Available: Spring 2003
4 Exclusive Screenshots


Article by Andreas "Interman" Misund


Your dream come true, a terribly in depth interview with the whole development team behind Kreed (Burut CT), to be published by Russobit-M in spring 2003.

Answering:
Aleksey Leshev (AL)
Dmitry 'RCL' Rekman (RCL)
Alexander 'Magum' Borodetsky (Magum)

Hi, please introduce yourself, your company, its background and your job there to our readers.

AL: Hello, Andreas!
Our team Burut CT started its activity in autumn 1999 with creation of several encyclopedias and educational programs. During this work we go some experience and switched over to the developing of games like we always dreamed of. In March 2001 we released our first role-playing game «Heath» with action in a fantasy world, based on Slavic mythology. And it was a real victory for us, like a reward for our hard and painstaking work. It also gave us self-reliance and confidence of success and it became our starting point for new complex and intellectual projects.
We love to create a new reality, which could be interesting to play from a esthetic point of view. What could be better for any player than to feel himself as a part of an appallingly beautiful world?
Currently Burut Creative Team employs a total of more than 30 people at it headquarter in Voronezh City. We?re working on 2 projects: 3D-FPS ?KREED? and magical vision of alternative Earth history in RPG genre ?Colden Land?, the sequel to ?Heath?.
As for me ? I?m a scriptwriter...

Could you tell us about the story behind Kreed, what has happened before we actually start playing?

AL: The many-sided and unusually colored world of ?KREED? is a far future of humanity after the terrible ordeals, monstrous wars, when people settled in different planets among all the universe stars.
It takes place in 2944 year A.D. where the human worlds are on the threshold of fateful trials, named Kreed. Its staggering secret in the ending should be unveiled by the player.
During the design of the game concept we turned to the original science futurology and understood that it?s still too early to speak about the ?Gold Century?.
The humanity will go through the world wars, one more technologic boom, devastating mortal epidemics, terrifying population explosion, starvation and full ecological misbalance. And the first successes in the colonization of the Solar system didn?t solve all the problems, but just aggravated the inevitable crisis.
In the XXIIIth century the Earth?s history had changed radically. The militarized race of insects Tiglaary invaded the Solar system. They broke earthmen?s resistance and expanded the global genocide resulted in a millions of victims. Only the deep-seated faith was able to close the splinters of cruelly exterminated humanity to one iron fist ? the Legion. It was created according to the strict hierarchical military-religious model, where the ancient traditional values coupled with hyper technological level, borrowed from aggressor in the most part, took the leading positions.
As a result the Legion expelled Tiglaary closing the chaotic and tragic past of human civilization. In the next XXIVth the global conquest of Far Space was started and surely it was entailed by conflicts. The Legion united with other races, which fought with its deadly enemy; the infinite Tiglaary forces.
During one of such wars with Tiglaary the unprecedented anomalous zone was discovered. Its effect was much stronger than all other known zones within the inhabited part of the universe. It behaved absolutely abrupt and created the mysterious infection killing hundreds of millions of inhabitants in thousands of worlds. Any attempts to research this zone had resulted in mortal splashes. There was no way back from the zone.
Eventually a mystic-religious cult of apocalyptic persuasion appeared in this sector. It gave the name Kreed to the zone, which mean something like ?faith?. So, Kreed was embodiment of Powerful Mystery.
Our main hero, the former Legionary and the veteran of Tiglaary Wars appears in Kreed in the trade spaceship ?Aspero? after the attack, and fights aliens near its borders. From the beginning the hero will aspire to stay alive and vainly try to find the back way. Just later he understands that he is in an absolutely different world with its own legislation.

How, and when did you come up with the idea behind Kreed? Has the initial design changed much during the development? And generally speaking: what kind of an experience will you try to give the players?


AL: The Idea of ?Kreed? appeared during the creation of our first project ?Heath?. We dreamed of creating an original game universe with all its essentials like history, races, mythology, religions, traditions, etc. We thought about global RPG as an ideal plan that time. We wrote the first script, prepared the first artwork, but we still weren?t satisfied. Our future hero seemed too ?foreign?. That?s why we decided to look on our created world in our own eyes, i.e. from the first person perspective, in order to feel the universe completely. That?s how the idea of the First Person Shooter was born. Here we saw the possibility to apply to the world of human feelings. So, the main hero of ?Kreed? is a real man who was deserted to the infernal sector of Universe at the fates decree.
?Kreed? tells the player that among the hot fights, with many evildoers and monsters there is something more significant, which is under a veil of secrecy. The ending should be the very mysterious and fascinating.


How would you characterize the gameplay in Kreed? What games would you compare it to? Looking at the screenshots it reminded me of Unreal 2.

AL: In the course of the game the player will pass different missions saturated by various events and followed by interesting ingame cut-scenes. At the same time the player will not feel like a robot passing the scheduled route. Each of missions has the alternative way of its passing. On his way the player will take on a quantity of quests, traps and unexpected surprises. In order to come to end the player should solve many tactical tasks, choose various ways of passing and think about every step he takes.
By looking at the screenshots you can draw parallels between ?Kreed? and other famous projects, but we stake on the originality in our game. Yes, ?UNREAL? is among our priorities, but we don?t pursue the imitation objects.

Speaking of visuals; could you tell us about the graphics engine you use, its specs and what you would do if for instance the processing power of the CPUs and GPUs were doubled?

RCL : We use our own X-Tend engine that is still under development. It supports the most of the modern video cards capabilities like pixel and vertex shaders, etc. The engine is based upon DirectX 8.1 programming interface.

These are the major X-Tend engine features:
  • Pixel and vertex shaders

  • Particle Systems

  • Per-pixel lighting

  • Texturing uses the maps of environments (cubemaps)

  • Projection textures cover all game objects including dynamic ones

  • Skeleton animation (up to 120 "bones" per character, fingers, lips and eyes are animated)

  • Volumetric and layered fog

  • Stencil-buffer based shadows

  • Up to 4000 polygons in a model

Given the doubled processing power, we could enhance existing or add some new capabilities to the engine, i.e. we could add extra enemies into the levels, or enhance AI for computer guys and things like that. However, just doubling the GPU speed is simply not enough to bring completely new graphics into the game.

Over to AI. What kind of realism does the AI in Kreed have? Can we look forward to things like enemies working in groups etc?

Magum: The realism of enemies will be reached by their adequate reaction on the certain situation taking into account the level of moral parameters of bots. In our game the instinct of self-preservation has strong influence on the bots behavior.
Enemies could run away in panic if they lost their forces and the moral level is really low. They also can retreat tactically if their position is unfavorable. Bots attacks are also different for each of situations. The determinative factors are the landscape of environments, weapon of opponents and player. Bots can also find and use the covers from player?s fire during the fight.
And yes, the bots? AI is based on the grouping coordination.

How about the missions; could you give us a good example of a mission? Also, what kind of levels do they take place in, and what kind of villains can we look forward to ridding the world of?

AL: Throughout the missions the player should rescue characters, release exhausted prisoners from the concentration camps, grasp the forced advanced posts with an attack group, eliminate the charismatic ?Fuhrers?, drive vehicles, destroy obstacles like an experimental weapon, be guide in extremely unusual conditions and so on and so on.
For example, in the world Burg, covered by immense wilderness and populated by descendants of confidential Legion expeditions we will have to destroy the armor gates using the carrier to get inside the unassailable fortress, than to pass the complex trap, the labyrinth with double rotating walls, and we will fight with enemies during all this way. After making some efforts for opening the portal gates he will appear in the huge round necropolis about 2.5 km named ?Silence Town?. For more comfortable transportation through the town you?ll get a modern vehicle turbocycle. Then we?ll come to the Citadel with great number of deadly traps and complex puzzles. The shock in the final mission will be revealed in the cut-scene.
Each of presented game levels has its own coloring and style, a quantity of forms and elements like destroyed ships of powerful human organizations of future, infernal aliens? ships, forced forts, fighting base-abbey, city-labyrinth that is hundreds of centuries old, temple-cloister of highest intellect, and even a terrifying alien dimension. Player should pass the hard way in the gloomy and damp of iron-organic ship-tower of Tiglaary that remind of the artwork of Giggier. The fick of rock covers the base-abbey of heretics-Jikreeds. Absolutely different architectural styles from West European Gothic and totalitarian esthetics of XX century to ultra-modern man-caused impregnations mixed in the world Burg blown through by dusty winds. Aspiring to the heavenly temple-cloister of angel race Prazaars in the world Haal looks like surrealistic Spanish masterpieces, ancient architecture, strict roman and Byzantine cathedrals.
Of course, enemies are always near the hero. They are plague infected confederates, brutish essence-cannibals Schpiggs who lost their reason, the insect race of Tiglaary, Legionaries, who became mad about the Doomsday and Armageddon, heretics-Jikreeds, who negate the life as a lie, aggressive phantoms J?Korrs invaded to our Universe. And sure we can?t forget about the main enemy with his dodge mind and ability of persuasion. The player will know what his charms feel like.

A good first-person shooter needs good weapons. How many will Kreed have, and can you name a couple of your favorites?

AL: There will be presented in ?Kreed? 10 types of weapon and 3 types of grenades. We included as standard types like knife with brass knuckles, pump shotgun, carabine, heavy mashine-gun etc. as the unusual types like energetic storming gun, energy concentrator with their original parameters. For example we can describe you the Flame Thrower «Red Harvest - FD-8000» equipped with complex combat computer that combines flame mixes according to the type of enemy and calculating the algorithm of the most efficient way to hit it. Another interesting weapon is the storming gun ?Dolphin? with a very high shooting precision. It shoots with plasmatic energy charges that causes a lot damage. It?s one of the best for fighting aliens.

How many single-player missions do you plan to include, and how long time will it take the average gamer to finish the game?

AL: The singleplayer will include 9 missions with 3-4 episodes in each of them. The level of difficulty will increase gradually. The average player will be able to complete the game in 40-60 hours.

What kind of multiplayer modes will Kreed support, and how will the net code perform under stress (i.e. many players using flamethrowers)?

RCL: There?re several multiplayer modes planned for Kreed ? those of the most importance are deathmatch and cooperative play (the latter one is still questionable though). There will be team deathmatch and last man standing modes, too.

Flamethrowers are of no danger for the net code, they could just reduce overall performance by huge amount of polys :-) The real stress for the transmitting routines is for instance plasmagun (Dolphin) fire and things like that, but even in the worst case performance loss caused by transmission is still negligible compared to losses caused by renderer, game logic and other parts of the engine. Considering the amount of level entities ? sometimes there are literally more than thousand entities in a single map ? we implemented pretty efficient filtering algorithms that allow us to deal with them without compromising the performance, so only those relevant for a certain player entities get sent.

Will the player be able to use for instance mounted weapons, vehicles etc? And will the player carry any interesting gadgets?

AL: The player will be able to use efficiently in some cases the artillery mounts and heavy machine-guns. He can also move on two types of carriers, anti-gravitation platform and flying speedy turbocycle.
The infrared thermo scanner, usual torchlight and other equipment are presented in the inventory. Later in the game he?ll get also the special visual scanner of phantom energy.

How far are you in the development, and when do you plan to release it?

AL: At the moment the part of game locations and the majority of characters are made already. We?re working actively on dialogues and the common sound design of the game thinking over the each of sound elements.
We plan the release of Kreed on spring 2003.


Is there anything else you would like to include?

AL: Our team hopes the Kreed will be able as to cause joy to inveterate and exigent gamers as tough their feelings. In spite of all hyper-futuristic direction Kreed is really vivid game, concerning the mentality of man of XXXrd millennium, projecting an unknown to us virtual reality in the future where everything is possible. Kreed asks subconscious: ?Will the humanity be able to survive in this future or it?ll disappear forever. Are we able to carry out the fateful mission of the Universe??

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Developer: Burut CT
Publisher: Russobit M


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