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Old 09-22-2005, 03:51 AM   #1
Alucard
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Craig Hubbard interview [ Lead Designer Monolith/F.E.A.R]

Some interesting bits, but sadly not long enough for my likes. IGN wasted some questions there.

Quote:
IGNPC: Monolith's first-person shooters have had a relatively conventional context, up till now. What was the motivation behind venturing into paranormal territory?

Craig Hubbard: We really just went with our interests. We wanted to do something we'd all be excited about. We ruled out a standard military shooter because there are so many of them that it's hard to differentiate yourself, but nobody had combined a paramilitary thriller with a ghost story before, so it seemed like an opportunity to explore some new ideas. We also decided to keep the setting contemporary so that the fantastical elements would feel more grounded. A ghost in a ruined castle can be scary, but a ghost in an apartment building is scarier to me because I spend considerably more time in apartments than castles.

IGNPC: Unlike most other Monolith productions, the details of this game have been kept close. What's it been like to work behind a veil?

Craig Hubbard: The trick is to give away enough that people are interested, but not so much that you ruin the experience. We felt it was important to communicate the premise of the game and show off the gameplay, but we didn't want to give away story details. We also didn't want to risk overexposure.

IGNPC: While previous Monolith games were no slouches when it came to visual bells and whistles, the FEAR engine looks extremely advanced. What was the motivation to hit all the buzzwords this time?

Craig Hubbard: Well, to be honest, we've always lagged a bit when it comes to rendering tech. With FEAR, we decided it was time to get ahead of the curve for a change. We were initially toying with taking the Half-Life 2 approach and adding more sophisticated shader support to our old light-mapped renderer, but we wanted the flexibility of fully dynamic lighting and shadows. Also, we wanted to rebuild so much of the old tech base that it was easier just to start from scratch.

IGNPC: Now that you've released a multiplayer beta and a single-player demo, do you have any plans to distribute other extras, like modding tools?

Craig Hubbard: Supporting the mod community is something Monolith and VUG would like to do. We'll release information on that in the future.


IGNPC: Monolith has been using internal, proprietary engines and development tools for a quite a while now. With FEAR, you're introducing a new version of the package, Jupiter EX. Do you prefer working with and experimenting with a brand-new engine and supporting tools, rather than working within the known limits of previously established technology?

Craig Hubbard: Well, for the sake of clarification, the technology that Monolith created for FEAR is apparently being called Jupiter EX by Touchdown Entertainment, which has rights to license it. We don't call it that and aren't involved in anything related to technology licensing. To us, FEAR is FEAR. We built the tech for our games and someone else is selling it to other developers.

As for what I prefer to work with, I like new iterations of systems I already have some experience with. There's a lot of risk if everything is brand new, but it's depressing to be stuck with the same issues you grappled with the last time around. The basic philosophy is that you want to build on your successes, address your shortcomings, and manage your risk.

IGNPC: What's been the most uniquely exciting aspect of working on this project?

Craig Hubbard: Working on our first E3 demo was great because everyone was focused on a common goal that was clear and attainable. Each day we'd have showings where people would gather in the producer's office and watch him play through the demo with all the improvements and fixes that had gotten in since the last showing. There was a tangible sense of pride and confidence that I think we all fed off of. It was pretty exhilarating.

IGNPC: Speaking of the demo, how much does that environment represent the game as a whole? Will we be sneaking around open streets, houses, apartment buildings, or wilderness? Is the demo extracted from the game, or is it stand-alone content?

Craig Hubbard: The goal was to demonstrate the feel and pacing of the game, so we took some scenes that highlighted key elements and fitted them together into a representative experience. Most of that stuff is in the full game, but not necessarily as it appears in the demo.

The focus of FEAR is on close quarters combat, so we gravitated to environments that worked well for close to medium range firefights, such as office buildings, industrial compounds, etc.

IGNPC: With all the talk from Valve and Ritual about episodic content, do you see a potential in FEAR to explore that avenue, since it appears to be such a story-based game?

Craig Hubbard: I've wanted to do episodic content for ages. I'm hoping online distribution creates opportunities that didn't exist a few years ago. As a developer, it would be great to get more use out of the game assets we spend so much time working on.

We don't have any plans to do episodes for FEAR.

IGNPC: Was the Director's Edition planned from the start? There seems to be a lot more to it than figurines and cloth maps.

Craig Hubbard: VUG put it all together in the final months of the project. They took it very seriously and did a great job with it.

IGNPC: Historically, Monolith has been focused almost entirely on the PC side, yet one wonders if we'll see FEAR on the next-generation consoles. Is this a real possibility, or do you expect this title to stay firmly in the PC realm?

Craig Hubbard: I'm definitely not the person to talk about in terms of future plans for FEAR -- that's more of a publisher matter -- but Monolith is working on Condemned for next-generation consoles.

Well then. Notice that last bit? Totally contradicts what those retards over at the Official Xbox Magazine said F.E.A.R already having a good amount of work done on it for the Xbox360. A console port hasn't even been talked about. Cant wait for this game... Next 2 months theres like 10 or so STELLAR PC games coming out thats gonna leech me dry of money. ROLL ON OCTOBER 17th!
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Old 09-22-2005, 04:15 AM   #2
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Sort of off-topic, but just how many game companies are called "Monolith"?
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Old 09-22-2005, 04:53 AM   #3
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two
the japanese one makes crappy rpgs
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Old 09-22-2005, 05:08 AM   #4
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These people have been called monolith long before the japanese lot. They're a class studio. They made Shogo aaaages ago if any of you recall it.
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Old 09-22-2005, 10:46 AM   #5
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Shogo was the coolest game ever! Holy crap did that game rock. It was the very first time I ever played a FPS with WASD and mouselook.

This is the same Monolith? F.e.a.r. just got 2 more gold stars from me.
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Old 09-22-2005, 01:22 PM   #6
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Heres some more stars for you. They also did Noone Lives forever 1+2 and Aliens vs Predator 2. They're a brilliant studio so its no wonder F.E.A.R is going to be legendary.
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Old 09-22-2005, 08:21 PM   #7
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Wow Seraph I shared the same experience as you with Shogo! lol
It was also the first FPS game I ever cleared. After that I started playing FPS games and got picky on which to play and which not. Shogo was so sweet then this is something to look forward to.
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Old 09-22-2005, 11:45 PM   #8
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they made alien vs predator???!!!

best damned fps game ever!!

I love those guys!
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Old 09-23-2005, 06:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alucard
Next 2 months theres like 10 or so STELLAR PC games coming out thats gonna leech me dry of money. ROLL ON OCTOBER 17th!
Like......?
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Old 09-24-2005, 03:59 AM   #10
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Theres none you'll like Decado, cause you seem to find something wrong with everything under the sun
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Old 09-24-2005, 01:11 PM   #11
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AvP2 = Monolith????
Damn, they are now the second best FPS company, right behind id
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Old 09-24-2005, 02:38 PM   #12
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Monolith is much better than id, IMO. They make great games AND great engines; id just makes great engines.
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Old 09-24-2005, 04:52 PM   #13
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Except where Doom3 is concerned. That engine is just a huge fat shadow and little else. I could name a few engines far superior. ID are way down the list for me.
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Old 09-24-2005, 05:03 PM   #14
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One of my favorite engines is CryEngine. Its very neat. Also I liked The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher's Bay's engine although there are better ones out there but its good. Hmmm what else... Yeah Doom3 has a good one but as Alucard said, there's always something a bit better than id
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Old 09-29-2005, 10:24 AM   #15
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Monolith are really cool, I was telling my friend too get AVP2 when it came out
and I told him over and over again in the shop that it's deffnitly the game he is
looking for, I even tryed Jedi mind tricks.
(he had just got a new PC and was looking for a good game)
He ended up getting some Tribes which I hated with passion..

Anyway, Monolith are also working with SEGA on Condemed Criminal Origins
for the Xbox360 SEGA + Monolith = Gold
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