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Techland has been around since 1991 but Chrome is by far their biggest project to date.  A futuristic first-person shooter may not be startling in its originality, but Chrome looks to differentiate itself in a number of areas and Bartek Paul give us the say-so.  We also find out where the title "Chrome" came from, Chrome's graphical horsepower, and multiplayer options.  Thanks for your time, Bartek!

 

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Bartek Paul (Chrome) Q&A

Conducted by Omni

 

Foremost and first, the introductions: Who are you, what road did you travel to find yourself where you are and working on Chrome?

TECHLAND has been present on the market since 1991, but we began to deal in development only five years ago. At first, we designed products specifically for the Polish market. In time, some of those products went international. Our most important games to date have been: Crime Cities, Mission Humanity, Pet Soccer, Pet Racer, and FIM Speedway Grand Prix. But without a doubt, Chrome is our biggest project so far.

 

Where did the idea for Chrome come from?

At first, we planned to create a game with a Sci-Fi climate, which would be located in extensive outdoors. We also wanted the game to have a very well-structured plot. As far as the playability is concerned, we wanted to create a tactical game, which would give the player a lot of freedom. It was very important for us that cybertechnology play a huge role in Chrome, This cybertechnology would allow for the manipulation of the playerís performance. These were the basic ideas and we followed them right to the end. The rest evolved during the course of production.

 

In your own words, describe what Chrome is all about.

Chrome takes place in the future, at the end of the 22nd century, in a distant, newly colonized planetary system called Valkyria. The terraformed and colonized planets of this system, just like the Wild West, attract various types of people. You can find settlers looking for a new home, but also criminals running away from justice.

 

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The main character of Chrome is Bolt Logan, once a member of the Special Forces, now an anonymous mercenary. We meet him when heís running away from his past and along with his partner Carrie he travels to Valkyria in search of profitable contracts. Soon, Logan gets dragged into full of twists and turns intrigue involving giant corporations, colonists, pirates and few other usual suspects. With time, old friends of Logan also come into play.

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Why the name "Chrome"?

First of all, the title refers to the plot of the game. In our game "chrome" is a common name for a very rare and precious chemical compound, which is the center of the intrigue in the game. Second of all, "chrome" is the synonym for technology and cyberpunk things, which we believe, create a very interesting contrast with the natural environment, thick plant life and open outdoors.

 

How will Chrome differentiate itself from all the other first-person shooters on the market?

Several elements differentiate Chrome from other first-person shooters. First of all, our game is a combination of a dynamic FPS and a tactical game, in which cyberimplants enable the player to choose from many different playing styles. This brings us to another factor Ė great freedom for the player. In each mission, the player is equipped with a set of implants, specialized equipment, various weapons and vehicles. What the player uses during the mission is totally up to him. Fighting skills and imagination of the player are the greatest limitations in the game. Another interesting factor is that the locations are so extensive, that without using proper equipment (scanners, compass, etc.) most of the players would get lost in no time. Game environment is definitely another distinctive aspect of Chrome. Our game does not include any significantly limited terrain. We put a lot of effort in creating very extensive, diverse and visually appealing locations.

 

What engine is being used in Chromeís creation and how easy is it to work with?

Chrome is using our own engine, which was created for the purpose of extensive terrain and trick plant life. The editor, with which you can use all of our engineís advantages, is very intuitive and easy to use. It has great possibilities in creating single and multiplayer maps. Creating mods and conversion is not a big problem in case of Chrome.

 

What different multiplayer modes have been implemented in Chromeís design?

Multiplayer mode in Chrome enables deathmatch games as well as team battles or game modes more focused on tactics, such as Domination, CTF or Assault. Up to 32 players can compete at the same time. Itís important that in multiplayer mode, just like in singleplayer, that players be able to use vehicles and implants, which dramatically extend the variety of available tactics.

 

Does hardware technology develop too fast for game developers to take full advantage of it?

I think it works both ways. Itís a good thing that new technology enable the creation of new, revolutionary ideas and innovative games. On the other hand itís not good when new games are being made just for the sole purpose of manifesting a new technology.

 

Is there anything in your personal life that you use to inspire yourself while making Chrome?

Most people in the team that created Chrome are hardcore gamers. Our personal lives are strictly connected to games. We play games and we make games, and the rest of our lives are (consciously or not) an inspiration, as well as consequence :)

 

Is gaming immune to current events? (i.e. War in Iraq.)

Definitely not. We live in times of globalization and each important event that is covered by the media has its own consequences, and that is reflected in peopleís moods, opinions and trends. The same thing concerns the players, producers, publishers, reviewers and everything else that is connected with gaming.

 

If time and money werenít an issue, what idea would you turn into an actual game?

Long production time and a huge budget do not guarantee a good game. These are definitely important factors, but the most important factors are good ideas, solid vision of the entire game, talent and involvement of the game creators. This is our opinion and that is how we see game production. And as far as our new projects are concerned, I hope I will have a chance to talk about some details soon in the next interview :))

 

(June 29, 2003)

 

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