Interviewed by Matthew Patterson
Hi, could you introduce who you are and who you work for please?
Hello, my name is Dmitri Jarandin, also known as Solid Snake. I'm the team leader of GAMEDALE Entertainment. We are actually not "working for anybody" - we are an independent non-commercial team of game-lovers who have decided to create their own games at some point. It means that we do not get any profit from our activity and we do it all for fun. At least at this moment - I can't say for sure how would it go in the future.
Can you give us a little history of 'GameDale' please?
Our history is really trivial - GameDale has been established in December 2000, when I met two other guys who wanted to create their own games and were ready to invest their free time into this not easy process. Once we've made up our minds to join our efforts and start working as a team, I've registered a domain name, opened a virtual web-server, and basically that's it - that was the birthday of GameDale.
We were working in different directions, starting with Delphi programming, Macromedia Flash experiments, freeware game engines usage and finally we grew up and decided to purchase a commercial 3D game engine, that would allow us to start creating good looking games without the need to invent another wheel by creating our own 3D engine.
Since we are paying for everything from our own budget, we've chosen a relatively cheap but rather good game engine - 3D Game Studio. There are a lot of simple games and entertaining programmes available on our site for free download, but I should admit that serious game development has been started only after moving to the new 3D platform. Sometimes it's funny to look back and see our very first screenmates or other "games", that were made during the learning phase of our team. Well, what should I say - everyone starts with learning and makes his very first simple programs - those first steps leading us into the world of serious game development.
Can you tell us a little about the game please?
We didn't want WASTED to be another simple FPS. At the same time we were realistic enough to understand that we need the first test-project on the recently purchased 3D game engine. We needed to check out its capabilities, learn new development ways and simply experience 3D game development for the first time. There's nothing better than learning by doing, so, we've decided to get WASTED.
We at GAMEDALE are pretty much tired of those numerous FPS with deep role-playing elements, where player has to solve some stupid riddles, click on one button three times and two on another one in order to open some locked gate, jump over some columns falling down and starting all over again. We were pretty much excided with the great shooter - Serious Sam, where you has to run across beautiful huge open-air areas, and first HORDES of very original enemies. So, we've decided to make something of this kind.
Please don't get me wrong (like several people did) - I'm not saying that we are going to beat Serious Sam with our WASTED. No! But we will do our best to create a really funny and adrenalin-full game to play. The heart of the game will be non-stop action. Enemies will be attacking from all directions, in huge numbers, physically covering your ship with their dead metal corpses. There will be no switches to activate, no riddles to solve. Just survive under the beautiful skies and among the high mountains. Fly through the deep caverns, cover yourself from the sight of metal guards behind the hills and destroy everyone who would try to stop you.
Action will take place on one of the "garbage planets" - places where industrial garbage is being delivered on cargo ships from Earth. Apparently one of the autonomous computer-driven garbage processing plants has gone mad and started processing available industrial garbage and old military machines building it's own army of mechs, which had only one goal - destroy all the intruders and expand to other planets once the chance would appear.
Player will take a role of the pacification unit captain, who was sent with a recon mission to find out why garbage cargo-spaceships started to disappear in that region and why the garbage processing plant was not responding to radio connection attempts of the Control Tower on Earth.
How is the development progressing?
Kampfer development has been considerably suspended because of the lack of resources (mostly - free time). We have chosen WASTED as the most promissing project at the moment and had to concentrate our efforts on it in order to release the game before too long.
The latest change in Kampfer development was that we got rid of the freeware game engine Game Maker and used our own 2D game engine for Kampfer. This engine was developed in the meanwhile by our C++ guru and being still a beta, it has proven it's good performance in the test build of Kampfer. After migrating all the code and resources of Kampfer to our own engine, we've suspended its development, concentrating on WASTED.
WASTED is being built on the commercial game engine 3D Game Studio (Acknex 3D / A5) and we are experimenting a lot with the engine itself, still trying to use the most optimal techniques for landscape creation, lighting, dynamic sky system, etc. For the Artificial Intelligence and behavioral programming we are using C-Script - the programming language of 3D Game Studio, which is allowing reasonable flexibility for our development.
In the last couple of months we were investing a lot of time into level and model details, because several people accused us of a very "rough and dirty work" after looking at WASTED announcement screenshots. Unfortunately the people don't take into consideration the fact that we are not professional game makers, we are not making money with what we do, there are only 3 of us and we use the engine for 200 dollars in our development. Obviously we do what we can, but it's ridiculous to expect the quality of Unreal 2 from our WASTED...
Among the other changes in WASTED development I would like to mention that we've decided to make the game more vehicle-oriented, which means that 90% of the gameplay time our player will be riding a hover-craft rather than running on foot. We've simply thought that it would have been not realistic if our "footman" would survive several collisions with huge steel mechanisms - it would be more likely when our hero is sheltered by some kind of a vehicle (hover-craft in our case).
What makes your game special, why should our readers buy it?
They could get it FOR FREE - this is what makes our game special. Seriously speaking, we are working hard to make WASTED a simple but funny game to play. We want our players to relax and forget about everyday troubles, submerging into the atmostphere of pure action, explosions, lasers, huge rusty machines coming from everywhere and trying to stomp you...
Our game will have no multiplayer. Yes, many people would say that it's not a feature, but a big mistake, however we have another opinion. We think that there are not many games nowadays that would offer a good single player. We'd like to concentrate our efforts on this part of gameplay, leaving the player on his own and without any friendly support agains hordes of agressive machines. This is how the games of my childhood were played, and this is how WASTED will be played.
Who is the game aimed at? - who do you feel should buy it?
I think WASTED could be interesting for almost everyone who likes to see his minigun barrels rotating, flames coming out here and there, hordes of enemies blowing up and being cut into pieces. We will offer a good-old arcade style of playing. As a very rough parallel comparison to WASTED, you could try to imagine some classical side scrolling 2D arcade where the spaceship is cutting it's way though endless hordes of enemies, but in WASTED all this will happen in pure 3D environment on the surface of the planet and you will see everything in perspective.
Anthing you would like to add for our readers?
Just want to thank you for giving us a chance with this interview and probably it would be interesting for you to have a look at one of the latest test-build screenshots from WASTED, featuring simple landscape, player's hover-craft and two rocketer bots, guarding the entrance into the main canyon of this level. Yes, there will be MANY MORE enemies in the final release of the game, so please don't be confused by only two robots on this shot - this is just another test.
Thank you very much and should you have any other questions, or should I give you more information on any of the subjects above - just let me know.