It is quite logical that developers play games and all of them have their own tastes. In some definite moment, they just become tired of playing their favorite game and make a very important decision – to develop an original game with all those features they felt lacking in other games. Ukrainian studio “Boolat” always popularized unusual and unordinary points of view. After releasing its first project “Lethal Dreams: The Circle of Fate” developers from this studio very unexpectedly moved to the side of arcade racing. In the nearest future the newest game in this genre “Lagsters” - www.lagsters.com - is going to appear. What dish is it and how tasty will it be? That's what we tried to find out.
Gamer’s Hell: Hello! It would be interesting to know who you are, and how you you related to “Lagsters”.
Alexey Alekseyev – Director of “Boolat”.
Alexander Wyatkin – PR-manager of “Boolat”.
GH: ┬┬źLagsters┬┬╗... You are trying to be original from the very beginning, aren’t you? Why such a title? Arcade racing is always associate with crazy speed, people and trees passing quickly behind the window... It seems that the title of your game conflicts the idea – why is it so? In addition, what else is interesting – which other working titles did you choose from?
AA: Oh, now I even cannot remember all those working titles. But I remember that it was difficult indeed. For a long time our project had codename “Tunneling”. When the time to give the real title to the project finally came, we started picking among those we had in our minds, and when we thought of “Lagsters”, we understood immediately, that it is the thing we need.
GH: Let us recall your previous project – “Lethal Dreams”. An unusual game that demanded a particular way of looking and cast of mind. There were some rumors about a sequel for this project, but then! Why did you decide to make an arcade racing game your next project? Maybe there is someone in your team, who is a staunch defender of this genre and promoted the idea of “Lagsters”? Or, maybe is it a skillful commercial thought?
AA: We have two main projects now - “Lagsters” and “Northern World” (RPG). There are many lovers of such genre in “Boolat”. But we will never betray RPG or strategies. Now we're developing an RPG and making a conceptual development of the next project, which will be a strategy game with RPG elements...
GH: There's absolutely no doubt that the game will be full of new features and ideas. However, it is interesting to know something about the main differences of your game from other games of this genre, such as Tube, Ignition, Excessive Speed, Death Rally etc. We have already seen racing in tunnels (Tube). What is peculiar in your tubes? What is the main element that will make the “Lagsters” a project with interesting gameplay?
AA: It allures.
AW: You will not find a racing game with such vast set of multiplayer modes. You will not find a racing game with such graphical design of levels. You can make the car with your own hands – a big variety of basic cars models, engines and weapons is available for your needs. And, of course, one of the main distinctive features of the game is its physics. Do you know how spin dryer acts, how it pulls everything to its walls during the gyration? It is so in the game. You get gravitation all over the walls. You can drive as you wish. We got used to have the floor under our feet and the ceiling above our heads, and whatever you try - walking on the ceiling or on the walls is similar to insanity. But, in “Lagsters” you know only the surface under you, and wherever you head – you always stand strongly on your wheels.
GH: According to our intelligence data, the engine of the game has to be both powerful and accepting different PC configurations. How did you solve this problem? And, of course, it is interesting to know: is this engine your own brainchild, produced in Donetsk, Ukraine, or?
AW: Game engine was fully produced by “Boolat’s” programmers. As far we can predetermine now, it allows support for all the graphical features of powerful PCs. However, if you don't have such, then you should better turn off shadows, choose a lower resolution, but, believe us, you will not lose anything in gameplay. Although those, who have powerful video cards will get everything in full.
GH: The game offers many tracks. What is the source of your imagination and inspiration? Well, mines are native for your region, but you also have organic tracks? By the way, where is all the action taking place – is it our planet, future is now, or, nevertheless aliens or something?
AW: In the very beginning, we thought to make racing on toy cars somewhere in a sewer system. Then we changed the action place to far post-nuclear future, something like the world of “Mad Max” underground. That was the point when we became very imaginative. In this post-nuclear future, we decided to think out many yet non-existent places that will be almost forgotten antiquity for the racers of future. So appeared biotechnological tracks, Khrypthonium-511Z mines, underground slums and industrial tracks. There are 32 tracks in the game and all of them are made in one of the listed styles, or perform something mean, transition.
GH: How much will the levels differ from each other? Will it be only visual difference or will we see unique obstacles, traps etc. on each of them? Or maybe the car itself will behave in different ways on different levels?
AA: Of course, all these features will take place. You will not just drive through empty tunnels, differing only by color. Every style of track differs both in outward appearance and in its definite set of objects.
AW: Slums and sewers, for example, have walls made of bricks, covered with graffiti, and the entire track is filled with some barrels, boxes, better to say, trash. If you have a powerful weapon on your car, then you can destroy all these disturbing objects to have a free drive. The main thing is to be careful in shooting trash, or your opponents can make the same to you very quickly.
On biotechnological tracks, you can feel yourself inside of some intestines, the contents of which are you on your car, some bursting cocoons, and strange lighting bubbles. Besides that, all tracks are filled with different moving objects, such as conveying belts, working parts of machinery or huge fans that you should pass in the right time.
GH: Can you tell us more about cars in the game? How do they look and what can we do with them? Will there be any peculiar parameters we did not meet in other games? And something about the weapons, please.
AA: Cars are the matter of our pride in everything – from the graphical design to the design of the gameplay with them.
AW: All cars in the game are very different not only in their outward appearance, but also in their purpose. You can choose a military car, something like a mini armored troop-carrier, or racing car that has less weapon, but you will find the best engine and booster on it, or something multi-purpose. Between the races during the Championship, you get into the wonderful section “Garage”, where you can buy different parts and even assemble your own car. Right there you will learn everything about the weapons, about advantages of plasma guns and disadvantages of machine guns. There you will learn how electronic weapons act and how much you can upgrade the engine, booster, and armor, and how it will help you to get the better of your opponents.
GH: One of the first reactions for most people when they drive at an insane speed is to turn the music louder, and the music must be well matched for driving. What music will be featured in “Lagsters”? It is interesting to know, who wrote it? Was it some session musicians or did you use “Boolat’s” staff talents?
AA: Some people from staff, some – not. We do our best to make the game more attractive. As for me, when I turn the booster on (and I do it very often), my heart sinks and I cannot think about music in this moment, I just try not to crash.
AW: In common, there are 12 music tracks in three styles: rock, alternative and trance. It is just like with the cars – you choose what you need right now, and – gas!
GH: Quite a while ago multiplayer became a “standard” feature in most games. You have it, but we do not know much about it. What did you prepare for us? What will make our jaded game community happy?
AW: Right in multiplayer you will get a lot of interesting and delicious gameplay. We tried to use a few types of multiplayer for not to get into infinite loop of “be first on the finish – you are the winner”. You can be the best one in the game for many reasons – sometimes you have to destroy all your enemies or to collect a certain number of bonuses, or to outstrip your pursuers without any scratch on your car. You can be first not personally, your team may be the winner in team-mode race. There is enough place and modes for thrilling battles.
GH: I think that after opening all these secrets many of our readers are already waiting for the game disc with impatience. When will “Lagsters” appear?
AW: There is no exact release date, but from the looks of it it will be at the end of Q1 2004.
GH: Thanks a lot for your interesting answers; we cannot wait to try the game!
АW: Thanks a lot to you too! Very soon you will see and enjoy it!