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Hard Truck: Apocalyptic Wars interview
[ Game -> Interview ]
Interview posted by Mr. Teatime Mon 25 Apr 2005, 5:47 PM
More info on Game: Hard Truck: Apocalyptic Wars | More info on Company: Targem Games

An interview with Aleksey Tchestnikh, the script writer and Lead Designer on Hard Truck: Apocalyptic Wars, published by Buka Entertainment.

Firstly, I have to ask: how did you come up with the idea of a free-form game based on a post-apocalyptic earth where your method of transport is a truck? It's an idea that's never been done before...

The idea was in the air, asking to be fulfilled. The destroyed world, the new generations of people seized by the same passions, huge metal monsters bringing death and destruction – what can be a better game material?:) Post apocalypse is a setting where everything is possible. Yet, it bears some resemblance to the familiar world.

Tell us a bit about the game's setting and history. What caused the Earth's apocalypse?

The Earth met a fate no one could foresee. All living creatures: beasts, birds and humans were eradicated by a wave of death that followed the fall of an unknown object. Few survivors left cities in fear and spread over the empty Earth. New settlements were founded and the only way of trade and communication between them were heavy trucks. That’s when the game starts.

What graphics engine and graphical features does Hard Truck: Apocalyptic Wars use?

“Hard Truck: Apocalyptic Wars” engine supports shaders 2.0, environment-mapping, bump-mapping, so that you will see reflections and shades. Our particle system allows us to create spectacular visual effects, making the combats truly impressive.

What are the game's influences? Is it fair to say it's an 'Elite' type game set in a post-apocalyptic world?

We are big fans of Elite and the likes. Endless hours spent on destroying space pirates, trading, upgrading the space ship left a strong imprint on the young minds :). Among other sources of inspiration I’d name Fallout series, Vangers, Bandits: phoenix rising.

So what's the game's focus? Combat? Trade?

The focus of the game is the spectacular combats on armored trucks with stunning special effects, realistic physics and damage system. The player will trade to earn money for new upgrades and weapons and to fight stronger enemies, to put it simple. But apart from combat and trade, the game has a strong RPG element. The player will follow the plot, communicate with numerous NPC and accomplish various quests.

Does the game have a linear plot, or are there points where you can have multiple outcomes in the story, and affect the outcome?

There are a multitude of player choices, leading to the different solutions of problems. Some of them are local, some – crucial for the completion of the game plot that have two outcomes. The choices vary from aggressive and peaceful solution of an encounter to choosing sides in a world-wide conflict.

Is it possible to play the game ignoring the main plot and just do side-quests, or even build up an empire from trading?

You discover new areas as you follow the plot, but nothing stops you from returning to the already visited areas and finishing your business there. You can concentrate on trade and earning money, but ultimately you’ll need to move on to solve the mysteries. The suspense will drive you on.

How big is the game world? What part of the earth is the game set in?

The game world covers the territory of Europe, however you will not recognize the areas – the landscapes have thoroughly changed. You’ll drive through deserts, jungles, mountain areas and industrial wastelands.

Will you be able to leave your truck?

No. People are too attached to their trucks to leave them. It is next to impossible to survive without one.

How will driving be handled? With a third person camera, first person viewpoint...?

It’s going to be the good old WASD. You control your truck from the third person view, while the camera and the weapons follow your mouse movements.

What about combat - how does that work?

The player can mount several weapons on his truck. Each gun has the damage source and each piece of armor has some resistance to one or several types of damage.

The enemies attack in groups where everyone has their role and strategy. The stronger ones will try to divert you while the less armored attack from a distance. Others will try to slow you down and shot from a close distance. The player will have to keep his arsenal up to date to handle these encounters.

What sort of interaction with NPCs will the player have? Will there be dialogue trees?

There are lots of towns and villages with NPCs eager to swap the latest news, talk you into joining their side in a conflict or send you on a mission. The player will also be able to communicate with the truck drivers outside. And yes, there will be dialogue trees.

Will you be able to have other characters accompany you, the equivalent of a party in more standard RPGs?

From time to time you will be accompanied by a friend, but you cannot direct his actions. There will also be protection missions where the player has to insure the security of the caravan or single truck.

How are settlements presented in the game? What options are available to a player upon entering a town?

Towns are the only places where you can be relative safe. Head straight to the workshop if you need to change, upgrade, tune or refuel your car. You will also be able to buy or sell loot, get some new gadgets and guns for your car in the shop. Finally, there’s the bar where you hear the latest rumors and get an odd job.

Will the player be able to create a character/truck at the start of the game, or is the character pre-determined? Are there levelling and skill points in the game?

You truck is pre-determined at the start of the game, but as you go you’ll be able to change it, upgrade it and equip it with all sorts of gadgets, so that you’ll ultimately get the truck you want. We don’t have the leveling and skill points as such, but your proficiency is measured by the amount of money you’ve earned in missions, because the more money you have, the cooler truck and the deadlier weapon you can buy.

Will there be multiplayer?

Initially we haven’t planned to make the multiplayer mode, but we’ve been getting so many requests to incorporate it into the game, that we’re starting to consider it.

Is there anything else you'd like to say to the Duck and Cover community, and fans of post-apocalyptic games in general?

We were really pleased to hear about Duck and Cover site – a special site the fans of post-apocalyptic games. We’d like to be a part of your community both as post-apocalyptic games fans AND developers!:) Welcome to our website: And thanks for your questions!

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