Q&As// Geoff Thomas: Scarface On Nintendo Wii

Nail the experience of being Tony Montana

Posted 11 May 2007 17:00 by
In the SPOnG offices, the only thing that gives orders is balls. But we don’t listen to our balls much these days anyway. The point is we’re all such big movie fans here that when Scarface: The World Is Yours initially arrived on PS2, PC and Xbox last year we were mightily impressed. It’s rare that a developer could take the time to not simply make a straightforward tie-in game, but to make a separate product that extends the story of the original. In this instance, by allowing players to survive the mansion shootout and play beyond the film’s original story while still being faithful to the Scarface world was something else. It played well too, which helped.

Now Vivendi is giving it another go, by porting The World Is Yours to the console everybody’s either talking about or trying to get – the Wii. With a sufficient dearth of ‘hardcore’ games for the system at the moment, Scarface could be just what Nintendo aficionados need, with added features and better graphics than the PS2 or XBOX versions (about time someone used the extra horsepower of the Wii). But is another port really necessary? We speak to the game’s producer Geoff Thomas to find out what it is about the Wii edition that makes it so special.


SPOnG: First, could we get a little background information on yourself? What interested you about working on video games and how did you get into the industry?

Geoff Thomas: My name is Geoff Thomas and I’m the Producer on the Wii edition of Scarface: The World Is Yours. I’ve been a gamer since the C64 days, so working in game development is pretty much a dream come true. I studied film production in university, which proved to be an excellent basis for getting a start in game development.

My first game job was that of Assistant Producer at a studio here in Vancouver. Vancouver is a great place to get into game development. There are over 30 developers in town, ranging from next-gen studios as big as Radical to small studios focusing on mobile games. Vancouver has one of the highest concentrations of game studios in North America, which makes it a fantastic place to be because the development community is really strong.


SPOnG: To work on a game adaptation of a classic movie must bear a lot of pressure on you guys. How difficult was it to try and faithfully recreate the world of Scarface?

Geoff Thomas: Our goal with Scarface: The World Is Yours since Day One has been to absolutely nail the experience of being Tony Montana. Every time we thought about missions, characters, and locations in the game we put ourselves inside his head and asked ourselves, ‘What would Tony Montana do?’ to ensure that our choices come from the right place.

Tony is an unpredictable, violent, and comical guy, and this shines through in everything that he does. He also has a strong moral code. He doesn't think twice about taking down people who are in his way or trying to put him down, but he won't kill innocents (e.g. pedestrians, women, children). In fact if the player tries to, Tony will pull his arm back and call you on it.
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