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Stranglehold's Creative Director speaks

What was it like working with John Woo and Chow Yun-Fat?

Offerman: Chow Yun-Fat is doing the voiceover for his character (Detective Tequila) and he’s mostly in Hong Kong, so we sent an audio guy out there to work with him. They had someone to help him with his pronunciation, a voice coach, because English is only his second language. We took scans of his face and body and, even though it wasn’t contractually required, we asked him whether it’d be OK to take shots of him with different facial expressions like anger or pain so we could animate him in the game. He was very gracious and allowed us this extra time. So Chow Yun-Fat was great to work with.

John Woo has been very involved in development. From the beginning, when we found out we had the opportunity to do this game, we sat down with all his films, like Hard Boiled and The Killer, and then we worked closely with him on all of the storylines. We wanted the game to play out in Hong Kong and the US, so we worked out a basic structure with John and his scriptwriters to do all the dialogue and how the scenes would pan out. We then took it to the next step and planned out storyboards, and then used his storyboard artists from his movies to make sure that, every step of the way, he’d review them and could comment on them. Even on the conceptual art level we were passing drafts to John Woo and his team for comment. So it’s been a really great experience.



Was John Woo excited about working on his debut game?

Offerman: Yeah. After speaking with him and his close colleagues it’s clear that John has always wanted to do something else with Hard Boiled, but remaining in that universe. John Woo’s always talked about wanting to do a game because in movies it’s a linear story, and the viewer doesn’t have any influence in what happens. I think for him it’s really exciting to be doing a story where he has all these elements that make his movies popular and gamers can get involved in this interactive entertainment. He’s not a gamer himself, though he has played them on occasion.

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