View Full Version : eurogamer.net Interview with Intrepid (BC)

07-12-2004, 05:04 AM


In the grand scheme of things, we know that humans survived. Presumably because we're fittest (whatever you made of that two-seat lady on the Tube last week), or at least fitter to survive than the average dinosaur, many of which can't even kill Sam Neill and a pair of kids in a locked room. However, back in the day, it was far less than a foregone conclusion that humans would become somewhat dominant. Hence B.C., which puts you in charge of a group of tribesmen and women living in a hostile prehistoric environment - rife with dinosaurs, rival ape-men and other evolutionary conflicts waiting to happen - and tasks you with guiding them to supremacy.

In development at UK-based Intrepid Games in conjunction with Lionhead Studios, it's one of the most ambitious projects we've ever encountered - and an Xbox exclusive. With the game apparently on track for release later this year, we spoke to Intrepid Games' Joe Rider about the developer's visionary ideas, the adaptability and spontaneity of the complex AI on display, and how the player's few-million-years of extra evolution influence proceedings.

Eurogamer: The premise - teaching humankind so that they can overcome the trials of an ancient world and survive an extinction-level event - strikes us as a very open-ended pursuit. Is it that open-ended, or is there a specific narrative path to follow with an end sequence? In other words, is it a traditional game structure, or are we looking at more of a Maxis-style 'software toy'?

Joe Rider: While the core of BC features a simulated world and subsequently plenty of sandbox style gameplay, there is a narrative that drives the player through the game and sets objectives for the player to achieve. This ensures that the player is kept moving through the world and is continually discovering new lands, creatures and exciting challenges.

Eurogamer: You've set the game at "the beginnings of mankind" - is this in an effort to make the learning behaviour more believable?

Joe Rider: In regard to the setting BC is deliberately played out in a very primitive context. This allows us to make the environment as interactive as possible and ensures that all the weaponry and technology is derived from objects found in the world space. As you begin the game at 'ground zero', every advance you make has a very noticeable effect on how effectively you play the game and overcome the challenges you face.

Eurogamer: And furthermore, in such an ambitious, learning-oriented environment, how have you overcome the obvious difficulty of a player who happens to have another few million years of evolution on his side to guide his actions? What if we wanted to demonstrate concepts like the wheel and fire to these people, for instance?

Joe Rider: The great thing about BC is that the player can do exactly that. You get the chance to become the missing link that not only ensures that the tribe of primitive man survives, but continues to prosper and grow. Discovering fire and using it to you advantage is pivotal to the gamer's experience. However, while there is a broad degree of player freedom in BC, the player is not able to innovate open-ended technology in a way that allows a break from the primitive context.

Eurogamer: At E3 last year, a certain Mr. Molyneux expressed surprise that people refused to accept B.C. as "a platform game with power-ups". Judging by the premise and demonstration though, it's something quite removed from double-jumping and frantic fetch quests of the traditional Mario 64 or Jak & Daxter mould - do you really think of it that way, and do you still think it's important to define a game in generic terms like this?

More here! (http://www.eurogamer.net/article.php?article_id=56012)