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Chrome SpecForce Q&A
(hx) 04:38 PM CEST - Jul,19 2005

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 universe.

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 military complex.

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 interesting.

GGMania: What are the minimum and recommended hardware and software specifications?

Kacper Michalski: The minimum and recommended system requirements are as follows:

MINIMUM SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS:
Windows 98/ME/2000/XP
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
DirectX 9.0c
CD-ROM/DVD-ROM
56k Modem (for Internet multiplayer mode)

RECOMMENDED SYSTEM CONFIGURATION:
Windows 98/ME/2000/XP
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 9600)
Sound card DX 8.0 compatible
2 GB of free space on hard drive
DirectX 9.0c
CD-ROM/DVD-ROM
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.

related links: homepage, SP demo (337MB), MP gameplay footage



genre: first-person shooter
release: April 2005
developer: TechLand
publisher: Deep Silver

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