||[ N/A -> Interview ]
|Interview posted by Ausir
||Fri 30 Jul 2004, 2:47 AM
What is Inhuman? Is Trash the first game
you guys have done together? A little background about you guys, please.
Mark Currie: Trash is Inhuman Games' inaugural title. Before
forming the company the two principal developers worked on projects
for both Microsoft and Sierra, including Microsoft's MMRTS Allegiance.
They met originally while working on sports titles at Sierra.
Saint_Proverbius: Why Trash? What made Inhuman want to make
it? Why the choice of Post Apocalyptic?
Mark Currie: We decided to make Trash for all the typical reasons.
We are huge RTS fans. As such we thought it was our duty to make one.
We wanted to work on a game that we would play. It is a little known
fact that most the people in the game industry are not working on
their favorite type of game or even a game that they would normally
The choice of a post apocalyptic setting was automatic for us. We
are big fans of post apocalyptic movies and games. There needs to
be more. Besides, with the apocalypse approaching, everyone needs
to be prepared.
Saint_Proverbius: Trash is a Post Apocalyptic RTS. Can you
tell us what makes it Post Apocalyptic? What features add to the feeling
of it being such? Are resources for humans of the "basic needs" variety,
such as food? Water? Shelter?
Mark Currie: Resources are scarce after the apocalypse. The
remaining species have to survive with what's left: trash, wind, natural
gas, and human beings (in the case of the mutants and machines). Three
dominant species are humans living and building off refuse, a race
of mutants produced by radioactive fallout, and robots programmed
to destroy organics.
Saint_Proverbius: What exactly is the concept of piping
in Trash? How does it affect gameplay? Do all sides have something
Mark Currie: In most RTS games, resources are magically teleported
from where you drop it off to where you use it. You can harvest something
on one side of the map and use it on the other. In Trash, you must
connect all your structures with pipe in order to share resources.
It is important to control the land between your expansions. If you
pipe gets severed the separated bases have to go it alone as far resources
are concerned, until the pipe is reconnected.
Technology created at research buildings also need to be transported
through the pipe network. Research buildings are worthless unless
they are connected to the factories that produce units. The machine
race has the additional restriction that their units must also stay
in contact with the pipe. So before attacking an enemy base they need
to build pipe to it.
Saint_Proverbius: What are the strong points and weaknesses
of the three sides? How are you working on balancing them with one
Mark Currie: We are striving to give each race a unique gameplay
experience. The Machine race is dependent on pipe for movement and
as a result they cannot easily flee from battle. The Mutants can be
extremely agile if they develop their powers of teleportation.
Like rock paper scissors, Trash has units that are very effective
against others but not vice versa. The game encourages players to
specialize in different areas and then work together with teammates
in destroying the enemy.
Game balancing will be done with feedback from our beta testers. To
help us balance the races we are thinking about having our match making
server keep track of how much each race is played and how often each
race is victorious.
Saint_Proverbius: I noticed on your page that you mention
Total Annihilation as an influence in part. Do you plan on releasing
new units like Cavedog did with TA? Or how Pumpkin Studios did with
Warzone 2100, another post apocalyptic RTS?
Mark Currie: Total Annihilation influenced us in many ways.
First off, the resource trash is generated when you destroy units
and structures. We also have the resource oil, which is continuously
streamed into your reserves without a "harvester".
We have realistic line-of-sight and we are working on line-of-fire
for ranged weapons. Our game world is 3D. We have a super gun that
shoots half way across the game world. Trash indeed has many things
in common with TA.
We don't have plans for having downloadable unit modules like as done
with TA. We hope to continue to support the game after its release,
but that will depend on both our publisher and how well the game is
Saint_Proverbius: How does the resource system in Trash
work? Where do humans get what they need to make and/or resurrect
vehicles? Is unit type production based on what types of vehicles
a player can find and salvage?
Mark Currie: Trash that is harvestable is considered homogeneous--you
take the wreckage from an armor car and make a flame bike. However
some trash is special. Toxic waste dumps and junk yards are at special
areas on the map. You can only place your most powerful structures
at these key sites.
Oil-rich land works this same way. For example, you can only construct
flame weapon upgrade structures on an oil-rich area of the map.
The resource of electricity is generated at a your power plants. Like
all resources, electricity is carried to each of your buildings via
pipe. Excess power can be shared with teammates.
There are neutral people who live in huts scattered across the game
world. The Mutants harvest these people from these huts so that they
can mutant them into their own kind. The Machines use these people
to power their generators. A Human player can arm these huts with
weapons so that they act as a defensive tower.
Saint_Proverbius: How will the modular weapons/vehicles
thing work? How many choices of design are there for a player? Are
modular vehicles limited to just machines and humans? Are there differences
in the unit chassis for humans and machines? Can humans and machines
take over or reclaim destroyed chassis from each other's side?
Mark Currie: Modular unit design is limited to the Machine
Race. You can choose size of chassis. Large chassis are stronger and
permit larger weapons and more component add-ons. The smaller the
chassis, the cheaper and faster the unit. The component add-ons include
armor, invisibility, detection, and antimissile among others. You
could for example design an invisible resource gatherer. Any designs
you create are automatically saved with your player profile for reuse
in future games.
Saint_Proverbius: Will there be a campaign for single player?
Will there be a sandbox/instant action mode for single player?
Mark Currie: Players will be able to learn and practice the
game by themselves in scrimmages with computer opponents. We have
been focusing our efforts on the multiplayer portion of the game.
We haven't decided yet whether or not to have a single player campaign.
Saint_Proverbius: One of the multiplayer features is that
people can join a game in progress at any time. Is there a way to
make sure those new players don't get thumped by the players who've
Mark Currie: This is something we will need to work out during
the beta. The current plan is to give joiners some initial workers,
but no structures. The workers will come out of a teammate's factory.
It will be up to the teammates to donate resources to the joiner.
Join in progress is particularly useful for players who drop and want
to resume playing.
Saint_Proverbius: In multiplayer, is it possible to ally
with other players or even AI controlled units? If so, can allies
give resources and units to one another?
Mark Currie: You must choose your team before entering the
game. You can give resources to teammates if there is pipe connecting
your bases. All resources must travel over pipe.
Saint_Proverbius: How will Trash be sold? Will it be over
the internet, or do you have a publisher?
Mark Currie: That is still up in the air. We can't really comment
on it yet.
We'd like to thank Mr. Currie and the rest of Inhuman
for taking the time to answer these questions.