Darkwatch: Curse of the West Interview
Conducted by Mr. Nash
First off, we’ll need your name,
rank, and serial number. Who
are you, what are your responsibilities on Darkwatch, and what have been
some of your past projects?
Tieger, I’m a game designer on Darkwatch.
game designers wear a lot of different hats so, like all the
designers here, I work on the story, create levels, design enemies and
spec out all of the game systems.
date my most notable credit is as a designer on The
Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.
Why was the Old West chosen as the
backdrop for this game? Do
you have any theories as to why there are so few games set in that era?
immediately conjure up certain images – a lone gunfighter standing in
the street, riding across the open plains, ghost towns and saloon
shootouts. All in all,
those elements can be combined make a solid game experience and I think
the best example of a pure Western game so far has to be Outlaws
by Lucas Arts, but that was way back in 1997.
Personally, I believe blending genres is what makes Darkwatch an exciting game with very wide audience appeal. This is where other Westerns have fallen flat. Give people what they expect in a Western...make them feel comfortable within the world you create and then have hordes of the undead and vampires erupt from the ground – now that’s a video game!
What kind of modified weaponry will the Darkwatch be providing Jericho? Is it difficult to keep them true to the era while over the top in how they’ve been enhanced?
designs are rooted in reality but we have spun them into the Darkwatch
world. For example,
Jericho’s pistol has similar elements to a traditional six shooter but
it holds a total of 24 bullets in four separate chambers. Oh
yeah and don’t forget the bladed gun butt for the occasional
close-quarter beat down.
What sorts of assault vehicles are planned for the game?
on a horse is a must for any Western worth its spurs; however the fun
doesn’t stop there. The Darkwatch are a clever sort, and their scientists created a steam
powered vehicle that drives like a blade covered dune buggy. It
packs a mean punch with its deadly mounted Gatling Gun turret!
We know that Jericho is hunting a
vampire in the game, but what other types of enemies will players
starters we have a giant Yeti with tank treads for legs and a cybernetic
glowing red eye – well actually that’s a lie.
I keep asking for the Yeti but they keep telling me “No Yetis!
Stop asking for Yetis!”
expect to have to put undead gunslingers to rest, dodge dynamite tossing
abominations and shoot the heads of charging skeletons. These are just a
few of the enemies that we’re creating.
Will there be any multiplayer options
for Darkwatch, or perhaps online play?
the team had Multiplayer up and running very early in development and
the ‘5pm gun down sessions’ were a blast.
So we are very aware of how fun our game is in multiplayer and we
are doing everything we can to support as many different types of
The game is said to have very large
worlds for players to explore. Can
you give us a point of comparison to put it into perspective how large
Darkwatch’s worlds will be?
pacing is the key. If the
world is huge but only a few things happen in it, then the gameplay is
boring, even if those few events are amazing.
Balancing game world size and fun factor is a constant challenge. Darkwatch is still evolving and I simply don’t know how big
the game worlds will be when we ship.
The only real answer I have is this; as big as we can make them
while still keeping the gameplay pacing intense.
What are some of the key steps the
development team are taking to ensure that Darkwatch isn’t written off
as “Just another FPS”?
focus the moment to moment game experience around the emotion that we
want to elicit: fear, surprise, tension and so on. The team crafts the
levels around that emotion and supports it with sound, visuals, and
gameplay. Games are so much
more then they were just a few years ago, and the best games deliver a
whole experience to the players.
In the last little while, Sammy has
really been taking significant steps to have a stronger foothold in the
game industry. Have you
found that the development team are enjoying some extra TLC from the
powers that be as a result?
is a rising star, we aren’t looking for a foothold – we are looking
are all committed to making a monumental game, and that extends well
beyond the development team. Our
support structure is stellar and we are given the necessary latitude to
deliver. And of course,
don’t forget our brand new office - we recently opened a massive,
state-of-the-art facility in Carlsbad, designed from the ground up for
What’s the one thing about Darkwatch
that no one knows and you would love to share now?
The entire team is chock full of gamers, we all have our personal favorites; as a game designer, I get to put little bits of my personality into the game and here is something I have been working on…
I loved playing the Metal Slug series of games – crazy bosses that would fire tons of rockets, use armored plates to protect vital areas and take lots of punishment before they went down. Currently I am creating a boss inspired by all the fun I had playing that series. It will be a Darkwatch twist on a traditional Western icon.
Expect to be impressed, Darkwatch will deliver.
A big thanks to you, Matt, for your time.
(March 13, 2004)
All articles ©2000 - 2014 The Armchair Empire.
All game and anime imagery is the property of their respective owners.