North America: Now
Europe: March 2004
Developer: Galilea
Publisher: The Adventure Company

Interview by: M. Brewer

Could you please introduce yourself for our readers - who you are and what your involvement is with Jack the Ripper.

Hi ! My name is Philippe Gaudé, I’m the Producer of Jack The Ripper.

Can you give a brief summary of what the game is about?

Jack The Ripper is a first person adventure thriller. The game features highly detailed 360° backgrounds, a cast of colorful interactive realtime 3D characters and a easy to handle point’n’click interface.

Here is the story line :

1901. While writing a serie of articles about horrible murders in the Low Side District of New York, a young reporter James Palmer will soon become involved in a game of cat and mouse with an illusive and deadly character - Jack the Ripper.

Beginning with the search of witnesses to the crimes, Palmer's snooping will soon lead him to investigate suspects. Along Palmer's dark journey in the murder district, he will foster a friendship with a young singer, Abigail, the "Irish Nightingale," and meet numerous colorful characters. His daily editorials trigger the interest of the serial killer, who begins to correspond with him...

There have always been a lot of rumors surrounding Jack the Ripper and the sudden halt to his murders, one of the theories that is often named is that he left to America - was the game influenced by this or any other existing Ripper theory?

Definitly. There are many ripperologist theories stating that the ripper left for America or was an american. The goal of a good “what if” story is to be believable, so the writer, Florence Roche, used a lot actual theories as a support to build the story. The excellent site www.casebook.org has proven invaluable for reference material.

Were any actual historical locations or facts used in the game or is it all pure fiction?

The locations have been designed specially for the game, but we conducted extensive research to catch the exact “look and feel” of turn-of-the-century New York. Manhattan had several poor districts where thousands of immigrants arrived every day and lived in hardship. Our team of excellent 3D artists has done a very good job creating believable environments.

Which other game in the adventure genre could you compare Jack the Ripper to?

Jack The Ripper is a thriller and focuses on the mood of the story. So when it comes to the mood, the closest adventure game is probably Post Mortem from Microïds and The Adventure Company.

Does the game progress like a standard adventure where the player follows a linear path to the ending, or are there some plot twists/alternate endings?

During this game, you’ll be guessing all the time while following the various leads and making your way through the plot twists. There’s only one ending, but you won’t get there straight away!

At the E3 last year a trailer was shown which featured some amazing voice/song talent. Later movies also featured great voice acting. Were any actors cast for the characters?

Sound and voices are something we’ve cared about since the very beginning of Galiléa. All characters are played by professional voice actors in each country. They have been very good at giving life to the characters.

Is the song featured in the E3 trailer, self composed or an existing tune?

The song “Three Ravens” is an old irish ballad from 16th century. It fitted so well with the story that we kept it as is. And perfomer Djazia Satour brought it to life in such an amazing way.

In a game such as this where suspense is a key part of the gameplay, music is very important. Can you tell us something about the music produced for the game?

As usual, our fellow Yan Volsy did a terrific job composing Jack The Ripper score, as well as doing the sound design.

Besides good voice talent and a good story, what was done to bring the game world to life and make the game more immersive.

The low side district is a small community you will have to discover and become part of. Places have their daily and nightly activities – which can be quite different. You will slowly enter in this community, and your status will change, from the” intruder” to.. well, you’ll discover it by playing!

Obviously the Jack the Ripper case were some of the most gruesome murders in recorded history - will the game feature a lot of mature/bloody material as well?

Very few indeed. We chose to focus on suspense and suggestion rather than gore, and let the player imagination works. Indeed the game has been “T” rated. So I guess we did it!

Were there any memorable or funny moments during the development of the game?

The first playtest – you know, when you pick up a casual player who doesn’t know anything about the project, put her in front of a very rough work-in-progress version, and watch her playing. Then you do the same with another. And then you know what you guessed right and what you guessed wrong.

The game is now complete and is currently available in North American stores, when will the game be released to the European public?

Jack the Ripper is scheduled for a March 5th release in Europe. The wait is nearly over!