We got a chance to talk with Tobias Hoefle, the Development Director at
Collision Studio, to find more about their upcoming first person shooter which
combines innovative shooter gameplay with unique underwater elements. The game
will be released on March 23 in Germany and they are currently in talks with
potential partners in all other territories, including North America.
GGMania: Could you introduce yourself to our readers and tell them a
little bit about what you do on Red Ocean.
Tobias Hoefle: My name is Tobias Hoefle and I'm
the Development Director at Collision Studios. We are a German game developer
located in Hanover, Germany. We have worked for Atari, Nokia and others in the
past and are currently developing Red Ocean for dtp.
GGMania: To start off, can you give us a brief overview of Red Ocean?
Tobias Hoefle: Red Ocean is a straightforward
first-person shooter that combines fast-paced, uncompromising action with a
unique scenario. The game revolves around an old secret research installation on
the ocean floor. A terrorist organization has taken control of the facility and
is using it in their hunt for a horrific weapon of mass destruction. And they're
determined to take out anyone who stands in their way...
GGMania: What can you tell us about the storyline of the game?
Tobias Hoefle: It starts off as just another
tourist diving trip for Jack Hard, when he is hired to retrieve a sunken
submarine. Instead he gets caught up in a global conspiracy. The infamous
terrorist organization United Arms has discovered a new source of energy on the
ocean floor. It is sure to change the world forever - but to what end? The
terrorists are planning to use it in the construction of a weapon of mass
destruction! Jack soon realizes that it is up to him to avert the global
GGMania: What is the range of different locations in which Red Ocean takes
Tobias Hoefle: Red Ocean takes places inside a
huge underwater complex, originally built as a research facility by the Soviet
Union during the Cold War. As such it houses deep-sea mining facilities, an
enormous submarine harbor, a plasma power plant and much more. These locations
are connected by an intricate transport system and crisscrossed by sprawling
monorail trains. In the game's action-packed diving sequences, the player
explores the surroundings as well as flooded parts of the facility.
GGMania: How will this set your game apart from other first person
shooters? Will the gameplay actually be different in any significant ways?
Tobias Hoefle: Red Ocean's unique setting allows
us to create situations and scenarios you have not seen before in a first person
shooter. We concentrated on creating a fast and exciting gaming experience that
delivers immediate action with state-of-the-art graphics. Paired with our wide
variety of weapons - including the plasma gun that features destructive physics
effects and a cool alternate firemode - we intend to deliver a thrilling action
GGMania: What kind of weapons will we get to use in the game? Will there
be an upgrade system or alternate firing modes?
Tobias Hoefle: We've got modern weapons in the
game, including old faithfuls like your shotgun, pistols and machine guns. But
we also have future-tech energy weapons, which are upgradeable by the player as
he delves deeper into the underwater base. All weapons feature alternate
functionality, like zoom or alternate fire modes.
GGMania: What kind of enemies can players expect to find in Red Ocean?
What about the AI?
Tobias Hoefle: Red Ocean features nine different
types of enemies, which can be roughly divided into three different groups:
first you will encounter workers, who will attack you with pistols, later on you
will face guards who are better equipped and tougher enemies, as well as elite
troops - these guys are dressed in special armor and they wield deadly energy
weapons. You will also face several boss enemies, who command extra firepower
and will pose an extraordinary challenge.
The AI in Red Ocean is aware of the environment, using
it to take cover and gain the upper hand on you with tactical positioning. They
are connected via radio and constantly exchange tactical information concerning
GGMania: Will there be vehicles in the game players can use?
Tobias Hoefle: There are no vehicles controlled
by the player, but he will have to use the base's transport system to get where
GGMania: Can you give us an example of specific missions in the game?
Tobias Hoefle: At the beginning of one level,
the player finds himself in a gargantuan cave that is criss-crossed by the
base's transport system, containers hanging from rails in lofty heights. Guards
are patrolling the gangways and platforms high above this abyss. Jack fights his
way to the containers, leaps onto one and is along for the ride - if not for the
force fields stopping him. Along by-ways the player has to traverse the cave to
get to the command centre of the base's plasma power plant that is suspended by
steel cables high in the cave. He will face heavy resistance as he tries to gain
access to the facility's core.
GGMania: What can you tell us about the 3D engine that is being used for
Tobias Hoefle: We are using the Gamebryo Engine
from Emergent Technologies, which we have supplemented by our own shader and
gameplay engine called XPLAY. This allows us to custom-tailor the performance
and effects to Red Ocean.
GGMania: What are some of the special effects (example) you're proud of
having in the game so far?
Tobias Hoefle: We're especially proud of the
game's water effects, such as the cool effect when you go onto land, water
seemingly running down your display. We also went to great lengths to visualize
physical effects like explosions or the immense force of the plasma gun, which
literally bends and twists the environment.
GGMania: What types of objects in Red Ocean have physical properties? Is
it mostly vehicles, or does every object works with the physics engine?
Tobias Hoefle: Almost every object has physical
properties the player can make us of during gameplay.
GGMania: Will you eventually support the AGEIA PPU?
Tobias Hoefle: We're not planning to support the
GGMania: What kind of hardware should players have in order to experience
good game performance?
Tobias Hoefle: We would recommend a powerful
processor with 2-3 GHz, 512-1024 Megs of RAM and a recent 128-256 MB graphics
card to get the best out of Red Ocean.
GGMania: Needless to say that kick-ass music make an action game even
better. Can you tell us a little bit about music in Red Ocean?
Tobias Hoefle: Music will be composed by the
award winning team from Dynamedion, a music composing studio in Mainz, Germany
that has scored numerous successful games.
GGMania: Could you tell us a bit about the multiplayer in Red Ocean? Can
we expect some new/unusual multiplayer modes?
Tobias Hoefle: Red Ocean was conceived as a
single-player shooter and does not feature a multiplayer mode.
GGMania: What are you currently focussing on in the game, in terms of
Tobias Hoefle: Currently, as the game is fast
nearing its release in Germany, we're concentrating on the final bugfixes and
fine-tuning of the levels, graphics and so on. Basically, we are trying to make
the game even more fun to play!
GGMania: When can we expect to see the game hit store shelves and at what
price? Will Red Ocean be released in North America?
Tobias Hoefle: Red Ocean will be released by dtp
in German-speaking territories on March 23. They are currently in talks with
potential partners in all other territories, including North America.
GGMania: Thank you very much for taking the time to do this interview, is
there anything else you'd like to tell our readers?
Tobias Hoefle: Thanks a lot for giving me the
opportunity to tell you about our game. We hope you like playing the game as
much as we liked making it.