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PC - Interviews Gaming / PC
 

Dune
Introduction:
Dune 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.
Screenshots:
dune4 - thumbnail dune3 - thumbnail dune2 - thumbnail dune1 - thumbnail
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Interview By: John Bergerud
Published On: 04/13/01

I understand that Dune's plot revolves around Frank Herbert's popular 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 series?

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 spoil it!

How will Dune be different from other action/adventure games?

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 mission based with clear objectives or are there multiple ways of completing a mission?

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 player encounter?

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 secret receipe...

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 complete a level? What is the most important skill to master?

You'll have to use your brain. The direct fight is not always the best option....

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 playable demo 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!


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Comments
1 Comment Total | Add a Comment

Name: ThemisMH  4/14/01 at 12:11 pm PST
So this is going to be just another core action game, where the player will have to find a key then find the door and vouala this is an adventure feature. Why don 't they name them just actions. Don 't tell for example that The Phantom Menace was adventure at all? Maybe the 6th level had a few puzzles but nothing more. The so called action-adventures game are so UNBALANCED. Thankfully here in Europe adventure games are still developing. US has by far forgotten the gerne. Even Lucas Arts quit producing adventures. Monkey 4 was the worst of the series. The graphics were nice, but why in 3D? SCUMM worked just perfect. The Longest Journey was 3D but it used a system simmilar to Monkey 3 and Full Throttle 's and it was far better.

 
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