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Origin Of The Species Q&A
(hx) 01:10 PM CEST - Oct,07 2004

GGMania got a chance to talk with Colin M Paterson of Nu Generation Games, as he talks about their upcoming sci-fi themed 3rd-person action adventure title which "combines real world locations; present day conspiracy with both military and sci-fi enemies to produce a vibrant, fast paced game world." Origin Of The Species should be available in Q1/2005.

GGMania: Can you give us an overview of Origin Of The Species, telling us what the game is all about?

Colin M Paterson: Firstly Origin of the Species is both a character and story driven action adventure title, It is action in that the control system and interface is designed to be above all responsive and immediate, it is adventure as it depicts a journey of a character both inwardly and outwardly through a world very alien to them. The High level concept for the game was to create a new character that was fun to play and create a experience in which they would grow, both emotionally and in ability. To offer the player a roll in which they could see the character grow and themselves become more powerful (which ultimately leads to more fun) through this growth. We have several things that separate us from other titles that come pigeon holed under the same title, the control system , the original story and character, then design and setting. A Main innovation of which we are particularly proud is the 'PRG Lite' Technology or 'Play as you like' system, this system allows the player to choose a style of play and be rewarded for playing in that style, so ultimately they can play the game as they enjoy, and not have to be forced into things they dislike or find frustrating. This system is used to add a layer of depth to the game and build up the character to suit the player, let me take the time to note that this is still predominantly an action game though, RPG Lite is designed to not detract from the action by presenting lots of stats and bi-minutely upgrade schemes.

GGMania: Can you give us a little background on the development team working on Origin Of The Species?

Colin M Paterson: Nu Generation Games was founded in 2002, based in Nottingham in the UK. The Original members were from Core design / Eidos PLC and since then we brought in only the best and brightest from other UK and World wide studios. We now have talent previously seen at Atari, Reflections, Lion Head, Square-Enix, Sega and many more. We use a core talent pool of very experienced guys each a specialist in their own area.

The company was formed out of a need to create new original games with no Franchise imposed restrictions on style or gameplay. We wanted to 'buck the trend' a little and create something we were all passionate about and wanted to play.

GGMania: What can you tell us about the storyline for the game?

Colin M Paterson: The Original idea for this game was put together back in late 2002 by the original team, we had some very innovative guys who threw some crazy ideas into the pot. Since then the product has been streamlined and concentrated to add more direction and cohesion.

To set the picture a quick overview of the situation is this. There exist certain black projects within the military, ones outside of the control of the government and the people. A group of local youths camping in the desert will have a ring side seat to witness this disaster in the happening as the DNA mutations quickly grown beyond all expected control. What follows is a young girl's struggle to escape the experiment, save those she care's about and discover the ultimate secret hidden in the depths of the black operation.

There are many conflicts and struggles that drive the game, there are also many messages within the games back story, I can't go too deep into things here without ruining the experience for the player, however I will touch on a few of the interesting details. Firstly the structure of the game is really based around the characters and their two journeys, firstly the journey through the alien environment in which they find themselves, their struggle to survive and save those they care about. The undertow to this story is the search for the truth to find out what happened and what has been going on from experience and information that the player uncovers and can't ignore. The emotional journey of the player is compounded by these facts, by information about who they are and what they are becoming. Like I said there are many messages hidden within the game, some obvious others more subtle I guess the a message that can be widely applied here is - How far do you go to protect something, whether it is National Security, your life, or someone you care very much about, how far do you go without crossing the dividing line between black and white.

GGMania: I've noticed your interesting press releases. Do you have an insider in NSA, CIA? :)

Colin M Paterson: Let's just say I could tell you but then I would have to kill you!!!

GGMania: What sort of missions will be a part of the single player game? Can you give us an example?

Colin M Paterson: The Game world is set in and around the military facility thought to exist in the Nevada desert near to Groom Lake, now referred to only as Area 51, The locations in the game are all fictional and not accurately modeled on real life locations, although the area 51 layout has been modeled on declassified satellite imagery depicting the runways and some of the major hangers. The environments were all chosen to drive the story each location helps the player to understand a little more, as well as see a little more of the devastation that has been caused. We have some quiet unique setting and environments not commonly seen in modern day games, which take advantage of the desert setting, only a small part take place in and directly around the A51 facility, the rest are in the surrounding community such as small western towns, long dead ghost towns, a plan graveyard and not forgetting the in and underneath street of New York … In the Desert ?!?! what is that all about - can't spoil that one, you'll have to wait and see.

The goals in the levels are very much story driven, the player's progressions through the levels are based on objectives set in the story. However detours from the set path can be made to help some of the characters in the game world, this is however based on the players choice. There are many different environments which fall into both indoor environment and outdoor free roaming, the engine is flexible enough to handle both.

GGMania: What weapons, types of enemies and characters will be seen in the game?

Colin M Paterson: Origin of the Species will feature 20+ Weapons, from conventional SMG and Machine Guns, 9mm Pistols and RPG Launchers to exotic traditional high powered specialist weapons ( can't give to much away about them of course ) Some more interesting weapons are high tech exotics, like Rail, Graviton and Pheromone gun, all these weapons are part of the story surrounding the secret projects undertaken at area 51. The Pheromone gun can be used to divert or distract the insects in the game world, using different combination of the pheromone chemicals you find and loading them into the gun you can generate different results from the use of this weapons, while the graviton gun creates and gravity well singularity at a targeted point in space which, like a black hole sucks everything towards it. Each weapon is designed to have a balance of power, accuracy, fire rate Etc, with some novelty and rewarding ones their for fun. The weapons are acquired from defeated foes, from helping civilians and from discovering them in other secret weapon research projects.

GGMania: The press release claims that the game will feature "Highly aggressive and intelligent enemy characters". Could you provide us more details about the enemies?

Colin M Paterson: The mutations created by the military black project G.I.Ants are wide and varied, the military themselves aren't even sure as to what will be created. We have many unpleasant creations from simple Parasites and mites, to Giant Lice and Stag beetles, all with different offensive capabilities and attack patterns. There are also the military's own human super soldiers ordered to 'clean up' the project test, they attack with coordinated efficiency, high tech weaponry, field communications and ground and air support. Oh and not forgetting the 9 Boss characters all which have a connection to black operations projects and very from military hardware to colossal behemoth mutant monsters.

The AI System is very complex and in depth, the whole Perception system is highly complicated the way a enemy investigates sounds, radios for support, and plans attacks using weapons and cover. There are also 4 factions involved here, Marines, Mutations, Civilians and the Player, so threat analysis and response is also key to the system. There are friendly AI in the guise of the civilians in the world who will also help you out in places. There is also the system of using vehicles and fixed emplacement and how they provide support to the player.

GGMania: What other gameplay elements in Origin Of The Species do you consider to be important and/or unique? Will there be anything new that we've never seen before in any game?

Colin M Paterson: Like all other elements of Origin we created the gameplay design to match the storyline and character evolution. We have several Core unique gameplay features, firstly the PRG Lite Technology that enables gamers to choose how they want to play the game, they will therefore be rewarded for doing the things they enjoy not being punished by things they don't. The RPG system is by no means in depth like traditional RPG's , RPG Lite is designed simply to add another layer to the experience without interfering with the action, it rewards and adds a undertone of thought without complicating. Skill Points are not only rewarded for combat and exploration according to the players Lite style but also by saving and helping other characters in the game word. Character that can be both helpful but also fragile and expendable.

The Rewards for this come in the way of new powers and abilities, the Special Powers available to the game are wide and varied, I don't want to give to many of them away now but I will say they are balanced to complement the basic movement and combat abilities of the player, they are both offensive and defensive, the encourage creative playing styles where the player can think about a strategy comprising their powers, weapons and the environment around them before they rush into a fire fight. With the basic control system we wanted to create a 2D fighter style depth to the control system with the emphasis on response and control where the player can quickly access both offensive and defensive moves, make combo's and feel agile and powerfull.

GGMania: What sort of interface have you guys prepared for the game?

Colin M Paterson: The design of the interface system was one of the most important aspects of the projects design. We wanted a combat system that would be immediate, responsive and give the player a great sense of control, mobility and power. For this we look to the old skool 2D fighting games like SF2 Etc for inspiration. At the core of the system we wanted a accurate and easy to use aiming system that was also fun and rewarding not dumb down and robotic. This basic aiming system works very well with the accurately modeled weapons, so the player must have a tactic in mind when even just using a simple 9mm pistol, where to shoot at a enemy, how many rounds they can squeeze off before the reload, how the long the reload time will be Etc. That is the basic's of the combat system, onto this we wanted a Jump and Movements system that the player could use to chain attacks together and to retreat to and advance from cover with aplomb. For this we offer the basic Jump, and double jump system and also a system of doge moves, a tight and quick dodge system that allows the player to anticipate and dodge attacks and if successful attack a then off guard opponent. The final piece of the puzzle is the Special moves, these range from offensive to defensive solutions, the player can use telekensis to create offensive and defensive position and weapons, they can use feats of speed and agility to escape when surrounded, they can control bullets with their mind, and steal the weapons of their enemy, and that is just the basics. The real key to these moves is not just their one spot execution, but the way a player uses them in a fire fight, how well the can balance offensive and defensive powers as well as conventional shooting. A great player will be inventive and think quickly on their feet. Finally to answer the end of your question many weapons can be used to affect the game environments, splash damage rockets and grenades can be used to effect scenary that in turn will damage enemies, a comprehensive stealth system can be applied anywhere where the player can use scilenced weapons, and scilent special attacks while hugging walls and keeping to shadows to remain undetected.

GGMania: What can you tell us about the graphic engine for the game?

Colin M Paterson: The Engine is a combination of Bespoke and Currently existing technology that was designed specifically for this application. From a rendering point of view being a character game we wanted to build a solution that would deal with high polygon skinned characters and a lot of them. The Terrain engine was built to deal with the wide range of environments. The System Requirements will be on base with the normal, we have the usual options in place to turn detail up / down depending on the consumer system. Our engine has all the usual tricks with regards to lighting, bump, secular, Environment etc, as well as real time shadowing and so on…

GGMania: What type of music will be played during the missions?

Colin M Paterson: In a game like this we put the highest emphasis on Sound and Music. The whole sound package was designed by a someone we have worked with for years, he is a highly talented individual and worked on many high profile games projects including doing work with the LSO. There will be over 15 pieces of long and complex original music scores in the game, with a Dolby 5.1 Surround compatible engine to deliver high quality surround sound events.

Of course we have a script of over 2000 lines of dialogue and about 15 actors to add emotion and content to the script. We use nothing but the best professional voice actors, the emotional subtlety of the storyline demands this.

GGMania: What the current system requirements are for Origin Of The Species?

Colin M Paterson: The system requirements are as follows: 1GHz Pentium III/Athlon or 1.2GHz Duron or Celeron Processor, 64Mb DirectX 9 compatible Graphics card with hardware transform and lighting, 256MB RAM, 1.5Gig Hard Disk space, Keyboard and Mouse, DirectX 9.0, Windows XP,2000/98/ME

GGMania: Could you tell us what kinds of multiplayer modes are planned for the game's release?

Colin M Paterson: This game is primarily a single player experience, we have plans for Co-Operative / Un Co-Operative play in multiplayer mode where the players can either work together to solve problems using the special and normal skills, or play through as a enemy character such as a Marine or Insect and strive to hinder the players progress thru the level. We will design levels specifically for this form of play.

GGMania: At the moment, what is the current status of the game's progress and when do you expect the game to be released?

Colin M Paterson: The game will be available sometime around Q1 '05 we aren't going to rush the game out, we want it to be perfect for the guys that play it. Presently we are really happy with the current build and things are going better than we could have ever envisioned with the development.

GGMania: Do you plan to release a demo?

Colin M Paterson: Yes we will be releasing a demo in December 04.

GGMania: Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. Finally, is there anything else you wish to say about Origin Of The Species?

Colin M Paterson: This game is for everyone who is a bit sick of the Franchise, License and 'Me Too' Titles out there. If you are happy with that then fine, if you want to experience a new story, a new world , a new character and a new experience in gameplay then that is what we have tried to create here. We also wanted to tell a story based on the characters, one which has meanings and warnings both obvious and subtle. We really hope people will enjoy the experience of playing the game as it is designed first of all to be fun to play with great control and larger than life characters, secondly we hope people might take a little something from it also and interpret the message in their own way.

We hope that gamers will appreciate what we are trying to make here, something original and fun to play without to be too abstract. True innovation is difficult in this industry right now, but there is certainly opportunities to make steps forward that aren't being explored.

genre: 3rd-person action adventure
release: 2005/Q1
developer: Nu Generation Games
publisher: Trisynergy

last 10 comments:

Samadama(06:21 PM CEST - Oct,07 2004 )
It looks good......
It Souds good.....

BUT I CANT GET THE FACT THAT THE HERO OF THE GAME IS A LITTLE GIRL WITH A BEAR. :shock: taking on alien, super soldiers, etc, etc, etc.

I'll Never buy it.... :lol:

Anonymous(01:56 PM CEST - Oct,08 2004 )
The GFX look really tops & I like the way the game play is engineered :lol: The guys who are making this game are all hard core old school games guys so it should be a great game :twisted: . It sort of reminds me of Kill Bill with the school girl thing happening - nice! ...also Battle Royal!!


Anonymous(06:53 PM CEST - Oct,08 2004 )
Yip some very nice ideas here... also nice concept art work.... CORRECT ME IF I'M WRONG BUT the point of the game is that the little girl has had her DNA specially modified which consequently justifies her killing super soldiers, giant bugs etc etc. EITHER THAT OR I'M A MORON AND GOT THE WRONG END OF THE STICK?

:twisted: JASON FONTANA :twisted:

ntxawg(06:57 PM CEST - Oct,08 2004 )
Samadama> It looks good......
It Souds good.....

BUT I CANT GET THE FACT THAT THE HERO OF THE GAME IS A LITTLE GIRL WITH A BEAR. :shock: taking on alien, super soldiers, etc, etc, etc.

I'll Never buy it.... :lol:

yes of course because who would buy a game that outrageous i mean look at the poor sales of the game based on a plumber in a mushroom kingdom taking on tortoises. by god turtles....i mean can anything be more outrageous...

Samadama(04:57 PM CEST - Oct,09 2004 )
@based on a plumber in a mushroom kingdom....... You completly missed my point..... I didn't say the game was bad, its just the thought of playing the game with a girl.... even though her DNA Might be changed and she is Super Strong..... still a bear come onnnnn....

By the way, last time I checked the plumber was a MAN and No Bear and the game was for kids :wink: . ANY HOOO. That's just how I feel.... I gues playing BFV, HALO, COD,GTA-GTAVC, Doom and FarCry.

Maybe its time for a change... :-k.

Anonymous(06:42 PM CEST - Oct,09 2004 )
Hey man dont get me wrong but i would rather look at some hot chicks ass for 20+ hours than some sweaty italian plumbers crack :lol:

But you do have a point - what i really cant wait to play as is a well hard cool space marine/mercenary/special forces commando type character, one with big muscles, and dry one liners, I really hope some one makes one of those soon :roll:

Succeed or Fail - respect for trying something a bit different to em...

El_Coyote(08:20 PM CEST - Oct,09 2004 )
well she's not all that little anymore, and the teddy is actually a backpack. those excist, you know.
my problem is her hair.. it looks like sausages strapped to her head... :P

mmm sausages... must eat...

Samadama(10:37 PM CEST - Oct,09 2004 )

... Yes you are right... I see your point.


.... :lol: Okay okay, I get it :lol: ........ Man you all just rub it inn.... :lol:

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