In a day when so many details about a game are revealed and discussed everywhere on the Internet -- even without an alpha version of the game for the press -- the guys at Viola, an emerging Ukraine Team were able to develop the graphical gem, Glide Face, hitting the world by surprise by offering an astonishing public demo. We rushed to have as many details as we could about the title, and as you can see we succeeded by having a deep Q&A.
Hello. Please introduce yourself and tell us what your role is in the development of Glide Face.
My name is Kitaitseva Anna. I am a PR-manager for New Media Generation. I am responsible for all PR activities concerning Glide Face and other our titles.
New Media Generation was founded in 1996 and at the moment is one of the biggest Russian developers, distributors and publishers of wide range multimedia titles and PC games.
Today NMG is cooperating with a developing team "Viola" and presents their title to the world multimedia community.
Please briefly introduce Glide Face, summarizing gameplay, graphics engine, plot, and anything else relevant.
One of the main distinctions and advantages of the game is a wide range of various competitions. Among the available types of competitions there are both classic for boat-race simulator and unique kinds. All competition types are available both in a single-player and multiplayer mode.
Types of competitions:
* Quick race
The single round race gives you an opportunity to try your strength, running in a boat and in a route along one rout. There is only one round in the quick race.
A sort of single round race. There is only one round. The main difference from the other race types is a huge number of different artificial obstacles along the route.
* Knockout tournament
The tournament consists of several rounds. Each of them may be of two different types: time race (the winner is established due to the same rules as in "Quick race") and surmount of steeplechase stripe (the winner is established due to the same rules as in "Steeplechase"). After each round a player who comes the last leaves the competition. The winner is the player who stays after all rounds.
The tournament consists of several rounds. In each round, competitors' results are estimated as a sum of points. Three players with the highest score having gone through all rounds become winners.
This competition is very like a kid game "Tag". It consists only of one round during a fixed time period. At the beginning of the round one of the competitors is marked with a red lamp. His goal is to reach and crash into other boat; the marker will pass to this boat. The other boats' goal is to avoid crashing. The winner is the player having carried the marker less time than the other.
The number of participants isn't limited. Player may choose duration of the round, any available routes, boats, number of rivals and weather conditions.
It is a one round game. At the beginning of the round one of the competitors boat is marked with a yellow lamp. His goal is to keep this lamp as long as possible. By the crash with an other boat the mark passes to this boat. The aim of all other players is to take possession of it. The round finishes when someone accumulates the highest number of leader's hours.
* Talisman capture
A sort of team competition: there are two teams with equal number of players. Each team has its base at a definite place of the route - a partly bounded area of water. On each territory there is the team talisman - a little floating buoy with a team emblem. The goal is to capture the rival team talisman. In the case of the crash with an other rival boat the gamer loses the talisman and it returns back to the rival base. The delivery will be counted only in the case if the own talisman is at its place and isn't captured by the rival team. After a successful capture the team having delivered the talisman gets one point of successful attempt and the talisman returns to the place.
* The King of the Mountain
The competition is based on the kid fairy-tale. At a definite place of the route there is a little island with the steep banks. On the top of the island there are two masts at the distance of 5-7 meters. With the help of a spring-board disposed in a particular way you can fly in the boat over the island between the masts. As a participant manages to do it, a flag with his name appears between the masts. The goal of each gamer is to keep control of the island as long as possible e.g. to capture the island and hamper other players to take possession of it. It is a one round game only. The round finishes when someone accumulates the definite number of the leader's hours.
Team competition: there are two teams with an equal number of players. The analog of the soccer. The ball is approximately 2 meters in diameter. The goal is to kick more balls into the rival gates. All players have equal rights. There are not any limitative rules.
Graphics engine features:
- Unique technology of water modeling;
- Support of indoor and outdoor level's topology in an arbitrary combination;
- Support of dynamic detailed elaboration of all objects;
- Support of Bezier surfaces;
- Possibility of building of completely polygonal, connected Bezier surfaces using polygonal and patch surfaces in an arbitrary combination;
- Redrawing of big open fields using a unique technology of combination of invisible polygons.
There have been many racing games. How will Glide Race be different, yet familiar and likeable to players of the genre?
Our game has its own distinguishing features:
- Unique technology of water modeling
- Photo-realistic graphics
- Maximum credible physic model
- Various race conditions and weather effects
- New untypical competition types based, for example, on the famous sport games, like soccer: e.g. - Tag, King of the Mountain, Boatball.
The graphics seem top-notch from the screenshots. What kind of engine did you use? Was it created from scratch? How will lower-spec computers handle it?
The engine is developed from scratch by "Viola" team. It is a high polygon indoor/outdoor engine. It was developed for the modern PC and consoles (Sony PS2, X-Box). Concerning the lower-spec computers we have to say, that the game has been tested on P3-550/128MB/GeForce2MX400. There were about 20 fps. Today it is already a lower-spec computer. Moreover the engine isn't completely optimized yet. In general the engine was created mainly for the manufacturers of modern PC and consoles as PS2 and X-BOX.
Tell me about some of the realistic features that you plan to incorporate in your game such as how interactive the environments will be.
In Glide Face will be realized a wide rang of environments features:
- Realistic model of the objects' interaction with the water;
- Most plausible physic model of interaction of the boats with each other and with the environment objects;
- Deformation and destruction of the boats and other objects.
From what I read on the website, I noticed that there will be many different types of competition types. Please summarize some of these types.
Right. There will be 9 different competition types and 8 different routes: 6 natural routes: Russia ("Siberia" and "Moscow at night"), Ukraine ("Sevastopol"), Belorussia ("Belorussia"), Turkey ("Turkey"), Brazil ("Amazon") and two artificial routs ("Tunnel" and "Stadium") for which the location doesn't mean at all.
I also noticed many vehicles that will be playable. Divulge on some of their features.
The boats will be of different tonnage, size, power and quantity of engines, engine type (screw and hydro-jet), hydrodynamic characteristics of the hull. The speed will be more than 150 km per hour.
What about the controls? Will the game be played mostly with the keyboard, or is a wheel or other racing equipment necessary?
We are planning to use a keyboard, a joystick and a wheel in the game.
Did you consider a multiplayer option during development, and will there be one when the game is released?
Yes. There will be a multiplayer mode in the game; the game will support 8 players both in LAN and Internet.
How about the artificial intelligence? How realistic will that be?
As for the artificial intelligence the following is planned:
- Possibility to choose different professional levels (beginner, master, expert) and emotional state of the racer (aggressive, peaceful);
- Avoiding dynamic obstacles (crash deviation, overtaking). The artificial intelligence detects the obstacles, estimates them and on the base of the obstacle's speed draws a conclusion about the necessity and possibility of trajectory changing to avoid the crash.
- Possibility of team cooperation of the players (the players of one team can hamper the other team players to dominate by crashing into their boats (aggressive tactics) or preventing the overtaking (containment tactics) and so on)/
- Choice of the movement trajectory depending on the length and the complexity of the route, the route passing experience, the boat's technical characteristics and the racer professionalism.
Were there any big hurdles or problems during development? Anything funny happen?
There were several difficulties with programming for Sony PS2 due to the complicity of the console architecture.
Any final comments you would like to add?
In the fully developed game we are planning 8 race routes located in the different parts of the world. Various routes on the artificial and natural reservoirs from the tropics to the artic ices, from calm stream flat rivers to violent mountain rivers let nobody indifferent.
There is neither any violence scene nor bloodshed. An enthralling sight of the game-play and a wide range of various competitions in the spirit of famous sport competitions let us assume that there will be people of different ages and social classes among the Glide Face players. From our point of view the main target group will be children of 10 years and older. The game specific character allows to assume a considerable potential interest from amateurs of the motor race, futuristic race simulators and from the amateurs of other game types in which any vessels controlling is used. The analogous game-play will assure a certain recognition by the amateurs of abovementioned games and will guarantee quick adaptation. At the same time the game will give a chance to get the very different feeling in absolutely new conditions.
Thank you for your time.