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Interview with Tabris of Contra Deus Ex:
Slogun: Will Contra Deus Ex be set in the Deus Ex universe or are we looking at a whole new game universe?
Tabris: We are looking at the Deus Ex Universe still. The original game never did venture too much into the condition of certain countries, and not-so-secret societies that have been around since even before the Illuminati. We will be using a lot of source material from "Old world" conspiracy theory (Ming Voyages, Silk Road, Meiji Era etc....). Spain and Japan were both unexplored in the original game, and at the moment Spain (who is one of the strongest members of the European Union and the weakest in the UN) is in an ideal position not to be a part of the MJ12 conspiracy theory. Japan also has always stayed wary of their dealings with foreign countries, only opening up their ports by force (which was the only reason why the Meiji Era happened). Japan and Spain will be the main focus of the game, with Philadelphia as well as some of the other Deus Ex locations (and possibly Peking). The player might have unexpected allies throughout the game, and will find out what is the REAL conspiracy that is slouching towards completion. Notice that in Deus Ex, the weaker countries of the world were explored. It is difficult to pin a date on it, but the US has been in decline for years now. China is catching up, and Japan, although weakening economically (because of a stagnant private sector), is even more threatening to the US. The US' government sponsored weapons research and space research facilities such as Lockheed-Martin still essentially hold the market, but not very tightly. NASA and Lockheed-Martin are losing ground very quickly to new corporations, and Japan along with China are intensively researching space and weapons development. There are many more reasons that the US is (obviously) declining, but I would have to write a book to detail everything. China in the world of Deus Ex is relatively weak as well. It is the only country of its kind in the world, but MJ12 has control over it. For a European power like MJ12 to control China, China would have to be in very bad shape. The last time something like that happened was during the Opium wars, when the Europeans essentially got the Chinese hooked on Opium, and used that to their advantage. They "negotiated" Spheres of influence that allowed them to treat the chinese worse than dogs (games of polo using chinese men as steeds were common). Though MJ12's control is subversive, SOMEONE had to give in to MJ12 consciously, and the Chinese are very stubborn and have had hubris ever since ancient times. The player will start off as an operative for a group in Spain, which is THE center of commerce as a result of many things, including some that I can't disclose at this time (read: SPOILERS if I do).
Slogun: You stated in your post that you wish to make Contra Deus Ex playable as a singleplayer game. Is it possible to play through the mod as one person in singleplayer, or will singleplayer gaming consist of using a team of bots?
Tabris: You will be able to play the game as one person in two ways, either in a multiplayer game (in which people can join you later on) or in a single-player game (one player only). One of the biggest challenges I will have will be getting level scalability to work right. Diablo II takes the brute force approach and just adds more monsters as more players join, which could be easily implemented; Essentially though, I tend to dislike this approach and am looking at ways to make scalable puzzles/traps as well as scalable NPCs.
Slogun: What is the official number of people that will be able to play co-op at once?
Tabris: No official number yet =). I would say that 8 would be an educated guess, but I don't know for sure until I actually get scalability up and running and QA stuff worked out (I don't want everyone and their brother lagging out like on Battle.net the day of Diablo II's launch).
Slogun: What ideas do you have for communicating between your team effectively? Will there be drop down menus for communication a la Unreal Tournament?
Tabris: I was originally thinking of just using Unreal Tournament's way of communicating, but I think that using the infolinks of each player would be much cooler. I am still looking at alternative ways of doing effective communication between team members. I, if at all possible, might also include voice support. This would involve a lot of work but would give an immense payoff. But even then that is just an embellishment. As to sending messages to either teammates or the general game, pressing the key bound to talk once would prompt you for something to say in the general game, while pressing that key twice would prompt you for something to say to your teammates. There will of course still be the option to have multiple squads, and in that situation talking to the general game (to coordinate attacks) is useful. Effective team communication is the foundation for a great game, and there are some additional things I intend to add so that attacks can be effectively planned.
Slogun: Thank you for your time Tabris.
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