What is the current state of the game and how long have you been working on it thus far?
A: We have been working with Day 1 Studios on Fracture for about a year and a half. The game is currently in production, and making great progress. We will have a lot of exciting news to talk about later this year.
The terrain deformation reminds me of the Geo-Mod technology used in the Red Faction series. Could you compare / contrast them?
A: The Geo-Mod technology used in Red Faction was somewhat rigid because it was only useful in specific pre-determined points in the game. In Fracture, Terrain Deformation allows players to change the battlefield on the fly in completely unscripted ways. It can be used for destruction, navigation, puzzle solving, creating cover, or for gaining a tactical advantage over the enemy. TD is an integral part of the game that players must utilize in their tactical strategy to be successful.
What has been the biggest challenge so far?
A: The biggest challenge so far has been designing levels that take advantage of Terrain Deformation in unique and interesting ways. The designers are constantly thinking outside of the box to create new uses for TD not only in puzzles, but also in gameplay. Our level designers always have to account for the fact that the players can manipulate terrain, often in ways that we have never thought of before! It requires some trial and error, and a lot of creativity.
What types of futuristic weapons will be at the player’s disposal?
A: Fracture will have some familiar weapons as well as futuristic weapons that will literally blow people away. All of our weapons will have two modes of fire, a primary and a secondary, most of which interact with the terrain. Players will have access to the basic weapons such as a machine gun and shotgun, but we’ve added a twist. The machine gun will chip away at the terrain, while the shotgun’s secondary function allows players to fire a puck that can ricochet off walls and be detonated at will. We’ll also have a rocket launcher, and a gun that collects rock and debris from the area and launches it as a boulder of destruction. Players will also have a variety of grenades at their disposal throughout the campaign. Subsonic and tectonic grenades deal a large amount of damage, as well as lower and raise the ground respectively. A giant, molten spike of rock is created when the player uses a spike grenade, and the vortex grenade creates a swirling mass of earth, wind, and debris that will explode with tremendous force. We have even more unique and exciting weapons that we will be sharing in the future.
What is your favorite weapon?
A: My favorite weapon so far is the Bangalore Rocket Launcher. With Terrain Deformation, we’ve added a spin to the old favorite. The Bangalore’s primary fire launches deadly rockets that leave huge craters in the terrain. The secondary fire is what’s really fun though. Holding down the secondary fire button players can send a rocket under the ground, like a subterranean torpedo. When the button is released the rocket detonates below the enemies’ feet, sending them flying. It’s useful for taking out enemies hiding behind walls, and is also a really fun weapon to use.
The game will be in the 3rd person perspective. What influenced you to go this route?
A: Fracture began as a first person shooter, but after much deliberation we collectively decided that 3rd person would be a better fit for the game. One of our focuses at LucasArts is to create great stories driven by compelling characters. We wanted players to identify with our main character, Mason Briggs, but we found that players felt detached when playing in the first person view. Another reason was because of our main feature, Terrain Deformation. Players were able to gain a better situational awareness in the 3rd person view, and it also was much easier for them to take advantage of TD for things like making their own cover. Overall, players had a better game experience with a 3rd person camera.
Could you tell us about the multiplayer and online gameplay for Fracture?
A: Multiplayer and online functionality are planned for Fracture, and we’ll be sharing more details in the near future. Day 1 Studios has an excellent track record in multiplayer with MechAssault being an Xbox Live launch title. We are confident that Terrain Deformation will only add to the fun of multiplayer.
What other features will Fracture have to set it apart from similar games?
A: There is still a long way to go until Summer 2008. With that in mind, we have a lot of exciting information to share in the coming months.
Would you like to add anything else?
A: As the company that brought you Star Wars and Indiana Jones, as well as successful new IP’s such as Mercenaries and Thrillville, one of our goals at LucasArts is to combine great stories and characters with innovative technology to build compelling, interactive worlds. Story is very important to us, and we are working hard to create a rich narrative and bring complex characters to life within the world of Fracture. We want players to become immersed in the story, and feel like they have a stake in the outcome.