[page=The Interview : Part one]
[page=The Interview : Part Two]
Having already been given a sneak preview of the music been produced for Dire, I can safely assume that music creation is also being taken very seriously to immerse the player in the Dire universe. How have you gone about developing music for the mod, and how does it work in accordance with events taking place during gameplay?
Garrett: We are trying to focus on the idea of the player having to soak this all in; much like they would have to if it was real life. We can’t possibly make over an hour and a half of depressing music and expect it to enhance the experience, so we need to really watch what we are doing and test the maps as much as possible to make sure the music matches up. For example, the music sample we are releasing to the forums is the music that will play when you have 10 minutes left when you chose the 30 minute session for survival mode. It is designed to give you a sense of hope and really encourage you to fight on for the remainder of time. We are trying to make the music exclusive to each level and the music will have slight differences depending on what time limit you select. Not a lot of mods really take advantage of music to enhance the experience that people get from their game. I really hope that people will appreciate the extra effort we are putting into this because it benefits them in the end.
Thirteen: As for the music working in accordance with events in the game, I really can't say. However, Garrett and I work very closely. He asks me to make something; I make it and interpret it my own way. I then send it for him to listen to. Get feedback, alter it etc. So I'm confident it will fit perfectly when the game is available for the public!
Garrett: Here is a sample of the lighter music that you will see in Dire: Dire_ForumExclusive_Song_Demo.zip
You mentioned on your moddb profile that the AI in Dire is being enhanced to provide a far more realistic, intense experience than you might be used to in most zombie based mod’s. Have you had much success with this so far, and what future steps are you taking for this to work?
Garrett: I realize that most games do a simple AI that involves the enemy locking onto you from the moment it spawns and finding you even if you hide or elude them. With our AI, it plays much differently. First off, the AI isn’t pre-set to anyone. They wonder the streets and houses attempting to search the player out using their advanced senses. Since they are hybrids and they are more evolved than anything on earth today, they can spot you from long distances and smell you out. Not only do they chase after you but they call for backup. Imagine this if you will; you and your partner need to get across the street. You don’t see any hybrids and you think it is ok to run for it. You two begin to run but as your half way across the street you hear a roar down the street from an unseen foe. You two know your in trouble and double time it to the building. Hearing the roars getting closer you desperately try to get the door barricaded and push things in front of windows. To your dismay, there isn’t nearly enough to secure the house and definitely not enough time to do it. You begin to run farther into the building as you hear the door being beaten, a hybrid diving through the window and 2 hybrids going through the second story window. What will you do to get out alive? This is the kind of situations the AI will put you in. Not only will they attempt to find backup, but they will find alternate routes to you when you block them out. They also split up so some will go around to the back, one will go to the second floor if there is one and others will beat at the front of you barricaded it…and that is just the survival mode.
We are really trying to take full advantage of hints, ground nodes, and goals. This means if there is a hybrid in a second story window of a building that you are walking out the front door of, the hybrid will dive out of the window after you. If you are in a building on the third floor and a hybrid spots you it will scale the building and go through a window or other entrance to get to you. Your one major hope is to either kill the hybrid or to hide from it. These AI don’t care how they do it, they just want to kill you anyway possible and working closely with the mappers we are really making it an intense experience.
Can you give us any more details on the types of weaponry we can expect to see in the final release?
Garrett: I don’t want to promise too much because that isn’t finalized yet but you will see a great array of weapons. Nice machine guns, pistols, melee weapons, sniper rifles, etc. We are also hiding super weapons that can really help you out, but you can only find them if you work really hard to .
What do you feel will really make Dire’s single player campaign unique? Have you created anything yet that you are particularly happy with?
Garrett: Oh man, don’t get me started with the single player. First off we are going to mix in a lot of different types of game plays and we are going to huge lengths to make sure none of them get old. The single player actually starts you off in a facility that you have to escape. Hybrids and all the main enemies of the game are not even in the picture yet. You begin completely unarmed and actually need to fight your way out as you seek weapons and more weapons to help you survive. This is where the melee that we are programming in really shines. You are able to shoulder ram an enemy or kick or punch them. You also will be able to take advantage of the indoor and outdoor combat modes that Toki is equipped with. This means that outdoors you have both hands on your gun for better aim. This still allows you to use most of your melee attacks but it won’t help you when you are indoors. That is why switching to indoor combat mode will allow you to take your left hand off the gun and un-sheath your combat knife from it’s holster and use them together for a more lethal pair. It kicks down your aim a bit but that isn’t a huge deal indoors when it would be fatal outdoors. Using this fighting style will allow you to actually make your own combos. You could stab a hybrid, shoot it in the head, then kick it’s body to the ground or shoulder ram it, shoot it then stab it while it is on the ground, etc. You, the player, gets to develop your own fighting style to use to kick ass.
After the facility comes the outbreak. We are going to really focus on detail for this one. You get to observe people walking on the streets and living their lives and almost instantly get to see it all taken away by a huge swarm of hybrids. Since the main character has the actual gene inside her that made the hybrids what they are, you will actually start to evolve throughout the game. Sound will be amplified, then reflexes, vision, etc. You could walk down a street in the beginning of the game and see corpses just littered all over and return to it later as your hearing evolves and actually hear the dead talking or laughing at you. This will get much worse when your vision evolves and gives you almost a 6th sense. The spirits of the dead will not be able to hurt you, but they will attempt to do whatever they can to make your life miserable. These spirits will actually appear in some multiplayer modes as well. In Deathmatch when you are a hybrid and you kill a human you will see their spirit standing over their body. They won’t do much more than stare you down but it is a nice detail to add in to keep with the theme. Anyway, back to single player. Eventually in the game you will be near death yourself and actually visit the land of the dead. In here you have to seek out a man that died before he could give you information you needed. This world will actually be much different than the real world with huge influence from Silent Hill. This is the actual Realm of the Dead Theme here:
The end of the game, and the thing I am most proud of, will have a HUGE game play change. It will be one hell of a finale but I don’t want to spoil it for anyone.
[page=The Interview : Part Three]
|In terms of multiplayer, you have promised the community a very special, unique experience. Can you elaborate a little more on how these game types will work?
Garrett: The thing I am trying to focus with for Dire is having each of the multiplayer modes contain so much quality, content, and variety that they could each be an individual mod within themselves. I don’t want people to get bored or tired with Dire, and I definitely don’t want them to run out of things to do. I plan for Dire to be round for a long time and I want to keep things new and fun.
An example of this would be survival mode. Survival mode pits a maximum of 6 people against 20 hybrids. You can choose from either 10, 15, 20, or 30 minutes of time that you will need to survival in. Each time contains different weapon finds, different variations of ammo, special secrets, and sounds. The music will also be different per time limit. You definitely get the better experience from playing the 30 minute episode though because you get the best soundtrack and experience. Each character has something special about them which makes them worth playing over the next. You really need to plan carefully who you want to be because it is best to utilize each player to his fullest. One example would be the newly designed Light Merc which specializes in sniping. Has a decent pistol, an HE grenade, Smoke Grenade, high powered sniper rifle, but these aren’t the things that makes him special. The things that make him special are his night vision, and his special add-on. He can attach a mini-cam to a wall which will give him real-time video on a visor he has over his eye to help watch his back when he snipes. In addition to the cam, it also beeps when something walks by it to alert you, and you also have the option to detonate it. You have to use this wisely. Don’t leave it behind or blow it up unless you have to because you only get one. This comes in extremely handy if you are on a roof sniping and plant it on the only staircase to the roof, or something along those lines. Toki and the other two have their abilities but I will release those a bit later on when we have the models to show.
The multiplayer also has many other things to it like melee attacks. Though Toki specializes in this, everyone still has one of their own. You can use this for anything from knocking down an enemy to kicking a door open while avoiding death from a pursuing Hybrid.
It is very important in multiplayer to keep Toki alive. You can only have one Toki if you only have 5 people but you can have two if there is 6 players on the server. The reason for this is the realistic effects to the player we are programming in. If you are hit in the arm, your aim gets crappy, in the leg means you run slow, in the stomach means you slowly bleed to death and in the head means that your vision will slowly blur while small trickles of blood run down the HUD. Toki can fix this all for you; you just need to stick with her. Toki can go off by herself but it isn’t a good idea for that to happen for two reasons. The team is left open for injuries and there is a chance Toki could die. She is built to be able to hold her own, but that doesn’t last forever.
Seeing that a character will have a clone on the server if he picked twice, we have made sure to make separate models of everyone so people know the difference. The original will show the character’s face while the clone has a badass mask on. Both characters have the same voice, do the same things, but it gives the illusion that they are different people.
You will come by a couple things while playing the mode like survivors and special weapons. The survivors will be able to aid you with their own weapons and you can do what them what you like. Have them help you defend a room or use them as decoys to lure in hybrids and blow them up. It is really whatever suites your needs. The weapons on the other hand suite you in one way and a very effective way at that. They will be fun and strong. They vary from a Katana sword to a flame thrower or chainsaw, etc. Many Easter eggs will be in levels as well, so make sure to peek around for those if you get the chance, but don’t expect Team Dire to tell you.
On a 30 minute round, you will be met with a lot of challenges to survive, including Hybrid swarms, ammo shortages, loses of teammates, location confusion and whatever else you can manage to get yourself into. When the 30 minutes is near up (or any time limit at that) an Evac chopper will fly though the level and announce it is ready to take you guys out of there. You will have 3 minutes to get to this chopper otherwise it will leave you to die. They do this because the hybrid population will double in 3 minutes and it isn’t safe for them to stay. If you make it to the chopper early you are assisted by gunners to help keep you safe as you wait for your partners. If they don’t end up making it…..well that sucks but at least you made it! They will see a losing screen and you get the congrats screen.
That is the gist of it for the Survival mode. Information on the other modes will be available soon.
What’s the current schedule for development? Can we expect any playable test releases soon?
Garrett: We are hoping to release the Survival Demo in December. One thing that would really ensure our success would be 2 more player modelers, 1 more skinner, and someone that can rig and animate. With so much that has to get done in such a small amount of time we can use all the help we can get. If we don’t end up releasing in December, I shouldn’t be too long until we release. So really we are looking at December or January.....depends on how much help we get.
Hopefully that's convinced you to keep an eye on this mod, you can expect plenty more work from the Dire team over the next coming months, but if you can't wait that long, you can check out their web site here: