Comanche 4 - Interview to NovaLogic
Comanche 4 impressed the critics by its advanced graphics and intense gameplay. The origin, the source of inspiration, the designers' philosophy and balance between simulation and fun are the topics for the interview to Wes Eckhart from the NovaLogic team, with a sight to Comanche and another to the future.
Nextgame.it: How does Comanche 4 fare against its direct competitors such as Jane's Longbow 2 and Comanche vs. Hokum? What are the strong points of Comanche 4 in comparison?
Wes Eckhart: All of the games above definitely have their strongpoints. Longbow 2 is a highly detailed realistic sim. Comanche vs. Hokum gives you the chance to jump into both craft. I think Comanche 4 does an excellent job of introducing the novice gamer to the rigors of helicopter combat. The game is very intuitive to control, and there's plenty of targets to shoot. The fact that the game is scalable should also please the more sim oriented fans.
At the risk of sounding overly proud, I think Comanche 4's visuals by far exceed any others in the combat sim arena. We have put a lot of time and effort into making the game look and feel as realistic as possible.
Nextgame.it: Can you please tell us something about the routine used for the impressive explosions seen in Comanche 4? Were the weapons and explosion effects one of the fundamental points of the game's development?
Wes Eckhart: Once we decided to really push the technology on the 3D cards, our special effects became a game unto themselves. There's nothing more satisfying than seeing a really big explosion, with pieces and parts flying everywhere. When you shoot a boat, you don't want it to JUST explode. You want to see it list and sink. When you hit a jeep with a hellfire, parts should fly everywhere. These action movie style special effects were critical to giving Comanche 4 a certain "wow" factor.
Nextgame.it: What do you think about the "dynamic campaign" mode seen in Falcon 4? Do you believe it would add something to Comanche 4 if implemented?
Wes Eckhart: Dynamic campaigns are really tricky. I like the idea of the game generating new missions on the fly, but at the same time I really like what you can achieve with tightly controlled missions. Scripted missions allow you to present a truly interesting fiction to the player. Encounters can be set up to play out just like in the movies.
Nextgame.it: What simulation or game you'd like to develop apart from Comanche 4?
Wes Eckhart: Personally, I'm a big fan of race cars, so I'd love a chance to do a really great racing game.
Nextgame.it: Would you mind telling us something about your favourite games, both PC and console related?
Wes Eckhart: When not blowing up the bad guys in the Comanche, I like to play a lot of racing and shooter games. Gran Turismo, Medal of Honor, Halo, Project Gotham Racingl... these are all great games.
Nextgame.it: What's next on your schedule after Comanche 4? Are you going to stay on the PC or you think you'll move to the next generation consoles?
Wes Eckhart: After the release of Comanche 4, our next release will be Delta Force Urban Warfare for the PSone which is being developed externally by Rebellion in the UK. We are also developing Delta Force for the PlayStation 2, which is being developed internally at our head office is Calabasas, U.S.A.
The Delta Force franchise has been incredibly successful on the PC selling over 2.6 million units since the release of the first Delta Force in 1998 and has become the ultimate experience in military gaming. We intend to relay this success on the PlayStation and PlayStation 2. Delta Force Urban Warfare and Delta Force will be the first titles NovaLogic has released for the PlayStation market, although we are by no means new to the console market.
Both Delta Force releases are being developed with a new and unique AI system. As action shooters they are being developed from scratch with the console gamer in mind and will offer all new missions and hi tech weapons. They will both prove to be an absolute blast to play. We have also recently announced that we are developing Comanche 4 for the Xbox, which will be released in the fall of 2002.
As to whether we'll be moving away from the PC market, the answer is no! Please keep up to date with everything at www.novalogic.com.
Nextgame.it: What do you think about the new gaming platforms struggling for the next generation market? Sony PS2, Nintendo GameCube, Microsoft Xbox: which one is going to take the edge? Which one is on your schedule anyway? Having a graphic chipset and a CPU like those on the PCs is going to be an advantage for the Xbox as far as the support of the PC developers is concerned?
Wes Eckhart: The evolution of the next generation gaming consoles is really exciting. The PS2 was first out and it really had a lot to offer. I'm excited that we're getting a chance to bring Delta Force to that platform. Both the GameCube and Xbox are taking console gaming to the next level. I'm intrigued by what the GameCube has to offer. It's a pretty cool system. At the same time, the Xbox is simply awesome. Comanche on the Xbox should simply be a stunning game.
Thanks to Wes and the whole NovaLogic team for their time. We'll be looking forward to the next releases from NovaLogic. Stay tuned on Nextgame.it!