JA:Flashback - Interview @ Rock, Paper, Shotgun
Rock, Paper, Shotgun has posted the second party of their interview with Full Control CEO Thomas Hentschel Lund, This time they talk about living up to expectations, and the importance of modding.
RPS: With the alpha going out, can you reinvent the wheel at this point? If people react by asking for changes to certain features, or a certain implementation doesn’t work as well as you’d hoped, can you make changes? Presumably, one of the reasons for the alpha is to get feedback. How flexible can you be at this point?
Lund: Er…42 (laughs). 42 flexible. We definitely think that taking all the mechanics for JA 2 and putting them in is what we wanted to do, so if people say they don’t want a mixture of real-time and turn-based with action points, they’re not going to see that change. But if somebody asks for an indicator for listening distances when sneaking, and they have an idea for how that could be implemented, we’ll definitely take that on board. That’s the kind of feedback we’re looking for.
RPS: Have you had much interactions with the JA 2 mod community?
Lund: Too little. It’s not four hours ago that I poked our guys to get cracking so that we before we reach Early Access we have the chance to discuss things with them and still have time to be flexible when we have their feedback.
RPS: Does it feel good to be this close to alpha?
Lund: It does. (pause) There’s obviously some expectation management. It’s the tricky part. We really want to hype the game and we think that we have a really cool game, but at the same time we didn’t get two or three million dollars in the Kickstarter, so we do have limitations as to the amount of stuff that’s in there. We’ll have to reuse some of the music and the voiceovers, and some of the models as well, even though we’ve created a whole set of things.
It’s that expectation management thing that is going to be hard. People might expect 200 sectors because there were more than a hundred in JA 2 and think that it’s going to be bigger than the previous game – that kind of expectation is something we cannot fulfil. There is a large large list of things that we really wanted to get in there but it simply wasn’t possible but we couldn’t on the smaller budget we have.
But that doesn’t mean we’re not going to try and push it as hard as we can and, for us, a lot of the core elements is what we’ve concentrated on. Getting the combat right was the most important thing for us, along with modding. The combat has to be cool, interesting and complex enough that people want to play with it. If we fail on that, it won’t matter what we wrap the game in. It won’t work.
As for the modding, that is so important because it means that all the ambitions we had for the game can still happen, and somebody else can sit down and make it happen with us.
SP/MP: Single + MP