UFO Aftermath E3 Interview

by on 15th May 2003

Interviewer: Mike Nino
Interviewee: Brian Faller (Publisher) and Martin Klima (Producer)

Cenega Questions - answered by Brian Faller

UFOA.co.uk: Is the expected release date still September 5th?

Brian: September is still good.

UFOA.co.uk: And will it be released in the US at the same time as in Europe?

Brian: The intent is to have a worldwide release.

UFOA.co.uk: Will U:A be released only in English, or in other languages as well?

Brian: English will the best selling version, but it is planned to have localized versions in Czech, Polish, German, Spanish and French.

UFOA.co.uk:What's the recommended price going to be in the US? In Europe?

Brian: This will be a top level game, so it will be priced accordingly. It will be priced at the same level as other top games in the US or Europe, so it would be around $40.

UFOA.co.uk: Are there any plans for a sequel?

Brian: That depends on the success of U:A, doesn't it? The response to U:A has, however, been greater than expected.

ALTAR Questions - answered by Martin Klima

UFOA.co.uk: Will there be cut scenes, Full Motion Video or otherwise, during the game?

Martin: There will be an intro and outro, but that's it.

UFOA.co.uk: Will a player be able to save during missions?

Martin: Yes, at anytime.

UFOA.co.uk: After you win the game, will there be a gratifying finale, such as an end-game movie?

Martin: Yes.

UFOA.co.uk: Would the end-game movie hint at what comes next?

Martin: Hopefully yes.

UFOA.co.uk::Are there any plans for a sequel?

Martin: This is a question for Cenega, not for us.

UFOA.co.uk:: We (the fans of the game) want you to say yes!

Martin: (laughs) Yes, we would love to.

UFOA.co.uk: Will the soldiers portraits change during game play?

Martin: Well, to some extent they are animated. When they speak, their lips move. When they are hit, they cry out and there's a look of fear and anguish.

UFOA.co.uk: Are you surprised of the very emotional reaction amongst the 'hardcore' fans regarding your decision to scrap the kneel-option in order to aim the game at a broader market?

Martin: Well, actually, we didn't scrap it and we will include it. While we can't demo a kneeling soldier today, if they could have postponed E3 a couple of days we could have shown it. The finished game will actually have an overhauled, more-intuitive tactical interface with improved command-button layout, which will include the kneel option.

UFOA.co.uk: Were you surprised at the reaction of these fans?

Martin: No, I was not surprised.

UFOA.co.uk:What approximate level can we expect a well developed squadie to reach?

Martin: Basically, there are seven levels each skill can attain via combat. With special training, you can reach an eighth level. Most soldiers start out with skills averaging out at the third level (some skills may be higher while others would be lower). Each level up is more difficult than the last, so it get progressively harder to attain the highest levels.

UFOA.co.uk: So you would specialize your soldiers? One could be a sniper, another could be a medic?

Martin: Yes. I have, however, seen a beta-tester send his favorite soldiers out on easy mission after easy mission, for eight hours straight, so that he can max out all of the soldiers' skills. (laughs)

UFOA.co.uk: Will there be a list of skills and attributes posted before U:A is launched?

Martin: Well, we've already posted them. It's not a secret. We could start another thread about it on the message board.

UFOA.co.uk: I think what the fans are looking for is one page devoted to the soldier specs for them to refer to.

Martin: It's not a secret. There are no secrets here. (Please see the Personnel screen shots sent separately).

UFOA.co.uk: Will there be any sort of economy/economic modeling in U:A?

Martin: No, basically none.

UFOA.co.uk: What happens when you zone to another map? Is it, first person to the door that enters and the whole squad goes with him no matter where they are on the map? Or does everyone have to be in a certain area?

Martin: The soldiers need to be in a certain area.

UFOA.co.uk: Does the player have to clear the zone before we can proceed to the next zone?

Martin: No.

UFOA.co.uk: Can a player split the squad and fight in two zones at once?

Martin: That would be very difficult. Would there be a split screen?

UFOA.co.uk: What are the restrictions on zoning?

Martin: In order to move into another zone, your soldiers must be in a stable situation in the broad sense of the word: you must not be under attack, you must not see any aliens or be seen by any enemy, for at least a couple of seconds. You can actually leave some of your soldiers behind, and it would be unfair that if you came back and you found them all dead. Usually, you would just move on to the next zone, conquer it, and all the soldiers would be returned.

UFOA.co.uk: Will there be a 'low ammo' (as in shortly before you're "out") warning for reloadable/clip weapons?

Martin: This is a very good idea.

UFOA.co.uk: After having successfully completed a tactical mission, will the player have to comb the whole map (and sub-areas) in order to recover every alien artifact/weapon?

Martin: It depends. When you eliminate all the opposition, you automatically get all the equipment left on the battlefield. But say your mission is to capture something. You then achieve this objective, and so decide to leave the battlefield (there might be just too many of them to defeat, and your soldiers are pretty beat up already). In this case, any weapons that you don't pick up will be lost. Unconscious aliens, however, will be auto-transported.

UFOA.co.uk: Does terrain affect movement speed? What about weather conditions?

Martin: You walk more slowly uphill, but rough terrain will not affect (just for you, Martin!) movement speed. We might have it on an add-on.

UFOA.co.uk: So there will be an add-on? (laughs)

Martin: If there is an add-on, we might do it then, ok? For weather, there might be snowing or raining, but it will not effect movement.

UFOA.co.uk: When a soldier enters a building he will be outlined but the building's interior won't be shown. How does the player manage to navigate indoors under this condition?

Martin: Soldiers do not enter buildings. This will probably not please everybody, but there were a number of problems with it. One is that it simply looks silly . . . the soldiers are not in proportion to the buildings. The buildings are quiet small. If a soldier could enter them, you would notice that something was wrong. Basically, we were not able to do it properly given our resources. We have a budget and we have a deadline and there was no room in either for this feature. We tried to find a way to fake it: you would only see the outlines of the interior. We actually implemented this, but decided the results did not look good. Game play is better without it and is the best in the streets. You can destroy walls and fences, so you have a lot of tactical options.

UFOA.co.uk: So if you can't do it well, don't do it?

Martin: Exactly. I'm pretty sure there will be an uproar when the 'hardcore' fans hear about it, but unfortunately that's the way it is. I believe that when they play the game they will understand.

UFOA.co.uk:How are wounds handled? To elaborate: is all the damage immediately taken from the health bar or will there be a progressive deterioration with time given lack of treatment (possibly leading to a state of unconsciousness)?

Martin: Soldiers will not bleed to death due to wounds. When a soldier's health goes to zero, he will become unconscious. Then a second health bar appears and the soldier will need to take more damage before he really dies. A consequence of this is that aliens can be captured and brought back to a base to be researched. Again, the aliens will be picked up automatically so no soldier needs to carry them around. There might be a mission requirement to capture a certain type of alien, and once that objective is met the mission ends.

UFOA.co.uk: How does the player know when a soldier is unconscious?

Martin: The soldier's portrait turns purplish.

UFOA.co.uk:Are wounds localized (a leg wound hinders movement, an arm wound prevents or hinders use of a weapon) or is this subject to abstraction (a wound's location is irrelevant, only a reduction of total health takes place)?

Martin: Wounds are not localized.

UFOA.co.uk: Do field medics have the ability to restore health (replenishing all or part of the health bar) or is his treatment just a patch to stem continued damage (health bar drainage over time), meaning that the wounded will need some actual downtime at the base for full healing?

Martin: The soldier must be healed properly once they return to the base.

UFOA.co.uk:We are aware that territory is gained by engaging in tactical missions. But how is the actual direction of the expansion controlled? Is it directly controlled by the player?

Martin: This is a very good question and I can not answer it. Currently, a player can't directly control the expansion, only indirectly. After completing one mission, the next mission is likely to appear close to the location where the previous mission occurred.

UFOA.co.uk:Once you control a territory, you can decide what type of base you want there. Is a new base immediately available for use or is there a 'delay' until construction is finished.

Martin: The base is immediately available, but if you want to change the type there is a delay due to reconstruction.

UFOA.co.uk:After overtaking an alien base can you appropriate it and allot it a standard functionality?

Martin: You don't overtake the enemy base, never. You destroy them. You can only take possession of human bases.

UFOA.co.uk: Well, that's it for our questions. Thank you for your time and patience.

Martin: Great!


Add Comment Comments

17 May 2003 - 11:37am
Nice interview.... something i liked: "You don't overtake the enemy base, never. You destroy them."

Sept 5 hurry up.

16 May 2003 - 6:55pm
Great !!! Some questions&answers  really extremely interesting . Found also my question answered that makes me feal good and "INACTION" . Thanks to everybody at UFOAFTERMATH.co.uk site . GOOD JOB . There is a new aftermath in game video posted on BONUSWEB.cz - http://www.bonusweb....2003_video.html

Hmmm . Did not see it but downloading now ! Tom


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