The German PR firm InteractiveMediaConsulting sent out a pre-arranged Q&A for THEY, an upcoming sci-fi first person shooter by Metropolis Sotware (Infernal makers) The game should be available in 2008/2009 for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.
Q: THEY sounds like a movie title or the title of a book. Aren't you
afraid of gamers' reaction?
A: Why should we be afraid of reactions? It is quite usual that the
community discusses nearly every title, some will like it and some will not. But
our vision of a game is something mysterious, where such a title fits
inperfectly. Everybody wants to know what THEY are, what THEY do, where THEY
come from - but all about them will be quite unclear in the beginning. So this
will be pure fun for each player, like watching a mystery series such as Lost or
Heroes. He might know what happens next, but he cannot be sure - and this is
what we want to transport in THEY to each gamer!
Q: You are neither developer nor publisher - what is your joint venture?
A: The joint venture of IMC and Metropolis is something completely new
and revolutionary for the interactive entertainment industry. So far developers
produced their games up to some special point, where publishers switched in and
bought the games. From this moment on in most cases the products are developed
following guidelines of publishers. With IMC as an experienced service provider
and Metropolis as a successful developer with a big track record two companies
decided to work together, to produce a game right from the scratch in order to
meet gamers' demands and expectation.
Q: You announced a unique weapon feature, where you are able to upgrade a
flexible weapon to your individual needs. Can you tell us a bit more about that?
A: Without naming so many things of the weapon yet, you might think of
a soldier in every war. He only wears some few weapons - mostly knife, gun and
maybe pistol. Common FPS games are really unrealistic in that point of view,
that a soldier is really able to wear 10 more or less heavy guns at the same
time (or he must be HULK to carry them all). In THEY you will have this one
weapon, where you identify yourself with, which you can customize and enhance it
based on YOUR needs and preferences! You will be able to store setups, so you
have the expected control system with keys 1-0 to have access to different types
of weapon setups - but it still will be YOUR buddy, YOUR best friend, YOUR
WEAPON. The appearance will change dramatically, but you are still able to
identify yourself with the weapon. So what we will bring to the genre is some
more realistic and believable approach in sort of weapon handling. The fear of
players, to have only one gun can be easily refuted, as you have hundreds of
combinations which you can store and customize at your own discretion - to
create YOUR perfect weapon setup, store it to the expected keys 1-0 and have
access to them at all time! So each player will have the weapons of HIS choice,
a large variation to be used based on needed functions (gameplay relevant
decision!) and need not to get along with standard weapons - this is something
unique and new to the genre and will grant more freedom for each player! On the
other hand, if someone WANTS' his standard "pumpgun/rifle/Ak47" feeling, he is
able to create that...but when he will figure out the fun and possibilities from
our new weapon system he will get used to it soon.
Q: What kind of world is THEY set in, and does it have anything in common
with our world? Are there any parallels between the events of THEY and events in
A: Yes there will be parallels or even possible results based on
current happenings, if you think of terrorism for example. The locations of the
game will be very familiar to all players, as we are looking forward to let the
main plot happen in well-known cities. Overall the world of THEY is not in a
complete fictional future, as it is in a very close future (around 2012) - so
things will not change so soon so dramatically. You will see known landmarks,
buildings, streets, names etc. as it might be in the present - only here and
there are elements, which will indicate a technical enhanced future.
Q: Why have you decided to develop your own engine?
A: The answer is simple - money, time and quality! Common engines are
expensive to license or do not fit the requirements we need for our vision of a
game. Additional to that a development team with a licensed engine needs several
weeks/months to get experienced with the abilities of an engine, where nobody
has been involved into the development. This will cause a later release date and
financial costs. But if you have already built an engine on your own and are
able to enhance it based on latest technology issues and market demands, you
will be very flexible and creative in your games production as you are not bound
and free to decide the technical areas you need the most for your desired gaming
Q: Does the world need another science fiction first person shooter?
A: This is a question, where nearly every player would answer in a
different way, as it is a matter of taste - the same with WWII Shooters. But as
THEY is not only a Sci-Fi shooter, it's a nexgen mystery FPS, so THEY will be
different from a "just another Sci-Fi shooter" image. If you like to compare, it
is best to think about the scripting and atmosphere of FEAR, where Monolith did
a great job, transferred into another story and moved away from horror to
mystery. Of course Sci-Fi (and WWII) scenarios are very common, but on the other
hand these are successful! Why should any team invent the wheel in a new way, if
the current one is still up and running?