It's been a year since our last talk with PlayTen/Burut on their upcoming next gen development The Wall, so we decided to get in touch with the team again and see what they have in store for us. The interview was conducted with screenwriter Vladimir Mamontov.
PSU: It's been a while since PlayTen and Burut Software last talked about their game, so we'd like to ask a few general questions to see if anything has changed. First off, are you guys sticking with the same title?
Vladimir: The title has remained unchanged.
PSU: Is the game still PlayStation 3 and PC only?
Vladimir: Now we plan to release “The Wall” for Xbox 360 as well.
PSU: Given that it has been almost a year since we last heard about The Wall, we’d like to refresh everyone’s mind and get the basic synopsis around game. What is the main story behind The Wall and who do you play as?
Vladimir: The game action takes place in the near future (2020-22). The world has been partly flooded because of the natural cataclysm. Four factions are struggling for the control of the remaining land. Blinded by mutual hatred, they do not see that their confrontation is just a shadow of a global war conducted by two mysterious forces vying for the ruins of a devastated world.
Now about the main character of the game. He is not the Chosen One and there is no responsibility for destiny of the word and civilization on his shoulders. He lives in a dynamic world, where life is setting the terms of the objectives which the main character faces.
His personal story unfolds against the background of the story of the dying world. Somewhere the destiny of the civilization interweaves with the destiny of the protagonist and, starting from certain moment, they go in parallel. Beside the history of the world and the main character, there are independent stories of different people and organizations, that to some degree affect or happen in the background of events in the main character's life.
PSU: What sets the engine that you've developed for The Wall apart from other heavily-licensed engines such as the Unreal Engine 3? And what is unique about the engine that makes it well suited for what you're trying to do?
Vladimir: For implementation of our project we use GameBryo – a modern and powerful cross-platform 3D engine. Such brilliant games as “Oblivion TES 4”and “Sid Meier’s Pirates!” have been created on this engine. We’ve decided to use GameBryo because we wanted to make a modern hi-tech cross-platform game with splendid graphics.
PSU: Has there been anything specific that the PlayStation 3 has enabled you to do with The Wall that might be difficult to accomplish on other hardware?
Vladimir: PS3 sensor system will greatly influence the gameplay of “The Wall”. Unfortunately, other platforms cannot boast similar option. On the other hand, each platform has its own peculiarities, which we thoroughly consider while working on the project.
PSU: In our past interview, there was mentioned the ability for players to customize their weapons. How will this feature work and can you give a few examples?
Vladimir: While working on “The Wall”, we have decided that this feature, in its origin, will not fit into the logic of the gameplay. However, on the other hand, we do not want to deprive the players of an extra feature. Currently, there is a new approach to the customization of weapons being developed. We will try to add this feature to the reality of “The Wall” setting without disturbing the world atmosphere.
The new weapon modification feature will be developed taking into account this option as seen in Stalker: Shadow of Chernobyl. We consider it to be a flawed example of a good idea. So we're trying to learn from that.
PSU: Do you still plan on keeping the game at 8GB or have plans changed?
Vladimir: We have not defined system requirements yet and it is too early to speak about it.
PSU: What aspect of the game are you most excited about?
Vladimir: I am attracted by dynamic alterations of gameplay styles and most of all by the recognizable world. Today's world. The world we know and see everyday, walking along the street... The world, where in ruined buildings we recognize the outlines of familiar shops and offices. “The Wall” is a living world, where all enthusiasts of post-apocalyptical games will find their niche. Perhaps, this is what I mostly like about our game. Other members of the team have other preferences though. Tastes differ...
PSU: How many weapons and vehicles will be available in The Wall?
Vladimir: We have about 20 types of weapons and 15 types of vehicles. Plus a few types of stationary weapons. Of course, some changes are possible later on.
PSU: In our last interview you mentioned that there will be multiplayer. Can you go into more detail on what you have planned? Will there be online/offline Co-op and how many players and modes do you plan for online multiplayer?
Vladimir: At this stage we are trying different technologies and solution to this aspect of the game. There are a few visions of this matter. When we tune these approaches on the prototype and select the most interesting one, we will make sure to tell you about it.
PSU: Will the game utilize SIXAXIS controls?
Vladimir: Yes, “The Wall” will use SIXAXIS controls. [However] SIXAXIS support and other technical details specific for PS3 version are covered by our NDA with SONY.
PSU: What is the max resolution and frame-rate planned for The Wall?
Vladimir: By far, it is difficult to answer.
PSU: Have you looked at incorporating the new PlayStation Eye and Microsoft's Xbox Live Vision Camera for multiplayer and if so how will it be utilized?
Vladimir: No, we did not consider it yet.
PSU: When should we expect The Wall to ship to stores?
Vladimir: Only when everything that we have planned is implemented. We will not sacrifice quality to the fast production.
Once again thank you for this opportunity and looking forward to hearing more on The Wall!