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The Fall - Last Days of Gaia Q&A
(hx) 12:02 PM CEST - Oct,10 2003

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 post-apocalyptic Earth?
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 anarchy.
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 game?
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 some mutants?
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 action.

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 even stale?
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 abyss.

GGMania: What other gameplay elements does the game have?
Carsten Strehse:
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 game: I'll be around in the forum and would love to exchange ideas and opinions about THE FALL and RPGs in general with you.

genre: tactical RPG
release: 2004/Q4
developer: Silver Style Entertainment
publisher: homepage

last 10 comments:

Mattposted - Oct, 10 2003 - 13:22
"A unique combat system"????? Real time with a configurable auto-pause system. Doesn't sound very unique to me. In fact, this kind of thing has been done several times already. Have these guys heard of the Fallout series? Perhaps a more pertinent question would be "What new do you intend to bring to this genre?" Are post-apocalypic tactical rpgs going to be as ubiquitous as the "aliens have invaded and your the last guy left with a gun" first-person-shooters?

Wonderboyposted - Oct, 10 2003 - 22:16
Yeah, it's Fallout. The scary thing is, this is exactly the world that George Bush is taking us into....

Opraposted - Oct, 11 2003 - 04:33
Can we go back to the MOHAA Breakthrough comments... they were just starting to get interesting!!

Smokesposted - Oct, 11 2003 - 14:19
At least its not called Fallout but really a crappy FPS set-in a psuedo-fallout setting which change a lot of the core what Fallout was.

Ted Walkerposted - Oct, 12 2003 - 15:20
Talkin about alien I believe the upcoming UFO: AFTERMATH, will be a kick'ass hole hot probably. Haha. you know what mean.

Nasirposted - Oct, 12 2003 - 18:16
Why so much negative comments. Wait & see. Hope it turns out to be a great game as I am waiting for a Fallout successor. The creators should go for a turn based fighting system in style of fallout tactics.

Scipuposted - Oct, 14 2003 - 04:56
It looks like they've gone and made a lot of improvements to the Soldiers of Anarchy engine to create this game. I just hope they've fixed the pathfinding :) It will be interesting to see what they do with the pausing features. It sounds like they're trying to combine the control of a TB model with the excitement of an RT model. I hope it works, it sounds like it could be really great.

Mad Eyeposted - Oct, 16 2003 - 09:51
Man, this game looks awesome! The graphics are very fitting. And if they can combine RT and TB it will be a huge success, 'cause everybody is waiting for a new post-apoc game!

Mavorsposted - Mar, 13 2004 - 03:20
I see much more references to Jagged Alliance for example. Turn mode and you can equip characters... What's new?

Everstrifeposted - Sep, 15 2004 - 16:17
I think it's frigging fabulous to have another Mad max game, and it NOT being produced by Interplay. Can't understand why everthing's has to meet up or be a sequel to Fallout. A fresh game series might be a good thing, you know... I just hope it makes it to the european market in an english version!

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