Interview with the Art Director Carey Chico at SoftImage, in Montreal

Friday, February 28th, 1999

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On February 28th, LadyDragon went to SoftImage studios in Montreal. There, we had the pleasure of interviewing Mr.Carey Chico of Pandemic studios, and we also had the exclusivity of seeing the highly anticipated game " Battle Zone 2 " in action. We also met with some of the SoftImage staff who did some of the 3D animations in the game.

Mr.Chico is the art director of the now well known videogame company Pandemic Studios. He was kind enough to allow us a few moments to ask him a few questions after his televison interview with Denis Talbot of Mr.Net ( Musique Plus ). The following interview gives some infos on the sequel of the award winning game Battle Zone, BATTLE ZONE 2.


LD - First of all, we would like to know why have you chosen SoftImage software ( and video game conception department ) to do the 3D graphics in Battle Zone 2?

Carey - I definetly think It's because of the great integration tools that the software provides. It got a really good modeling module and the "Export" function is terrific. You can easily create an object in SoftImage and when it's done, you can directly export it into the game, this really made our life easier.

LD - What's knew or what have been improved on the graphic side of Battle Zone 2?

Carey - Lots of stuff, the graphics & animation have been improved. We implemented a new graphics engine that takes full advantage of all the latest 3D graphics hardware. There's a lot of lightning, ray-tracing, fogging, fire & smoke effects. The environment surrounding the player is a lot deeper & ritcher. Now there is wild life on each of the planets.The Flora and fauna will be different from places to places.

LD - And what about the gameplay? Is it similar? Have you added or improved any aspect of the game?

Carey - Yes ideed, we added a lot of new things in Battle Zone II. The game is now a true real-time action-strategy war extravaganza. You command your units from the battlefield point of view rather than above it. You manage your ressources, you give orders to a vast array of troops & vehicules (over 30 ), and you supervise the construction of differents buildings. Battle Zone II is a great mix of all the good things of a real-time strategy game and all the excitement of a 3D action game. And none the less, we added a really cool editing tool that greatly increase the replay value of the game. With that, the player will be able to create their own battlefield, and they will be able to modify the landscape at will. Very cool stuff!

LD - And what about AI? Does the game adapt to the skill level of the player?

Carey - Yes, the AI system is really intensive in Battle Zone 2. The units are more efficient when left alone for a while and the ennemy are less predicable. They adjust their behavior to counter the differents tactics that the player uses. This game will definetly not be a peace of cake, even for experienced gamers.

LD - With all those improvements, will Battle Zone II need a super computer to run?

Carey - Well, for sure the better computer & hardware you have, the better and smoother the game will run. But It will still run well on any average computer ( Pentium 166+ ) because Battle Zone II is compatible with a lot of hardware configuration : Direct 3D & Sound, Voodoo 1 & 2 technology and Riva TnT.

LD - And when are you planning to launch the game?

Carey - We've been working on it for almost a year and a half, and we are almost done. We plan to do the big launch around July 99 and we are really excited about that.

LD - We are eager to get our hands on the final product. So, I would like to thank you Mr. Carey Chico for sparing a little of your precious time with us.

Carey - It's been a pleasure.

LD- interviewer : Yves Bordeleau


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