UFO Aftermath - First Interview

by on 11th Dec 2001

Interviewer: Pete
Interviewee: Martin Klima

Note: At the time of this interview, the working title for the project was UFO: Freedom Ridge. After the plot was developed  some more by the team, and the game veered away from what Dreamland had promised,  the title was changed to UFO: Aftermath.
Having endeavoured to unearth as much information as possible about the sudden reappearance of the game formerly known as Dreamland, I e-mailed Altar Interactive  on the off-chance that I might get an interview with someone on the development  team... and guess what? I did!
What follows is a short interview between myself, Pete, and Martin Klima of ALTAR interactive
Pete: Could you tell us a little bit about yourself and what your involvement is with UFO: Freedom Ridge?
Martin: My name is Martin Klima and I am the designer of UFO: Freedom Ridge. I have been with ALTAR interactive from the beginning, and before it I founded  ALTAR publishing, the publisher of the most popular Czech RPG "Dragon's Lair".
Our involvement with "UFO: FR" started when our producer at Virgin, Paul Whipp, who worked with us on our previous title, RTS "Original War", offered us to  finish a project he worked on before that had been canned. At first it didn't  seem like an attractive proposition -- finishing somebody else's work -- but  when we learned that it was Dreamland Chronicles, we quickly changed our minds.

Pete: When did you guys at Altar start work on Freedom Ridge, a game we all thought was gone forever?
Martin: First work started in July, but it really got underway in August this year.
Pete: For the fans, could you explain a little about the storyline and game concept? What is "UFO: Freedom Ridge" and what's it all about? Is it going to  remain pretty much the same, or are you being forced to change a lot of it due  to legal reasons?
Martin: On a large scale, the game is pretty much the same -- there is an alien threat, there are intrepid human defenders and a global organization they work  for. There are twists and tweaks in the plot that come to light during the game  and which I don't want to give away now (if ever).
Pete: Will the game still be a squad-based tactical game?
Martin: Most certainly yes!
Pete: Will there be any researching of enemy equipment as there was in the X-COM games?
Martin: Most certainly yes!
Pete: Will you be able to equip your units with whatever technology you choose?
Martin: Most certainly yes!
Pete: Will there be the ability to build bases around the world, or is the game more mission-based, following a set storyline?
Martin: This is a tricky question. There will be a geosphere, there will be bases and though there is a storyline, it does not take away the player's freedom  to make decisions that influence the game. However, the base management will  be streamlined (one could also say stripped down -- I know this will be very  contentious issue and please be assured that we didn't take this decision lightly  or without due consideration) in order to focus more on tactical missions.

Pete: Will you be able to intercept and shoot down enemy craft?

Martin: Yes, but in slightly different way than you used to be able to.

Pete: Will there be missions where you have to defend your base, or attack an enemy base?

Martin: Most certainly yes!

Pete: Will there be a multi-player option in the game?

Martin: Unfortunately not.

Pete: Will the graphics be as good as what we have seen from the original screenshots of "Dreamland Chronicles", or can we expect to see something even better than that?

Martin: This will be another contentious issue, I am sure. We are using very little of the original art and though we will certainly try to match or surpass its quality, it will certainly be different -- this is also the main reason we did it; we basically decided that we would not be able to seamlessly integrate our art with the original art so therefore we aren't using it. Besides, our storyline requires a slightly different style of art than what there was.

Pete: Will there be an action-packed soundtrack, with suitably eery music when you're out doing missions at night, or when everything looks peaceful, but you know something bad is going to happen any minute?

Martin: We will certainly try to achieve exactly this. It's already being worked upon.

Pete: How many people are working on the project at Altar Interactive?

Martin: About twenty five at the moment.

Pete: Will there be a demo of the game released to the public before we see the finished game?

Martin: Yes.

Pete: Do you have a rough release date in mind for the finished game?

Martin: Christmas 2002 is the current release date.

Pete: Thank you very much Martin, and good luck with the game!