Interview by: Dennis Sloutsky
Almost a year after our previous interview with RWS and (coincidentally) one month since the game has hit stores, I've had a chance to conduct an interview with three members of the RWS team and got to ask them most of the questions that fans of the game would like to hear an answer to. So, here comes...
Hi again! Please introduce yourself to our readers (once again :) )
Vince: Vince Desi
Nathan: Hi, I'm Nathan Fouts, ai programmer.
Mike: I'm Mike Riedel, I headed up development for Postal 2.
Now that the first reviews are in, would you say that you're completely satisfied with the ones coming from the major gaming news sites (IGN - and Gamespot)?
What do you think is the real reason behind this 'conspiracy' - I'll call it that, as generally all the other sites seemed to like or at least judged the the game objectively (check out our review for example) and the general public response to the game was positive (the average rating of the game on our site according to 230 voters is 8.5/10).
Nathan: Obviously we're not pleased about it. It's really disappointing when someone doesn't play the game in front of them and seem to review features that aren't there (like a multiplayer), instead of just reviewing the game on it's own merits. It's certainly more accurate that you referred to them as 'major' game sites instead of 'professional'. They seemed to exhibit anything but professionalism in the blackballing prior to the game release. Having people review a game who have obvious grudges against the developer is poor policy.
The things that make me happy are reading the message boards and reader reviews by people who are simply playing the game (rather than waxing philosophical about morality and violence in games) and enjoyed all the cool gameplay and secret things we stuffed into Postal 2.
Mike: IGN and Gamespot are certainly entitled to their opinions but what really stuck out was how different their reviews were compared to all the other reviews. These are major gaming sites and I would have expected them to take a more professional approach and review the game for what it is instead of trying to push an agenda. If you don't like the game, if you don't think it's fun, fine, write about that, but those articles were pretty transparent. They were out to bury the game. Too bad for their readers, I think they expected and deserved better.
Some of the gamers expected more gore from the game - in the traditions of Soldier of Fortune... Do you have any plans to release a 'gore' patch for the game to add more realism?
Nathan: Believe it or not the violence was never the focus of the game back in the development area. We always went for what we thought was cool and fun. We thought the heads exploding was funny and the blood spouts and the puke gross but still pretty funny and cool. I thought the violence in SOF2 was... kind of boring. It was really gross, but it never felt fun or satisfying. I'm sure some industrious modders could make a blood patch.
Actually we had considered chopping off limbs, but could never get to work reasonably. I think Postal 2's violence and SOF violence have a fundamentally different feel that could never be changed with just a patch.
Mike: Gore was never our goal. Sure there are situations where you get blood and guts, but as you pointed out, SOF and others have gone way beyond what we've got in that respect. What drove most of our decisions was coming up with fun stuff to do, and if it happened to be funny too, then so much the better.
Postal 2 was shipped without multiplayer (even though we've last heard from you that it'll be present in the box)... What was the primary cause for this move?
Nathan: To simply focus all our brain waves on the single player. Trust me... single player is a lot better off for it.
Mike: We realized we couldn't do the multiplayer justice in the amount of time we had remaining so we made the painful decision to drop it. It takes a tremendous amount of time and effort to create competitive multiplayer gameplay, even with the Unreal engine which clearly has a lot of that built-in. But nobody would have been happy if we had just shipped with plain-old deathmatch. People are expecting something different from Postal multiplayer and we intend to deliver.
Do you guys plan to release a multiplayer patch to the game? If so, how much longer do we have to wait? Honestly I'm itching for some online carnage.
Vince: First , we'll be releasing a patch with fixes. Honestly, I can't say. The fact is we chose to not include it because it wasnt ready, and I stand by that decision. I'm getting tons of em from fans that are dying to go postal with mp.
Mike: This will happen although not in any short amount of time. The first patch is will mostly address bugs and compatibility problems, and that's currently taking up most of our time. After that we'll concentrate on multiplayer.
What kinds of multiplayer modes can we expect to see once the patch is released? Also, a quite important question for all the dialup users out there - how much will the patch weigh?
Vince: One thing I can tel you for sure, is that POSTAL MP is different, not like anything you've ever seen before. Can't say how big just yet, too early.
In our last interview you said (and I quote: "Within the coming months after P2 is released, there will be an all multiplayer version available -crazy shit- too crazy to speak of!")... Could you elaborate a bit on the projected release date of that and some of the features it'll include?
Vince: I hate repeating myself, buy its like I said ...think Running With Scissors and you know what I mean.
As well, can we expect to see an updated multiplayer demo of the game? If so, when?
Vince: Anything is possible, right now we're concentrating on getting it right, its to early to say for sure and I hate bullshiting.
Now that Postal 2 is out, what are your short and long term plans?
Nathan: Play games, program, and... play more games?
Did you get any new lawsuits since the game was released? All of us in Gamer's Hell had a good laugh on Lieberman's behalf (shot 1 , shot 2) :)
Nathan: Haaaa.. man. I thought that Apocalypse newspaper was one of the funniest things in the game.
Any last words for our readers?
Nathan: Rockin' Cats!
Congratulations on a very well done game... Keep it rockin' guys :)
- Dennis S. // Gamer's Hell