PSU Interview: The Golden Compass
- Posted August 22nd, 2007 at 23:55 EDT by
- 7 Comments
The Golden Compass game is an adaptation of the novel and the movie. You play as Lyra, and together with your polar bears and companian Pantalaimon, you must use the magical compass to find your way through the mysterious world and rescue your friend from The Gobblers.
PSU was given the chance to interview the lead designer of The Golden Compass, Dax Berg. Thanks go out to him and the Shiny Entertainment team for answering our questions.
PSU: How closely will The Golden Compass video game follow the movie or book? Will there be added side stories and characters?
Specific gameplay areas are intended to be extensions of the Screenplay adaptation while other areas expand upon interaction in environments that are only in the book. There are a few places in these additions that we take slight liberties with to provide a solid “game environment” but first and foremost we tried to keep with the locations from the book and its screenplay. More depth is added to many of the minor characters but for the most part we felt it important to stick to Pullman’s vision.
PSU: How will transitioning work for changing from one character to another?
Some gameplay environments are Lyra and Pan specific while others are full Iorek combat moments. There are also a few levels that are a mix of both. For example, Lyra can dismount Iorek and move into locations he cannot access, which enable Lyra to accomplish immediate goals. The player can then go back to Iorek and continue on their path.
Transitioning from one playable character to another is part of the unique gameplay experience. An example would be where Lyra has to reach a certain location and Iorek will help toss her to areas she could not reach on her own. This involves interactively timed button presses which help to make character transitions more enjoyable. After the character transition is complete the player is now fully in control of Lyra and gameplay continues.
PSU: What unique abilities will these characters have and how can the players use them to accomplish tasks or defeat enemies?
When the player takes on the role of Lyra, they play as both Lyra and Pan - one cohesive unit. Pan can shape- shift into many different forms, all of which perform a unique set of tasks for the player. In the traversal aspect of play, using Pan’s variety of forms allows the player access to areas that Lyra could not reach without Pan’s help. Shifting from one form to the next while moving across familiar (and unfamiliar universe environments) provides a very entertaining gameplay element. Pan can become 4 animal daemon shapes including a hawk, which allows Lyra to glide across areas that might be too far to jump. An ermine, which helps her to balance on unstable or narrow beams. A wild cat, that enables her to climb up walls. And a sloth form that, like a monkey, gives her the ability to swing from platform to platform. When a player controls Iorek gameplay shifts into a more interactive 3rd person combat game with attack combos and special action throws.
PSU: How many players does The Golden Compass support? Will there be co-op?
When looking at the time frame and how important it was to come out at the time of the movie’s premiere, we made sure our focus would be to help tell Pullman’s story in an interactive format. Multiplayer was obviously an initial design concept but not as an important priority as the experience itself so we decided to focus on that.
PSU: Will there be any kind of online play for The Golden Compass?
No (see above)
PSU: It's been mentioned that The Golden Compass will support SIXAXIS - it's one of the ways for balancing Lyra as she crosses platforms. How else have you utilised the controller?
SIXAXIS is used in many of the Lyra and Iorek interactive Mini-Games. We are also currently testing ways to use SIXAXIS as part of Lyra’s Deception abilities.
PSU: It's been revealed that there will be two exclusive locations in the game that are not seen in the movie. Where are these locations and can ... (continued on next page)
- 1:00pm EDT - August 22nd, 2007
I'm not sure if this is a game I will play, but it is a good game for getting the younger kids playing.
- 1:44pm EDT - August 22nd, 2007
I wasn't a fan of LOTR or Narnia, but I'll keep my mind open about this game. It could be good.
- 3:57pm EDT - August 22nd, 2007
I like how they say " You can look foward to the game coming out on 360, PC etc." Actually....no I dont. I look forward to it being a PS3 exclusive so that I know it will run smooth and look great.
- 8:44pm EDT - August 22nd, 2007
Hmmm...the game looks decent. As long as its not buggy I am okay with it.
- 11:51pm EDT - August 22nd, 2007
um wttf are they thinking relaseing games on all platforms it just means grahpics are gonna be shiiity as look at it to me i wouldnt even say it looks like ps2 matierial
- 7:32am EDT - August 23rd, 2007
I'm a big fan of The His Dark Materials trilogy, but I am slightly scheptical whether this videogame conversion will do the books justice. In fact this game probably would have never been developed without prominence of the Golden Compass(Northern Lights) film. It seems like a trend these days, as soon as the word gets around that a potential blockbuster is in the works, publishers belch out a rather average and rushed game to make a quick buck off the success of the film. Business is business I suppose.
- 11:16am EDT - August 23rd, 2007
I hope gameplay is alot better than the GFX.
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