Interview of ShellShock: Nam '67 (PC)
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UK RELEASE: 03-Sep-2004 (Released)  | NORDIC RELEASE: 03-Sep-2004 (Released) |  US RELEASE: 07-Sep-2004 (Released)
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  Interview of: ShellShock: Nam '67 | By: Justin Fenico
20 Jul-2004
 

I got a chance to ask a few questions to the development team from Guerrilla, about their upcoming Vietnam War title ShellShock: Nam '67.

  QUESTIONS  
Q: Letís find out a little bit about our interviewee. How are you involved with Shellshock Nam 67? Give us a little insight on your daily tasks

A: Iím the Game Director on the project responsible for running the team here at Guerrilla and focusing on delivering a ĎTriple-Aí title to our publisher partner.

What I love about this industry is that each day is different so one day I can be sat typing interviews, reviewing production schedules, working on game concepts and the next I can be play testing builds and addressing our publishers correspondence. Right now were just about to master our PS2 version of Shellshock so my days are spent ensuring everyone is aware of the status of the build and that bugs and last minute problems are resolved.


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Q: Besides Battlefield Vietnam, no other game has focused on this specific war. What was it about the war in Vietnam that drew attention from the team?

A: It was a combination of timing, technology and commercial opportunity. We didnít want to enter the 2nd World War genre which was already supported with well established and benchmark brands. When we researched other infamous conflicts the Vietnam War was something, that until recently, had been well avoided and we felt we could do something new with the War in terms of visuals, game-style and experience. When we started NAMí67, we were only aware of one other PC title but since then numerous Vietnam War titles have been announced.

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Q: What type of information (people, books, TV etcÖ) has been gathered for use on the development of Nam 67?

A: Fortunately for us, Vietnam was a very well documented war and we werenít short of research material. Different sources of information were referenced for different aspects of the game. Various books and journals provided us with great inspiration for the game story. Movies helped us provide cinematic value and official web-sites helped us ensure we were aesthetically correct with insignia, weapons, acronyms and dialogue. Since we focused on a specific year we had to ensure that everything that existed in the game was available or did actually take place during or prior to 1967. One of the spin off benefits this has created is that the game has turned out to be very authentic.

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Q: The Vietnam War was a war that no one wanted a part of in a location of the world in which we knew nothing. What type of portrayal (graphical, storyline, etcÖ) is the teaming aiming for?

A: Our original inspiration was to deliver an adult natured game to address the issues and events that took place in Vietnam. We didnít want to include adult content for controversies sake but we felt it was essential if we wanted to deliver the definitive Vietnam War experience from a games player point of view. Graphical style and story are both very realistic and both are grounded in reality.

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Q: Will Nam 67 be a mission based game or will it be story driven like EAís Medal of Honor series?

A: NAMí67 is story driven however missions are unique in their objectives. The game story takes place over a year where the player starts as a naive grunt and progresses towards Special Forces. The missions and tasks you have to undertake always reflect your level of ability so gameplay between early grunts and Special Forces will diverge.

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Q: Can we expect a type of multiplayer facet as well as a single player campaign? If so, how will the Vietnam terrain come into play?

A: For the first game and to start the franchise we wanted to exclusively focus on one manís story of fighting in the Vietnam War and multiplayer didnít fit in with this methodology. To make a fully multiplayer game that is based on external, organic, environments where it can compete with todayís benchmark multiplayer games posses the kind of challenge we simply didnít have time for and we didnít want to dissolve our efforts away from the story aspect.

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Q: What type of graphics engine will be used? What type of real-life environments from Vietnam will be created for Nam 67?

A: The core engine is proprietary Guerrilla technology which has enabled us to address large organic open environments and build a Vietnam War game. In terms of environments we cover a large aspect from the traditional jungle paths, to urban areas with main roads and buildings. We have Buddhist Temples and old French colonial Fortís that act as main environments for gameplay.

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Q: There will be both combat and stealth situations in Nam 67. Tell us a little bit about the different types of gameplay.

A: As a grunt youíre expected to face an unknown and unseen enemy and you have to do all that you can to stay alive and complete your objective. As a member of the Special Forces youíll be equipped with intelligence and specific goals which will be achieved by avoiding as much direct contact with the enemy as possible and maintaining your concealment. However at times this will be impossible. Gameplay in terms of Ďall outí combat and stealth missions are mainly balanced by weapons however there are some enhancements to the playerís physical ability.

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Q: Focusing more on the combat based gameplay of Nam 67. What is the dev team doing to make this game as realistic as possible?

A: Our combat scenarios fully immerse the player in the theater of war. Where the big battles occur weíve aimed to surround the player with combat events, action, destruction, death and confusion, which is what we feel would have been like for a GI fighting in the war.

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Q: With all the army based games out there (Battlefield, Call of Duty, Medal of Honor), what do you think will make Shellshock Nam 67 stand out from the rest? What has impressed you the most about the game?

A: Iíve covered a few here already but from my point of view itís been the great lengths the team have researched the war and attempted to fill the game with events that actually took place that the player will witness or participate in themselves. This includes the gameplay where weíve reflected the movement, strategy and tactics of how the US forces engaged the enemy and how they used the environments to aid their progression. Even though NAMí67 is a shooter, we donít expect to arm players with huge machines, limitless ammo and have them run through levels covering large distances, mowing down anything that moves. In general if you did that in Vietnam you wouldnít last very long and the same applies to NAMí67.
 
  SCREENSHOTS
Click to enlarge this screenshot of ShellShock: Nam '67 (PC)
Click to enlarge this screenshot of ShellShock: Nam '67 (PC)
Click to enlarge this screenshot of ShellShock: Nam '67 (PC)
Click to enlarge this screenshot of ShellShock: Nam '67 (PC)
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