NEWS - Tuesday, December 11, 2001

Quantic Dream - Fahrenheit Intervie

French-based developer Quantic Dream is currently in the studios developing the Xbox version of their next PC game titled Fahrenheit, a game that has been descried as a episodic 3D adventure, written, directed, developed, and produced for the episodic format. It?s a paranormal thriller in the spirit of movies like David Fincher?s Seven or Fight Club (Brad Pitt stars in both). With 12 episodes in all, you follow the same characters through a complicated plot (hard to understand) that holds suspicion and many surprises. The game will be using QD’s new 3D engine called ICE to aid in the development of yet another ambitious project from the developer. Within it all, this game is really a whole new genre.

GameSpot has an extensive interview with the development house behind Fahrenheit, so go check that out. Here’s a clip:

GS: Let’s talk about Fahrenheit. The concept sounds very ambitious since it’s an episodic game. Can you outline how this will work for the user?

DC: The ambition behind Fahrenheit goes much further than just creating an episodic game. The interface, the gameplay, the technology, the way we manage interactive storytelling, the episodic format, and the business model are all new challenges.

The interface is probably the simplest you can imagine. Anybody can understand it in 10 seconds. It is totally transparent, with no icon or menu onscreen, and you completely forget it after a couple of minutes. Its main innovation is that it manages real-time cameras in a new way. In most games, cameras are just a window or a gadget. In Fahrenheit, you will have to play with them in order to play and thus participate in the movie directing. The gameplay offers a lot of original mechanics not seen before in a game. Allowing the player to control different characters in the story offers amazing new possibilities in the gameplay area, because actions performed with one character can have consequences on what you will have to do with another character. Fahrenheit is very different from most of today’s video games. [There’s] no life gauge, no ammo, and no big guns to get on the floor. [It’s] just a real-time 3D movie where each action you perform with each character affects the course of the story. Interactive storytelling will really be one of the key points in Fahrenheit.

On the technology side, Fahrenheit will use our ICE technology. ICE is the result of more than two years of work by our R&D team led by our technical director, Olivier Nallet. They have done a great job so far, especially with lights and shadows and our complex portal system. They keep on implementing new features (the ICE engine will be regularly upgraded during Fahrenheit’s development). All the animations in Fahrenheit are performed using our internal optical motion-capture studio. It gives us very high quality in a very short [amount of] time. It also allows us to create real virtual actors, interacting together and with the set.

For end users, Fahrenheit will be a normal CD-ROM game they can buy in any store, except that for the price of a two-year-old budget game, they will get a brand-new title using the latest technologies every month. Of course, we will play on the classic mechanics of TV like cliff-hangers, red herrings, mysteries, and surprises. We will really let players get into each character’s personal life and discover his or her background. Regularly, bundles putting three or six episodes together will be available for people who don’t want to buy monthly episodes.

As you can tell, there’s loads of information to read. That was just one question answered.


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