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Interstellar Marines Interview with Kim Haar Jorgensen Part 3 of 4

 Part 3 of 4 Interview

Interstellar Marines Interview Part 1 Interstellar Marines Interview Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 coming Friday

If you look at the first person shooter gene pool, you'll see that is largely dominated by two entities, Call of Duty and Battlefield. However there is always a section that deserves more attention than it actually receives. These developers are trying to evolve the genre, try something new and give a unique experience to the end user that ultimately supports them.
We were given an opportunity to interview one of these pioneers, Kim Haar Jørgensen is the game director of Interstellar Marines which is a community funded triple 'A' indie title from the humble bunkers of Zero Point Software. Read on to gain an insight to what goes on in the mind of a developer striving to push the fps genre into a new direction


GameOn: I think you hit the nail on the head there. What do you reckon is the hardest part of creating a brand new or unknown IP in the gaming market? I know we have touched on getting the game out to people and people seeing the game, but is there any other things that you think might have problems or issues with later on?

Kim: I think we are just humans, we have a brain and we have patterns of things we recognise. A guy I worked with once and I were flying to the States, he was reading a book about this concept about a designer that designed a chair. They showed it to a test audience and everybody hated it and then the same chair was used on a known TV show and then the next day everybody loved it, so I think it’s about change needs to be slow sometimes. You can have change fast but people need to adapt slowly. They need to get around the concept that an idea like ours that is focused on creating a really realistic immersive science fiction first person experience that you can play with your friends in co-op, that features cool role playing elements, that tries to sell an engaging and realistic story about first contact, that’s something I can talk about for hours but it’s more about just showing it and I guess you never know what the next Facebook or the next Minecraft will be. You can’t explain it on paper you just need to deliver it then there’s going to be somebody that sees it for what it is, that it’s new and it’s fresh and it’s exciting and it involves something and then if it’s good enough then that will be the next big thing. I guess that’s the thing000 you have with anything new is that people looking at our project first of all they are focused on the title. Interstellar Marines is generic, it’s grey, it’s space marines and for us it could have been any name. The first time I heard the name Halo or Deus Ex I thought what the hell is that, Quake, what is that, I didn’t know what it is. Quake, is it a game about earth quakes? And then it became a first person phenomenon that everybody loves. Quake creates this glowing feeling inside every first person gamer and back when I heard the name I just thought what the hell so we’re finding these things and it’s part of being human.

Interstellar Marines
Interstellar Marines 

GameOn: I know a lot of role playing games allow you to create your own back story and give your characters a past. Is that something that Interstellar Marines is going to incorporate? The ability for users to create their own past for their characters, possibly how they ended up in the Interstellar Marine, or is it more that there is a story line to your character and you have to follow that while you are unlocking all of your elements like your hacking etc.

Kim: I know that the role playing elements that we have in Interstellar Marines are a bit soft core. It’s about putting requirements and benefits on everything in the tactical arsenal, in the equipment and in your character training and then providing experience points every time you clear an objective, kill an enemy, find a secret room, doing exploration bonuses and stuff like that. You can invest your XP on to your weapons to be faster and unlock extensions, or onto your character in terms of agility or strength to be able to carry more, run faster, be more stealthy. You can also place your experience on to equipment, to gain new vision modes, map upgrades and motion trackers etc. So the role playing elements is not social or in terms of how you interact with the world more than it is about just having a whole palette of things that you can upgrade or be better at throughout the game.

 Interstellar Marines
Interstellar Marines

GameOn: That sounds fantastic. If your going to have a levelling up system, your friend can go down a sniper route and then you can choose to go down an assault route giving the game some diversity.

Kim: Exactly, exactly

GameOn: So we have talked about the co-op gameplay. What multi player modes are you thinking of in the game?

Kim: That’s a good question. Our primary focus is the single player / co-operative experience of the story. The primary features of the main game, and what we’re doing right now instead of creating a multi player tag on is to get the technology up for the co-op things. For the multi player technology we are actually focusing a lot of efforts right now in to creating a parallel track for the community to develop content, features and technology for the game and that’s going to be our community multi player. We call that Deadlock and it’s something that we’ve started working on. It’s been a bit slow with only 4 guys at the moment working to get this off the ground but it’s going to allow people to connect with others in the browser, connect and be part of an open door development of a multi player as we introduce more features, multi player game modes and start with that. Because we have the 3 pillars of the franchise of the first person formula which is the arcade like pillar we got from Call of Duty or Half Life mixed with the role playing pillars from System Shock and Deus Ex and the third pillar being the tactical pillar from Ghost Recon and games like Raven Shield. Obviously we have got to try to evolve the multiplayer to be very true to what Interstellar Marines is all about. We’re not going to just clone a traditional multiplayer that you get in Crysis or Call of Duty. We’re going to try to play around with the features we have to try to come up with something new and because it’s open door development we’re going to engage the community to play it as we develop it and try to help us make it even better and be absolutely open about that this is going to be. A slow multiplayer that’s going to evolve over time and the more feedback we get the better we can make it so that’s the plan at the moment. 


Last part of the interview coming tomorrow


Interstellar Marines 

Rasher | 26th May, 2011
Wedgeh's picture
Great interview there, interesting insight to what ZPS are trying to achieve with their community funded model.
Rasher's picture
I really enjoyed doing this interview, Kim was a fabulous guy to work with, can not wait for this game now.

Part 2 will be up tomorrow, working on the page currently but it was over 5000 words in the interview, been cut down to 4000 ish, so sorting out 1000 words per part (helping our work loads)

Kim is very passionate about the work they are doing, you will realise that once you read all four parts to the interview.
Angelfromabove's picture
Great interview so far, looking forward to reading the other 3 parts.
The direction in which they are going with Interstellar Marines sounds interesting!
Rasher's picture
just re-reading this again has given me the hype towards the game again, i for one will be pre-purchasing the game to support them
Si^'s picture
This is starting to look awesome. I think its time I made a decision and picked this up!

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