Saboteur - interview

GamesRadar: The Will To Fight? What is that, exactly?

PH: The Will To Fight is a visual game mechanic that represents the Nazi occupation and the feeling of oppression in the world. In zones that are heavily occupied, we literally suck the color out of the world and leave the player in a very stylized Sin City, shadowy, noir, kind of space. Which I think is really striking and bold, to be honest. I'm really proud of the way it looks and I think playing and moving around in that place is really intriguing. Taking a side note on the technical implementation, you'd be surprised how difficult it is to nail black-and-white in next gen.

GamesRadar: Really? How so?

PH: It's not a matter of just de-saturating the colors. Ultimately, what you'd end up with is - and we did in our earlier prototypes - a kind of Outer Limits, cheap black-and-white old television program. 

GamesRadar: You had to go in and try to make it richer looking...

PH: We had to make it rich and striking and that meant a lot of work with shadows and lighting in our graphics engine, as well as a lot of work in our textures and assets. Then, the pièce de résistance, so to speak, was dotting the world with these red Nazi arm bands and other things that really pop out to give you an updated look at black-and-white. You're not just in an old flashback; you're in something very fresh and new.

GamesRadar: Is the Will To Fight just an aesthetic? You mentioned it was a core game mechanic...

PH: It's not just a color trick - it impacts the civilian AI. How they walk around in the zone a bit more somber and morose and aren't really helpful. The music is different. On the radio, you'll hear a German marching band as opposed to jazz music.

Then, on the flip side, there's the high "will to fight," where by completing objectives and taking out officers, you start restoring life in the world. And it's important that I say "life," not restoring color, because it is literally then that the AI starts to take on much more life. They are now out in the street and not as scared of the Nazis anymore, so you'll see more of them. They'll also be more likely to assist you, should you be in an engagement with the Nazis. And back to the ambiance and sound effects, rather than hearing ravens and crows, you'll hear chirping birds.

1 comment

  • clucky120 - June 28, 2009 5:02 p.m.

    i recently read a book on danish resistance when i remebered something about this game. i think pandemic is taking this in right direction.

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