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Bacteria Interview


We thank Lars Espeter from FIN arts

Italian Version

IGZ. Innerspace gave the idea. But Bacteria will be just action or will include some particular missions? Like the heart tunnel in the movie. Or something like avoiding red globules?

L.E. First of all BACTERIA has nothing to do with InnerSpace :-). We have been inspired much more by the movie "The Fantastic Journey", of wich InnerSpace was a remake, as far as I know. But the story and the gameplay have nothing to do with the movies at all. BACTERIA will have several game modes. The campaign mode ist the one that will offer the entire story divided in single missions. In these missions there will be different tasks. The main mission types are battle in narrow veins, vein races where you have to get fast from one waypoint to antoher avoiding obstacles and mission that we call "freespace" battles. Here you fight outside the veins in larger areas. Misson aims will be fighting a certain amount of enemies, destroying certain aims or collecting organic specimen for analysis reason, for example. The red globules will not harm you, but they will be helpful for orientation especially in the vein missions. Other modes will be single action games where you are hunting for highscores. a Racing Mode; a Shoot-Out Mode, where you try to kill as much enemies in a certain period of time; some freespace mode we call Bacteroids! (guess you know what to do there ;-) ), and others. This games will be very arcade. We implemented them, because we experienced that a lot of players want games, that allow them a short action and fun gaming "in between" :-)

IGZ. I noticed that Bacteria is going to be complete, almost graphically, but I'd like to know, assuming you will find a publisher soon, a more precise release date.

L.E. Our plan is to have the game finished around the end of April. A release could be in June.

IGZ. We eager to know something about weapons and enemies. Are microbes going to shoot us?

L.E. Not only shoot, they will be trying to grab and bite your sub through the energy shield that surrounds it. That will weaken the shield more and more, forcing you to get rid of them. There will be microbes releasing other bacteriae trying to ram you like some sort of torpedo, too, or spitting acid clouds around. Of course there will be much more enemies varying in size and behaviour as the plot of the story unfolds. You will not only be dealing with microbes ... :-)

Weapons will be different types of plasma guns, torpedos and bombs. They will be made available time after time but you will have to pay for them. The money (for each destroyed enemy) you make as a mercenary-pilot can be spent on new equipment delievered by your client ARMTECH. So if you are trying to reach a very high score, you will have to try to get as far as you can using a low price version of your plasma cannon. So the better your skills are, the more money you will carry home in the end.

IGZ. Will the player be able to choose different ships?

L.E. No. But you will be able to upgrade the ship with permanent new weapons and other equipment.

IGZ. There are similitudes with the famous Descent?

L.E. Mmmmmm ... yes and no. Of course any First-Person-Flight-Sub-Space-Whatever-Shooter looks like Descent somehow ;-). The handling of the player's vessel in DESCENT has always been very tricky. BACTERIA is much more like a 3D-Version of good old Asteroids! concerning the manueverability of the vessel itself. This means you will be drifting a while after having accellerated in one direction until the friction of the surrounding fluids stops you or you accellerate in the opposite direction or make use of the retro-turbines to slow down. While drifting you can turn and shoot in any direction. So for example you can fly past an enemy at high speed (some ground crawling one fo example) and fire at it at the same time, while it tries to get you in front of its own gun turret's plasma guns.

IGZ. What about multiplayer support?

L.E. Multiplayer is not planned for the first release. But even at this point of production freespace battles are so much fun that we will release an add-on later. All these plans may change depending on the publisher.

IGZ. Could you anticipate us something about hardware requirements of Bacteria? I noticed a great graphic and I presume it will need a great PC to run smoothly.

L.E. The BONE MACHINE 3D-Engine is very powerful. At the moment for example on a PIII 667 using a 3D Prophet II MX it runs at 50 - 60 FPS under 32BIT at 1024x768. So it should be running fine on smaller systems, too. At the moment we are still testing ... a PII 400 with a standard 3D graphics card should do. Details and texture size can be modified. On the Prophet II we use 512x512 32BIT textures, for example. Texturecompression will be supported, too.

IGZ. FIN arts is going to release a kickass old style arcade shooter?

L.E. BACTERIA has a lot of arcade shooter elements in it, yes. There will be upgrades you can collect after destroying enemies, there will be highscore lists, there will be big enemies wating at the end of some levels, and more. This will give the missions and the entire plot much more action and fun than experienced in other action-simulations released in the last few years. BACTERIA has that little scent of 16BIT era games' fun that is missing in the most of the actual releases.

IGZ. And now, as usual, I realy need to know the most played game at Fin arts.

L.E. (no ranking ;-) Half-Life, X-Wing Alliance, X-COM: Enemy unknown, Diablo2, Quake.