ORION: Prelude Interview with David Prassel (With Exclusive Screenshots)

A couple days back, I did a short piece on ORION: Prelude, the seemingly amazing indie game that needs our support. Now, I can back up the claim that it is going to be awesome with a nice little interview.

Jay: How did this project get started? Can you give us some background information?

David: The ORION game series dates back to 1998. It currently contains over 12,000 years of already-developed story and an already-planned game trilogy.

Jay: Dinosaurs? Why? What part do they have in gameplay? Can you ride one?

David: Orion is derived from the same comet that created Earth. This comet contained the prerequisites to the prokaryote cells that began life as we know it. Evolution thus took the same path on both planets – resulting in dinosaurs during the same age as Earth. But why are there still dinosaurs? Due to the many (7) moons (a moons gravitational pull decreases the amount of comets that reach a planet) and essentially chance – Orion didn’t not experience a devastating natural disaster to wipe out the dinosaurs – while Earth did.

Jay: What are you future plans for this? Any tentative release date? DRM? DLC?

David: We have an approaching Multiplayer Beta for the STEAM version of the game. We are hoping to launch ORION: Prelude across all platforms in the fourth quarter. There is tons of DLC already-planned, and it’s all FREE!

Jay: How do jetpacks affect gameplay? Are they limited to a class?

David: Each class has it’s own unique ability. The Jetpack is bound to the ‘Assault’ class. The Jetpack allows for an additional plane of combat. It’s pro’s include becoming a harder target, while at the same time make it subtly harder for you to hit your targets due to the increase in motion. Some other cons for it include the jetpacks relationships with dinosaurs. The player needs to be careful when activating the jetpack near a T-Rex for example, as the combination of the blue flare and the loud exhaust will automatically target the T-Rex to you, becoming what is likely to be an instant-death.

Jay: What type of classes do you plan on having in this “class-based” shooter?

David: There are two main factions in the game – the Carriers (humans) and the Altair (aliens). Each team has 3 classes. Each class has a unique weapon load out, voice actor / personality, grenade type, vision mode and ability.

Jay: Can you give me a sample of the weapons? Maybe a chainsaw rocket launcher?

David: ORION: Prelude won’t have too many “out-there” weapons. We hope to introduce them in later ORION titles. However, the 6 different grenade types will allow for all sorts of fun – especially when mixed with the abilities and items.

Jay: What do you mean by “Retro Inspired”?

David: Many years ago, the PC gaming industry was run out of passion and love. No insane budgets, no insane deadlines, no corporate calendars and scheduling. The games were made strictly out of the love and passion for them – and it showed. I am talking about games like Quake 2, Half-Life 1, Starsiege: Tribes, Counter-Strike, Unreal Tournament (1999), StarCraft. These games had a certain charm about them – and it still shows today. Those games STILL have audiences playing them – that says a lot. We are making it one of our largest efforts to devote and illustrate that same charm with ORION: Prelude.

Jay: Why did you pick Unreal Engine? Can you explain some of the graphical effects you implemented to make you game appear more modern?

David: The Unreal technology has always been a contender for us to use. It is extremely powerful and applicable to many different platforms. We couldn’t be happier with it. We are developing plenty of unique and just as powerful systems to make it “more of our own” – including foliage systems and of course the dinosaur interaction system.

Jay: Is there any sort of Coop? Or is the multiplayer purely PvP?

David: ORION: Prelude will be launching with 3 game modes right out of the “box”. That includes Lockdown CTF, which is the competitive mode, VITAL, which is the objective emode, and Cinematic Co-Op which is taking the place for the lack of a single player. This mode allows for 4 players to play as the Carriers in specifically designed missions. These missions are objective based and allow you to fight against different dinosaur and alien enemy types.

Jay: The FAQs stated that this is a sandbox game. Can you expand more on that?

David: What we mean by “sandbox” is that we are creating a game with tons of different elements and variables. Due to this, nothing will ever play out the same way twice. This is the ultimate “sandbox” because of the features and experiences that the player will have – with all of the weapons, the grenade types, the items like jetpacks and cloaking, the varying dinosaur types, the vehicles (including mechs) and some of the most impressive graphics in a game to date.

Jay: We have seen a resurgence of many modern class based shooters today, could you give us some examples of what makes your game stand out from the crowd? Why should I play this game instead of Call of Duty or Halo?

David: There are many different reasons – and we believe each person will establish their own. Whether you want to support indie developers, whether you want to support our idea of change for the industry with free DLC, whether you love dinosaurs, whether you love graphics – it’s all about discovering your own reason.

David Prassel is the Founder and CEO of Spiral Game Studios, the company behind ORION: Prelude. You can support and/or help fund the game by clicking this link. ORION: Prelude is destined for a 2011 release.

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