Summary: White Gold, a game about cocaine. You can bet your sweet white candy ass that politicians are going to love this one. JCal finds out more!
FiringSquad: First, how did the idea for White Gold come about?
Deep Shadows: Our scriptwriter and designer were in Latin America a couple of years ago and they brought a lot of photos and ideas from there. When they arrived, we decided to do the game with an unique Latin American flavor, facetious conversions, beautiful landscape and original ending. Mixing action and RPG for this project seemed to work really well.
FiringSquad: What can you tell us about the game's main storyline and playable character?
Deep Shadows: Let the main plot be our secret for the moment. The action takes place in one of the small Caribbean countries of the year 2010. The political and military situation there is very complicated - the government is trying to smash the guerrillas, and drug mafia troops fight for control of coca plantations. Banditry and corruption are flourishing. The main character is a former officer of the US special forces, now working in a Private Military Company. He and his friends are hired to perform a certain high profile investigation, which would plunge them straight into the boiling pot of today’s Latin America.
FiringSquad: What can you tell us about the game's island setting? Will the island be completely open for the player to explore in the game?
Deep Shadows: The action in White Gold takes place on various islands, from tiny atolls with only a handful of palms, up to huge islands with several towns, hamlets and bases of the feuding factions. The total size of the game’s map is over 140 square miles, and all terrain in the game will be absolutely open to explore. The world is seamless, so you will not see any loading screens in the game or anything that would deter you from playing. You can visit bustling settlements, crawl around windswept mountains and dark jungles, explore sandy beaches and underwater caves, and even venture into ancient ruins to learn some dark secrets of the America’s prehistoric past. All islands are unique and very diverse. The players will be in a familiar, but dangerous environment nearly all the time. But some things they can discover along the way will be so ugly, that even mutated giant mantis would seem to be quite nice critters.
FiringSquad: What sort of missions will the player have to accomplish in White Gold?
Deep Shadows: Players will find a lot of different missions in the game. Whatever you like - from simple “delivery” quests to difficult forked tasks where you have to hack into computers, hunt for the drugs and antique contraband and so on. Do not forget that White Gold has a free gameplay, so there’s a myriad of varieties in quests and ways to accomplish them. You will have both non-linear and linear missions. Every player would be able to choose the gameplay style that is the most appealing. We understand that in a game where player is given a complete freedom of action, where everyone can choose their own way to reach a particular target, it is easy to become confused. Therefore we’ll add a lot of helpful NPCs, hidden diaries, notes and similar things that would provide guidance. But we never force the player to make a choice; we only suggest.
Deep Shadows: There will be more than 20 different types of carried weapons, from knife and pistol to grenade launcher and portable SAM. But you’ll find also some heavy-duty military stuff like gun emplacements, tanks, attack choppers and so on. Taking into consideration the wishes of many players, we've decided to make new types of weapons and equipment, including exotic arms and modern armor.
FiringSquad: What sort of enemies will the player encounter in White Gold?
Deep Shadows: More often than not, these will be the troops and members of different factions, from communist guerrillas to mafia hitmen. But all of them will be very intelligent and extremely difficult to subdue. They will have a lot of reactions like straight attack, outflanking, tactical retreat, suppressive fire. They can throw grenades and request reinforcements, they can also encircle you to attack from the back.
FiringSquad: How does the game's RPG elements work and how do they influence gameplay?
Deep Shadows: The main elements of RPG in the game are perks which help the player to do the quests and progress through the plot. The system for developing the character is based on them. When you get to another level, you’ll have an opportunity to receive a new one, or you can upgrade the ones that you’ve taken already. In White Gold, you will see various perks that touch almost all aspects of in-game activity. Focusing on a set of them, different players will improve their characters in a certain direction much more than in other ones. They will be able to create a hero that is a master of weaponry and nothing else, or they will have one that is good in running, jumping, diving and so on, but won’t be able to do anything against a machine gun nest. The main part of the character stats is quite typical for any RPG - life points, armor, weapon damage, encumbrance, etc.
Deep Shadows: Certainly we want to do a multiplayer mode, but now we are mostly focused on the single player part. Whether the multiplayer will be included in the final build or not, depends mainly on timing, and in essence, on a worldwide publisher. There's a good chance of having a robust team play and other niceties, but we have no intention to turn the game into a MMO.
FiringSquad: What other sort of unique elements will White Gold have?
Deep Shadows: The main unique feature of the game is a blend of RPG and Action in a modern setting. There aren’t many titles around that were able to do that successfully. Another one is the use of military vehicles to accomplish all kinds of quests – from fire support to sneak attacks. Economic system in the game will allow a complex circulation of goods and take the Caribbean specifics into account. One of the things that we never saw before in any such game is the use of sea and underwater as an active gameplay zone. The plot of the game and the overall background also make it stand out from the rest of the crowd.
FiringSquad: The game will use Deep Shadows' latest version of their in-house gaming engine. What can you tell us about the new graphical features that will be included for White Gold?
Deep Shadows: We are utilizing our internally developed engine called Vital Engine 3. This is due to the key feature of the game - a huge seamless world where you can go wherever you want. The engine supports streaming; this helps us to create large but very detailed terrains. It supports shaders 3.0, all the modern post effects, such as motion blur, High Dynamic Range and others. Most of the objects in the game are destructible; moreover, they usually have a zonal damage system and will break in parts according to physics. Another notable aspect of the technology is that it is fully compatible with Xbox 360 and allows the console player to have the same experience as on modern ultra-fast PCs.
FiringSquad: What is the current status of the game's progress and when will it be released?
Deep Shadows: In terms of content, almost everything is done in the game. Now it is time for testing and polishing. The worldwide release is planned for Q4 2007.
FiringSquad: Finally is there anything else you wish to say about White Gold?
Deep Shadows: Thanks for your interview; we will do our best to justify the hopes of the players who are waiting for our game.
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