expect a playable demo any soon?
Carsten Strehse: I don't
know if there will be a demo.
GGMania: At the moment, what is the current status of the game's
progress and when do you expect the game to be released?
Carsten Strehse: Q1 2004, so there is not too much
time left :) The games current status is about 70%.
GGMania: Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions.
Finally, is there anything else you wish to say about The Fall?
Carsten Strehse: Sure. Visit the website of the
I'll be around in the forum and would love to exchange ideas and opinions about
THE FALL and RPGs in general with you.