On Tuesday we talked to Digital Extremes about the single-player element of its upcoming and very slick looking Xbox and PC first-person shooter Pariah (if you missed it, you need to nip here for the catch-up).
Today, in part two of our exclusive Pariah chat with Meredith Braun and Manny Llamas from Digital Extremes, we get in deep about two more hugely important parts of the FPS: the multiplayer mode and the map-maker. And on top of that, Meredith and Manny discuss the future of the Pariah series and next-gen projects underway at Digital Extremes.
Plus! We've got a raft of new Pariah screens for you to gorge your gogglers on. Right, let's get on with the show...
Multiplayer is a hugely important aspect of the modern FPS. What are you offering players with Pariah's multiplayer component?
Digital Extremes: We have quite a history in multiplayer FPS games so we think we have a good handle on making Pariah's multiplayer fun. Along with the vehicles, upgradeable weapons and a new game type called Front Line Assault, there's a lot of variety and strategy for multiplayer fans.
What do you see as Pariah's multiplayer killer app?
Digital Extremes: I wouldn't say there's just one thing. As mentioned in the first question, Pariah is a full-package game that includes a lot of features that appeal to many different kinds of gamers.
Pariah includes a custom map-maker. What kind of value do you think this feature adds for the player?
Digital Extremes: This feature adds a lot of longevity to the game. The MAP Editor is only limited by a gamer's imagination and we expect to see a lot of innovative fun maps to play in the community.
Can you explain a little about how it works and give us some examples of the things you can do?
Digital Extremes: You choose the game type then one of the pre-set maps to start modifying. When you've decided that you then can change everything in the map including all the objects already in the map as well as add more, manipulate the terrain, add vehicles and other interactive objects like player turrets, change the weather, the sky, the lighting, the fog and any of the textures on the ground.
You can also try out your map really quickly at any time to test things out after you've placed them. Once you're satisfied with your creation you publish the map online for others to play or save it to your memory cartridge to take to your friends house.
How does the online map publishing work?
Digital Extremes: On Xbox, players will quickly and easily be able to 'publish' their maps on Xbox Live and make them available for anyone to download while they're playing it or even if their Xbox isn't turned on! On the PC people can 'publish' their maps, host a game and anyone who joins will download the map and then jump in and play.
Do you think that the Xbox version's map-maker will open up game modding to a whole new audience?
Digital Extremes: This was our main interest in making the MAP Editor for Xbox. We've had great success on the PC with our past games and the modding community and now that the consoles have the ability to go online and the technology to handle a MAP Editor feature, we're really looking forward to what console gamers will do with it.
Free Radical's TimeSplitters: Future Perfect is doing a similar thing with its map-maker - do you relish the competition?
Digital Extremes: It's hard to say exactly since we haven't seen the TimeSplitters editor first hand, but we know that the Pariah MAP Editor has a huge amount of functionality that gamers will love. They're going to have a great time sharing their creations online or on memory cartridge with their friends.
Halo 2 has done a fantastic job of supporting its online community with stats, rankings and clans. Will you be doing similar things with Pariah?
Digital Extremes: We are planning on supporting Pariah through the official website with lists of Top 10 maps, Developer's Choice and so on, as well as through additional free downloadable content after the game ships.
What do you see in the future for the Pariah series?
Digital Extremes: We hope that Pariah meets with a great reception with the gamers so we can start it into a series.
Any plans for next-gen projects?
Digital Extremes: We have a second team working on our next-gen project Dark Sector which we expect to be revealing more details on later in the year.
Finally - Halo 2 is one of the most important console first-person shooters ever. What did you think of the ending?
Digital Extremes: To be honest I didn't get a chance to finish Halo 2. I got about three quarters of the way through but things got too busy at work to finish it up. Hopefully I'll get the chance to finish it up once Pariah ships.
Pariah will be available for Xbox and PC from May 5. A PS2 version is planned for later this year.