Versión en español: CLICK AQUÍ
Please introduce yourself to our readers and tell us about your work in Deep Black.
I am a project lead of Deep Black. My work is connected with game producing and game design.
How would you describe Deep Black in your own words?
The game is a cover shooter. There is shooting, running, grenade throwing and also various enemies in the game. Once you go underwater though, you are in a different world – there’s special physics of movement there, and you can also use a jet pack to quickly move from your enemies.
Besides, there’s a possibility to move in all dimensions underwater. There is also a system of shelters, melee fights, stealth elements, enemies reprogramming etc.
We are focusing on combined levels - where there is both an underwater and an onshore part. This makes gaming moments diverse and allows to drastically change the environment in the frames of one level.
What are the main features that make it unique and that differentiate it from other games of the same genre?
The general idea is a battle possibility in two environments and all related hereto gameplay elements. Our weapons are active in both modes, enemies behave differently and we can use all strategic advantages of the underwater. Besides one the main features is the multiplayer mode where you are fighting in two environments while in the Deathmatch mode! We are sure players will appreciate all elements we have developed in the project.
How does the gameplay mechanics work in the underwater environments?
This was one of the designers’ problems during the game development ;) The underwater environment allows us to move with ease in the 3D space. That is why it is not easy to limit the hero’s movements by simply having enemies on his way. The hero can either jump over them or slide under them. So we had to do substantial amendments into the enemies’ behaviour and to do rebalancing of the planned gameplay.
There’s also a number of unusual features developed: for example, harpoon rifle use with the ability to pull the enemy to you and kill him with a knife in a mini game. That is, an element of stealth. Besides, there are underwater automatic drones armed with gunfires which one can re-program and make them fight on your side; the possibility of hyper speed-up, which allows the player to cover middle distances instantly.
What kind of experiences gamers will expect: suspense, terror, action, exploration, puzzle solving?
During the gameplay you will not only shoot, but also solve puzzles, have unexpected battles with bosses and also explore cave and other interesting places. We tried to make various interesting locations and it will take you 8-10 hours depending on your gaming experience to accomplish the game. The game is full of content and we even had to do some features cuts during the game development process.
What are the graphical and technical features that we’ll see with the biEngine?
We are trying to create top quality graphics for PC and consoles. As for the PC version, it supports NVIDIA PhysX at the hardware level. We have been working closely to the NVIDIA company in terms of the game optimisation and additional features. There are of course physical objects and special effects in the game. And now there is a popular stereoscopic technology NVIDIA 3D Vision. Our product also supports NVIDIA 3D Vision Surround.
Engine is well optimized, so users of non-top machines can enjoy DB with normal render settings.
You can now play the game on weak PCs
with GF8600 and there is going to be Intel Integrated graphic support there.
What ideas have you included in order to offer variety?
Besides standard cover action, we are going to supplement the gameplay with various unlockables – to begin with, there are going to be additional video “modes” and skins of the character and there are also going to be weapon unlocks and special character possibilities.
Please tell us about the story.
The action is in the future, in 2047. It isn’t so far from now. What now seems a nightmare is in 2047 a reality – merciless and cruel.
The planet’s energy resources are almost over, poverty and diseases are everywhere, and mankind is facing a social and an economic disaster. Weapons and money rule the world. This leads to appearance of various terrorist groups and political alliances that strive to rule the entire world and which are in constant battles with each other. The game unfolds in this world of chaos and anarchy.
The main hero of the game is lieutenant Syrus Pears who used to be the best contractor to the anti terrorist organisation CHARON. Soldiers of this organisation have proved themselves in onshore and underwater secret operations. During one of such operations against AL-AZRAD groups, unexpected happened: the detached unit headed by Pears fell into an ambuscade and was destroyed but the head of the unit.
Syrus could not accept his comrades’ death and resigned. However the vacation was short: soon after the sad events a group of terrorists took hostages in an underwater research lab and the military head asked Pears to lead the rescue operation while he was the only one who had enough experience and skills to do this. Nobody bothered however to notify the lieutenant that the lab was in the enemy’s territory. Nobody knew why the lab was occupied and what the purpose of the research done there was.
Still, Pears, who is eager to take revenge for his soldiers’ deaths, agrees to take part in the operation. But what he finds out in the ocean depths will exceed his most horrible expectations. His findings will either make the world change or will destroy the world.
Lieutenant Syrus Pears is an unusual hero. His image is far from common hero images. He is brave, capable to take risks, and is noble-minded. But at the same time, dramatic events of his past military life have planted seeds of cynicism and cruelty to his enemies inside him. Syrus takes no hostages and doesn’t have any negotiations. Those who are on his way should better take care.
There’s another hero – a lady – colonel Susan Velasko – a slim Latin American. She is not sentimental, and is the right hand and the main ally of the lieutenant. Susan actively helps the hero: provides him with valuable information and forwards the military head’s orders so that he obeyed those quickly.
Being attractive, strong and ready to risk, Susan is always aiming at performing her best and can stand up to any enemy. She doesn’t despair in most difficult moments and shows will of iron and determination. Being acid-tongued, she never loses a chance to tease Syrus when he is in trouble.
After seeing the results achieved until now: What has impressed you the most?
My main impression based on materials, that we collect for understand what game atmosphere will be on levels.
In next part I would like to spend more time on design and new multiplayer modes development in the future. Unfortunately we didn’t have enough time to accomplish everything we were going to – but it is always like this. We have got interesting ideas in AI and characters’ behaviour logic – cannot tell much as we are going to use these in Deep Black 2.
Is there an estimated release date for the game?
Q2 2011 for Xbox 360, PC and PS3.
Thank you very much, and best wishes for Deep Black.
Thank you! Hope you will enjoy Deep Black and we will be discussing Deep Black 2 next year.