Strategy Informer visited the GamerBase at London's Trocadero centre and caught up with Peter Tamte from Atomic Games and chatted to him about his other upcoming shooter, Breach.
Strategy Informer:Can you completely destroy buildings in Breach?
Peter Tamte: There are some buildings you can collapse and some buildings you can't. I mean technologically you could destroy (everything), our engine can do that, but early on in our play test we realised that, if you give players the ability to destroy everything, they do! And then the map is just empty. So we intentionally limited some things - we tried to create what we call a visual language of things that are destructible and things that aren't.
Strategy Informer:There's no all v all type game modes - was that a deliberate choice on your part?
Peter Tamte: We wanted to create a brilliant team focused game. A lot of Breach is actually inspired by our work with the military training community, and that's how they do it. All of their stuff is team vs. team.
Strategy Informer:Obviously you're going to be compared to the games you've been influenced by. I mean it's going to be extremely hard to beat franchises like that, so what would you define as success?
Peter Tamte: Well certainly 20 million units! That would be success! We're trying to do things at multiple levels. One of the things we're trying to do is prove that a broad appeal game can be successful on the Xbox as a downloadable title. There aren't a lot of them at the moment that are successful, Battlefield 1943 being an obvious exception. I think success will be measured for us is if gamers start to understand that they can get great content through download. As a videogame creator I'm kind of worried because in other forms of entertainment there is plenty of downloadable content that's going to start competing for people's time.
The pure convenience of that DLC is a threat to me as a videogame designer. We need downloadable content that's viable, and I think our measure of success will be if we help create this perception that you can get great, strong content that's downloadable, but could be a retail game if it wanted to be. In fact the PC version is going to be available both at retails and via download. Most games that are created as a downloadable game can't also be a retails game because they don't have broad enough appeal.
Strategy Informer:Another game that's tried to do what you're doing is Blacklight: Tango Down. Now, admittedly, that probably didn't do as well as they hoped - have you taken any lessons there? What do you plan to do differently?
Peter Tamte: There's three or four things we've consciously done differently. This is not necessary a criticism of Tango Down, but they're main selling point was value - 12 maps for a really cheap price. Now, our philosophy has always been there's no point in making a game if you don't provide a different experience to what gamers can already get. So even though our users may have already played Call of Duty, we're still giving them plenty of reason to play Breach. Even though it's 1200 Microsoft Points, we still hope people are going to think they get something new from it through destruction. Second thing is that we're doing a lot of things differently in terms of online functionality, like join in progress, and things like that.
Strategy Informer:Do you have any plans to support the modding community?
Peter Tamte: At this point we don't have any plans to support modding in this version of Breach
Strategy Informer:If Breach performs well, will this help fund further work on Six Days of Fallujah?
Peter Tamte: I hope so, that's certainly our intention. It does depend a bit on how well the game does. If the community responds well, then definitely.
Strategy Informer:You use Battlefield a lot as a comparison, but only because it's really the only other game on the market that features such prolific destruction - why do you think that is?
Peter Tamte: It's hard to do. We built the engine from the very first day from the idea of destruction. It's not simply having a hole in the wall. The AI, Sound, Networking... every system in the game engine needs to know about the destruction. You've got to build the engine from the ground up for destruction.
Strategy Informer:What platform will you be using for your digital download on the PC? Are you tying it to one like Steam? Or are you keeping your options open?
Peter Tamte: We've not actually announced the platform yet, but gamers will be happy.
And there you have it. A quick Q&A with one of the guys behind Breach. It really is looking quite interesting, we have to say. at 1200 MS points (and probably no more than £15 at retail), you could do worse with a COD/Battlefield alternative. The release of Battlefield Play4Free may put a dampener on things, but we'll have to wait and see. Don't forget to check out our preview here.