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Red Ocean Q&A
(hx) 04:54 AM EST - Feb,11 2007

We got a chance to talk with Tobias Hoefle, the Development Director at Collision Studio, to find more about their upcoming first person shooter which combines innovative shooter gameplay with unique underwater elements. The game will be released on March 23 in Germany and they are currently in talks with potential partners in all other territories, including North America.

GGMania: Could you introduce yourself to our readers and tell them a little bit about what you do on Red Ocean.

Tobias Hoefle: My name is Tobias Hoefle and I'm the Development Director at Collision Studios. We are a German game developer located in Hanover, Germany. We have worked for Atari, Nokia and others in the past and are currently developing Red Ocean for dtp.

GGMania: To start off, can you give us a brief overview of Red Ocean?

Tobias Hoefle: Red Ocean is a straightforward first-person shooter that combines fast-paced, uncompromising action with a unique scenario. The game revolves around an old secret research installation on the ocean floor. A terrorist organization has taken control of the facility and is using it in their hunt for a horrific weapon of mass destruction. And they're determined to take out anyone who stands in their way...

GGMania: What can you tell us about the storyline of the game?

Tobias Hoefle: It starts off as just another tourist diving trip for Jack Hard, when he is hired to retrieve a sunken submarine. Instead he gets caught up in a global conspiracy. The infamous terrorist organization United Arms has discovered a new source of energy on the ocean floor. It is sure to change the world forever - but to what end? The terrorists are planning to use it in the construction of a weapon of mass destruction! Jack soon realizes that it is up to him to avert the global cataclysm...

GGMania: What is the range of different locations in which Red Ocean takes place?

Tobias Hoefle: Red Ocean takes places inside a huge underwater complex, originally built as a research facility by the Soviet Union during the Cold War. As such it houses deep-sea mining facilities, an enormous submarine harbor, a plasma power plant and much more. These locations are connected by an intricate transport system and crisscrossed by sprawling monorail trains. In the game's action-packed diving sequences, the player explores the surroundings as well as flooded parts of the facility.

GGMania: How will this set your game apart from other first person shooters? Will the gameplay actually be different in any significant ways?

Tobias Hoefle: Red Ocean's unique setting allows us to create situations and scenarios you have not seen before in a first person shooter. We concentrated on creating a fast and exciting gaming experience that delivers immediate action with state-of-the-art graphics. Paired with our wide variety of weapons - including the plasma gun that features destructive physics effects and a cool alternate firemode - we intend to deliver a thrilling action ride.

GGMania: What kind of weapons will we get to use in the game? Will there be an upgrade system or alternate firing modes?

Tobias Hoefle: We've got modern weapons in the game, including old faithfuls like your shotgun, pistols and machine guns. But we also have future-tech energy weapons, which are upgradeable by the player as he delves deeper into the underwater base. All weapons feature alternate functionality, like zoom or alternate fire modes.

GGMania: What kind of enemies can players expect to find in Red Ocean? What about the AI?

Tobias Hoefle: Red Ocean features nine different types of enemies, which can be roughly divided into three different groups: first you will encounter workers, who will attack you with pistols, later on you will face guards who are better equipped and tougher enemies, as well as elite troops - these guys are dressed in special armor and they wield deadly energy weapons. You will also face several boss enemies, who command extra firepower and will pose an extraordinary challenge.

The AI in Red Ocean is aware of the environment, using it to take cover and gain the upper hand on you with tactical positioning. They are connected via radio and constantly exchange tactical information concerning the player.

GGMania: Will there be vehicles in the game players can use?

Tobias Hoefle: There are no vehicles controlled by the player, but he will have to use the base's transport system to get where he wants.

GGMania: Can you give us an example of specific missions in the game?

Tobias Hoefle: At the beginning of one level, the player finds himself in a gargantuan cave that is criss-crossed by the base's transport system, containers hanging from rails in lofty heights. Guards are patrolling the gangways and platforms high above this abyss. Jack fights his way to the containers, leaps onto one and is along for the ride - if not for the force fields stopping him. Along by-ways the player has to traverse the cave to get to the command centre of the base's plasma power plant that is suspended by steel cables high in the cave. He will face heavy resistance as he tries to gain access to the facility's core.

GGMania: What can you tell us about the 3D engine that is being used for the game?

Tobias Hoefle: We are using the Gamebryo Engine from Emergent Technologies, which we have supplemented by our own shader and gameplay engine called XPLAY. This allows us to custom-tailor the performance and effects to Red Ocean.

GGMania: What are some of the special effects (example) you're proud of having in the game so far?

Tobias Hoefle: We're especially proud of the game's water effects, such as the cool effect when you go onto land, water seemingly running down your display. We also went to great lengths to visualize physical effects like explosions or the immense force of the plasma gun, which literally bends and twists the environment.

GGMania: What types of objects in Red Ocean have physical properties? Is it mostly vehicles, or does every object works with the physics engine?

Tobias Hoefle: Almost every object has physical properties the player can make us of during gameplay.

GGMania: Will you eventually support the AGEIA PPU?

Tobias Hoefle: We're not planning to support the AGEIA processor.

GGMania: What kind of hardware should players have in order to experience good game performance?

Tobias Hoefle: We would recommend a powerful processor with 2-3 GHz, 512-1024 Megs of RAM and a recent 128-256 MB graphics card to get the best out of Red Ocean.

GGMania: Needless to say that kick-ass music make an action game even better. Can you tell us a little bit about music in Red Ocean?

Tobias Hoefle: Music will be composed by the award winning team from Dynamedion, a music composing studio in Mainz, Germany that has scored numerous successful games.

GGMania: Could you tell us a bit about the multiplayer in Red Ocean? Can we expect some new/unusual multiplayer modes?

Tobias Hoefle: Red Ocean was conceived as a single-player shooter and does not feature a multiplayer mode.

GGMania: What are you currently focussing on in the game, in terms of development?

Tobias Hoefle: Currently, as the game is fast nearing its release in Germany, we're concentrating on the final bugfixes and fine-tuning of the levels, graphics and so on. Basically, we are trying to make the game even more fun to play!

GGMania: When can we expect to see the game hit store shelves and at what price? Will Red Ocean be released in North America?

Tobias Hoefle: Red Ocean will be released by dtp in German-speaking territories on March 23. They are currently in talks with potential partners in all other territories, including North America.

GGMania: Thank you very much for taking the time to do this interview, is there anything else you'd like to tell our readers?

Tobias Hoefle: Thanks a lot for giving me the opportunity to tell you about our game. We hope you like playing the game as much as we liked making it.

genre: first person shooter
release: March 2007 (German)
developer: Collision Studios
publisher: dtp entertainment AG

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