Category Archives: Interviews

Bet On Soldier

Bet On Soldier Interview – 2005

Can you please give your name and position within the company:

Hi, my name is Roman Vincent, I am Kylotonn’s CEO and producer of Bet on Soldier.

1.  When and where is Bet on Soldier set?  What is the story?

Bet on Soldier is set in a contemporary world, but in an alternative one, where the war has been raging for eighty years now. This ongoing war has become the major source of profits for the two megacorporations fighting against each other – The UAN and the WRF.

To make more money from the conflict they Bet On Soldierhave turned the war into a major form of entertainment, and created the BoS tv program; the best soldiers fight each other for money. The duels are transmitted all over the world, and the audience can bet on the outcome of these fights, and so do the fighters.  They bet on themselves to earn their living.

You are Nolan Daneworth, a soldier that decides to become a BoS mercenary after his wife’s murder. His only clue to the murderers is that they were wearing exoarmour suits, like the BoS champions. To discover the truth, you enter the Bet on Soldier tournament…

2.  Is the fighting based more upon realism or action?

Bet on Soldier is a fast-paced action shooter. We’re aiming to make a fun game, but there is also a degree of realism in the fights, as it offers realistic physical reactions. The armour suits are damaged by bullets in real time, and the objects react to your actions.

3.  Will you be integrating a real-world betting system into the game, so punters can fulfil their gambling desires via a new digital medium?

No. Sadly, that won’t happen because it is way too complicated to do.

4.  What sort of firepower is at your disposal?

Bet on Soldier gives you the opportunity to use many different weapons, some classics like melee weapons, one-handed pistols, SMGs, shotguns, assault rifles, a rocket launcher, grenades, sniper rifles, and even a gatling gun.

Some other weapons a little more unusual, for instance a gaz launcher that can be used with different ammo: fire grenades, acid grenades, and hallucination grenades. There is also the war shotgun, an automatic and destructive weapon.

You can also use shields during the game, and fire through them with one-handed guns. And to finish you will be able to use exoskeletons, which are heavily armed and very resistant.

All of these weapons are upgradable, and have a secondary fire, like sniper scopes, grenade launcher, etc…

5.  Aside from traditional deathmatch, what game modes does the multiplayer option have on offer?

There isn’t a traditional deathmatch in BoS. The multiplayer mode is based on the betting system, and mixes two different gameplay styles – a solo part, and a team part. The goal of the multiplayer is to reach a certain amount of money.

To achieve this goal, the team have to control zones on the map, where the terminals are located. These terminals have to be hacked in order to be used, and then they deliver BoS tickets, which allow your team to cast a bet on an enemy player. When a fight is announced, the two fighters face off in a closed arena, and the duel begins.

The bets are the most efficient way to quickly win money, but keep in mind that your team has to control the terminals to cast bets.

There are six classes available in the multiplayer mode: trooper, sniper, destroyer, protector, engineer, and grenadier. All of them have specific characteristics and weapons. You can upgrade your abilities during the game, and win special items when you reach a certain level.

6.  Is Bet on Soldier’s backbone the narrative or the betting system?  Which plays a more important part?

The betting system is at the centre of the game itself, the gameplay is based on money and the bets, in the solo campaign and the multiplayer mode. So the backbone of Bet on Soldier is the betting system.

In the solo campaign, the story plays an important role. The campaign is story-driven, although your progression is not linear; you are a mercenary, and you choose the missions you want to accomplish.

7.  What can you say about the kind of environments you will be fighting in?

The level design of Bet on Soldier is extremely varied.  From large, outdoor open battlefields, to indoor, close-range gunfights. All players should find what they’re looking for. The environments you’ll see are set in Cuba, Alaska, Nevada in USA and Europe. You will progress through a city, defend a military base, attack an enemy one, fight inside trenches, and much more. The levels are very different from each other.

8.  If Half Life 2 is Brad Pitt, Doom III is Marilyn Manson, and Unreal Tournament is Will Smith, who is Bet on Soldier?

The members of the team are saying Russell Crowe, because in BoS you play a modern gladiator.

Thank you for your time.

7 Sins

7 Sins Interview – 2005

We posed seven questions to the brains behind the imminent sex-em-up 7 Sins.

The seven sins are of course: pride, envy, gluttony, lust, anger, greed and sloth.  How do they tie in with the game?

The player commits sins to calm down 7 Sinshis three weaknesses (fear, sex and violence) but also to earn some advantages: money, relationship, etc.  Each sin starts a mini-game the player must win to gain the bonuses.  There are 7 kinds of sins:

Pride sins are actions you use to calm down all your three gauges by boasting, bragging or slandering.

Envy sins are actions you use to earn money by stealing objects.

Greed sins are begging, deceiving or stealing (pickpocket, for example) actions you use to earn easy money.

Anger sins are actions you use to calm down your violence gauge with violent actions.

Lust sins are actions you use to calm down your sex gauge with ‘stolen’ sensual actions (actions where the NPC is not aware of the player’s action – voyeur-like actions or tamper).

Gluttony sins are actions you use to calm down all your three gauges by over-eating or drinking.

Sloth sins are actions you use to calm down all your three gauges by sleeping for long duration. Every time you sleep, you dream. But you must play a mini-game to avoid awakening.

What is the player’s ultimate objective in 7 Sins?

To become the most powerful person in Apple City. That means to become rich, famous, to know the best hidden secrets of Apple City’s most distinguished persons, and to learn how to defend himself against the jealousies…

So how do you go about achieving that?

Through 7 chapters that will teach you the way to be a perfect sinner.  When you start you don’t know anyone in Apple City. You’re a perfect stranger with no money and your ultimate goal seems so far away.  Starting as a modest sales attendant at a luxury shop in Apple City, you will quickly understand the power of your personal charm and glibness.

Then you will become responsible for a TV reality show, a gigolo in a very secret club, a trainee at the dreaded Kombat Klub, a top manager, and so on.  Higher and higher on the social ladder, you can try yourself at all the possible social roles but you always keep your true nature – you’re a sinner after all.  And what is the ultimate goal for the king of the sinners in Apple City? You will have to play to know that…

We are promised ‘non-linear gameplay’.  How freeform actually is that?  Are your actions really going to have a significant difference on the way the game pans out?

In each chapter your goal is global. It’s up to you to decide how you will achieve it. In chapter one, for example, your goal is to earn money, a lot of money. How? It’s your own choice. You can sell items to customers (common), you can seduce a rich customer and sell her all you can find in the shop (more funny), you can play with your customer in the fitting room and ask her a little present (more sexy).  And what if you rob your boss or pickpocket the cute customer you just seduced, eh? You’re a sinner, so don’t forget it!

Which feature of the game are you most proud of?

The atmosphere. It was difficult to focus but I’m proud of the result. The action is often sexy but never falls into vulgarity. The language is often libertine but never crude. The story is definitely for adults but never (never!) pornographic nor violent.

It’s like American Pie in a videogame. Fun, free, young, slightly insolent, with a pinch of sex…

I’m also proud of the positioning of the game in the industry. It’s not The Sims because it is not a management game; it’s an action-adventure game. It’s not Larry because it’s not a mini-game feast. Mini-games are here just to support the action and always fit in the game play. It is 7 Sins, that’s all.

Loaded question:  What did you think of Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude?

I played Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude a lot because I liked the previous opus of the game. But several times I looked over my shoulder to verify my wife was not watching! :)  Larry is crude, sometimes too much. I think that some words or images sometimes break the fun and we tried not to use them in 7 Sins.

We also made the choice for 7 Sins be set in a realistic, adult world. It was more work for us because it implies realistic lights, textures, animations and so on. But I prefer our look and feel. Looking at a sexy girl is better when she looks like Paris Hilton or Angelina Jolie than if she looks like Minnie or Daisy.

Any pearls of wisdom for wannabe hedonists?

If you want a long and rich life in Apple City:
– “Always listen first to your (basic) instincts”
– “Listen, watch, touch, taste”
– “If you want to know it, try it!” (That works with the Viper’s special bondage equipment, with Master De France’s magical potions, and so on)
– And finally, “Keep an eye on Alfredo Gomez…”

legion arena

Legion Arena Interview – 2005

1.  Welcome Iain McNeil.  Should we address you as Centurion, General, Praetor, Proconsul, or Caesar?

We’re not big on titles here. As there are only 4 of us, we all tend to have to overlap and do multiple jobs!

2.  Following the astounding success of Rome: Total War, what inspired you to set your own game in the same time period?

Legion was our first game from 4 years ago and legion arenawe found the period was the one most people are interested in, so it was just common sense to return to it. The Romans have always fascinated me since childhood, so it’s great to be able to set the game in a period I am really interested in. Rome Total War being in the same time period is purely a coincidence, as we were there years before them (unless they are copying us ;).

3.  In what way does Legion Arena improve upon the standard set by R:TW, and what new features have you included?

They really offer a very different sort of experience. Legion Arena has no resource management, no diplomats, research or city development. Legion Arena is all about the battles. You take control of a single army, starting with a few peasants and crafting them into an elite fighting force. As the Romans you fight through 14 campaigns spanning Roman history. Each campaign has an intro & outro movie that set the scene and every battle has a briefing to tell you what’s going on and why you must fight. This detailed story is combined with string role playing gameplay elements as your men gain experience and skills, can be equipped and personalized. The best way to think of it is that each squad in Legion Arena is alike a character in a standard RPG.

4.  The Slitherine battle engine has always focused on how you set up your troops and strategies before the battle.  However, with Legion Arena, I understand we will now be able control units whilst the battle is in progress.  Can you please explain what kind of advancements you have made in this area.

The battle engine has been completely overhauled. We didn’t want to turn the game into a complete click fest so we wanted to keep the pace manageable. I don’t know about you, but playing 14 year olds with lightning reactions is no fun – we want the good strategy to win the day, not fast reactions! To prevent this we still allow you to do significant planning before battle. The orders you set will be carried out by your men and these range from basic instruction like hold, advance to complex way points. Then, when you get to the battle your general can issue new instructions that override the pre battle commands. The number of orders you can issue is limited by your order points. These regenerate over time, based on your leaders ability. As your leader gains experience you can choose to improve his command and control skills, or invest in other areas.

Visually Legion Arena is comparable with the competition. We know it’s something we lagged behind on, but we were focusing on the campaign game before. This time we’ve put a lot of effort into the battles.

5.  There are two main storylines throughout the game – the Roman and Celtic campaigns.  Do these follow historically authentic events?  What kind of things will you be getting up to?

The campaigns follow history so as the Romans you’ll be building an Empire. You fight against the tribes of Italy, raiders, then later against Hannibal and his mighty war elephants. You are always progressing. Later you’ll lead the Romans in Gaul under Julius Caesar, and then fight the civil war that ended with the republic being overthrown and the first Emperor being crowned. As the Gauls you’ll find things much tougher. It’s a fight for survival not for conquest. The Celts start out with a large domain, but it is gradually eroded over time, so their story is much darker.

6.  What kind of battle units will you be using for each of these factions?  Naked fanatics, did they really exist?

The units are all based on real units from history. As the Romans you start with peasants and town militia, but as you progress you get access to the Hastati, a primitive form of legionary. Later you’ll gain access to the legionaries and finally praetorians. The Romans also have numerous support units such as auxiliaries and archers. The Celts have noble cavalry, warriors and of course the naked fanatics. These are lethal, but very vulnerable, especially to missiles. They are a real unit. The naked fanatics shunned armour & clothing to show how brave they were. Usually only certain tribes fought like this and they must have been a fearsome site.

7.  The 3D engine is looking quite impressive.  Does this come at a cost to the unit cap of each side?

No, the 3D engine is very efficient. In fact the game model has become the limiting factor in optimising any further. There are over 100 stats for each squad, and the model is very complex, trying to simulate as much as is possible including armour, chance to hit, avoidance chance, critical hit chance, morale, speed and many more. The model takes into account the terrain your men and in and this modifies their performance, as does their current morale and cohesion. Luckily though, the computer keeps track of all this & feeds it back to the player, so they don’t have to work out lots of stats in their head!

8.  The skill system sounds interesting.  What kind of skills can you teach your troops, and does this have a discernible effect on the battlefield?

There are over 100 different skills and they have a huge effect. They effect almost all the stats your unit possesses including chances to hit, damage, morale, defence and missile skills. There are also special skills that give you a critical hit chance against a specific type of enemy unit, such as cavalry or elephants. This can transform an average unit into a lethal specialist one. Specialist skills are only available to certain unit types, so light infantry are the only ones capable of learning anti elephant skills. On top of this there are also around 50 pieces of equipment you can upgrade your guys with. These range from the basic armour & weapons upgrades to highly prized artefacts such as Achilles armour.

9.  Apparently you can personalise the way your soldiers look by applying different textures to them.   Please tell us more.

Yes, each squad can be personalised. For the lower level units this means changing the colour of their uniforms & changing their names. As you progress and your troops become equipped with shield, the shield patterns can be altered. This is the most dramatic difference and you can use the colour coding for aesthetics, or for identifying specific squads in the battle. For example, if you’ve trained one of your squads in a special anti elephant skill, you can allocate them the black texture with a lightning bolt as a reminder & make them easily identifiable in battle.

10.  Hannibal and Scipio in a chess match.  Who would win?

Hannibal was tough, so if Scipio out smarted him on the chess table, Hannibal would just take him out!

Many thanks for taking the time to speak with us Iain.

No problem.


Interview for Spot On Gaming