I am pleased to reveal our interview with Rebellion Co-Founder Jason Kingsley, i would personally like to thanks Jason for taking the time to do this interview with us.
Here are just some of Rebellions back catalogue of games.
Rebellion have released games like:
1993 Eye of the Storm
1994 Checkered Flag
1994 Alien vs Predator
1999 Aliens versus Predator
1999 Mission Impossible
1999 The Mummy
1999 Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six
2000 Asterix: Search for Dogmatix
2000 Largo Winch
2001 Midnight Club: Street Racing
2001 Gunfighter: The Legend of Jesse James
2002 Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Lone Wolf
2002 Delta Force: Urban Warfare
2002 Medal of Honor: Underground
Now the interview.
Edge and THAT AVP score (on Jaguar) 4/10, how did it go down with you guys at the time? Myself, I got the impression reviewer totally miss-understood the game and went to it as if it was a Doom clone.
Sometimes it happens and it is disappointing, but after all one person’s opinion is just that, one person’s opinion. We all have good days and bad days, we all have our likes and dislikes. Sometimes a reviewer who just "doesn't like that sort of game" gets to review the output of tens of thousands of hours or hard work of many hundreds of people, and simply doesn't like it. Personally I prefer to look at user reviews and see how people who paid money to play my games liked it or not. Being a reviewer must make some people cynical simply because of the demands of the job.
Did Edge amend the error of their ways, in your eyes years later with the superb Making Of...feature on AVP?
Positive coverage is always good to read. Sadly physical magazine publishing is in a major decline these days, but the website is nice and active. It must be a challenge to balance editorial independence with the knowledge that your pay check needs people to buy advertising.
PC AVP is still often classed by many (myself included) as THE definitive Aliens Game, so what on earth went wrong with your more recent PC/PS3/360 AVP game, considering your 'A-team' worked on it? it had none of the atmosphere or tension of the original and felt very dumb in comparison.
That’s a leading question! Nothing went wrong, but I think the market had changed and there were more mass market pressures on us to make the game easier and more non-core gamer friendly if that makes any sense. We also lost about 5 months at the end of the project because of publisher business pressures and release schedules, so really we didn't get the time we had planned to put the final polish on the game. Bizarrely looking back now, we were told we were going up against ACM’s release, which ironically took another three years to hit the market (They took seven years in total, we took just over two...).
The PC game had superb A.I routines for the Aliens, the ONLY game so far to really understand the Alien behaviour. You must have been proud of these and why didn’t we see similar in the PC/PS3/360 game?
Very proud of most of the stuff we have done, but I simply can’t answer this as I don’t know. I imagine there were design decisions taken to make the game easier to play and again more mass market.
AVP used 'actors' for the comms screens, a poor decision in my eyes, how did this come about and do you feel, looking back, it was the right move?
Yes it was the right move, we initially used our own in house actors which was great, but the publisher asked us to use stuff they had shot and that I felt was much more wooden, but they were paying the bills so they got to have the final decisions.
Who came up with the Fish eye for the Alien view? Genius move I felt.
That was our head of programming here, Kevin, , who is still with us and doing sterling work. It could go even more fish-eye than that but we toned it down a bit for release.
PC AVP took some flak for it's high level of difficulty, limited per game etc. Do you (like I) feel that was a little harsh (the flak/comments)? As I found it really added to the tension. Was it a deliberate move to make game SO tough?
Yes it was very deliberate to kill the player early on, particularly in the first section when most games keep you safe when you were listening to the first briefing. I thought it would shake things up to kill the player right away and break that feeling of safety.
Dredd VS Death, 2 of my fav. 2000AD characters, yet game disappointed, how happy with it were you?.
It was OK, a bit disappointing and I think wrongly signposted to the player re the challenge and arrest feature, but overall it did reasonably well for us.
Rogue Trooper however, outstanding! (Xbox game personal fave) so, any chance of MORE Dredd or Rogue or characters like Nemesis The Warlock, ABC Warriors etc on PS4/Next Gen Xbox?
Yes, those characters are always coming up in discussions but the market is so difficult these days that the amount of budget needed to do justice to them would be high and we just can’t afford it yet. We’re looking at kickstarter and other crowd sourced methods to raise money to invest in games but that’s for the future.
Checkered Flag, with a little more play-testing/work on the controls, could have been the Jaguar's answer to Virtua Racing, were you happy with the car handling? Or would you have preferred more time to tweak it?
More time is always good but rarely available to a dev team. I’ve never been mush of a racing game player myself so I’m probably not best placed to speak about it. When developing the title we did not noice major differences between north American play styles and European ones. NA players blip the controls, European ones press and hold. Balancing the game for both was tricky.
Sky Hammer + AVP, fantastic use of Jaguar hardware, but just how far do you feel you pushed the hardware? Would moving to Jag CD have allowed for much better games? And just how much further do you feel the system COULD have been pushed? I.E. with games like your own Legions Of The Undead (Doom, but with lighting done properly as I believe you proclaimed it.
Yes we were caught out by the Jaguar collapse. SkyHammer was really pushing the tech, and was a dystopian idea that I think worked pretty well. Second and third generation games always build on what has been learnt by the previous ones, so usually they get better.
Talking of Legions...just what were the plans for the game? adventure type, but in Doom style engine?.
Dungeon exploring action game was on the cards with stop-motion generated enemies from models. I’ve still got a few of the models about the office somewhere.
AVP PSP, really put together in under 5 weeks? Or media myth?.
Yup 5 weeks from start to finish with an existing engine in place and lots of retained knowledge. They even managed to make us change the end game boss to avoid film spoilers, then release the film trailer complete with spoilers in it anyway.
Legions Of The Undead - how far did this game get into development? Are there any prototypes lying around or source code for it?
Probably some code somewhere in an archive here. There was the basic engine and some bad guys running around from what I can remember. I’ll ask IT. It will annoy them a lot!
How challenging did you find it to work with the Tramiels? What is you opinion of them?
They were powerful and charismatic business people. We only met them on a few occasions and they seemed to be genuine but tough.
Did Alien VS. Predator on the Lynx ever get any further than the less than half finished prototype that is out there?
No sadly not.
The Lynx AVP prototype is incredibly impressive, what did you think of the hardware itself?
Hardware was awesome at the time, but doomed to obscurity by fate.
Did you ever have any other Lynx games planned?
I just can’t remember.
What ever became of Mr Tank on PC? I saw previews of it doing the rounds at the time, looked like a kinda 1990's take on Battlezone, but with a good dollop of humour. Never saw or heard of it again.
I think we got it released somehow, not sure. It was a flawed masterpiece of technology, crazy music and madness.
Read in Edge that whilst you had no specific Jag CD games in development, your were planning CD versions of cart games, most promising of which as Legions Of The Undead, which Edge claimed the cart. version of, would be finished 'very shortly' and would most likely be a headliner at Atari's ECTS stand, they also claimed Skyhammer was Jag CD bound. Any truth in these claims if not? how did you feel about Edge making such claims?
We had complete SkyHammer and were well on the way with Legions of the Undead. Not sure where Edge got it’s info from back then.
World War Zero on PS2 pretty much nailed things from a technical point of view, rock steady frame rate, clever use of auto-aim etc. How did you find the PS2 hardware, in terms of development?.
Sony are great to work with and though the PS2 and PS3 were not the easiest machines to work with in term s of hardware, they made great games. World War Zero was a big success for us and still sells a few copies digitally for us. Bizarrely I played the PC version for a few hours a few weeks ago, and whilst the graphics are a bit old school, the game play is solid.
You have an expansive library of games in many different systems. Have you found a system that you prefer to work with over others? Is there one system that you've found to be particularly challenging to work with?
Personally I love playing games on the PC as I’m a bit thumbs and fingers with game controllers, but pretty good keyboard and mouse man.
The company started off as a computer games company and then started publishing comic books followed by science fiction and fantasy books. How did things evolve in this manner?
Chris and I still own and run the company over 20 years later. We do business that we want to be doing, so games, comics and books are a natural fit. I get lots of comics to read and books also as well as many games, so things are great. Whilst we sometimes have to make tough business related decisions, we also still have a passion for the things we make, and long may that last.
You currently have one title that has been published for Android devices. Now that the dedicated console OUYA will be available in a few months, any consideration into expanding your game library for Android taking advantage of the capabilities of OUYA?
Absolutely yes, we’re interested in people playing our games on whatever system or hardware they have available so ideally our games would be on all platforms. Sadly that takes time to do and we have to prioritise with the limited resources we have available to us.
Pre-you buying 2000AD you were working on 'Wardog' on PC, with a script being done by 2000AD writers. Set in a dystopian future (Mad Max meets Blade runner I believe), with your character having a bomb in his head, set to explode etc, it was to be your take on the 3D action/adventure genre. What became of it? Did you never find a publisher for it at the time? Also, how near completion was it?
We had a strong demo, that looked great. We couldn’t find any publisher interested in it.
Well that's the end of our interview, again thanks to Jason for taking part.
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