Recently I spoke with Rick Van Beem Public Relations Manager for Playlogic Game Factory as well as Producer Martin Jense about their new game Fairytale Fights which was a blast to play at PAX. I want to thank Rick for answering my questions and for Danitra for arranging the interview
GVK: What is the background and setting for the game?
The game is set in an idyllic colorful fairytale environment. Three years ago the development team at Playlogic Game Factory came up with the idea to do something funny with famous European fairytales. Other influences were cartoons such as Ren & Stimpy, Happy Tree Friends and Itchy and Scratchy from Simpsons’ fame. After acquiring the Unreal Engine 3 and prototyping our own technology Fairytale Fights was born…an over-the-top Hack ‘n Slash Platform Adventure from Playlogic!
We have taken these known fairytales and mixed them up a little. You will encounter known fairytale settings and characters but it is all twisted. You are one of four playable characters that has lost their fame, because someone has altered the fairytale they star in. You can play as Snow White, Little Red Riding Hood, Beanstalk Jack or the Naked Emperor. As these characters you are challenged on quests to reclaim your fame and fairytale status. This happens in a very brutal, visual manner. Let’s just say that our version of Little Red Riding Hood is not afraid of the Big Bad Wolf!
GVK: What are some of the locales gamers will see in the game?
Some you will recognize, others are self invented. But during your travels you will traverse the lumberjack lands, meet up with Gepetto and Pinocchio, eat candy from the candy castle (our version of the candy house from Hansel and Gretel), climb the beanstalk and battle the Giant!
GVK: What are some of the weapons we will see and will they change between locales?
There are over 140 different kinds of weaponry in the game, varying from blunt, sharp, ranged and magical weapons.
Blunt weapons will give players some beating power. When using the weapon in glory mode (a special attack you earn after getting consecutive combos) you will see a picture in picture screen depicting your enemy character as an X-ray skeleton. You can actually see his bones breaking while you are hitting him.
Our Real-Time-Dynamic-Slicing technology allows players to cut up an enemy in any way they like. You can slice vertically, horizontally, diagonally; all controlled with the right analog stick. You can even chop of an arm or finger. Every slice is unique. With a glory attack you can slice enemies multiple times and is good for an instant kill!
A good thing is that all this hacking and slashing will leave a lot of blood on the battlefield, which you can use to slide through, thanks to our volumetric liquid system.
Ranged weapons allow players to take out enemies from a safe distance, although the ammo is limited you can use glory mode to make a shotgun into a machine gun…basically gunning all enemies on-screen. The best are some of the magical weapons. There is an acid potion you can drink for a puke attack or you can throw it as a grenade. When enemies get in contact with the acid, their skin will melt off, just leaving a skeleton.
Weapons are fixed to their locales. In the lumberjack lands for instance you will find saws and axes, while you will find broken lollipops (sharp weapons) and candy canes (blunt) in the Candy castle. Whenever you find a wishing well you can spend money to spawn random items. This can result in more money, enemies or weapons. These weapons can come from other places than the area you are in.
GVK: How will vehicles be used in game and what will players be able to ride in?
There are no vehicles as such which players can control. There is however a rafting sequence that precedes a hefty boss fight!
GVK: Taking on beloved fairly tale characters is going to bring some Controversy?
Because of the over the top nature of this game and its cartoony looks we think to have a good chance to escape that controversy. The game is highly violent however; our goal with this game is to create humor with the contrast between this very colorful fairytale world, the wacky cartoony characters and the over-the-top slapstick violence! If people laugh while playing this game our mission is a success. We hope to offer one of the funniest co-op experiences in recent videogame history.
GVK: What are some of the biggest obstacles you faced in creating the game and the biggest successes?
The biggest hurdle was developing our technology. Although we use Unreal Engine 3 as our base we have developed a lot of our own technologies as well. Amongst them is real-time dynamic slicing. This tech allows you to discect polygon models as you are playing. Every cut is unique and that takes up a lot of processing power. Also fine-tuning the volumetric blood system has ben difficult but at the end I think we have nailed it perfectly. Other stuff we are proud of is the game design and distinct art style.
GVK: What are some of the enemies players will face, and what characters will players be able to play?
You can play as Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White, Beanstalk Jack and the Naked Emperor. You will face multiple enemies, from gnomes, gingerbread men and a Giant Beaver Boss. Also you will encounter many characters you know from your childhood fairytales.
GVK: What game engine will the game be using and what features will it bring to the game?
The game runs on Unreal Engine 3. Epic has created a fantastic editor in which you can quickly prototype stuff and see how they are working in your game. It is one of the best engines available and easy to work with.
GVK: What forms of multiplayer does the game include?
We have four player co-op offline and online (drop in-drop out). You can choose to leave friendly fire on so you can chop up your friends. Next to that we have player vs player arenas where players can go for a gory deathmatch extravaganza!
GVK: How will mapping and navigation be conducted in the game?
Your character is controlled by the left analog stick. All combat actions are set to the right. This is also what enables the slicing. Players can use the right stick to slice up enemies in any way they want.
GVK: Will boss battles be a part of the game?
Yes…absolutely! Appart from the giant beaver boss there are a lot of mid and end-level bosses.