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Warhound Q&A
(hx) 04:42 PM EST - Mar,10 2007

We got a chance to talk with Adrain Sikora of Techland about Warhound, their upcoming mercenary-themed first-person shooter. According to interview, the game is 50% done at the moment and will debut in Q4 2007 on the PC and Xbox 360 platforms.

GGMania: Could you introduce yourself to our readers and tell them a little bit about what you do on Warhound?

Adrain Sikora: My name is Adrain Sikora and I'm responsible for the production of Warhound.

GGMania: Can you give us a little background on the development team working on Warhound?

Adrain Sikora: There's around 25 people working on the game at the moment, not counting the guys responsible for chrome engine development for the PC and Xbox 360. There's people coming and going, because we do a number of other projects simultaneously. There's seven people working on the level designs alone, and they spend their time implementing the ideas from the script. Creating a map, testing it, adding fixes and creating alternative routes of achieving a goal is all part of a long process. but I'm sure the end effect will please the players.

GGMania: Can you give us an overview of Warhound, telling us what the game is all about?

Adrain Sikora: In Warhound you play the role of a freelance mercenary. You work for different people all over the world - the Amazonian jungles, African savannahs, tropical island on the Pacific and various parts of Asia. We want the player to have as much freedom as possible, whenever he chooses his missions, weapons, plans his character's training or during combat. In the game the player has to take care of the training and finances, and he has to secure new contracts. You'll have to watch your competitors and enemies closely, because they might come after you. Our script has multiple plot lines.



GGMania: Will the game feature multiple storylines/paths/endings? If so, how many? :-)

Adrain Sikora: Currently we have a single game ending in mind, but it's possible that if we get enough time, we'll add alternative endings too. We're still in production, and can change a fair bit of elements. The open-ended character of Warhound means that we can constantly add modifications and improvements. There's a lot of paths you might chose to. That's because there's a number of supplementary, non-compulsory missions, which can be constantly replayed and confronted with different tactics.

GGMania: What type of choices will the player have to make and how much freedom will he/she have in making these choices? Please describe the single-player campaign a bit.

Adrain Sikora: You use the latest technology to keep in touch with your customers. Your character has a laptop and an internet connection, and he uses that to get new intelligence, download mission details and manage his bank account. As a mercenary, you need a place to store your guns, equipment and to lay low from time to time. That's your safe house, which is hidden away from preying eyes. You also use the laptop to set up training missions. Upon selection, you are transported to the place where the mission takes place, and you might be billed for that. You earn money by completing missions. Use the cash to get new guns, ammo, equipment, intelligence or train extra skills. As you play, you'll progress in the mercenary ranking and gain access to more rewarding missions.

GGMania: Are there any other features you have planned to help differentiate the gameplay from other first-person shooters?

Adrain Sikora: There are two primary unique features. First up, we have RPG elements that allow you to specify the characters specialization. This influences the kind of tasks you can undertake and allows you to choose different approaches to achieving a given goal. The second unique element is the economic layer of the game. You need to constantly keep an eye on your finances, and plan expenses ahead. Some missions will require a particular kind of weapon, equipment or vehicle, and you'll need to buy that. We've also played around with various gameplay ideas and solutions, because with got the new Chrome Engine, but it's too early to talk about that.

GGMania: What kinds of weapons/vehicles will players be able to use in the game?

Adrain Sikora: Weapons and guns are still an open issue. We keep adding new types and models. You'll get off-roaders, half-trucks, quads, APC's, tanks and choppers. We're still planning and testing other stuff. I can't state a precise number of weapons right now, because we're still working on it. We want to introduce some variety, but also we want to have all the usual stuff: pistols, SMG's, sniper rifles, rocket launchers, etc. You'll also get to use fixed guns and vehicles. We're not planning a weapon upgrade mode, but most guns will come in different variations.

GGMania: Tell us about the enemies that we will be finding in the game as well as to their AI.

Adrain Sikora: Warhound's AI is divided into different categories. You get the usual NPC characters and a number of different enemy types. A well trained soldier will look and act differently from a solo mercenary or a untrained guerilla. We want the player to feel that he's up against unique opponents.

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

Adrain Sikora: Warhound is being created with the latest, 4th incarnation of the Chrome Engine. It is a full-featured rapid game development system with advanced visual technologies, which incorporates all modern visualization techniques, advanced scripting system and impressive physics. In our previous game, Call of Juarez, we used the 3rd incarnation. Warhound is one generation ahead, which means that it's going to be a better looking and a much faster experience, utilizing the latest technologies. We'll have full DX10 and Pixel Shader 4.0 support for the PC, and an Xbox 360 version.

GGMania: According to product page, Warhound will support the latest DirectX10 and Pixel Shader 4.0 graphics. What EXACTLY can WE expect?

Adrain Sikora: Right now I can't specify the details regarding our DX10 and PS4.0 support. We're working on it, but you'll get to see the effects soon.

GGMania: What kind of hardware should players have in order to experience good game performance? Will the game DX10 only? Will you eventually support the AGEIA PPU?

Adrain Sikora: It's not going to be a DX10-only game. If you've got an old video card, you'll still be able to play Warhound. We want the game to work well on anything since GF6600GT. Naturally, the better your computer, the faster the game will work. We'll have more details once we enter beta. Currently we have no plans regarding AGEIA PPU support.

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

Adrain Sikora: The music is being composed by Paweł Błaszczak. He created the soundtrack for Call of Juarez. It's an immensely important element that helps create the feel of the game. Currently we're checking to see witch style suits us best. It's too important for us and we can't risk rushing this.

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

Adrain Sikora: We want to have classic modes, like deathmatch, team deathmatch, capture the flag and so on, with up to 32 players. We are also working on our own ranking system for online players, which will also allow you to create custom character classes. You'll also get to use skills and choose equipment just as you'd do in single player. There'll be vehicles in MP too.



GGMania: What is going to be the difference between the PC and XBox 360 version?

Adrain Sikora: Script-wise, we haven't differenced between the PC and X360 versions. It's not going to be a typical conversion, though. There are two separate teams working on both versions now. Their aim is to get the best out of both platforms. With the PC, we want to have the best DX10 and PS4.0 have to offer, and use that platforms unique characteristics. The X360 with its 3-core processor and Xenos chipset allows us to achieve amazing visual effects, and it works just as well on any console. Plus, there' Xbox Live, which makes on-line play so much fun, and allows us to implement new ideas.

GGMania: Currently, how far in development are you and when do you expect to release the game? Will be Warhound released in North America?

Adrain Sikora: The game is 50% done at the moment. We want to release the game in Q4 2007. Warhound will be available in North America, though we haven't chosen a publisher just yet.

GGMania: What kind of support do you plan to provide for the mod community? Will you be releasing any of your tools?

Adrain Sikora: Every Techland game comes with ChromED - an editor allowing players to create their own custom levels and mods. The latest incarnation will come bundled with the game. We've simplified it to keep the process of creating new maps as easy and intuitive as possible. Advanced and easy to use tools will allow anyone to create a map.

GGMania: Thank you again for your time. Do you have any last thoughts or comments that you'd like to leave our readers with?

Adrain Sikora: Thanks for giving us a chance to talk about our game. Please visit http://warhoundgame.com to submit your ideas and get more info about Warhound.

related links: (GDC 07 Trailer HD), (Wilderness Survival - Gameplay HD movie), (Jungle Conflict - Gameplay HD movie), (Precision Sniping - Gameplay HD movie)


genre: first person shooter
platform: PC/Xbox 360
release: Q4/2007
developer: Techland
publisher: homepage

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