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PSU Interview: Lair

1 May 2007

PSU recently had the chance to interview with Factor 5’s co-founder and president, Julian Eggebrecht about his inspiring new game called ‘Lair’ for PlayStation 3.

What is the story behind the characters and civilizations at war in Lair?

The Asylians and Mokai split many generations ago over different interpretations of god. Both left their place of origin and settled at opposite ends of the continent. When the game starts, the world is on the brink of starvation due to water and food shortages, which are being caused by a global warming of sorts. Volcanic activity has ravaged especially the Mokai land and the war breaks out due to their desperation. Your hero, Rohn, is part of the Asylian military. He is an ace pilot in a squadron of so-called “burners”. With their dragons, these guys support the troops from the air and on the ground.


What sort of fiction did you take your inspiration from for the design of the dragons and some of the other creatures we've seen? Any other games that inspired the artists?

We deliberately tried to not be inspired by one specific take on dragons. There was a very deliberate attempt to make our dragons in a believable way, as if Evolution simply took a different turn and these creatures evolved. In fact we used this approach for all of our fantastic creatures, as opposed to mining other media, games, or references. We did compare our dragons to depictions in movies and games, but only to verify that we were unique and didn’t accidentally use elements used elsewhere.


How do you feel about possibly being the first game to really show what the PS3 can do? What would you say to developers not taking advantage of its potential at all?

I certainly would say so as to one game showing all. You do see nice Cell usage in some games, you do see the graphics hardware stretched in others, and there are games out there using the Sixaxis a bit, but there is no game that brings it all together in one package. That’s what we are trying to do with Lair.


Will there be any customization with the dragons or characters? If so, can you give some examples?

I would give away plot-points if I would tell you, so sorry!


How many different enemy creatures do you have planned for Lair?

There are quite a few – there is a whole range of ground army types, horses, and more advanced beasts like the Taurus and elephant-like warbeasts. In the air, we have flying mantae filled with Hydrogen, different dragon races and types, and several types of spider-like flying insects.


Will there be destructible environments and if so to what extent?

You can set things on fire, and oftentimes you can also destroy them. It really depends on the environment, but in one area you can lay waste to a whole city.


Do you plan to incorporate other modes outside of the single player campaign?

As for multiplayer modes, no, we are keeping that for potential sequels. We try to give you as much replay value as possible due to an advanced medal and rewards system, though.


What features/items do you have planned for PlayStation Home? Can you give us an example of one of the trophies that players can earn for their trophy showroom?

If you watched Phil Harrison’s keynote at GDC, there were quite a few Lair-related things in his Home-demo. I think we glimpsed a dragon trophy there. But there will be more…


Will there be downloadable content for Lair after the game releases?

We would love to pick up story strings that had to be dropped due to our schedule; those levels would fit right in and would make the game into a true director’s cut. In addition, we are talking about new armor types and other upgrades to help the player. Well, and then there is of course the issue of additional dragon types. It all really depends on the success of the initial Blu-ray release.


Do you plan on releasing a demo on the PSN before the game ships? If so, when can we expect to see it?

I don’t know about the “when” just yet, but I expect that we will do a demo.


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