Available: Q4 2003
Developer: master creating
Publisher: Unknown

Interview by: Matt Patterson

Restricted Area is an upcoming isometric action-based RPG in the works at Master Creating. It combines "a fascinating gameplay similar to Diablo 2 with innovative technology, tactic-shooter elements and a dark future scenario."

Hi, can you introduce yourself and the development team please?

Hi, I am Jan Beuck, the Managing Director of master creating which is a privatly held developer based in Hamburg, Germany.

Can you tell us a little about the development teams history?

master creating has been founded in 1999 by Marting Jaessing (Tech Lead) and me. We developed some budget and midprice games but mainly concentrated on the development of game technology for other developers. In 2001 we decided to grow and to use our knowledge to develop Restricted Area, an action-RPG with dark future setting.

With the development teams history, what made you want to switch to the gaming world?

Basically we┬┬┤ve always been there. We started to work as game designer in the late 80┬┬┤s. In 1999 we had the idea of a dark future action-RPG that combines the feeling of pen-and-paper RPGs like Shadowrun and Cyberpunk with a look like a top-notch egoshooter from above. It was only a matter of time until we decided to make this dream come true.

Give us a plot summary of 'Restricted Area' please!

Sorry, it┬┬┤s secret until the game is released.

Can you talk us through the game-play - what can you do within the world?

A lot! A game world is only good if it┬┬┤s interactive. You can walk, run, use one of 75 totally different skills, about 10 different weapon types, talk with other characters in none-linear dialoges, shot the environment, kill guards, mutant, cyborgs and even computer programs

What multiplayer features can gamers expect from the title?

The game has been designed as a single and multiplayer game right from the beginning. It┬┬┤s possible to play over LAN and over internet. It runs very fast and stable, without the usual “warping” characters and slow-downs. However, it┬┬┤s no massive mutliplayer game - the mutliplayer option is designed for you and a friend, maybe 3 or 4. For this it will work better than in any other action-RPG.

On a personal level, what would you say is the games best feature?

Now that┬┬┤s a hard question... I guess the IRIS engine itself is not a feature, so I have to pick something more specific.

I think the best feature are the four totally different characters with their unique skills, and that they progress independently through the same narrative so you can watch it from different points of view. Each one of them perfectly represents a totally different style to play.

Has the team enjoyed making the game?

I guess that┬┬┤s a trick question? ;)

Yes, we have. Sometimes it has been very hard and progress was painfully slow, but the main time we are - and were - very happy about the great results we make and especially about our great relationship. I thought it might become a problem to work with so many individuals on a single project for such a long time, but in fact it was very instructive and fun.

Which titles - past or present - influenced the games design?

Suprisingly some old Nintendo classics like Zelda 3, the action-RPG legends Diablo 1 and Diablo 2 and – maybe another surprise - id Software titles like Quake 3 and Doom 3. However, most of our inspiration doesn┬┬┤t come from other games, it comes from movies like Terminator, Matrix and Bladerunner and books like the pen-and-paper RPGs Cyberpunk and Shadowrun or William Gibson┬┬┤s Neuromancer.

What made the team want to develop 'Restricted Area'?

When we started to think about the game there were a lot of fantasy RPGs, like Diablo 1 or Baldur┬┬┤s Gate. Fantasy was booming anyway – maybe because of Harry Potter. We liked the concept of these games, but thought it would be much more interesting to place them in a new, a different setting. As active Shadowrun players that recently watched The Matrix and played games like Unreal Tournament and Quake 3 it┬┬┤s no wonder we decided us for a dark future world. While we worked on it it became more and more the world like it may really be in 80 years. We hired an architect to help us building the city and worked with sci-fi story writers on the storyline. The idea became a vision and we are all very eager to make it come alive with as many detail as possible.

Anything you would like to add for the readers?

If you are interested and would like to know more now, check out the offical homepage: www.ra2083.com. Next week we will publish the first in-game trailer, and we are happy that it will be avaible here, at Gamer┬┬┤s Hell.

Thank you for your time Jan :D