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Interviews

Reservoir Dogs

We lend Volatile an ear as it discusses its game based on Tarantino's silver screen classic

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Reservoir dogs was emotionally intense - is this something you're planning to emulate in the game and, if so, how are you getting this across to the player?

Dave Manuel: The experience of watching a linear non-action film and playing an interactive action game will naturally be different. We believe the player will find the missions we have created intense whether they are shooting their way through, trying to keep things under control or driving under pressure. One of our core design goals was to convey a sense of continued 'knife-edge' tension throughout all the escape missions.

Zoom

The mechanics and controls enable the player to exercise substantial will over all of the characters they encounter, but not without a sense of continued risk and danger - frightened civilians will run for alarms, hostages will faint on you if pushed too far, cops will call for backup when under threat, holding a hostage will not stop you being shot in the back and don't assume that a cop won't try and pick up his weapon if he thinks you're going to do a Mr Blonde on him. All of these things can flip a situation from order to chaos, but by mastering the controls and learning the behaviour of the characters the player will be able to manage even the most volatile of situations if they can keep their cool under pressure.

Another goal was to actually make the player think about the consequences of their actions. Most games present killing as a fairly inconsequential act conveying the intended victims as faceless and unimportant. In Reservoir Dogs, we wanted to ensure that all of our characters (who encompass a broad range of age, colour, job and gender) are conveyed as real people and thus any act of violence committed will feel like it carries a weight of responsibility. At no point in the game does the player ever have to kill and as a consequence, the player will not only be making decisions based on gameplay, but also according to their own morality.

Is Quentin Tarantino involved in any capacity?

Dave Manuel: We discussed the project with his agent but Tarantino declined to become involved with the project.

We understand that players will view events from the perspective of each of the six main characters involved. Presumably this means we'll be playing as the six different characters - if so, what unique gameplay styles does each character offer?

Dave Manuel: The variety in the gameplay affecting each of the main characters is more about the situation they find themselves in as opposed to any 'special powers' that each might have. The unique traits of each character are conveyed through dialogue - particularly during acts of threatening and violence and this approach is arguably more important and appropriate, particularly given the nature of the film.

What is apparent in the film is the disparity between each character's criminal 'philosophy' - the Professional approach versus the Psycho approach. However, rather than force a particular style on each character (e.g. Blonde always being psychotic), we felt that it was far more important to offer freedom of choice at all times, thus enabling the player (and not the developer) to decide how each of the unseen events from the film was going to pan out. It should be noted however that each character does have a unique Signature Move - an extreme crowd control technique that's not for the faint hearted.

Reservoir Dog gameplay features Psycho/Professional Rating system, Threat System and Bullet Festival have been 'bigged up'. We'd love to get gameplay examples of these in operation...?

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