GGMania got a chance to talk with Kacper Michalski, the PR & marketing specialist at Techland, as he talks about Chrome SpecForce, their first-person shooter sequel that's already out in parts of Europe.
GGMania: Could you introduce yourself to our readers and tell them a little
bit about what you do on SpecForce
Kacper Michalski: Hi, my name is Kacper Michalski and I'm a PR &
marketing specialist for Techland. I'm also responsible for contacts with
gamer's community, which requires a deep knowledge of the game.
GGMania: Can you give us an overview of SpecForce, telling us what the game
is all about?
Kacper Michalski: SpecForce is set in the far future, when technological
advancements led mankind's dream of colonizing distant planets to become
reality. The colonization effort was run by large corporations and the highly
bureaucratized Federation, responsible mainly for selling terraforming permits.
This resulted in many habitable planets becoming private properties of powerful
megacorporations, which were free to introduce authoritarian rule as they deemed
necessary. As you can guess, this led to multiple abuses and gave way to a
rampant increase in crime.
GGMania: How much continuity is there from Chrome? What can you tell us
about the actual plotline of SpecForce?
Kacper Michalski: Contrary to what you might have read in various portals
and magazines, SpecForce is not a sequel to Chrome. It's more of a prequel,
loosely based on the original game. The game takes place a number of years
before the events from Chrome. Both games are connected by their main characters
- Bolt Logan and Ron "Pointer" Harper. The game takes place in the Chrome
GGMania: Were you pleased with the reactions that Chrome game received?
Kacper Michalski: Yes, I was! The average score was 75%, awarded by major
gaming portals. If you add review scores from various magazines from around the
world, which our publishers told us about, that number rises to 83%. It's a
decent score for a game that was, in fact, our first foray into the shooter
market. There's also a large fan community present which eagerly awaited the
next game set in Chrome's futuristic universe. We were only disappointed with
the game's performance on the North American market, though, in all fairness,
this was caused by our then-publisher, and not the product we delivered…
GGMania: What makes SpecForce different to Chrome?
Kacper Michalski: SpecForce tells a story of different events than Chrome
did. We don't deal with a solitary mercenary, supported by a computer and
security expert, as was the case in Chrome, but with the future's special
forces. Throughout most of the game you cooperate with your partner, callsign
"Pointer", and rebel units. I wouldn't want to disclose too many details about
the plot, though. You'll find more information about the basic differences
between Chrome and SpecForce in the following questions.
GGMania: What are the main locations where the action takes place this time?
Kacper Michalski: Previously the game took place in a number of locations
around a star system. Now the player gets to play on a single planet. This
doesn't mean that there's less gameplay in SpecForce. Limiting the game to a
single planet allowed us to create highly detailed surroundings, and there's
quite a number of them, too - we have 11 varied missions available, each taking
place in very different surroundings.
GGMania: What new weapons we can expect?
Kacper Michalski: As far as new weapons are concerned, there's the NLC13
heavy machine gun, which, due to it's large clip (70 bullets) and high
firepower, is ideal for immediate surrounding fire support. We also introduced
the EMP grenades, able to take out even heavy armored vehicles. I think however,
that the automated grenade launcher is the most interesting new weapon. It's
capable of leading direct and indirect fire, allowing the players to try out new
ways of liquidating their enemies.
GGMania: What kind of enemies can players expect to find in SpecForce?
Kacper Michalski: The player will mostly go against corporate mercenaries
- anything from light infantry, through snipers, up to heavy armed and armored
opponents, who require substantial skill to kill. Naturally, you'll engage
various vehicles, be it four wheeled offroaders, light and heavy mech walkers,
armors and shuttlecraft.
GGMania: Compared to Chrome, are there any significant differences in the way
you are designing and implementing the AI?
Kacper Michalski: We wanted the player to feel as if he was a part of a
real future special forces operation. SpecForce's AI was designed with this in
mind - the player will operate mostly on hostile ground, where his enemies, dug
into their positions, will use heavy machine guns and special tactical shields
to defend themselves. One of our main goals was to design the AI so that it
could handle both lone wolf and team based missions. I think that our gameplay
reflects these kinds of situations very well.
GGMania: Will the gameplay include some "stealth" elements?
Kacper Michalski: One of the key elements of the player's Power Armor is
the "Camouflage Layer" - an optoelectronic masking system. Using it, you can
virtually sneak up to the enemy, or hide from a hostile search party. However, a
lot of gamers suggested that we should keep away from having typical stealth
missions, like the ones we had in Chrome, and we did exactly that.
GGMania: How many missions will there be, and how varied will they be?
Kacper Michalski: There's 11 varied missions for the player to enjoy.
Among those, we have missions which require you to fight your way through a
jungle full of enemy patrols, defend a rebel outpost from a corporate
mercenaries attack or get into and fight your way through a heavily guarded
GGMania: Can gamers expect a huge improvement in graphics?
Kacper Michalski: SpecForce runs on the heavily updated Chrome Engine,
which supports, among other things, bumpmapping, multidetails on the ground and
realistic water reflections. On top of that it boasts an incredibly dense
vegetation and a very long drawing distance, so what you get are some stunning
visuals - in fact, I don't think that screenshots do any justice to the game.
GGMania: What are some of the special effects you're proud of having in the
game so far?
Kacper Michalski: I'm certainly proud of the tactical elements in the
game. From the technical point of view, the rag-doll physics are very
GGMania: What are the minimum and recommended hardware and software
Kacper Michalski: The minimum and recommended system requirements are as
MINIMUM SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS:
P III/AMD Athlon processor with 1.3 GHz
256 MB RAM
Video card with 64 MB, compatible with DX 8.0 (GeForce 3 or ATI Radeon 9200)*
Sound card DX 8.0 compatible
2 GB of free space on hard drive
56k Modem (for Internet multiplayer mode)
RECOMMENDED SYSTEM CONFIGURATION:
P IV/AMD Athlon processor with 2.0 GHz
512 MB RAM
Video card with 128 MB, compatible with DX 9.0 (GeForce FX 5700 or ATI Radeon
Sound card DX 8.0 compatible
2 GB of free space on hard drive
ISDN Internet connection (for Internet multiplayer mode)
Please note that video cards that do not support T&L in hardware do not fully
meet the games minimum spec and will therefore suffer performance issues. The
game requires video card with Pixel Shader 1.1.
The Game was not tested with onboard graphics cards, including laptops.
*The game does not support GeForce 4MX video cards.
GGMania: What type of music will be played during the missions?
Kacper Michalski: SpecForce's music was composed by the same person that
created Chrome's soundtrack. The in-game music, created especially with
SpecForce in mind, reflect very well the game play atmosphere and builds a
feeling of suspension.
GGMania: Could you us a bit about the multiplayer in SpecForce?
Kacper Michalski: There are six multiplayer maps, each supporting
multiple game modes. SpecForce players will get the following modes with the
game: Death Match, Team Domination, Team Death Match and Capture the Flag. The
Team Domination mode is particularly interesting, as it requires varied weaponry
and close cooperation from team members. The game comes bundled with a fully
functional editor, allowing for both single and multiplayer map creation.
There's one more interesting thing about the multiplayer mode - the ability to
use vehicles. You'll get to stomp around in an armored mech-like walker, or
drive around in two-seater off-road combat vehicles, armed with a mounted heavy
machine gun. I recommend vehicular combat - it's what kept us hooked for hours.
GGMania: How are you planning on captivating the playing audience yet again?
What, in your view, is the most exciting aspect of SpecForce?
Kacper Michalski: I think that the way that SpecForce blends the
storyline with tactical game play is particularly interesting. Unlike other FPP
games with tactical elements, our game doesn't feature unconnected missions. The
plot takes the player through multiple maps, and there's continuity between
them. The game is specifically directed towards tactical shooter fans, who, as
I'm sure, know Chrom very well by now.
GGMania: Currently what is the status of the current progress of the game and
when can we expect to see it in stores?
Kacper Michalski: The game is currently available in Poland, Germany and
France, and can be soon expected in other EU countries, UK included.
GGMania: Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. Is there
anything you want to add that we didn't cover?
Kacper Michalski: I'd like to add that there's a singleplayer demo
available for download from the game's website at www.specforcethegame.com,
where you can also find additional information about SpecForce. In closing, I'd
like to thank for the possibility of sharing information about Chrome and
SpecForce with your readers. I hope you'll have a great time playing SpecForce.