We wanted immersive gamepaly much more than destruction. On Red Faction 1, we got a lot of positive feedback, but some of the negative feedback - and I think rightly so - was that it felt a little bit like a tech demo. It was great technology and felt very immersive, but not necessarily as something brilliantly woven into the game.
I bring that up because in Armageddon we took the approach of coming up with a lot of different mechanics that focus on destruction that couldn't be done in another game. Only with our destruction engine can you do these mechanics. That's been the big turning point for us - focusing on things like repair, the magnet gun and impact with the nanoforge.
That's where destruction helps us do new things. It kind of weaves itself together. Hopefully people see that, and on the surface they say: "That's really cool looking destruction." But then when you get your hands on the magnet gun, you say: "Oh my, that's also a tremendous amount of fun."
It's like destruction gets you to pay attention, but the more you play, the more hopefully you'll find a unique experience woven into the gameplay. We're hopeful that will intrigue people.
We've heard a lot about the 'transmedia' strategy for Armageddon - which includes a prologue movie on SyFy. Is this a brave new world for Volition?
Without a doubt - we're pretty excited about it. When we first heard about it, we were all really intrigued. We knew it could be pretty cool, but we didn't know exactly what it would be. But when we started working with [SyFy], the more excited we got.
Danny [Bilson] and his writing partner Paul DeMeo have been working on the script with the SyFy guys, and including us in the process. What was cool about it is that SyFy seem really into it.
They've out together a script we're really, really excited about, and we're making sure there's good continuity between the game and the movie. This can't help but bring a little more attention to Armageddon, which can only be a good thing. It's definitely going to be a bit of an experiment in the long run, but it's very cool at this point.
In terms of multiplayer, what do we have to look forward to in Armageddon?
I can tell you two things I'm allowed to talk about. First thing is a co-op element to multiplayer. That doesn't mean there's co-op within the campaign, but in multiplayer - so there'll be an emphasis there. The only other mechanical thing I'm allowed to talk about are the upgrades, which is a really major part of our game, both in terms of campaign and multiplayer. They're actually tied together. We think that's pretty cool: as you upgrade your player in single-player, it will be the same character in multiplayer and vice versa. So if you wanted to start the game in multiplayer, have some fun and then hop into single-player, you'll have those upgrades and those abilities.
Open world gaming is a very competitive genre. If I had GTA, Red Dead, Just Cause and Red Faction in front of me, why should I pick the latter?
Good question. I think it's the kind of experience you get in our game, which is really a fresh and unique. We're all gamers at Volition, and the thing we always respond to are titles with a different feel to them. Sometimes it's fun to play a game that's finely crafted but is very reminiscent of a bunch of other games.
But it's also very entertaining to get a game that's completely unlike anything else. We have mechanics, games and objectives that are unlike any other thing you have out there, whereas some of the other games you mention are great games - but many of the elements within them have been done before. They've just used them very well. Hopefully we've got that quality too, but we've also got a fresh perspective.