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Whatís it like to work for the bad guys?  What it would be like working for SPECTRE or H.A.R.M?  Thatís just what Monolith is going to provide for fans of No One Lives Forever.  We query Jon Gramlich, Associate Producer on Contract J.A.C.K., about fan demand, how friendly the design tools will be, included vehicles, and stealth aspects.  Thanks for your time, Jon!

 

Related Links:

Review: No One Lives Forever (PC)

Review: No One Lives Forever 2 (PC)

 

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Contract J.A.C.K. Interview

 

A brief introduction, please.  Your name, how you came to work at Monolith, and your role on Contract JACK.

My name is Jon Gramlich, and I started working at Monolith in 2000 as the Quality Assurance lead for No One Lives Forever.  I am currently the Associate Producer for Contract J.A.C.K.

 

Unless this installment was planned all along but never implemented, will the story line be a shoehorn job, trying to tie No One Lives Forever 1 and 2 together in a neat package?

The story does takes place in the NOLF universe at a time between the 2 previous games, but the storyline is not meant to tie them together.  Instead, it explores a side of H.A.R.M. that you donít get to see in the other games.

 

Was Contact JACK a response to fan demand?

Thereís always been a lot of interest in H.A.R.M., and fans have often suggested that a game played from the bad guys point of view would be pretty cool.  When we began to seriously consider a H.A.R.M. focused game, we also decided it would be the right time to try something new on the gameplay front as well. Nolf 1 was a game that had a fairly even mixture of stealth and action, while Nolf 2 gameplay was decidedly more stealthy.  Instead of doing this again for the expansion, we felt that it would be more fun to create a whole new experience and focus primarily on action. The focus on action fits Jackís personality and situation. You arenít a spy sneaking 

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around and using high-tech gadgets. You are a thug, The destructible environments are one area where the game shines brightly, as you watch barns get blown into so many matchsticks, yet the game doesnít chug or slow down at all.

 Even while you watch your troops rummage through their packs for bandages, or the enemy launches a blistering rocket volley from the Katyusha rocket launcher, thereís no noticeable slowdown or degradation of image quality.

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To understand whatís going on in Contract JACK, will I have had to play NOLF?

Players wonít need any previous knowledge of the Nolf universe to play Contract J.A.C.K.  However, observant fans of the series will likely pick up on subtle (and not so subtle) references to events that occur in both of the previous games. 

 

How user friendly will the mod tools be?

We put a great deal of effort into documenting our public tools release for Nolf 2.  Contract Jack will include updated versions of the same tools and tutorials.

 

What vehicles can gamers expect to see in Contract JACKís single-player game and will they be available during multiplayer?

Contract J.A.C.K. features a rocket launcher snowmobile and a machine-gun mounted Vespa scooter.  We do hope to have these included in the multiplayer component of the game, but we canít answer this definitively at this time. 

 

Why didnít we hear or see anything about Contract JACK more recently, like at E3?

The development cycle for the game has been roughly equivalent to a typical expansion pack. The short cycle didnít give us a lot of time to prepare for E3 and we didnít want to show the game until it was ready.

 

Contract JACK is looking to abandon stealth and tackle straight-up action.  Will there be any stealth involved?  Can you give us an example of a mission objective?

John Jack prefers the direct approach, so donít expect to find him hiding in the shadows.  As for objectives, weíve cut back on the ďgo to place A and pick up object BĒ instruction in favor of more general objectives that help to guide the player.

 

October 6, 2003

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