Reprinted with permission from Game.EXE Magazine
Hello! First of all, please introduce yourself and tell us what you do at Pineapple Interactive.
Hi, I’m Simon Barratt and I’m Lead Coder at Pineapple Interactive. I’ve basically worked here since we've formed. My daily duties involve working on various pieces of the game code, making sure no one has introduced nasty bugs and chatting to the press :-)
Before the announcement of Bloody Waters we haven’t heard a word about Pineapple Interactive which means that you must be new to the biz. Could you, please, tell us about the process of forming of your company, how did it happen that you have decided to enter games development business?
We have actually been around for 5 years, we’ve just been quiet! We have produced 3 game ideas of our own and developed our own engine (called Coyote); with the previous games we got to the stage where we decided whether to go ahead with them or not. Those games didn’t really get past that stage because of different game genres getting spoiled by bad releases. We want our first release to be very successful and Bloody Waters is past that stage, and we are working fully towards releasing it and making it a great success!
Your game looks unique on its early stages already – it’s impossible to make a cop-game or something about the invasion of UFOs when the main character of the game is a shark! You must be having some nice creative ideas; the plot will be also pretty interesting, as we understand it. Please, could you shade some light on this issue helping us to understand your game and its strong sides better?
The plot basically revolves around our shark who was being experimented on by nasty scientists. While the shark is being transported along with some other test subjects to a secret research base the boat sinks and our shark escapes! Our shark is seeking revenge on her captors, who are somewhere in the chain of islands where the ship sunk.
The shark will need to find the scientists' underwater base, and¬¬†will grow and mutate as the game goes on and as more missions are completed. As well as missions to escape certain areas of the map, to find the location of the scientist and to fight off other mutant sea creatures, the shark can kick back and explore the massive environments we have built and terrorise whatever they want. The free roam part of the game is more of an emergent side of the game; as you do certain things in an area the people will react, for example sometimes fisherman will chase you in their harpoon boats, other times police will chase you. It's fun when you just want to be an evil shark!
We just can’t miss asking this one: why did you pick sharks as the theme of the game? Maybe there is something that connects one of you with this predator?
I think the reason we chose the shark was simply because it hadn’t been done before. The shark is a very strong and intimidating creature (our mutated shark even more so!). The shark though can only do so much from the water, which is why we have the ‘Cult of the shark’, a group of people who the player can control who want to help the shark get revenge on the scientists who imprisoned her.
We all have a fondness for sharks as we grew up watching the Jaws films. And while actually working on the game we've learned that the ocean is a very interesting place and we have lots of cool material to use.
It’s common knowledge that shark is a huge fish with huge teeth that likes to eat men and act in Spielberg movies. And what new features of sharks will players are able to learn from your game? In other words, we would like to know how deep are you going into studying their species?
We have done a lot of research into sharks and all the team has had some experience with sharks, as well as us having lots of video footage as reference. Our shark can do a lot more than an un-mutated shark could obviously, but we take the actions of a real shark and then with the mutated shark we make those movements more exaggerated.
What can you tell us about the game play – what will the player do, when playing Bloody Waters – what tasks will she have, what kind of puzzles will he have to solve? We have some clues and would like to know if we follow you correctly.
The game play varies quite a lot throughout the game - as a smaller shark you need to be quite clever to solve some of the missions, as you won’t be strong enough to take many bullets from police or people hunting you, so you have to either use the Cult of the shark to help you or make sure you stay out of the way of the bullets. When the shark is stronger and tougher you’ll be able to shrug off a couple of bullet wounds, but you’ll have more powerful weapons and creatures to worry about!
The missions are a mix between puzzles and using pure strength. Some missions will just use the shark, others using the Cult of the shark and vehicles / items they have.
So far as we know, the player will be able to control the shark and any member of the 'Cult of the Shark'. What kind of extra game play will we see from these two species? What tricky moves will each character have - the shark and the man?
The shark can bite, power bite (for out of water and aerial attacks), ram, shake and horizontal tail flip. You can interact with anything in the world, so you can drag, push, pull, flip and destroy anything you want. As a Cult of the Shark member you can also operate machinery such as forklift trucks, cranes and boats, as well as using objects in your inventory to repair and manipulate things. The shark attacks are very vicious, and as you progress through the game and the shark mutates you can take on more dangerous prey and do more dramatic damage, such as smashing holes in ocean liners and ripping humans apart like twigs!
Well, you've probably guessed our main question - will we be able to eat people being a shark? With bones crunching, with blood all over the place, which will give the game “Mature” rating?
You will definitely be able to eat people, flip them around, rip their limbs off, bite a leg off and throw them back to the beach! We have a very advanced blood particle system in place also, so if you have the gore option turned up then you’ll have blood patches all over the water as well as on any boats / other people / items nearby! As well as graphically, of course there are the amazing sound effects of the crunching bone and the chilling screams! We are pleased with our rag doll system as it is at the moment, and we have even more cool features to add into it to allow you to rip smaller chunks out of people when you bite into them!
It would be a mistake to miss asking about the technology behind the game. Who has created the engine that you’re using in Bloody Waters? What can you tell us about the physical model of your game and, what’s even more important, about the model of fluids as your game is all about them too?..
The engine is developed in house by our team of dedicated programmers and runs on multiple platforms. We're constantly researching new techniques and trying them out. The physics system applies to every object in the game world. Each has appropriately modeled buoyancy, weak spots and break points. So for example you can tear a limb from a human and knock someone off a pier with it! Or you can grab debris from one boat to smash a larger boat, or a human! You can also set things on fire and make things explode. The water system is based on similar techniques used in the film industry like Perfect Storm and Finding Nemo, only lower resolution and running in real time. The water physics and rendering takes account of wind direction, wave choppiness, water depth, reflection, colour transmission and it will never repeat.
Last but not least – do you have any expectations when the game will see the light of day? Are you going to surprise us with the demo version before Bloody Waters’ release?
The game is scheduled for completion in Q4 of 2004, but the ultimate decision on release date is down to the publisher. We'll be regularly updating our web site with news and videos of Bloody Waters and perhaps a demo closer to the release date!
Thank you very much for your time and effort! We wish you all the best and, please, remember – we’re watching you :)
Thanks for talking to us, be sure to keep an eye on the http://www.pineapple-interactive.com waters!