[JR] - Jiri Rydl (ALTAR Interactive)
[Yurg] - Yuri Bushin (Freelancer)
[Yurg]: Hi! How UFO is going now? Judging by messages at your forum, you have made a final decision concerning the game's concept. What is it?
[JR]: UFO: Aftermath is small squad based tactical game about alien invasion. The game starts after strange spores from alien spaceship fill the air and kill almost everything including animals and plants on the whole planet. You, one of several survivors, have to find who did it and what is his/her weakness to defeat it.
[Yurg]: You have already presented the game's battle concept at UFO's forum. Can you describe pros of this system to our readers?
[JR]:We call it simultaneous turn-based system and it works like this: The game is paused. You select characters one by one and tell them what to do - walk, change weapon, reload, wait etc. To unpause the game you need to give proper order to every character in your squad. Than you can click on "Play" or similarly called button and everyone starts to do his job in the same time - one soldier is going to nearest building, other soldier is changing weapon and another one is waiting for instance.
After spotting an alien, the game pauses again and centers on soldier, who spotted the enemy. Now is your turn - you can change orders to everyone in your squad according to new situation. The alien does not move, because the game is paused, but after unpausing it, your soldiers and the alien will do their actions in the same time.
This system, in our opinion, successfully combines the good things of both turn-based and real-time system. As in turn-based, you can completely control what your characters do and you can every time pause it and change it. As in realtime system everything is happening at one time and you get much more believable action.
[Yurg]: Another question which we'd like to discuss is the technology tree. How do you plan to realize this feature and how many weapons/useful items will make into the game?
[JR]: From the beginning you have more than forty different human weapons, from basic machine guns to rocket launchers, but they are too weak against aliens. The answer to this unhappy situation is the technology, which is based on items you find and aliens you capture. Without understanding alien technology there is no victory.
Research is done in research bases only. The more research bases you have, the faster is your research. You can change status of your bases from/to research but it takes some time.
[Yurg]: UFO will be using your own, in-house made, engine. Can you divulge some of its characteristics to us?
[JR]: Our engine supports hardware T&L, multi-texturing, bump-maps, real-time lighting, etc. The minimum specs are GeForce 1 (or similar card) with at least 16 MB. But the most important feature is the ability to create tactical missions in run-time.
[Yurg]: I read at UFO's forum that you plan to limit the player's team about 5 people. Please, tell us what "5" means exactly - five soldiers per mission or five soldiers per whole game?
[JR]: I think, we said seven per mission, but it can be changed, so do not blame me for this later :-). You will have bigger pool of soldiers in the game, lets say up to twenty or so. Some of them could be wounded, some of them will take special training and from the rest you will choose your mission squad. But you will not have all of them from the beginning. The number of soldiers to operate depends on player's actions, difficulty level and game situation.
[Yurg]: What can you tell us about soldiers' characteristics and abilities? Are there any special perks/traits about each soldier and will we see an RPG-like "level up" mechanism?
[JR]: Yes, you can train your soldiers as in an RPG. For every experience level you will have several skill points to distribute, so you can "breed" strong rocket launcher operator or fast sniper. It is up to you.
[Yurg]: Your storyline description is cool, we liked it very much! And, as we understood, life on Earth is about to change as soon as first spores fall out. Doesn't that mean a total and utter change in looks of both Earth's fauna and flora?
[JR]: Definitely yes. I think you will be very surprised how much the fauna and flora change will!
[Yurg]: How many types of aliens are planned? Will we see comebacks from Micro Prose's series?
[JR]: You can fight about twenty different alien kinds and several post-catastrophic characters. Maybe you will find some "old friends" in the game.
[Yurg]: Thank you for your answers!