Interviews// Wet Lead Designer, Ashraf Ismail

Someone bred a Tony Hawk game with Kill Bill

Posted 27 Apr 2009 16:34 by
Games: Wet
Ashraf Ismail
Ashraf Ismail
Wet, in case you missed it, is back from limbo. Having been lurking somewhere in the murky world of development no man's land having fallen victim to the Activision Blizzard culls last year, the game is now confirmed as safely under the Bethesda publishing umbrella.

Bethesda wasn't about to let this fact into the world by simply clogging the games industry's inboxes with press releases, either. The company, alongside its developer, A2M, showed the game off to myself and assorted members of the international games press down in That London last week.

It's looking good. In a nutshell, it's an acrobatic shooter featuring gun and swordplay with a Grindhouse style. It stars a hard-shooting mercenary with a mysterious (yes, mysterious!) past and at times looks like someone bred a Tony Hawk game with Kill Bill thanks to the acrobatic 'lines' you can follow. You can't give justice to a game (of any discernable quality, at least) in one paragraph, though. Luckily, there's a preview sat waiting to dish out justice by the clip-load right here. Back? Good.

Following the game's demonstration, I sat down with lead designer, Ashraf Ismail, over at the game's developer, A2M, to find out more about Wet.

Obviously Wet’s heavily influenced by grindhouse movies. Which in particular inspired the game?

Ashraf Ishmail: So, a lot of inspiration for Wet came, more recently, from Desperado, Kill Bill, Bulletproof. Those grindhouse movies; Rodriguez and Tarantino stuff. But even further, beyond that, we were looking at the ‘70s movies. The over-the-top, action movies. Cheesy characters, interesting dialogue – and that was something from the get-go that we’ve been inspired by.

We wanted the game to have this really ingrained style. That was something that was really important to us and we thought that was something that added to making it a different kind of shooter. There’s a ton of shooters out there and we wanted ours to stand out. That was one of the aspects – the style, and the acrobatic shooting.

In the really early planning stages, what was the high concept, or the hook, as far as you guys were concerned?

Ashraf Ishmail:From the beginning, the hook was a stylised, acrobatic shooter. That was kind of the goal that we had. We had that printed for us. ‘Stylised, acrobatic shooter’. And the style comes in the form of the story, the presentation. Even some of the gameplay – the Rage mode – takes on the grindhouse, over-the-top style (and the car-hopping, as well).

From the gameplay standpoint, the acrobatic shooting was something, as well, that was very important to us. We felt that was the crux of this game – as opposed to, maybe, some other shooters, where it was more of a ‘run behind cover, shoot’. We actually went for the opposite, where we said ‘let’s go the opposite route’, with lots of running, fluid movements, keeping the pace of the game with the flow of the action.

Even the arenas – we look at our arenas as skate parks. And that was, again, another methodology that we believed in – creating lines for acrobatics. And we felt that, as far as shooters go, this was something that was fresh and unique and just makes it feel a little different.

Again, we felt that, even with the shooting aspect, something like split targeting was putting a slightly new twist on a concept, that does give this aspect of ‘easy to pick up but hard to master’.

What engine is it running on?

Ashraf Ishmail: It’s running on our proprietary engine. This will be the first game released for this engine. We call it Gaia.

(Editor's note, the game also uses the Beast lighting engine from illuminate Games apparently. Illuminate Games also pops up, pardon the pun, in Killzone 2 and Genji Days of Blade to name another two).
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Games: Wet

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