Ghostbusters: The Videogame Interview

The development of Ghostbusters: The Videogame may have been in jeopardy for a short while after Vivendi dropped the project following its merger with Activision last summer, but its future has never been in doubt for the developer Terminal Reality, who has been working frantically over the past few years on capturing the likenesses of the original cast and the spirit of the Ghostbusters brand. With Atari stepping forward to take over publishing duties for one of the most recognizable franchises in the world, Ghostbusters The Videogame is now finally set to launch in June to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the original movie.

With original actors Bill Murray, Dan Ackroyd, Ernie Hudson and Harold Ramis lending their voices and faces for the game and a brand new script set after the event of Ghostbusters II, Ghostbusters The Videogame promises a whole host of new trials and tribulations for the leading paranormal ghost busting team.

We caught up with Terminal Reality’s Executive Producer, Brendan Goss to find out how development on Ghostbusters: The Videogame is progressing.

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PSU: By taking on such a famous franchise comes high expectation, how has the development team coped with the pressure?

Goss: We knew from day one that there would be a great deal of pressure to do the franchise justice. Our primary goal has always been to deliver a gameplay experience as captivating as the films.

At the same time, everyone on the team recognized what a huge opportunity this was for the studio, and for each of us to leave our own mark on the Ghostbusters universe.

It gave us a huge boost when the talent and Sony pictures told us we had really hit the mark in terms of obvious passion and a truly authentic experience.

PSU: The story of Ghostbusters: The Videogame is set two years after the events in Ghostbusters II. Can you tell us more about the storyline and the game’s main playable character?

Goss: The Ghostbusters have done well for themselves and are now under contract with the city of New York. When the World of Gozer exhibit opens at the Museum of Natural History, the Ghostbusters once again find themselves called to action to save the Big Apple.

The Player has been hired by the team as the new experimental equipment technician, field-testing Egon’s latest and potentially “less stable” gadgets.

PSU: The Ghostbusters films were high on comedy value, but there were also a few scary moments (okay, so were kids at the time.) Can we expect any frights at all or is the action/script and visuals largely tongue-in-cheek?

Goss: The Ghostbusters have always taken themselves very seriously, with one possible exception--Dr. Venkman, please step forward--and we have preserved that, so we don’t do anything overtly slapstick ingame.

One of our development pillars is to ensure that every experience is Fun, Funny, or Scary. This drove design and we put significant effort into making sure that we could build and sustain tension and then pay it off with some pretty effective scares.

Mind you, Ghostbusters is a pretty friendly Teen-rated game in terms of content, so we go more for the shock moments and situations than any gore. At times it’s been a challenge to talk some of our team down from the splatter ledge!

PSU: We guess there’ll be a wide arsenal of funky weaponry and gadgets available to help us in the hunt to track down and capture the ghouls? Can you give us some examples of the equipment that will be available and the ways in which these can be used to bag the ghosts?

Goss: Oh yes. Doctors Spengler and Stanz have been very busy in the lab since ’89. A wide range of suitably esoteric equipment is made available to the player. From the original Proton stream to the new Meson Collider, Slime Tether, Boson Dart and much more, the player gets first crack at all the latest and greatest ‘busting equipment.

We have spent a great deal of time working with Dan Aykroyd to ensure that all of our equipment and science is true to the ... (continued on next page) ----

A gamer since the days of the ZX Spectrum, Steven Williamson now works as General Manager for PSU. He's supposed to be managing, but if you're reading this, it means he's dipped into editorial again.
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