Interview By: John Bergerud
is an action adventure game in development by Widescreen Games
for the PC and PS2. eUniverse Games interviews
Managing Director Olivier Masclef to learn more.
Sponsored by Microplay - Where shopping for games has never been easier!
Published On: 04/13/01
I understand that Dune's plot revolves around Frank Herbert's
sci-fi series. Could you elaborate on this?
Yes, in fact our game will be based on a specific
timeframe of the storyline:
The game will start when Paul and Jessica crash the
ornidopter in the desert. They will soon meet the
Fremen and start fighting the Harkonnens and the
spice smugglers. It will end when Paul, who is
recognised as the messiah, raises the armies of
faydakins to regain the control on Arakeen and
overthrows the Harkonnens...
Do you feel any pressure because of the popularity of the
Yes indeed! Working on such a popular universe is a
lot of pressure! We need to make a game that will be
accessible to the mass market, but we also need to
satisfy all the fans of Frank Herbert! We need to be very
picky on the quality of what we do, and we need to stick
to the 'spirit' of the Dune universe... In fact we have a
lot of luck on this point, our Art Director, Dominique
Peyronnet has read Dune six times, and Sylvain
Blanchot our game designer: four times! They both are
great fans, so we hope we will not dissapoint.... In fact,
for them it's a child's dream, and they don't want to
How will Dune be different from other action/adventure
Dune will be definitely different from other action/adventure
games because we are using the Dune universe as a key aspect of
the content of the game. The second aspect is that we try and
push to maximize the smooth integration of the adventure and
action aspects within the game. We do believe that this is a key
point for the immersion of the player in the game.
Tell us more about the lastest engine on which Dune is
based. What are
its capabilities and does it have any special features?
Well, the engine is able to handle indoors and outdoors
at the same time, with a high level of performance in
term of visual quality. The other important point is the
characters (with a high level of detail) and especially the
animation of the characters . This is an important
aspect in the sense that it gives the feeling of total
freedom to the player when moving around and doing
actions as our animation system adapts perfectly to the
environment (environement being the landscape, other
characters interacting with, etc...)
What can you tell me about some of the missions? Are they
with clear objectives or are there multiple ways of completing
The missions can be solved in multiple ways, including some non
necessary actions that will help the player succeed. We do
believe the 'blocking' puzzles are not a way to go in games, and
the game should evolve in smoothly adapting to the mood of the
player (play it hard, play it wise, etc...)
How many levels will Dune have and what evironments will the
It is too early to disclose all the levels, but I can tell you
some points: you will be able to fight in the Arakeen
palace, as well as in a harvester for example...
What type of enemies will the player encounter and what
steps have you
taken to create a truly effective AI?
Well, the Harkonnens, the spice smugglers, the
Sardaukar, the famous elite troops of the emperor, are
among the enemies you will meet... oh, yes... and the
worms of course...
The AI of the enemies is a key aspect of the gameplay,
especially in the stealth / infiltration sequences... now
regarding how we create the AI, I have to say that it is a
What weapons can we expect? What about inventory items?
The weapons are going to be very varied, including the famous
Kriss, the fremen knife made with a sandworm tooth, to the maula
pistol and the laser... and the shield... remember what happens
when you shoot with a laser on a shield???
Regarding the inventory: we intend to make it very user friendly
as we don't like games relying on extensive use of the inventory.
In fact, although you will be able to use many items, those will be
handeled efficiently by the game, so that you won't have to search
in the inventory in order to use them...
What kind of strategy is required to play and successfully
level? What is the most important skill to master?
You'll have to use your brain. The direct fight is not always the
What is your favorite aspect of the game so far?
The integration of the Dune universe and story. We believe to
have extracted a lot out of the Dune universe for the action and
adventure aspects of the game. Dune is a real gaming experience
where we hope, you will feel transformed throughout the game,
from the young Paul Atreides, to Paul Muad Dib, the messiah,
leader of the Fremen people!
Have you set a firm release date and can we expect a
before the game's release?
The game will be in the shelves for the Christmas 2001 season!
Honest! I have taken some spice to see the future!