GGMania got a chance to talk with Aleksey Tchetsnikh, writer and the lead
designer on Hard Truck: Apocalyptic Wars (formerly known as
the upcoming action/RPG is set in the post-apocalyptic environment full of
menacing mysteries and unfriendly inhabitants. He provided us with pretty
interesting information and four exclusive screenshots. The game is slated for
release in Q4/2005.
GGMania: Please start off by introducing yourself and giving us an idea of
your involvement with Hard Truck: Apocalyptic Wars?
Aleksey Tchetsnikh: My name is Aleksey Tchetsnikh,
I'm the writer and the lead designer of the project.
GGMania: How did the idea for Hard Truck: Apocalyptic Wars come about?
We wanted to do something different after three years of
working on RTS/RPG projects (Battle Mages and its addon) - something with more
drive and adrenaline. Action on heavy trucks sounded just right - you can drive,
fight and destroy things. At the same time, we didn't want to forget our
experience of RPG projects - that's how the idea of Action/RPG on heavy trucks
GGMania: Can you give us a brief overview of Hard Truck: Apocalyptic Wars,
telling us what the game is all about?
Hard Truck: Apocalyptic Wars is an action/RPG where the
player will fight his way through a dangerous post-apocalyptic world. Hard
Truck: Apocalyptic Wars is about driving and heavy truck combats, with trade and
an intriguing plot.
GGMania: What kinds of locations and settings will Hard Truck: Apocalyptic
There will be a number of large regions of the New Earth,
each consisting of several maps with unique landscape and environment. The
player will see plains, jungles, rocky terrains, wastelands, deserts, swamps.
New settlements, that are just starting to appear and ruins of the old
GGMania: The game world has been described as "post apocalyptic". Why the
choice of Post Apocalyptic? Do you like Mad Max movies?
Yes, of course we like this series, but other than that we
like science-fiction and games like "Fallout". The post apocalyptic world is the
world where the old is destroyed, but the new is yet to come. It's a world of
great hopes and opportunities.
GGMania: What can you tell us about the storyline for the game?
The action takes place in a not-so-distant future, when
the remains of the human race are recovering after a major catastrophe. The main
character is a young man, who gets involved in a series of tragic events, which
urge him to seek revenge. Little does he know of where his quest will lead
GGMania: How big is it compared to other games, and roughly how many
sub-quests or subplots will there be on top of the main story?
The game will offer over 30 hours of gameplay with several
hundred quests and sub-quests. Apart from the major storyline, you will get
involved into some territorial conflicts and meet lots of people, all trying to
load you with their problems. But it's up to you whether to help them or not.
GGMania: What kinds of choices will the player have in the starting player
You won't be able to choose the character (your truck) at
the start, but as you go, there will be lots of opportunities to change, upgrade
and tune it, so that you will ultimately get the car of your dream.
GGMania: How are the trucks being balanced against each other?
Each truck has a number of characteristics, including
speed, engine power, carrying capacity, armour and weapon, so the player will
have to choose between mobility, richer arsenal of weapon or greater carrying
GGMania: How will upgrading work in the game?
To get the maximum out of your truck you will be able to
change the chassis, the cabin and the body of the truck, add various gadgets
that improve its technical and battle stats. You can also equip the truck with
several guns, including machine-guns, shot-guns, lasers, rockets and much more.
You can either buy them at shops, loot the destroyed enemy cars or find them in
GGMania: Is there anything else you'd like to add about the RPG elements in
Hard Truck: Apocalyptic Wars is not only about upgrading your truck and
making it a juggernaut, but also about communication, exploration and
investigation. The players who prefer action, will get action, while those who
enjoy exploring the world, will get plenty of opportunities to do it through
dialogs with numerous NPCs and books that reveal the secrets of the lost
GGMania: What kinds of enemies will the player have to face in Hard Truck:
There are several powerful and less powerful groups
fighting for influence in different regions of Hard Truck: Apocalyptic Wars world. Each group has
its own variety of cars and combat tactics to fulfill their aims. The player
will fight with different types of military machines, heavy trucks, deadly
robots and fast scavenger vehicles, not to mention extra powerful bosses.
GGMania: What kinds of weapons and items will the player have to use in the
There will be a variety of weapons in your arsenal: from
machine guns, to plasma guns and rocket launchers. A car can be equipped with
several guns at a time. Apart from guns, there will be lots of gadgets that
improve combat and technical stats of your car.
GGMania: How is combat handled in Hard Truck: Apocalyptic Wars?
Your truck is controlled by the mouse and the keyboard,
you aim and shoot with the mouse, and drive your truck with WASD. The enemies
use various tactics in combat, depending on their number and their arsenal of
weapon. The player, in his turn can use various guns, each with its damage type
and shooting distance. So, the combats will not resemble one another.
GGMania: You claim the game will feature "Realistic driving and combat
physics". What gamers can expect?
Gamers can expect truly impressive combats: the cars get
damaged from collisions, their parts burn and the cars explode in a dozen ways.
Tons of objects can be destroyed or broken into pieces, with every little bit
behaving according to the laws of physics.
GGMania: How does the damage model work? How is it tied to truck performance?
A truck has several parts, each of them damages
independently and has several degrees of destruction from intact to broken with
smoke and fire and additional animations. The bullets leave traces when hit. The
explosion of the truck may happen in dozens of ways: from the complete
annihilation in the ball of fire to falling into intact pieces. We made a
decision not to frustrate the player with decreasing performance of the vehicle
as it gets damaged.
GGMania: Can you describe the trading system in the game?
As you travel the world you will come across towns and
villages of different kinds: agricultural, science- or technology-oriented and
criminal settlements. Each town offers its own, specific variety of goods: from
potatoes to electronics. And each town needs a certain type of goods to grow, so
one of the ways to earn money in the game would be to buy cheap in one place and
sell at a high price in another.
GGMania: What other gameplay elements in the game do you consider to be
important and/or unique?
To begin with, we consider such combination of driving,
Action, RPG and trade unique. Besides those gameplay elements, Hard Truck:
Apocalyptic Wars has some mini games involving racing, treasure hunting,
arena-fight and finding your way in a labyrinth.
GGMania: What can you tell us about the engine that is being used for the
Aleksey Tchetsnikh: We
have a modern engine that supports vertex shaders 2.0, environment-mapping,
bump-mapping, so that you will see reflections and shades. Our particle system
allows us to create spectacular visual effects, making the combats truly
GGMania: Will the game have a multiplayer mode? If so, what will it include?
No, but we are negotiating such option with the publisher.
Aleksey Tchetsnikh: What's the current status of
the project, and what remains to be done? When will it be released?
We are currently testing the alpha version of the game.
The game is 70% complete: we finished scripting levels, the graphic content is
almost complete. We are working on the balance, the decoration of the maps,
in-game video and the last, but not the least - we are fixing bugs.:)
GGMania: Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. Finally, is
there anything else you'd like to add about Hard Truck: Apocalyptic Wars?
Thank you for your questions. Expect Hard Truck:
Apocalyptic Wars in Q4 2005.