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Restricted Area Interview|
(hx) 09:40 AM CET - Mar,25 2005
GGMania got a chance to chat with Jan Beuck of Master Creating, the creative director on Restricted Area, their soon-to-be-available third-person action role-playing game. He provided us with both pretty interesting information and eleven exclusive screenshots. Restricted Area will be released in April 2005 through publisher Whiptail Interactive.
GGMania: Could you introduce yourself to our readers and tell them a little
bit about what you do on Restricted Area?
Jan Beuck: Hi, my name is Jan Beuck and I'm the
Creative Director here at Master Creating, a game devlopment studio located in
My job is to supervise all creative areas like game design, art, sound, music
etc. It's pretty great as you have to look into a lot of different things and
aren't cursed to do a certain thing all the time. ;-)
GGMania: Can you give us a little background on the development team working
on Restricted Area?
Jan Beuck: Restricted Area is our debut project,
but all of us worked on other games in the past. For example, the game track
record of our concept artist Andreas even goes back to C64 classics like Giana
Sisters and Katakis! However, don't judge us by what we have done in the past -
we spend the last 30 months on Restricted Area so it has to speak for itself.
GGMania: Can you give us an overview of Restricted Area, telling us what the
game is all about?
Jan Beuck: Restricted Area is an action RPG, but
unlike most others, it takes place in a dark future scenario. The gameplay has
often been compared tp Diablo II, but the concept is older (1999). Major
influences came from pen and paper RPGs like Shadowrun and Cyberpunk and from
movies like Bladerunner and the original Matrix. We try to capture the cold,
dark atmosphere of these scenarios and combine them with the typical action-RPG
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
Jan Beuck: The characters all have totally
different gameplay - in fact they play nearly like different games. As the story
builds up the character's background, it's not possible to change them at
start-up, but as each one has to start a new life, you can customize them
totally during the game.
Johnson is a hitman
at close combat
Victoria is futuristic
GGMania: What can you tell us about the enemies in Restricted Area. Can we
expect some mutants?
Jan Beuck: Some? Your main enemies are different
sorts of mutants! But you'll also meet robots, humans, cyborgs and many more...
GGMania: Will there be friendly NPCs, and what kinds of roles will they play?
Jan Beuck: Of course. In the city were the game
starts are many different people. Take a look at some of the NPCs on the offical
GGMania: The press release claims that the game will feature "Uncountable
number of weapons, Cyberware and Bioware to boost your abilities". Could you
provide us more details about it? Could you describe the combat system?
Jan Beuck: There are more than 2.000.000.000
weapons - without cyberware or bioware! I guess that can be called uncountable.
The combat system is realtime and plays much like Diablo 2, but faster.
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
Jan Beuck: We invented new types of quests and
adepted some ideas from other genres, mainly ego-shooters. Instead of always
having to kill someone or to find something, you have to escape from prision,
defend a special place against waves of enemies or blow up a building with time
bombs. This way Restricted Area offers much more different quests than what you
know from other action-RPGs.
GGMania: What other gameplay elements does the game have?
Jan Beuck: Too much to get into details.
GGMania: What sort of interface have you guys prepared for the game?
Jan Beuck: I'd like to answer with a quote from the
RPGdot.com test, which sums it up very well:
"The polished interface is Restricted Area's true highlight. It's fast, stylish
and unobtrusive. Combat options can be bound to 3 mouse buttons, as well as
"activate skills or "use medikit". Skills can be assigned to the number keys 1 -
8, which are then used to select the desired skill. You can not only shoot a
target, you can also shoot in any direction you desire, with or without walking
Inventory handling is comfortable, due to "pick up everything" and "auto-sort"
buttons. Item infos are displayed on mouse-over - thankfully clicking is
unnecessary. Buying and selling is done with drag & drop, item enhancements are
ordered with a single mouseclick.
Other convenience functions include keyboard short cuts for just about
everything, a button to auto-equip the best implants, mousewheel zoom and a
minimap in the top right corner. Money is automatically collected, which is a
good idea - can there be any reason not to take it? Restricted Area offers two
save options: quicksave & quickload and "save & exit". The game automatically
quicksaves when you enter a new level. Missions can be aborted at any time, so
getting stuck in dead end is impossible. Control 95%"
GGMania: What can you tell us about the graphic engine for the game?
Jan Beuck: Master Creating's programmers worked two
years to create IRIS (Isometric Rendering and Illumination System), Restricted
Area's unique engine. For the first time in game history, an isometric game is
powered by an engine that has been created with an effort that is usually
reserved for shooters. As the main advantages aren't necessarily visible in
screenshots, this week, I'll try to tell you something about the power behind
the scenes. The game takes advantage of a mixture of pre-rendered graphics and
real-time 3D effects. As the characters and environment are highly detailed - up
to 100,000 polygons per character - but pre-rendered, we can put all the power
of today's 3D accelerators into the countless stunning graphical effects we
wanted to include, and which are rare in the genre or even unseen yet: dynamic
colored lights, figures that throw multiple dynamic shadows, fire, dust, smoke,
reflections, soft mirroring in glass and marble, environment in front becoming
transparent, shooter-like sliding at walls and pixel-perfect movement and
collision, weather effects like rain and fog, distance darkness, great
explosions and spell effects, particle system, marks in walls, realistic physics
and much more.
As all time-consuming effects can be disabled (at runtime), the system
requirements are relatively low.
Pentium III 800 Mhz
384 MB RAM (512 MB recommended)
2,1 GB of free, uncompressed harddisc
DirectX 8 compatible sound card
DirectX 8 compatible 3D accelerator with 32 MB VRAM (64 MB recommended)
GGMania: Could you tell us what kinds of multiplayer modes are planned for
the game's release?
Jan Beuck: The game is focused on the single player
experience, but there's a cooperative multiplayer mode were you can play
missions together with a friend, either over LAN or internet.
GGMania: We've already had plenty of RPG games on PC and there are a number
in production, how will Restricted Area stand out from the crowd?
Jan Beuck: Most important through the scenario and
the changes that result from it: Focus on range weapons, cool characters, modern
An important point is also that the four totally different characters (each with
unique skills and a detailed back-story) progress independently through the same
narrative while the story is revealed from various angles. And there are
unlimited generated subquests and unlimited generated levels, so you can play as
long as you wish.
GGMania: At the moment, what is the current status of the game's progress and
when do you expect the game to be released?
Jan Beuck: The game is completed and I think that
the release will be in April. :)
GGMania: As you've probably guessed, we're all itching to see the game in
action. Will there be a video or demo so we can see a bit of the action?
Jan Beuck: Just download
the international trailer
GGMania: Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. Finally, is
there anything else you wish to say about Restricted Area?
Jan Beuck: If you think it can be interesting for
you, take a look at the website to learn more about it:
www.restricted-area.net Thanks for reading!
Related links: Planet RA (fansite),