TimeSplitters: Future Perfect Interview
TimeSplitters: Future Perfect has just been released, and is receiving very positive reviews. Our review will follow shortly, but in the meantime, we got the chance to find out from the game's developer, Free Radical Design, just what went in to making the third game in the TimeSplitters series the best one yet.
Psx Extreme: Three questions in one here. What’s the “Future Perfect” all about? How many times have you answered that question? Does it make you wish you named it “TimeSplitters: A Very, Very Good Game?”
Free Radical: We chose the name Future Perfect because the game answers everything fans of the series have wanted to know, such as who the TimeSplitters are, where they come from, and how the war started in the first place. It also describes the manner in which you fight alongside past and future versions of yourself in order to accomplish missions. We’ve answered this question an infinite number of times, because you asked it and now we’re stuck in a time loop where we keep answering it. But we still like the name, and anyway “TimeSplitters: A Very, Very Good Game” was already trademarked when we checked.
Psx Extreme: Will the game support any of the following? Widescreen, Progressive Scan, or 1080i?
Free Radical: It will support 480p
Psx Extreme: If I were to play the single player mode, not going to work until I beat it, how late would I be?
Free Radical: You would be fired. Seriously, it would take you all day.
Psx Extreme: Give us three reasons to unplug the network cable from the Xbox and Halo 2, and plug it in to the PS2 to play T:FP online.
Free Radical: First: Shrink is an online mode that has contenders growing and shrinking depending upon how well they are playing. The worse you play, the faster and smaller you are, making you almost impossible to hit. Second: 150 characters to choose from mean you are going to have a wide variety of people to fight against. Third: Monkeys with guns. Enough said.
Psx Extreme: If you can’t figure out the internet, and you have no friends, can you play against bots in multiplayer?
Free Radical: Definitely, and you can turn their abilities off and on, set their skill level, and customize what weapons they will have. You can have a completely customized and satisfying multiplayer experience all by yourself.
Psx Extreme: Many people are scared of a map making tool, or they think it’s in there because people are too lazy to make maps for them. How would you convince them otherwise?
Free Radical: The interface is a lot easier to use, and there is even a beginner level for people who want to jump right in and start creating a map. The advanced level gives the experts a lot more options to work with. The ability to make maps is so the community can sustain itself – there are basically an unlimited number of scenarios that you can play through.
Psx Extreme: How important was it to make sure the single player mode had a compelling storyline?
Free Radical: It was very important, especially so people who were new to the franchise would have more reason than ever to pick up the game. We’ve perfected the multiplayer experience, so adding online and the best story that the series has ever had just made the final game the complete package.
Psx Extreme: Now that EA has the exclusive NFL license, are they making all developers use it to justify the cost? Can disgruntled Bills fans go back in time and take out Scott Norwood before he cost them the SuperBowl?
Free Radical: No, but they can go back in time and stop the human race from being made extinct. That’s gotta be worth something.
Psx Extreme: You guys seem to have a lot of fun when coming up with mini-games (Cat driving comes to mind). Take us through the process of how these ideas go from a crazy idea to actually making it into a game.
Free Radical: We have a very open policy of listening to anyone who thinks they have a good idea for one of these games. If the idea sounds workable and can be tried out with relative ease, then we will always try and give it a go. After that there is usually a lot of replaying, tweaking and fine tuning to get the idea working to it full potential. You can never underestimate the importance of play-testing.
Psx Extreme: Looking back on the game, what are you most proud of?
Free Radical: Creating a TimeSplitters game that is new and fresh and offers a whole new set of experiences for players, yet, at the same time, still maintains all of the strong elements form the previous games. It is a universe previous players will recognize, yet, I hope they will find TS:FP a rewarding new experience. On a really personal note, I think the on-line map-maker is a fantastic feature. I hope people use and enjoy it.
Psx Extreme: This isn’t really a question, but please tell our readers something that I was too inept to ask that you feel should be discussed.
Free Radical: TS:FP has been a massive task for us to finish. We are very proud of it and I hope people out there will really get a blast out of playing all of it. It is a massive game to fully explore and it has a lot of depth to it. Enjoy!
3/25/2005 Aaron Thomas