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Devastation Interview
(hx) 01:36 AM CET - Jan,21 2003

Digitalo is hard at work on Devastation, an Unreal Warfare and Math Engine powered action game for the PC for publishers ARUSH Entertainment, Groove Games and Nova Logic (UK). Luckily ARUSH steered us towards Digitalo's Vic DeLeon, Senior Producer on the game, to give us the answers we craved and three exclusive screenshots!

GGMania: Could you introduce yourself to our readers and tell them a little bit about what you do on Devastation?

Vic DeLeon: My name is Vic DeLeon and I’m the Senior Producer of Devastation. I do a lot of things from managing the development team, maintaining schedules, helping with design, and even fun things like answering questions like these.

GGMania: What kind of game is Devastation? What were the main objectives you wanted to achieve in regards to content and gameplay? What has happened in the backstory before the game begins, and what is the main plot or storyline within the game itself?

Vic DeLeon: Devastation is a dark and moody, realistically styled sci-fi first person shooter that focuses on team combat. It throws you into this really messed up version of Earth seventy-two years from now, where you and your NPC teammates go up against the menacing forces of an evil empire and mega-corporations. The main objectives are simple, expand your team and get more people on your side, divert the enemy in any way you can and with all your tools and weapons, and uncover the nature of the shadow government’s dark agenda and try to expose the conspiracy to anyone who will listen. It’s a very pessimistic and cynical view of the world, and you’ll be able to play it online with all your favorite gametypes plus a new type called Territories. The game also has two very different game settings- arcade and simulation, and they let you experience the game in two very different ways.


GGMania: Why the choice of post apocalyptic? Do you like an idea of post-apocalyptic Earth?

Vic DeLeon: No we don’t like it. It’s scary, and we hope things never get this bad in real life. In the game, computers are very scarce, and have been outlawed by the government. You come across places where the PAC Squads have been collecting and burning computers and books on technology in big piles in the streets. It’s all very reminiscent of Ray Bradbury’s novel Fahrenheit 451. I for one, could not live without my computer and cell phone, so the answer is no, I do not like the idea of post-apocalyptic Earth at all.

GGMania: Can players expect lots of blood in Devastation?

Vic DeLeon: The blood and gore settings are adjustable and are set to a medium value by default. Atthis setting, blood effects are more realistic, whereas the highest setting may be a little over the top. You can adjust the settings to reflect the amount of blood/gore to whatever you prefer. If you don't want to play with any blood or gore, you can.

GGMania: Will Devastation use many scripted events to advance the plot?

Vic DeLeon: Yes it does, cutscenes, in-game scripted events, and all kinds of interactive items, most providing clues that drive the storyline along. It’s like I was telling some of the fans on a message board recently, we've taken a new approach and let the visuals do a lot of the talking. The key is we use lots of details. There's a details in the character dialog, the pre-game loading maps, etc. However, it's the items in the world that give you the most information on how things are going. There are so many raw materials for us to weave a story with that the details the designers have crafted often speak for themselves. Yes, you can interact with many of the items; some items like microscopes will give you some very interesting glimpses into the weird stuff that some of these corporations are working on. Have you ever played with an electron microscope? Now you can. If you’re lucky enough to find a computer, for the love of everything sacred turn it on!!! Computers and microscopes are rare in this world, but if you can manage to locate them and turn them on you’ll get some good clues as to what you may face.

I like stumbling across strange things in the maps, personal belongings, and little bits of somebody's life. Some are funny, some are rather sad, while others are just plain mysterious. I like it when you come across a shoe. Just a shoe, laying in the gutter. It’s creepy when you find one of those in real life. You wonder if it’s from a dead guy, or a bum who left it there, or who knows. The game has weird details in it like this that you can’t ignore. The game is filled with little details like this, some that help the story unfold, and some that just help set the dark mood of the game.

GGMania: What is the range of different locations in which Devastation takes place?

Vic DeLeon: The US, namely San Francisco and Los Angeles, and Asia, all over Taiwan and Japan.

GGMania: What sort of missions will be a part of the single player game? How many missions will there be, and how varied will they be?

Vic DeLeon: All kinds of missions, I’d rather not get into details here and spoil it for everyone, but there are 22 different locales, with multiple missions in each, and the variety is pretty impressive.

GGMania: How many hours of gameplay can we expect from the single-player campaign?

Vic DeLeon: On average, it's taking our testers 22 to 26 hours to play through the Single player on the arcade setting.

GGMania: What kind of enemies can players expect to find in Devastation?

Vic DeLeon: Most of the enemies are human. Some are workers from the street, others are security forces, wardens, guards, assassins, and other nasties. Of course there’s the PAC Squads- Para-Military Peacekeepers whose only job is to promote pacification… and to eliminate the resistance. Then there’s the Super-Troopers. These guys are scary, evil, and you will hate them. There’s also other enemies, some are mechanical in nature like Pac Droids -half-tractor half-robot, and several kinds of automated sentry guns based on powder and particle weapons systems.

GGMania: How will the enemy A.I. function? Will enemies interact with each other, hide, run if hurt badly, etc?

Vic DeLeon: The enemy AI is pretty damn good. Playing the game on the medium setting is difficult, and the bots will outflank you and hunt you down. Most of the time they will behave like regular civilians in the combat, and continue to engage you until they are outnumbered or outgunned. Some will occasionally run away, some will duck and cover, hide behind things, ambush you, or just plain charge you with no fear depending on their mood.

GGMania: What about NPCs? Will there be much in the way of NPC interactions and objects to find and use?

Vic DeLeon: Yes, you can interact with all your teammates, give them orders, etc. If you need help you can have more of them follow you, or send them out to attack. If you need help with mission objectives you can walk up to a teammate and press your interact key and see if they have any suggestions to offer up. You can also trade weapons with your teammates at any time! Take one of their weapons, or give them one of yours, in the game, in real-time. Just walk up to them and press the “Give Weapon” or “Take Weapon” keys. It’s that easy and it changes the way the entire game is played. Especially once you realize how some players are better with some weapons than others, and you can equip them to better suit this.

With all these cool features, please remember that this is still not an RPG and it is still a shooter. The fact that we have allowed our interactions to blend a little into this other direction does not change the key gameplay, it only helps to reinforce the team-centric aspect of the game.

GGMania: What type of variety can we expect to see in terms of weapons?

Vic DeLeon: There’s everything from melee weapons like knives and swords to improvised weapons. There’s pistols, shotguns, rifles, SMG’s, heavy weapons, futuristic weapon prototypes, explosives, mounted weapons, drones, surveillance, gasp… in brief, a huge variety of weapons and gear. Everyone will have at least a couple favorites.

GGMania: Will there be an upgrade system or alternate firing modes?

Vic DeLeon: There are no upgrades however most weapons have alternate firing modes.

GGMania: What kind of weapon is the Rat Drone?

Vic DeLeon: It is a weapon based on a real device that lets you control a real rat via a brain implant in the rat’s head. You assume the view and vantage point of the rat and see through its eyes, as you control the rat’s movement though the world. You can use it as a spying or scouting weapon, and check your routes for your teammates before you take them. It also works well to pre-plan an attack if you are not sure of the terrain ahead, or if you suspect an ambush. The best part about this weapon is the explosive charge. You can remote-detonate the charge that is equivalent to a small fragmentation grenade. Imagine the fun. There are a lot of cool gameplay mechanics that come into play with the Rat Drone. First of all, if someone shoots the rat that you are controlling you will take damage from it, so there is a price to pay if you’re not careful enough to pretend you are a real rat and not a drone. The other downside is that while you are controlling the rat you are completely immersed in the rat’s viewpoint and can’t see or hear what’s going on around your body. You’re going to have to hide someplace good before using it or someone will surely come across you fumbling with your rat controller and take you out without you even knowing it. You will also be subjected to what we call Rat Paranoia. There are many “regular” non-drone rats in the game. Yes, regular sewer and garbage rats. Rat drones look identical to these regular rats. Think about that for a minute.

GGMania: The press release claims that Devastation will feature "completely interactive environments, everything can be used, destroyed or manipulated." Will players able destroy walls, buildings and vehicles with some weapons?

Vic DeLeon: Yes, and no. This is not Red Faction, and we don’t dig holes in the ground. But we do have exploding vehicles, and all kinds of cool destructible stuff. Plus, many items such as chairs, cans, barrels and even severed limbs can be picked up and then carried or tossed.

GGMania: Will there be vehicles in the game players can use?

Vic DeLeon: No, there are no drivable vehicles in Devastation.

GGMania: Why did you choose the Unreal technology?

Vic DeLeon: Because we have a lot of experience working with it and it’s the most adaptable system we have ever known. It also makes pretty pictures.

GGMania: Will Devastation feature a multi-player component?

Vic DeLeon: Yes absolutely. The game has a full-featured in-game browser and server tools. 14 maps will ship with the game: 7 DM maps, 2 CTF maps, and 5 Territories maps—which is a new style of multiplayer game with a two base scenario and destructible spawn points, which ends up with a Last Man Standing feel. There will be fifty different players to choose from in MP as well.

GGMania: Can players play against bots in multiplayer?

Vic DeLeon: No, our MP is pure MP, no bots whatsoever.

GGMania: Now some Tech-stuff. What the current system requirements are for Devastation?

Minimum System Requirements:
Windows 98/ME/2000/XP, Pentium III 700 MHz processor (1.0 GHz Recommended)
256 MB RAM
1 GB Hard Disk Space
3D Accelerated video card with T&L and 32 MB VRAM (NVIDIA GeForce/ATI Radeon minimum examples, 64 MB VRAM Recommended)
DirectX version 8.1 (Included)

GGMania: Will there be editing tools released so that the possibility of a mod community is there?

Vic DeLeon: Yes, there is the entire Unreal Editor with our modifications (We call it Ded), special tools and utilities, plus all our texture and model libraries, which include over 4000 prefabs.

GGMania: Needless to say that first person shooters are a very popular genre, what makes Devastation so special and what will make it stand out from other games in the genre?

Vic DeLeon: If you can’t tell by all the cool features I just went over in this interview then you should be smacked ;)

GGMania: What would you say are the biggest problems facing game developers today?

Vic DeLeon: I would have to say it is the way that some publishers shy away from taking risks with original developer’s ideas. Many of the best games come out of these risks, but their reluctance to support these risky projects and instead stick with “tried and true” trends is the reason we have so many clones. GTA and BF1942 were risky, but someone took a chance, and now look how everyone jumps on for the next big wave of GTA and BF1942 clones! …ack! What am I saying, we may be doing one of these games…there, you see my point.

GGMania: When can we expect to see the game hit store shelves and at what price?

Vic DeLeon: The game is targeted to hit US shelves in mid-March, and will have a MSRP of $39.95.

GGMania: Do you plan to release a playable demo?

Vic DeLeon: Yes, a multiplayer test should be released in the near future.

genre: realistically styled sci-fi first person shooter
release: March 2003
developer: Digitalo
publisher: Devastation homepage

last 10 comments:

Shamsposted - Jan, 21 2003 - 03:38
I say this game gonna rock...from the screenies...and the engines used. Maybe another Kingpin style but in the future ?

nonameposted - Jan, 21 2003 - 05:28
I think this game will have a great future, probably like Counter Strike, I can't say much for now cause it can be wrong, but I have been satisfied only to see it's graphic and the gameplay

unknownposted - Jan, 21 2003 - 14:36
awesome idea: an explosives carrying remote controlled rat. now to you use that in multiplayer, cs-like action must be great. looking forward to this one I am!

TEAMGODposted - Jan, 21 2003 - 23:00 Hopefully this game lives up to the screenshots and hype.

GODJOEYposted - Feb, 21 2003 - 20:57 plans to totally dissect this game and exploit the vulnerabilities the programmers will overlook. Remember people OWNS U ALL.

Unkownposted - Feb, 26 2003 - 04:15
TEAMGOD blows I know that they hack in mohaa an that they sux with them for istants I owned this guy GODJOEY an his aimbot so most likely they will try to hack in this game any cheat they get there hands of they shall cheat

Sephirothevilposted - Mar, 28 2003 - 20:49
Already got the game full Ver and its iight i like it .. reminds me a little of half life dont know why ... even if i think half life is crap but reminds me of it.. anyway when u people get it the normal way u will see what im talking about

Orionposted - Apr, 02 2003 - 10:53
The only thing i dont like about the game is the blood ang gore. They are not real. And no, when you shoot to one enemie, you dont see the holes in his body. In this aspect the soldier of fortune 1 and 2 is 100% beter.

George Bushposted - Aug, 28 2003 - 16:22
Godjoey is a no skill cheat, team god probably is some sort of elite club of 12 year olds that are beat by their fathers and need to compensate for the lack of respect they recieve from uncontrollable social setting at home by "winning" in Planetside. I heard he got banned from PS. I hope him and his "winner" friends go back to CS where they can fight with birds of a feather.

pharaoh23posted - Sep, 30 2003 - 17:59
I own this game and I enjoy chopping off limbs with a katana sword but it needs a "gibbing fix" as even when gore is put to the max multiple glitches disallowing you from dismembering enemys occur a good 50 per cent of the time.Also no tutorial is included on how to use the DevEditor thus preventing further modding to repair this problem.Also when an arm does decide to fall off its frquently a different arm as to what you saw before it fell off. This is a cheap shitty glitch for a good game like this? whats going on? no painskins either ? jeez a very sloppy job on what could have been one of the most playable fps of all time!!! And as for a mod community? there are currently 2 mods for devastation and are about as useful as a broken torch in the dark!!!! In fact a gigantic FUCK YOU goes out to the creator of devastation for a heap of false advertising. you cant pick up limbs at all another lie to top it off. Digitalo Studios suck pure baboon shit and spit it back out in the form of human language.

GodKillerposted - Jun, 16 2004 - 08:33
team god is a bunch of hacker wannabes...

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