Summary: MAXUM Games' James E Jacoby talks about their upcoming fantasy action game that will be fully revealed later this year.
FiringSquad: First, can you give us a brief history of MAXUM Games?
James E Jacoby: MAXUM Games started in Florida over 5 years ago creating web and PC games. We were looking to enter the Xbox/PS2 market when we realized there were several development issues with 6th generation games. We analyzed and researched until we discovered a whole new way to develop games faster and in a less costly manner. We decided to take our new system, RTC, to Colorado and build a facility to create our fantastic Next-Gen games.
FiringSquad: Why did you decide to hook up with a professional author to create the storyline for the game?
James E Jacoby: We were scoping around for top writers who had experience and an established fan base in the game industry. We attended several conventions and found R.H. Stavis. With one of the longest lines that day at the BEA, plus her history with Tomb Raider, it was a perfect match.
FiringSquad: How did the idea for Demons of Mercy come about?
James E Jacoby: We approached R.H. Stavis to ask if she would be interested in writing a game for us. She informed us that she was currently working on a big comic series and said it would make a great game. We read the treatment and were blown away. Our team was immediately excited about all the new possibilities we could implement that have not been seen in games yet.
FiringSquad: What can you tell us about the main character in Demons of Mercy?
James E Jacoby: R.H. has riddled the story with some amazing surprises and twists - it's what she's best known for. What we can tell you is that Mercy Dawn is a gorgeous assassin. She was raised by the Yakuza and taught not only the art of assassination, but also seduction.
FiringSquad: It was mentioned to me at GDC that this game will be able to do flying like no other game. Can you comment more about your plans for this aspect of the game?
James E Jacoby: We can only comment on the fact that there are certain elements in the game where flying becomes more immersive, adaptive, and engaging. We did not want to make a game where the world would fly by while the vehicle rotates in the middle of the screen.
James E Jacoby: Outside the weaponry, the game's most unique feature is the three-tier solution design. Every level challenge of Demons of Mercy has three different ways to overcome them: brute force, deductive reasoning, and interactive puzzles. This open approach allows gamers to play the kind of game they want to play. It also allows for a great replayability factor to find out which solution was the best and see each unique consequence or outcome.
FiringSquad: What can you tell us about the type of art style you are developing for the game?
James E Jacoby: The game takes place in the near future and we are pushing the capabilities of Next-Gen with an unsurpassed level of detail and clarity. For the core elite areas, the game has an ultra modern lavish tone. For the surrounding areas, it is a very dark and demolished world. Color plays a very important role in the story, so we are very meticulous in the design and cinematography of the game.
FiringSquad: You are choosing to reveal a lot more about Demons of Mercy at the San Diego Comic Con instead of E3. Why did you decide to use Comic-Con as the big intro for your first game?
James E Jacoby: First and foremost, Demons of Mercy is a comic. We find it more appropriate to officially announce the game tie-in there rather than at E3. Comic-Con has over 100,000 fans attend every year and is open largely to the public; also, for those who can attend, we will be giving out exclusive items and other surprises there, which we cannot do at E3, since it isn't as largely open to the public.
FiringSquad: What is the current status of the game's progress and what is the current projected release date?
James E Jacoby: Our status is a bit different from other developers as our RTC system allows us to work on pre-production and production at the same time. As for a release date, we are looking at a holiday launch of 2007.
FiringSquad: Finally is there anything else you wish to say about Demons of Mercy and of MAXUM Games in general?
James E Jacoby: On a personal note, it's been exciting working with some of the celebrities on the game, such as R.H. Stavis. This next -gen game is of such high quality that I really look forward to the fans' reactions when the game is released.
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