Interstellar Marines: interview

Interstellarmarines,PS3,PC,Xbox 360

Interstellar Marines caught our eye. It’s very Aliens -y and the developers are happy to admit it, plus they’re heading for a completely independent development and publication! When we approached Kim of Zero Point software en masse for an interview however, he screamed ‘they’re coming outta the goddamn walls!’.

CG: The Vault’ sounds like a new and exciting way of previewing video games. Can you go in to detail about how it works? Do you expect this to become the new standard for game previews and promotion?

Kim: Absolutely, experiencing The Vault is about as exciting as it gets without actually playing the game! Inside The Vault players get to experience a secret ITO facility, which presents some of our primary characters from the game. I can’t really say more at this point because like The Matrix; you have to see it to believe it! Built on the Unity engine, The Vault started as a environment prototype to test the capabilities of the engine. But as soon as we saw it running inside a browser for the first time, we just knew we had to share it with our community to give them something totally unexpected. We have no idea whether other developers will pick up the ball, but we can guarantee that we’re going to continue to showcase our fans more than just images. We’re dedicated to getting our fans as close to the development of Interstellar Marines as we possibly can. The Vault is the first step on that journey!

CG: Judging by the initial Interstellar Marines trailer, it seems to have an ‘Aliens’ tone to it. Where else have you taken inspiration from?

Kim: You mean the greatest movie ever made?Aliens is the only movie where you can wake me up in the middle of the night and say “lets watch Aliens” and I’ll go “Hell yeah!”. Obviously there is a lot of inspiration from Aliens inside Interstellar Marines; realistic Art Direction, low tech sci-fi and atmosphere in spades.

With regard to other games: Interstellar Marines is inspired by RPG titles such as Deus Ex and System Shock 2 for their focus on story, open ended design and character development. FEAR and Crysis for their focus on character immersion and dynamic combat scenarios. And last but not least our beloved tactical shooters Rainbow Six: Raven Shield and Ghost Recon – Advanced Warfighter for their strict military realism, weapons customization and cooperative gameplay.

CG: You promise an ‘original storyline’. How so? Is the title of the game ironic

Kim: I’ve yet to see anyone sell their great storyline inside an interview, so I’m not even going to try! 🙂 All I can say is that everything becomes cliché if implemented wrong! I mean; on paper both Alien and Jaws sounds like proper B movies, but they were both made with the right vision and dedication which makes them so much more then could ever be described on paper. We believe it’s all in the implementation; what is said and not said and what is shown and not shown and a whole lot more!

interstellarmarines,PS3,PC,Xbox 360

CG: There are quite a few space marine first person shooters out on the market, what does Interstellar Marines offer that is different?

Kim: We’re focusing on making the most believable and immersive sci-fi shooter you’ll ever play. No lasers, no needle guns, etc. Our goal is that when you play IM, you’ll feel like you’re in the Matrix and when you “unplug”, you’ll be wiping the blood from your mouth. Every detail from weapon feedback to communication with your friends is being focused on to ensure this.

Absolute FPS immersion meets cooperative gameplay in a disturbing and realistic sci-fi universe, continuously driven forward by a captivating storyline and the reward of developing your character. Interstellar Marines will change people’s expectation of sci-fi in games!”

CG: How will the co-operative mode work? Will it focus on the single player campaign or will there be specific co-op content?

Kim: Interstellar Marines will feature traditional lone wolf single player as well as what we call single player coop (SWAT 4 / Left 4 Dead) which is basically you assisted by up to three very autonomous bots. Besides the single player modes we have the traditional multiplayer coop, which is you and up to four of your friends either locally or online. No matter how you choose to play we provide the same “out of this world” storyline. Now it’s just up to you and your friends to build the strongest team possible based on your selection of weapons, skills and tactics!

CG: Are there any more multiplayer features planned?

Kim: Yes. We are planning to release a small online multiplayer on our community site, early next year. Which over time will be expanded and iterated on to provide more and more value! The idea is to get people playing the game as soon as possible so we can collect valuable feedback and suggestions from the community. We have a very clear vision for Interstellar Marines but we still believe we can make the game so much more balanced if we iterate some of the game play with our community! More about this release later.

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CG: How does RTVP work?

Kim: You’ve heard about our patent pending RTVP technology? You have to hear it to believe it, but it basically boils down to VOIP “inside” the game. The voices of your buddies get processed through your in-game environment before being heard by you. So it’s not just in-game SFX that reverberate, get muffled or echoed, it’s also you’re coop buddies’ voices. The result is a fantastic increase in immersion and when close to an enemy the last thing you want to do is open your mouth; because they WILL react! This feature is going to make you s**t your pants from sheer awesomeness!

CG: If the aim is to replicate how sound works in the real world, doesn’t that mean speech being constantly smothered by gunfire and explosions?

You will believe! 🙂

CG: You’ve seen huge fan support, even after Zero Point folded and was quickly resurrected. You offered investors their money back, and almost everybody seems to have said no. How does that make you feel? Why do you think you’ve been able to build up such massively strong loyalty and faith?

Kim: Our fans are the greatest! Without them and their support, we wouldn’t be where we are today. We’ve been completely blown away by the commitment to and trust they have shown in us. It makes us feel great. It also pushes us to go that little bit further. And although those that have purchased upgrades to their accounts will always hold a special place in our hearts, it’s not just them that are helping us out. It’s every user and every visitor that helps give credibility to us and IM. Thank you, all of you!

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CG: At the moment, Interstellar Marines looks like being a big budget game made and funded 100% by gamers, for gamers. It’s admirable, but has caused you problems. What if, for example, Activision offered you a multimillion dollar deal for the game?

Kim: Hey, our hope is that some publisher will offer us a deal, but that we’ll be in a position to turn them down. We know we’re all slightly mad in our approach and vision, but we feel that more than just our game is at stake here. If we can do it, if we can prove that you don’t need a publisher to make an AAA title, that the AAA Indie business model can work, then we’ll have changed the industry. We want to see gamers make decisions on which games get made, not just some publisher dude with all the cash.

CG: Why should we be looking forward to Interstellar Marines?

Kim: So far we’ve only scraped the top of the iceberg with regards to what we intend to do with the story and game of IM. And with that little scrape, we’ve already received hugely positive response from our community. Take for example our infamous Shark Creature – whether you love it or hate it – everybody has an opinion about it. And that’s perfect – it keeps people interested – while we get to keep the real aces up our sleeves for just that little bit longer! 🙂

A believable sci-fi shooter that is so immersive it’ll make you bleed. The best co-op experience you’ve ever had. A story that makes your high-school English teacher weep. These are just a few of the reasons joining our community is an essential for every self respecting gamer. It’s time to report for duty, Marines!

CG: Will there still be a PS3 & Xbox 360 version after you finish the PC version?

Kim: You bet.

We will be right where the gamer wants us to be. We just need enough support!

Intrigued? You should be. Warm up those pulse rifles and march on over to www.interstellarmarines.com to find out more.

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Written by Patrick G

One comment

  1. Great job guys, love the interview, and can’t wait for The Vault to open today!

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