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NET NEWS: Exclusive interview with a ChubGam 3D developer

As this year's most anticipated 3D freeware game, ChubGamSoft's Chub Gam 3D: Director's Cut had some pretty big shoes to fill. Not only was the original version of Chub Gam 3D one of the most downloaded freeware games of all time but it also raised the bar for first-person action games on all platforms. No wonder the game's developer, ChubGamSoft, has kept a tight lid on discussing the Director's Cut Special Edition--until now, that is.

In the middle of the fuss and bustle of Silicon Valley, we caught up with one of Chub Gam 3D's developers, to get the inside story on this mega Director's Cut. More importantly, we were able to check out a private behind the scenes demo--and we learned what enhancements the Chub Gam 3D team added in response to player feedback.

Here is the exclusive interview:

Q1: Tell me about some of the influences for Chub Gam 3D- what games have you played, what themes have you liked, what videogames do you have a lot of respect for, what makes a good videogame?

A1: We have travelled around quite a bit looking for games, in arcades and (to a lesser extent) pubs. We have also been to the actual distributors of games to have a look at what they have got, and to take photos. We have also rented a couple of games to have in the office, for research (measuring things, studying game mechanics, etc.)
It is quite difficult to put the finger on exactly what makes one 3D game work and another not work...

Q2: What major improvements over the original Chub Gam game are in the Director's Cut special edition?

A2: Too numerous to list, not the least of which are digital cinema cut scenes, more levels, more blood, more characters to interact with, more enemies to blow up, additional MIDI music.

Q3: Is the AI algorithm different than the first version of Chub Gam 3D?

A3: Yes. We had a full-time engineer working only on creature AI. Expect something special.

Q4: What kind of weapons are in Chub Gam 3D: Director's Cut? Which one is your favorite and why?

A4: Many weapons, including shot guns, pistols, missile launchers, grenades, machine guns, and chemical weapons. Anyone who has ever seen a good John Woo film knows how satisfying this can be. :) My favourite weapon has to be the missile launcher...quite destructive as you can imagine.

Q5: Does Chub Gam 3D feature hidden levels and rooms?
A5: We won't answer that question! Play the game and see yourself!

Q6: What is your philosophy for Chub Gam 3D: Director's Cut. How do you think this compares to other games on the market? What game are you aiming to beat?

A6: We are of course aiming to create the BEST game ever. Anything else would be pointless. The primary competitors are Quake 2, Duke Nukem or Riven which we think is really good, although quite sparse on story development. We are always looking for things that can be done to increase the appeal of the game to people who are not usually interested in video games, but without moving too far away from the subject matter (that would scare away the 3D Purists :).

Q7: Do you think a well crafted game could be viewed as art? If so, what kind of art do you think Chub Gam 3-D: Director's Cut represents?

A7: Oooh, getting philosophical, aren't we? :-) It depends on how 'art' is defined, but I do think that a game as a whole should be viewed as art.

Q8: Regarding the sound and music, what style of music is used for the levels? What sort of music are you influenced by? Any special effects, tricks, techniques worthy of mention that will give Chub Gam 3D: Director's Cut an edge over its main competitors?

A8: Anything fresh really. As for what gives Chub Gam 3D an edge over competitors: For one thing, we've used our experiences in data compression to enable us to squeeze in more data (graphics, sound etc) than any other computer game has. This will enable us to have more appealing visuals and more atmospheric sound when compared to the competition. We have utilized the creative energies of many people who are scattered around the globe. Chub Gam 3D is truly the result of a global effort. Other than that, solid simulation and more sophisticated level designs, made possible by the custom-developed 3D tools.

Q9: Do you think it would benefit the Industry if more people had access to programming tools for the PC?

A9: I don't think you could ever get the same kind of thing on the PC as you had on the C64, because the hardware is more complex, and you need quite a bit of programming experience and time to be able to get anything interesting out of it.

Q10: How would you sum up the Chub Gam 3D experience?

A10: Life, death and explosion.

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