Today we talk to the big guy behind Pariah, a game set to revolutionize the first person shooter genre.
Q-GameTactics: So, what is the story of Pariah and how will it unfold?
A-James Schmalz: You play Jack Mason, a military doctor in the year 2520 who has been called down on a routine transfer mission to escort a prisoner who you have been told has a virus. You are supposed to take her off planet to a medical facility. All routine and simple. Except that as you are transferring her off, you get shot out of the sky and go crashing down into the wastelands around the prison. So, your first goal is to try to survive and get Karina, the prisoner, and yourself back to safety. As things unfold, you begin to find out more about her, the virus and what is really going on at the prison.
Q-GameTactics: How long has Pariah been in development for?
A-James Schmalz: Let’s see…a little over 3 years.
Q-GameTactics: Will the cutscenes be ingame or pre-rendered cg movies?
A-James Schmalz: In game…we’re really proud of how well our in-game cinematics turned out. With technology being as good as it is these days in-game cutscenes can come very close to CG and are quite a bit more economical.
Q-GameTactics: Have you hired voice actors to help convey the story?
A-James Schmalz: Definitely. We went to New York to do the voice-over recording and we had a great talented group of actors that were able to capture each of the characters well.
Q-GameTactics: What will the physics be like?
A-James Schmalz: We have integrated the Havok physics engine into the Unreal technology that we’re using and we’ve had great results. Between the ragdolls, destructible objects in levels and the vehicle physics there’s a lot of fun to be had.
Q-GameTactics: What brought you to the idea and inspiration behind Pariah?
A-James Schmalz: I think people subconsciously draw inspiration from everything around them. Books, we read, movies we like, cool art and other great games. I don’t think I could think of specific inspirations. I know we wanted to create a new world, something that allowed us to have a lot of action and flexibility and be able to tell interesting stories and have cool, kick ass weapons. To create a universe that we can base a whole new series of games off of.
Q-GameTactics: Have you thought of turning this game into a series with several sequels in the future?
A-James Schmalz: With the way the industry is now, it just makes business sense to create game ideas that lend themselves to becoming a franchise.
Q-GameTactics: Will Pariah have any unique weapons such as a gravity gun?
A-James Schmalz: We have a futuristic setting so we can take a few more liberties with our weapon design and make them pretty exciting and different. Of course, the big difference is that they are upgradeable. For instance, we have a Grenade Launcher. Sounds pretty standard, but it is pretty sweet as you upgrade it. In its default form, you can toss out a grenade at high velocity and great distances and it’s very deadly. But as you upgrade it, you get a remote detonator for it, then it becomes a mag grenade launcher. The grenade becomes a very powerful magnet sucking up bits of metal and debris as it flies through the air. The longer it flies, the more crap it picks up. Once it finally lands you can remote detonate it and send all the shrapnel it accumulated ripping into the enemies nearby. So, no weapon is standard by any means. All are versatile and unique as they become upgraded.
Q-GameTactics: Do you plan on supporting the PC modding community?
A-James Schmalz: We love the community and are always excited to see what they’ll come up with when we hand out the tools we use. The editor will be included in the PC version along with the less intensive "MAP Editor" for people who may be intimidated by the full editing tools.
Q-GameTactics: Can players on PC, PS2 and Xbox join the same multiplayer servers and play together?
A-James Schmalz: Unfortunately that’s not possible because of the platform differences as well as the different manufacturers. It’s not likely that Sony and Microsoft would want any crossover with their platforms.
Q-GameTactics: Have you thought of bringing Pariah into the world of competitive gaming and E-Sports?
A-James Schmalz: It’s not something that was at the front of our minds when we started the project but we’d be happy if that came out of it.
Q-GameTactics: When porting it from PC to consoles will there be anything changed or removed from the game?
A-James Schmalz: In general the game will be the same across all the platforms but technically modified and optimized for each platform along with interface changes based on the platform.
Q-GameTactics: Will the PC version of Pariah require high system specs?
A-James Schmalz: We want as many people as possible to be able to play Pariah so we specifically tried to stay within reasonable system specs. Anyone who can play UT2003 on their PC will definitely be able to play Pariah.
Special thanks again to James and Meridith for their time. You can catch Pariah when it hits store shelves this May.