Interviews// World In Conflict Developer: Martin Walfisz

There is a huge contrast when war comes to town...

Posted 19 Apr 2007 18:15 by
World In Conflict Developer: Martin Walfisz
World In Conflict Developer: Martin Walfisz
SPOnG recently caught up with the Massive, the developers, of one of the most exciting looking PC games of 2007 ? the ground-breaking, alternative-reality, cold-war-gone-hot, strategy game World in Conflict. We chatted with founder and president, Martin Walfisz, (pictured) of the Vivendi-owned Massive Studios in Sweden.

Alongside EA's Crysis, World in Conflict is undoubtedly one of the most highly anticipated PC titles of the year. Aside from the fact that after a brief demo and playtest with the game it stands out a country mile from previous real-time strategy (RTS) titles, it is also at the forefront of Microsoft's new ?Games For Windows? initiative.

In addition to featuring the most realistic and catastrophic nuclear explosions and mushroom clouds I?ve ever seen outside of my childhood nightmares, the game truly promises to open up the real-time strategy genre to a new, wider audience. Here?s what the man from Massive had to tell us.

SPOnG: Hi, Martin, before we go on to talk more about World in Conflict, what is your role at Massive? Who is Massive?

Martin Walfisz: Sure, I?m the founder and the president. Massive has been around for around ten years, we started in the spring of 1997. From the beginning we said we wanted to make the best games in the world, with a focus on action-oriented strategy games ? so looking at the action and combat elements of strategy instead of the economic and simulation aspects of strategy (which is where most RTS games still lie today). So, Ground Control was our first title, out in 2000. No one in the team had ever made a game before that, and most of us, including me, hadn?t had a job before ? so that was an interesting learning experience. Ground Control 2 came out in 2002, then after that we took a lot of time thinking about what we wanted to do next, which eventually became what is now World in Conflict.

SPOnG: I noticed the strapline for World in Conflict is ?war is coming home?. Where did that come from?

Martin Walfisz: Basically, we came up with it a while ago. We thought that it has a lot of different meanings. The most direct meaning is that war is coming home to your computer? so, you can play the war in question on your PC at home. Obviously another immediate meaning is that war is coming home to where you are and where you live. A lot of the story of the game ? the war plays out in Europe as well as in America ? so, it?s really ?war is coming home to where you live? ? so, those are the ideas behind the tagline.

SPOnG: So, you?re currently at the alpha stage, when?s the game due to come out?

Martin Walfisz: We?re just at pre-alpha. The official release date is for sometime this year but we?ll announce a more concrete date pretty soon. I?m pretty confident we?ll make [this year].

SPOnG: And how long?s it been in development now?

Martin Walfisz: Well we started doing some early prototyping of the concept in early 2005 and then went into production in May ?05, so it?s been in development almost two years.

SPOnG: It?s very Hollywood, very Spielberg-esque isn?t it? This was my first impression when I saw the game. The environments, which we?ll come onto in a bit and the whole look and feel of it generally.

Martin Walfisz: Yes, that?s exactly what we set out to achieve, that ?small town, heartland USA? feel. Hollywood has over a hundred years? experience of creating deep emotional experiences and as a game developer that is what we also want to achieve. We want to invoke deep emotions in the people playing our games. And that is one aspect where we create an environment ? small town USA, small town Europe ? where the war really has very little to do with that environments. There is a huge contrast when war comes to town, and that contrast, in a virtual environment, is very interesting for players to explore. Obviously, in reality it?s nothing you would ever want to experience!
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