Q&As// The Club's Nick Davies and Matt Cavanagh

We had untextured environments and characters made of cardboard boxes

Posted 16 Apr 2007 16:31 by
What do you get when you get Bizarre and Sega sitting in a tree? K-I-S-S-I-N-G, of course. But also, you get an awesome game. That awesome game was Metropolis Street Racer in 2000, with its perfect representation of major cities, compositions and pure arcade nature in Kudos points. It’s a setup that’s served its spiritual sequels Project Gotham Racing well.

After a time apart, the two teams join forces again to develop The Club, described as a shooter purely focused on fast-paced action rather than ducking round corners and strategising. A “Project Gotham Racing for guns”. This is out-and-out futuristic gangland-esque warfare.

The premise is a deadly sport that occurs on the outskirts of town. Influential ‘moneymen’ with too much cash to splash bid on which contestants (‘prey’) can survive against designated killers (‘hunters’) and for how long - for kicks and giggles, you understand.

Is Bizarre making a big socio-political statement here or does it simply like reading Stephen King and watching Arnie movies? SPOnG spoke to Bizarre Creation’s Design Manager, Nick Davies and Lead Designer Matt Cavanagh to learn a bit more about the action shooter.

SPOnG: The premise sounds like a cross between your own example of ‘Fight Club with guns’ and that Arnie film The Running Man. What inspired you to create a story and setup of this nature?

Nick Davies: Funnily enough neither Fight Club or Running Man were inspirations, it just kind of happened that when we tried to explain the concept everyone said ‘ohhh like Fight Club with Guns?” and we were to lazy to correct them. It sounded good, meant we didn’t have to explain it too much, so everyone was happy.

Matt Cavanagh
Matt Cavanagh
Matt Cavanagh: Well, the game was developed from the ground up, gameplay first with no intellectual property (IP). The original prototype we made had untextured environments and characters made of cardboard boxes.

The point was to nail the gameplay first, and attach an IP/story later. We took a step back and looked at what we'd created and the underground blood sport back-story seemed to fit right into place.


SPOnG: How many levels can we expect to see in the game and how will they be structured? Could we see certain features or environment hazards per stage to use alongside your heavy artillery?

Nick Davies: Numbers wise I don’t think we’re allowed to say, although we will say that it’s significant! [smiles] Using the environment to your advantage will definitely play a big part of the game, each environment is very different to the last, with its own style, pretty unique look and each with its advantages and disadvantages to the gameplay.

Matt Cavanagh: That's environments Nick's talking about there. For actual gameplay levels, we have a lot more: each environment has several levels within it.


SPOnG: Aside from the main premise of the game, what modes will there be on offer? We can see a continuous ‘survival’ mode going down well with gamers across the land.

Nick Davies: There are plenty of different modes to the single player game, each with their own way of completing them, but all heavily centred around the idea of killing for points. You’ll find some modes you’re very much trying to stay alive, where others it’s more about reaching an objective, it’s a nice mix of game modes, split up into replayable and bite sized chunks.
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Comments

The Absinthe Review Network 17 Apr 2007 13:28
1/1
"A real 'Sega' game"...ahhh, that's all you needed to say, really. If this is a hit I can only see momentum building strongly from this. I look foward to the day Sega returns to their glory days of cheap thrills with mega-explosions and pick-up-and-play gameplay styles.

And with the rapidly growing fanbase of HIGHLY casual gamers (thanks largely to Nintendo and their newb-friendly Wii titles), why not? I enjoy stealth titles, but really, the genre is becoming rather stale in my opinion. And what game these days doesn't have a tiresome 10-hour tutorial before you get to some actual...you know, GAMEPLAY?

And you thought the age-old concept of "points" was gone forever didn't you? Ha! Think again!
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