AVP: Evolution Interview With Angry Mob Games' Bogdan Iliesiu
Read our AVP: Evolution preview.
Aliens: Colonial Marines left us dissatisfied, to put it nicely, but at least we have AVP: Evolution to look forward to. Releasing February 28 for both iOS and Android, Angry Mob Games' third-person adventure pits the iconic Alien and Predator characters against each other in a blood-filled fight for video game dominance. Considering the flashy graphics, resulting carnage and upgrade system, there's a tremendous upside to this highly anticipated effort. That said, Angry Mob's Bogdan Iliesiu filled us in on the team's goals and potential plans for downloadable content.
What did you seek to accomplish with AVP: Evolution?
We always wanted to do an Alien vs. Predator game. Our first Predators game on iOS and Android was an amazing success. Fans requested the addition of the Xenomorphs, so we decided to start from the ground up and design a game for both Alien and Predator fans, as well as anyone who seeks an action-packed combat title to play on their mobile devices.
AVP: Evolution pushes the graphics capabilities of the latest devices while presenting a thrilling story-based campaign.
In the pre-release build, we noticed the camera was a bit all over the place. How will the team address this issue before release?
The camera rotates by swiping the screen, similar to other third person action titles on mobile devices. The camera movement was definitely an important aspect and we spent a lot of time refining it as it influenced our level design to allow for plenty of space during combat sequences. In the final version of the game, we added an option to let players adjust the camera sensitivity to their liking.
Some of the fatalities seem less violent than we're used to. Did you intentionally scale back the gore? Granted, we're a little desensitized after playing Sega's AVP on Xbox 360/PS3.
We actually tried to add a realistic amount of blood without being excessively gory or offending any of our audience. You can also turn the blood off completely if you want a cleaner look.
We enjoyed the brief Facehugger stage. Any plans to include more throughout the game, or is it such a one-dimensional character that it wouldn't make sense?
There are many side missions throughout the game, which are separate from the main campaign story. It could be really fun to play as a facehugger in one of those missions, so we might add it. Any such side missions would come in a game update, shortly after the initial release.
How do you plan to support AVP: Evolution post launch?
We enjoy reading feedback from our fans, and their feature requests would be our top priority. We also plan further character customization options as well as additional side missions with challenging combat scenarios.
What are your favorite Alien and Predator video games. Also, what was your reaction to the Colonial Marines backlash? Have you played the game?
Personally, I loved the first AVP game on PC developed by Rebellion back in 1999. I remember it was really scary and also super hard. Things have changed over the years, as games have become a lot more accessible, and they're designed so anybody could finish the game, at least on the easy difficulty level. The AVP game released in 2010 was also really enjoyable. The developers had a tough challenge to include all of the Predator/Alien/Marine gameplay styles, with all the abilities from the movies. Having a third person camera in AVP: Evolution enables the player to manage the intense combat and to navigate the Alien character with ease when crawling up walls.
I haven't played the new Aliens Colonial Marines game yet. The Powerloader/Alien figurine from the collector's edition is sitting nicely in our studio. I definitely want to play it very soon, once I have some spare time.
What are the keys to creating a quality AVP video game? Why have so many developers and publishers dropped the ball over the years?
The AVP universe is complex. When you take the Alien separately, you expect the stealthy, horror style. With the Predator, you get the powerful character with all his high-tech gear, stalking his prey and hunting for honor. The Marines always seem to be there, caught in the middle of their conflict.
The challenge that previous developers had faced was mixing each of these three very different character types, while designing an intriguing story and enjoyable gameplay. Just adding in those different aspects gives you an interesting and unique gameplay experience, but sometimes you need to focus on some specific gameplay aspects to also make it consistently enjoyable.
We designed the game for mobile devices. An important consideration here is making sure it's playable in short bursts, and that the action is always there keeping the players hooked. We also decided to focus much more on the combat aspect instead of slowing players down with various environmental puzzles or many stealthy sections.
AVP: Evolution features a single story campaign where you play as the Alien and the Predator, and sometimes see their paths cross. Because of the combat focus, we also made the player characters highly customizable, with all the Predator and Alien types in the movies, so I believe the most important part of developing any game is keeping a focus. Including every feature possible can take the gameplay in the wrong direction.
How important is it to release this game on both iOS and Android same day? Will Android users have to pay for it? Are you concerned they won't?
We'll be releasing the game on February 28th on both iOS and Android. We really want as many people as possible to be able to enjoy the game. And there's no reason why users with Android devices should wait.
We put in a great deal of effort in developing the game, and I hope users will appreciate this and support such quality titles.
Does the game include multiplayer? If so, how does it work? If not, why weren't you able to include it?
We focused on designing a great single player campaign with new gameplay elements all throughout the game, and challenging boss battles. Multiplayer sounds like a great feature, and it's definitely something we could include in a game update. It would be entertaining to challenge your friends with the Predator character you built versus their Alien character.
Did you have plans to include a marine campaign, or at least a bonus mode as a marine?
We're planning for new and challenging side missions, with additional playable characters for our future game updates. Marines never missed a fight, so they might be coming along too.