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INTERVIEW - David Nottingham, Producer Gotham Games
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posted by: GF! Back Catalogue 10/2004 => 1995
date posted: 12:00 AM Wed Nov 13th, 2002
last revision: 12:00 AM Wed Nov 13th, 2002

The Serious Sam Franchise has been one of the most popular and most traditional shooters on the PC. Coming out of nowhere (Croatia) and taking the gaming world by storm, both Serious Sam and Serious Sam: The Second Encounter have done very well with the GamesFirst! reviewers. Now, Gotham Games and Croteam have put together an Xbox version of Serious Sam, combining both of the PC games and all jazzed up for better graphics and intense four player action. Don't miss ourinterview with Davor Tomicic, Game and Level Designer for Croteam.

1. First, how do you guys feel about the way the first two PC Serious Sam games have been received by gamers and reviewers?

The first 2 games were really well received by gamers and press alike. I think it shows that, however more complex and involved games get, there will always be a side of people that want to get back to basics. There's a reason why people like classic games such as Ms. Pacman and there's a reason why people still get a kick out of fast, pure shooters....it's the solid gameplay.

2. When and why was the decision made to create a Serious Sam game for the

We always wanted to bring Sam to a console. The gameplay's intensity is something that translates so well to the platform. Sam is such a console friendly character. XBox was the perfect beginning because, technically, it is the closest to the PC and with its extended set of features it's allowed us to take Sam to the next level. It was a great match.

3. You decided to combine both PC Serious Sam games into the Xbox version. How hard was it to get both games into one Xbox version and make it look like a seamless whole?

Serious Sam's 1st and 2nd Encounter were always 2 parts of the same story. So the transition was easy and completely seamless. New players to Sam won't even see the break between the 1st and 2nd encounter.

4. First person shooters games sometimes have problems with their controllers. How have you created the Xbox Serious Sam game to work well with the Xbox controller?

Croteam focused on this aspect more than anything.  Before they started with the technology and fine tuning, they just worked on controls. I think you can really tell when a shooter has been specifically designed for console and we totally reengineered the control mechanics from the ground up. We certainly looked at other titles and saw that some had been more successful than others.

5. What other changes from the PC games did you have to do to make SeriousSam work for the Xbox?

We actually made a lot of design changes that we felt would complement Sam's transition to console. Croteam redesigned the HUD, created an upgraded Sam model, redesigned all the menus and netricsa.  We tweaked the gameplay, added auto-targeting (can be turned off for the hardcore fans). The whole thing got a nice shiny makeover.

6. You are putting in higher resolution textures and character models for the Xbox Serious Sam game. How do they compare with their PC counterparts and how hard was it to put these elements in the game?

It's as simple as building the models and textures and dropping them in. All it took was time, patience and the creative artistry of well caffeinated Croats.  We think they look outstanding by the way. However Red Bull supplies in Croatia suffered irreparable damage in the process. ;-)

7. The Serious Sam games are known for having tons of characters attacking the player at any one time. Has than experienced been kept for the Xbox version?

It wouldn't be a Serious Sam game if it didn't have hundreds of enemies on screen at once, all screaming and ranting and raging and charging eager for a piece of Sam. Yes, we kept this aspect and it feels even more overwhelming when played on a big screen.

8. What other new content will be in the Xbox version of Serious Sam that was not available in the first two PC games?

We've added new Death Match levels, new weapons models and the graphics makeover.  Best of all are the cut scenes.  You have to see them to understand that Croatians have the craziest sense of humor.  The cut-scenes alone are worth the price of admission.

9. What can you tell us about multiplayer options for the Serious Sam Xbox version?

2 player co-op play with split screen or over system link.  Deathmatch up to 4 players on single console or via system link.

10. The PC versions are known for their funny secrets while playing the game. Will there be any new secrets in the Xbox version?

Lots of cool new secrets.  We added treasure items and a whole new scoring system to add lives.

11. How do you like working with the Xbox hardware in developing the game?

It's great. We LOVE it!

12. At the moment, what is the current status of the development of the Serious Sam Xbox game and when will it be in stores?

It will be in stores very soon.  Next Tuesday! [Yesterday -- Ed.]

13. Finally, there are rumors that Croteam is already developing a new Serious Sam game for both PC and Xbox. What can you tell us about your future plans at this stage?

Of course we would love to tell you all about that but why spoil it for you?