Lukas Abbots – On Darkwatch Curse West

Darkwatch Curse West is a first-person shooter type of game developed for PlayStation 2 and Xbox developed by High Moon Studios. The game is an interesting mix of Western, horror and steampunk genres. Lukas Abbots worked in the production team of the game as a Beta Tester and has enjoyed every moment of it.

On a chance meeting, while riding the train to Paris, I shared the same carriage with Lukas Abbot and decided to strike up a conversation with him. My first impression was that he was kind of aloof. But when we got around to talking about movies and vampires and ghosts, he magically transformed and became so animated and entertaining, as if he were another person altogether.

Lukas shares some of his studios’ secrets when working on a new project. He relates how one time, they were brainstorming for a new game and people were tossing ideas left and right until one of them piped up, “Why don’t we do a mash-up of a Western-type horror slasher’s galore and a grungy steampunk outfit? What I’m telling you is how we came up with the idea for the game Darkwatch Curse West.”

NA: Hi Lukas. It’s nice to share a ride with you on this train.

LA: You know what, I love trains. There is something elegant about them. The stature, the strong muscular frame, the husky sound it makes when blowing off steam. Those things amaze me about trains in general. Plus they are part of our history, so that;s more reason to appreciate trains and riding them more often. And you could also meet lots of interesting people on trains. I believe people who ride trains are doing it to experience a little bit of history. But I’m  sure that’s not the question you wanted to ask me.

NA: Well, not really, but you do have an interesting insight on the subject. Tell me about your latest game-Darkwatch Curse West?

LA: Well, it’s a very interesting project to be a part of. We had a lot of fun building it. And lots more fun testing it, which was my primary task during that stage. We were having so much fun, we couldn’t help but feel sad when the game was finally released because we won’t be seeing our friends whom we met on the production of the game. The game itself is very entertaining and engaging. It’s not your usual first person shooter type of game. The story lie takes a non-traditional approach, but it’s still interesting in its own simple way.

NA: Was it difficult making the project?

LA: Well, I wasn’t part of the development team that “made” the game itself but I can imagine it must have been hard producing it. As testers, we were working with a semi-finished product. We merely tested it for bugs, errors, modifications or improvements. It’s hard building anything when there are moving parts involved. This project had many moving parts, so yeah, it was difficult, yet still we had a great time so it makes it all worth it.

NA: Do you consider yourself an expert on games?

LA: Well, there’s a saying “once a gamer always a gamer”. I believe that this is true even today. The level of expertise for any game depends on how long you’ve played a certain game. The secret really is mastery. If you play games for a living, you are bound to become an expert at it, since you’ll be working on it almost every hour, every day, non-stop until you get it perfect.