Jan 17, 2009
NextGen Player Interview: Discussing WET with A2M
Recently, NextGen Player released exclusive game play footage of WET - an upcoming game from Montreal game developer A2M (Artificial Mind & Movement). There has been much talk regarding WET's unique and interesting concept and more importantly as to who will publish the game and when it's release date will be. As a follow up to the exclusive game play footage, NextGen Player had the opportunity to ask the team at A2M a few questions about the game and its development.
Enjoy this NextGen Player exclusive (much thanks to Sylvain Awad, Product Manager at A2M for facilitating the interview).
NGP: For those of our readers who aren't as familiar with WET, can you provide us with a synopsis of the background story in WET?
A2M: WET tells the story of Rubi, a ruthless all-action gun for hire problem fixer who one day agrees to find and bring back the kidnapped son of a prominent crime lord. She thinks it’s all cut and dry. The man who hired her isn’t who he appears to be. Double crossed and left for dead, Rubi declares all out war on the man who screwed her over! Leaving a massive body count in her wake, her search spans three continents and is packed with ruthless over the top action. Fast paced “balls to the wall” combat and death defying acrobatics keeps the adrenaline pumping from start to finish.
NGP: We recently showcased exclusive game play footage of WET on our site. A lot of people compared its slow motion gun play to past games such as Stranglehold and Max Payne. How would you say WET differs from them and other similar style games?
A2M: Wet is about seamlessly combining guns, sword and acrobatics in a way that’s never been done before. Players can shoot multiple enemies simultaneously with a split-targeting mechanism while performing death-defying acrobatics before closing in for devastating close-quarter sword attacks. This unique blend of game play ingredients is punctuated by a distinct visual style that will have players engrossed in a postmodern, “Grindhouse-style” experience. Plus we have a few more surprises up our sleeve that will be revealed soon.
NGP: Visually, WET has a very stylized look and feel to it. What was the inspiration behind this?
A2M: We wanted to capture the vibe of retro 70’s-action and spaghetti-western movies in a modern setting. This set the stage for a highly stylized, over-the-top action adventure with an ironic mix of humor and violence. It’s an unconventional approach that has allowed us to create a universe more conducive to the types of characters and situations we wanted to present, and helped to establish an overall game experience we believe is truly unique and memorable.
NGP: We're seeing a significant rise in lead female characters within video games. Was this trend a factor in deciding the lead character for WET would be a female?
A2M: Actually, no, we created Rubi long BEFORE the trend came about. We faced quite a few skeptics early on, but believed in Rubi as the heart and soul of WET from the very start. She's one of those iconic characters you can recognize just from her silhouette.
NGP: What are some of the other key game features of WET?
A2M: Beyond Rubi’s repertoire of acrobatic moves, she has the ability to shoot anytime and anywhere (from ladders, poles, etc.) along with an assortment of devastating sword attacks resulting in a deliciously high body count. We are also including exotic game play modes which are being kept secret for the moment…
A couple of exciting things we can talk about are that the story was conceived by Duppy Dimitrius, a writer for the “24” television series, also over an hour of original music has already been recorded with Brian Le Barton, music director and keyboard player for Beck, with support from musicians who play with other mega-bands, and with Outkast/Radiohead's Grammy-Winning engineer Darrell Thorp at the controls.
NGP: Recently at MIGS (Montreal International Game Summit), A2M touched on the creation of new tools and processes to enhance data intensive programming for future games. Can you talk more about this and how it was used for the development of WET?
A2M: In comparison to the previous generation of consoles, games for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 require larger and more complex models, shaders and special effects. Drawing upon its previous experience developing game engines in-house, we planned ahead by creating tools to address some of these issues. Some of what we showed recently at MIGS included a visual node-based tool developed to more easily create complex shaders, a special export process for surface detection, a system of flexible render layers allowing more control over rendering resulting in stunning full-screen post effects. These examples are just a fraction of the game development technology we created to bring WET to life.
NGP: What stage of development is WET in at this point?
A2M: We are in full production, approaching an Alpha status.
NGP: The big questions on many people's minds is if you've found a publisher and when this game will be released. Can you give any specifics?
A2M: We are in discussions with publishers and we will make an announcement as soon as is appropriate.