Available: Europe: Now / North America: August 22, 2003
Developer: Tesseraction Games
Publishers: GMX Media (Europe) / Dreamcatcher Games (North America)

Interview by: Burt Carver

What is your title and what is your role on the game?

Kelly Asay - Producer

I handle the production responsibilities, game design assisted by Alex Jimenez, promotional and box art, tool programming, take out the trash... the standard stuff in an Indie studio.

Enigma: Rising Tide seems to ride the line between a action / sim / strategy. What is the 'official' genre?

Enigma: Rising Tide is a Command Simulator. Part FPS, part RPG, part RTS and part Adventure game (singleplayer anyways).

We looked long and hard at what is fun about naval simulations and simulations in general. We also looked at what was the biggest obstacle to widespread enjoyment of war simulations. Most simulators require an in depth understanding of the technology to have any success. This isn't the most exciting aspect to many gamers.

Games like chess have persisted for centuries because they completely refine an experience down to it's most essential core; it's easy to pick up and begin to play but is exceedingly difficult to master. The more you play the better you get: if you think that is. It is a form of ultimate command and control. The best part is, you only have to know the rules of how the pieces move, not the physics or dynamics of actually moving the pieces.

We've adopted this as our baseline for evaluating the development stages of the game. Do you feel in Command? Do you have enough options to explore your particular preferences (manning a gun for example)? Can you connect with your character, are you really at sea? Are there too many hoops to jump through to accomplish a task?

How long has the game been in development?

Tesseraction Games was started in October 2001, We began initial design in November 2001 and development commenced in January 2002.

The game claims to have many different perspectives and levels of control. Can you play the game entirely in one role? For example, can you let the computer take over the major battle decisions while you float along as a deck gunner?

Interesting perspective, but no. You are the Commander.

When multiplayer is launched you will be able to accept a subordinate role on a ship if you choose. There will also be opportunities for non-military participation: Join a merchant fleet delivering coffee or oil or rubber. Take a cruise on an Ocean liner or a Zeppelin. You can also move into a Port command role - this is where the RTS elements come in.

In the singleplayer you can man other stations, but you are always the Commander.

What are the anticipated minimum system requirements for Enigma?

Min Spec:

Win98SE, 2000 or XP
Pentium 3 800mhz
256mb ram
ATI 7500 32mb or GeForce 2 Pro 32mb Card equivalent
Cards older than this will not render the game properly
DirectX 8.1 compatible sound card (or chip) - we recommend a hardware card.
Current drivers for all of the above.

Recommended system:

WinXP or Win2000
Pentium 4 2ghz+
1024MB ram
ATI 9700 128mb or better
Audigy2 or equivalent
And of course current drivers.

How immersive (excuse the pun) is the game?

You have never played a game like it.

Tend to get seasick? Better activate the "stabilize camera" option in the preferences because the live ocean and new camera effects really put you on the water. If you decide to brave it, until you get your "sea legs" I'd have a chum bucket handy.

If you just charge into battle, your palms are going to sweat and you will commence utilization of your favorite colorful language as the Enigma AI schools you on tactics. This isn't some scripted AI, we like to let them make their own decisions on how best to hurt you. You'll have to pay attention to win.

You will experience the confusion and adrenaline rush that comes from being overwhelmed with decisions, all crucial to your survival and possible victory. You will utter "take that you X@#!" when you put a final torpedo or shell into your first really challenging enemy.

Those of you out there who don't play simulations as a rule are going play this and add Enigma to your "love to play" list anyways. You hardcore sim players are going to wish you could "adjust the pressure valves on the boilers", but are going to find yourselves enthused with the excitement of flat out commanding and applying real naval tactics. Kicking some butt for a change instead of endless hours of sailing.

You have never played a game like this.

Is the focus on realism (sim-like) or more arcade style action?

If Das Boot is a Sim and U571 is an "arcade" game, we fall right between them.

Because the focus in the game is on command and the most exciting command experience is during action, we keep you near the action. We speed up reload times for torpedoes and depth charges, but everything else is a close to real as we can get. Ship speeds, sizes, markings, visibility rules, armament and rates of fire: all realistic.

We designed Enigma to give you the real world to play in balanced to give you more action than a ship simulation. If you try and play it like an "arcade" game or a standard issue shooter, prepare to learn the hard way about tactics and strategy.

It's exciting, faster paced than a true ship simulation, but will give you an appetite for naval combat and appreciation for the real sailors and submariners throughout history. Tough sob's every one of them.

What is the anticipated release date for the title?

Enigma: Rising Tide was released in the UK earlier this summer, in Germany, France, and China this last month.

Australia, New Zealand, Russia, North America, Canada and a handful of other countries will release in August.

DreamCatcher is handling our release in North America, Auran in Australia and GMX in Europe.

We will be releasing a free feature patch for the European releases later this month to bring them up to the version that will be released in the North American and Australian territories.

Closing: anything else to add?

Head to www.warfleet.net for details on what we have in store in the near future. Be sure to pre-register for multiplayer while you are there!