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Looking back... Warhammer: Mark of Chaos

A return to Chaos

We were quick to award Mark Of Chaos a recommended award in issue 176, but it certainly wasn't without its faults. However, one accusation you couldn't lay at its door was a lack of respect for its tabletop origins - of all the games so far, Mark Of Chaos seems to tip most hats towards the universe's hobbyist core. From 'painting' your troops, to the game novelisation and colour-your-own-standard that comes with the Collector's edition, Mark Of Chaos takes the Warhammer universe very seriously. We spoke to Black Hole Entertainment's creative director Istvan Zsuffa and senior project manager Gabor Illes about the process that took them from having a scant acquaintance with the Warhammer universe to becoming fully immersed in the bloody heart of it all...

Illes: Warhammer isn't that popular in Hungary, so only a few of us had
played the Warhammer tabletop game before starting work on Mark Of Chaos. However, most of us knew about the Warhammer universe in another way. The Fighting Fantasy series of books, created by the founder of Games Workshop, were really popular in Hungary back in the 1980s. After that, we started to learn more about the Warhammer universe and our artists spent a lot of time with Warhammer art and played with the miniatures too.

Illes: The guys at Games Workshop told us they didn't want to make a computer version of the tabletop game, because they just wanted us to make a good computer game with their world. But we wanted to use as much of the origin of the Warhammer game as we could. Painting the miniatures and making the different armies is a lot of fun and what the tabletop game is all about. Reproducing that fun was our goal.

Zsuffa: Games Workshop really feel their universe is real, and that they're just dealing with one possible interpretation of that universe. They just said that we had to come up with another possible interpretation of that universe. So we didn't have to use the values they have in their manuals, we just had to make sure the characters and historical stuff was true to their world.

Illes: Namco bought the licence from Games Workshop, so we weren't involved in that part of getting the licence. But Games Workshop came to Hungary when Namco told them that Black Hole Entertainment were making the game. The producers came to make sure we had the experience and the knowledge of the Warhammer universe to make the game. As I said, we had some experience of the Warhammer world, but by the time Games Workshop came to visit us we knew almost everything about it.

Zsuffa: The company is very different to any other we've ever seen. As we said before, the world is completely real to the people at Games Workshop. They talk about the history like it's real, they know every single aspect of it - it's a great place. We saw the museum (where every Warhammer fi gure is professionally painted in glass cases) and we met some great guys. We also visited Bugman's bar, the dwarven bar in the Nottingham offices. It was a really interesting experience - it sounds like I'm just being polite, but I'm not. The only thing we had problems with was the huge amount of beer they could drink. Well, it wasn't a problem, but we were amazed that there are people in the world who can drink that much...

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