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Metalheart: Replicants Rampage Q&A
(hx) 07:30 PM CET - Nov,17 2004

GGMania got a chance to talk with Sergey Lakhtin of Akella Company as he answers a few questions regarding to Metalheart: Replicants Rampage, their upcoming isometric cyberpunk role-playing game. He provided us with both pretty interesting information and five exclusive screenshots.

GGMania: Could you introduce yourself to our readers and tell them a little bit about what you do on Metalheart: Replicants Rampage?
Sergey Lakhtin: My name is Sergey Lakhtin, Akella Company. In this project I'm working at all texts: main scenario, dialogues, descriptions, also I'm engaged with general producing of the game and I supporting continuous communication between Akella and NumLock Software.

GGMania: Can you give us a little background on the development team working on Metalheart: Replicants Rampage?
Sergey Lakhtin:
Numlock software is an international alloy which most part is made by descendants of Teutonic knights. The office is based in Germany. The constant component of a command includes 10 masters of a different genres, other volunteers still crowd in turn to borrow the places in the worthy list and are engaged in destructive and devastating attacks on projects of firm as required=)

GGMania: From where did you get the inspiration to make this game?
Sergey Lakhtin:
Personally I have come on the project when its development work already has boiled - the most part of graphics and concept has already been started in game, has been almost finished a combat system, etc. People from Numlock Software assert, that they have found diaries of Lantan Signy - our protagonist and were so impressed, that could not kept and have started to create game on their motives.

GGMania: What can you tell us about the storyline of the game?
Sergey Lakhtin:
In a few words - two protagonists, the burnt space wolves, will of accident appear on an unknown planet in unknown sector of a galaxy. Such state of affairs not absolutely arranges them, and they as soon as possible want to get home. But it's not so simple - the planet is under control of powerful Empire, under which rigid oppression four races of Procion (the planet name) extract a unique mineral called "tactonium" without which the industry of implantation is inconceivable. For Empire there is nothing sacred, and only having lifted revolt (that have rallied all races), our heroes will manage to reach the purpose. The plot abounds numerous abrupt turns and shocking opening, which I do not want to open to not spoil pleasure from passage of game.

GGMania: How much choice and what kinds of choices will the player have in the starting player character?
Sergey Lakhtin: There is no choice, as there will be no also a starting generation of the character. Game can be compared to the interactive fantastic novel - the emphasis is made not on maintenance of illusion of freedom, but on an interesting and fascinating plot. The opportunity to think and operate at once for two main characters - the captain of space lorry Lantan Signy and his second pilot, beauty Sheris Sheridane will be presented for us.

GGMania: What sorts of skills and abilities are available for the characters?
Sergey Lakhtin: Each hero possesses the following characteristics: strength, endurance, protection, intelligence, luck, accuracy. Key parameters - a level of health, a scale of energy and a scale of accessible tactomium. It is necessary for painless functioning the majority of implants. If you have no tactonium - health will taken away with the established implant.

GGMania: What type of variety can we expect to see in terms of weapons?
Sergey Lakhtin: The basic kinds of the weapon: fire, pomegranates, some variations of bazooka, a cold steel, the secret weapons of nomads. Each kind is submitted from 2 up to 5 versions.
GGMania: What can you tell us about the enemies in Metalheart: Replicants Rampage?
Sergey Lakhtin:
The basic opponents - representatives of guards of Empire Numori, since simple guardsmen and finishing huge fighting machines. Procion possesses also aggressive fauna. Rats, scorpions, huge bugs and other predators will spoil life to our heroes on their travel across the planet. There are also other opponents, but about them while shall not speak to keep an intrigue.)

GGMania: How will the enemy AI function? Can you give us an example?
Sergey Lakhtin: Each character has a lot of elementary functions which in external script of behaviour are weaved into a freakish tree of individuality for everyone. The opponent hears, sees and is capable to warn the friends. It is capable to use several kinds of the weapon, and also to use tactical manoeuvres - lie down, be hidden behind obstacles, etc. Also he can estimate situation - to get away in case of a critical state of health.

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 even stale?
Sergey Lakhtin:
To promote further on a plot, it will be necessary for player to extract and carry out tasks of key NPC. As a matter of fact, it is "post" and fighting quests, but practically each of them comes up to the end by script scene that will warm up interest. Besides, all is flavored with firm black humor, and tasks are various enough under the form. Some main quests also straight came from adventure genre - selection of levers, the decision of puzzles, etc. Also there is a generation system of random quests. In each city there is an agency, we result there our heroes, and the agent randomly gives out the information about the next task, applying to it a photograph with his site.

GGMania: How is combat handled in Metalheart: Replicants Rampage?
Sergey Lakhtin:
Step-by-step fighting mode a'la Fallout and Jagged Alliance. Each member of team has the certain quantity of Action Points (AP) which it is free to spend for the discretion - shooting, movement, tactics, etc. For some kinds of the weapon the sniper mode is stipulated - the conditional scheme of "ink cutting" will be given near to each part of a body of the opponent the percentage probability of hit in him is displayed. The player can adjust her, adding or taking away the Action Points necessary for a shot by a concrete part of a body. Critical hits with corresponding brutal animations are stipulated also.

GGMania: How difficult will it be for someone new to this genre to get into the game?
Sergey Lakhtin:
That is not a hardcore game - each newbie can learn its basic elements very fast. Tutorial helps much.

GGMania: What other gameplay elements in the game do you consider to be important and/or unique? Will there be anything new that we've never seen before?
Sergey Lakhtin:
Implant system. A player can buy and establish cyber-devices that are straightly influencing on character's parameters. There are nearby 150 of such items. Some of them just influencing on common parameters, but some gives exclusive abilities.
Also we can offer a very interesting thing - you can hire a bard and ask him to play music for you! Also, some NPC has unique abilities…

GGMania:What can you tell us about the engine that is being used for the game?
Sergey Lakhtin:
We have unique engine, that was created by NumLock Software themselves. It's name is NightFall. This is 2-d engine, based on DirectX 8.1, including some features, that provides necessary performance with big locations manipulations.

GGMania: What kind of hardware should players have in order to experience good game performance?
Sergey Lakhtin: Processor: PIII 650 MHz and higher, at least 256MB RAM for WinXP, 32MB videocard or better, DirectX 8.1 and higher, SoundCard and 1.5-2GB free disk space,  supported operation systems: Windows 2000, XP

GGMania: Will the game have a multiplayer mode?
Sergey Lakhtin: No

GGMania: What's the current status of the project, and what remains to be done? When will it be released?
Sergey Lakhtin:
We are in the finishing stages of it right now. There still remains some cosmetical work such as arrangement NPC on a card, balancing of fighting and role systems, correction of all texts, sound work and beta-testing. We cannot name concrete date of release, but we can assure that game will be released this winter.

GGMania: Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. Finally, is there anything else you'd like to add about Metalheart: Replicants Rampage?
Sergey Lakhtin:
Not at all! Play Metalheart, or you will regret.

genre: RPG
release: 2005/Q1
developer: Akella
publisher: homepage

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