Features// Haze's Rob Yescombe & Derek Littlewood - The Outtakes

Posted 17 Aug 2007 16:44 by
Games: Haze
Derek 'Sizzlin' Littlewood
Derek 'Sizzlin' Littlewood
Not all interviews go smoothly for interviewer and (or) interviewee. This can often result in single-word answers with ‘industry figures’ who appear to believe that the ‘punter’ (you) should just get the kind of corporo-speak, banalities and even lies that they think you deserve.

Then there are interviews such as this one with Rob Yescombe and Derek Littlewood of Haze developer, Free Radical, which are totally the opposite and entail having to cut some of the more amusing – and occasionally controversial – content from the main feature.

Rob Yescombe
Rob Yescombe
This is why we’re proud to present SPOnG’s historic first ever ‘Interview Outtake’.

Those readers lacking in the following senses might like to move on now:
1) Humour.
2) Irony.
3) Balance in terms of platform loyalty.
4) Humanity.

For everyone else – here’s your bonus feature:


SPOnG: Is there going to be any Sixaxis functionality in Haze?

RY: I think it's unlikely at this stage, to be honest. It arrived a little bit too late in development in terms of it being something we were able to use.

Wait... what the hell am I talking about? I thought you were talking about the Rumble pack!

Sixaxis? Maybe. We're still looking at it.

SPOnG: So, what about the Rumble pack?

RY: It came along too late.

SPOnG: But it's confirmed?

RY: No! Definitely not!

SPOnG: So, that's what it'll be? A pack? How will it fit into the controller?

RY: I don't know. I presume they'll reissue controllers or something. I have no idea.

SPOnG: Have you got one here?

RY: No. We haven't seen it.

SPOnG: But you know it's coming?

RY: Well, I'm just working off the Internet. I haven't got any extra information that anybody else doesn't have.


Downloadable Content

RY: We'll also be giving away free money... and downloadable prostitutes, as well.

SPOnG: Are they going to work with the rumble?

RY: No, but they will work with the Sixaxis.



SPOnG: Are there any churches in there?

DL: Churches? Oh...

RY: We've got Mother Theresa's house, one of the playable characters is God, we've got Jesus doing a flying kick, Osama Bin Laden is the hero.

DL: Curtis, one of our old animators, had this idea for a game – was it called Deity Fight... something like that. And you just take all the world's major figures of worship, and have a one on one beat-'em-up where they fought each other.

SPOnG: That sounds like a conversation we had down at the pub last week.

RY: Actually, it was Jesus that did the world's first dragon punch, if you read the Old Testament.

SPOnG: I thought that was Buddha, actually...

RY: No, that was Yoga fire, and Yoga inferno.

SPOnG: I was told that Jesus would kick Buddha's ass, but I'm not too sure.

RY: He (Buddha) could also do the 100-Hand slap. Mary Magdalene could do the spinning bird kick, as well. That's why she was so popular.

DL: Oh God...

RY: And that's all downloadable content in Haze.


Mortal Kombat

SPOnG: What would Jack Thompson's finishing move be?

RY: Spine Rip. No – the one where he pulls his mask off.

DL: I never played Mortal Kombat, you know?

RY: Really? It was impossible!

Bastard Sons

SPOnG: One thing I wanted to ask about one of the trailers: we decided in the office that Shane Carpenter (the main character) looks like the bastard clone of Brad Pitt and Jean-Claude Van Damme. Is that something you did intentionally?

RY: We were actually going for Oliver Gruener crossed with Dolph Lundgren.

DL: It's a real guy! We took a 3D face scan and put the guy in the game.

RY: Who is the bastard love child of Brad Pitt and Jean-Claude Van Damme.

SPOnG: He's a good looking-chap.

RY: He told me to say “Hi”.

DL: So it was just an accident, whoever he turned out to look like.

RY: Originally he was going to be a cross between B.B. White and Woody Allen, but at the last minute...

SPOnG: Did Ubisoft step in?

RY: They wanted it to be Zed from Police Academy, and Jeffrey from Rainbow.

SPOnG: So, this was the compromise?

RY: This was the middle ground.

The Competition – Halo 3

DL: I'm not, personally, very fussed about getting into a comparison against Halo 3 because we'll inevitably get completely mauled in such a comparison, simply because Halo 3 generates such a lot of hype.

RY: Nerds! [Looks sheepish] I mean hype.

DL: At the end of the day, we've just tried to create something that's the best we can, and we'll let the gamers judge at the end of that. They don't need us sitting here going, “Ours is best, ours is best!” If you do something good, people can tell.


SPOnG: How complete is the game, then? It must be close if it's coming out in November.

RY: Two percent.

SPOnG: Two percent?

RY: [Points at screen] We just did that this morning... I wasn't even controlling it, it was just a video.


SPOnG: The Mantel guys look a bit like they're wearing European club wear, what's that all about?

RY: [Laughs] Because it was designed by a fetishist.



RY: On top of that, all the stuff about the narrative and the story has been another thing that we've tried to communicate. And the fact that – as I was saying at Ubidays - actors are only really interested in one of two things. That's either a lot of money, or a really good script.

Unfortunately, we didn't have a lot of money to give them, but we have a cast that's made up of the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, and those guys don't 'do games'. So, without talking about how brilliant I am, the fact that we've got that calibre of actor is some testament to how the script's pretty decent.

[Rob to Derek] I've been getting my arse completely kicked.

DL: [Picks up controller] Oh my word! It's the loudest thing ever!

RY: [Grins] Yeah, Haze is going to be the loudest game going.


More Nectar

SPOnG: So, Nectar is gameplay-led rather than narrative-led?

DL: Yeah. It was funny, cos... I'm not going to pretend we had this thing where sat there and had this amazing brainstorming session where we came up with everything at the same time, I mean we had several tracks that we were thinking of. But at the same time, we were saying, well, wouldn't it be great to ask players to question how they see war in games.

Nectar just became this thing that solved all these problems for us. It kind of came from all of them, but we started with: 'what would make an interesting multiplayer experience.'



DL: You have literally killed everyone.

RY: It's the object of the game!

Time Splitters

DL: The game was designed, right from the start, almost as a multiplayer. In some ways the multi-player was something we brought up first, rather than the single-player campaign.

Obviously with TS (Time Splitters) and everything, we've done a lot of multi-player gaming here at Free Radical, and we were saying we'd like to do something that rather than having the kitchen sink approach, which we had with TS, which was, "Let's just have as much stuff as possible and different modes, and different characters, and all these things."


[The door opens and another Free Radical staff member enters]

RY: Oooh! Sandwiches! Do you know what I've discovered? Walkers baked crisps. The mind boggles. Only 100 calories.
Beginners versus Salty

DL: I think that's the way we imagined it to be: beginners or less skilled players would go for the troopers, but then the more skilled players would go for rebels. Then when you get to the expert players there are actually advantages on both sides. So, the two balance out in the multi-player.

Thanks chaps!

Don't forget to read the massive interview here.
Games: Haze

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