Speaking to the head of art and design reminds us of school but Tim Jones, head of art and design at Rebellion, has a way better job than that. He's responsible for the savage looks of the world Rebellion is creating for Sega's hotly anticipated action game Aliens Versus Predator. See him dodge questions like a Predator dodges bullets below.
AvP has come a long way since the original. Improved visuals aside, how differently do you approach making a game now than years ago?
Jones: With the power of current console technology, we're able to do so much more than we were on our first AvP. Our goal with this game is to get as close as possible to the movies through the sound, graphics and gameplay.
We're working very hard to create an authentic Aliens and Predator experience, and it's only now that we've got the technology in PC and current consoles to make the AvP game that we've always wanted to make. Our original AvP is still very fondly remembered by fans so it's a pleasure to come back to AvP and bring that classic experience up to date to give fans of the game and movies a brand new AvP experience.
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How will ensure all three player classes are balanced?
Tim Jones: Balancing in this game is extremely important, especially when you're working with three species that control in completely different ways and provide their own unique gameplay experience. We are investing a lot of time in ensuring that we get the balance right in both single player and multiplayer, and the results of the team to date are working out really well. We're constantly playing the multiplayer in the office and having a lot of fun.
But Predator would win in real life though, right?
Jones: Not necessarily, each of the three species has their strengths and weaknesses, and each is as just as capable of making a fatal mistake. The Predator does have some pretty awesome technology on his side such as his ability to cloak, but the Marine has a barrage of lethal firepower and the Alien can hang off the environment and drop down onto his prey in a flash. I don't think you could ever definitively say that any of the three species would definitely win a fight against the others.
It's due next year - did Sony's or MS's motion control tech grab any interest at Rebellion?
Jones: We're always keeping a sharp eye on any new developments available to make games more immersive, and the new motion control developments look very exciting. I don't think the technology will be quite ready for us to use in this iteration of AvP - but maybe next time...
The most recent Alien vs Predator movie. Disappointment. If you made an AvP movie, how would it be different?
Jones: The AvP movies come in for a lot of stick because people's expectations are (justifiably) so high. While they perhaps don't capture the same vibe as the original classics, they still have a lot of fans and have introduced many cool ideas to the universe.
If I had the opportunity to make an AvP movie, I would set it in the future again and take it as an opportunity to look at how mankind might continue to spread through the galaxy and our approach to dealing with the hostile species we run into in the process. Think Battlestar Galactica with Aliens and Predators. I also think it's time to add a new species into the mix...