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Seite 2: Interview mit Amaze Entertainment zu Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Man's Chest


Autor: Kevin Jensen

Kategorie: Interviews
Umfang: 2 Seiten

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NintendoDS Artikel vom 31.03.2006

Deutsch | English

After the worldwide success of Pirates Of The Carribean, Disney will release the 2nd movie "Dead Man's Chest" in July this year. We had the chance to talk to Cheryl Platz, Producer of the Nintendo DS version of the game. All about the game can be found in this interview. First of all can you introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about Amaze Entertainment who is behind the project and what did you do till now?

Cheryl Platz: Greetings! My name is Cheryl Platz, and I’m the Producer on the Nintendo DS version of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest here at Amaze Entertainment. (Other teams at Amaze are working on the GBA and PSP versions.) Amaze is a great third-party game developer located in Seattle, Washington. We create games for pretty much every platform out there, but the studio I work for concentrates on handheld games. In addition to Pirates (which is being published by Buena Vista Games), my studio has worked on a bevy of other games you may have played - including all of The Sims handheld games to date, almost all of The Lord of the Rings handheld games, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe for DS and GBA, and Lego Star Wars for the GBA. Could you tell us what Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest is all about and which elements of the movie are brought up? How hard was it to catch the very characteristic spirit of the movie?

Cheryl Platz: Well, I don’t want to give too much away – you’ll never speak to me again if I ruin it! - But the film picks up where “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” left off. Jack Sparrow is captain of the Black Pearl, and is in search of a new, mysterious treasure. Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann also play an important role in the plot. Eventually all three are thrown into a dark pirating adventure to save each other - and perhaps their very souls!

The Nintendo DS version follows the film story very closely – our game takes place in seven key locations from the film. We had a unique challenge because we’re the only Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest title that allows you to play as all three heroes (Jack, Will and Elizabeth) – doing the three of them justice on the DS was an exciting (but daunting) task!

Most difficult, however, is capturing the unique sense of chaos, humor and fun that sets the Pirates of the Caribbean films apart from every other pirate story. It’s an honor to work with such a great story and characters, but that makes things that much trickier. The character of Jack Sparrow is so indescribable – just getting his walk right took a dozen tries! What new features in comparison to similar games can we await and how did you manage to use the special functions of the Nintendo DS like microphone, touch-screen and dual screen?

Cheryl Platz: Pirates for the DS is a fully 3D action adventure game with lots of brawler-inspired combat. It’s very different from most of what’s out there for the Nintendo DS right now, so I’m excited for us to fill that gap and give players something they’ve been missing. During main gameplay, we use the second screen for important information like your gold count, current weapon and time left with that weapon – we didn’t want to overuse the touch screen and pull players out of combat. We use all of the tactile controls available to us to provide the player with a wide range of attack combos.

We’ve also included three touch screen mini-games that you encounter when travelling from location to location – those gave us an opportunity to really have some fun. My personal favourite is Boom Barge, where you lob pigs, chairs, and whatever you’ve got around into crates of ammunition trying to hit them into enemy ships. But most of my team has a soft spot for Shoot the Monkey – where you’re using the touch screen to hit Jack the (undead) Monkey. I’ll never tire of hearing that sound! Could you give us a description of the game play modes and how long an average player will need to beat the game?

Cheryl Platz: The main game is broken up into seven locations, encompassing nearly 90 gameplay maps in total over the course of the game. The main game is fully cooperative as well – so you can either play through the story in single-player mode or in Cooperative mode with a friend using the DS’s built-in wireless functionality. An average player will probably need about 7–8 hours to get through the core story, but plenty more if they want to unlock extra combos, weapons, playable characters, and the like.

If you don’t have time to play the entire main game cooperatively, you can always connect wirelessly with a friend to play any one of our three mini-games for some instant gratification. Most of the shown screenshots various action scenes. Separated into parts can you tell us how much of the game will action and fighting and how much is more adventure or solving riddles?

Cheryl Platz: This is a very action-heavy game. I’d say about 70% of the game involves direct action gameplay, and 30% is puzzles and more adventure-esque components. We wanted gameplay to feel fast-paced, chaotic and creative – like you’re constantly looking for ways to improvise your way through battles. Can you give us more details about the fighting system? Will there be any magic spells, special weapons, items, etc.?

Cheryl Platz: The fighting system itself is pretty robust – easy to pick up but there’s power in it if you’re willing to devote the time to unlocking advanced features. Players start out with a basic stable of combination moves, but can unlock more powerful combos by playing through the game. There are several “advanced” combos that can be unlocked by beating various stages, and there are six secret combos that can only be unlocked by finding the four hidden gems in each of the key locations in the game.

As far as items go, we wanted to make sure we provided a wide range of weapons in the world – because after all, aren’t pirate fights all about making the best of what’s around you? As a result, our weapon system is a lot of fun, and is really one of the best parts of the game. Skulls, frying pans, glass bottles, parasols, pistols, spears, bombs – almost everything you can think of is a weapon. I’m particularly fond of the glass bottles and the spears myself. How many characters will be playable in the game and how far will the character attributes be flexible for up-leveling, learning special moves, magic, etc.?

Cheryl Platz: There are a total of nine playable characters in the game, including Jack, Will, and Elizabeth, as well as one enemy from each of six locations. Those “bonus” playable characters can only be unlocked by replaying locations to try and find the hidden character statues. And of course, as with many games, players can increase their base health by finding health upgrade throughout the world.

Each character has a distinct feel to them - Elizabeth is fast, Jack is well-rounded but a bit swooshy, and Will is pretty powerful. The three hero characters also have their own “signature moves” – powerful moves that are extremely useful when you’re in a tight spot. For example, Jack fires off a pistol for his signature move – but he shoots in the wrong direction and the bullet ricochets around, hitting anything it can find! I love that move. Will there be any multiplayer features, local and/or online?

Cheryl Platz: We support two-player local wireless play. Players can either play through the main story cooperatively with a friend, or choose to play the mini-games as short multiplayer experiences. If you could be any character of the movie, which one would you pick and why?

Cheryl Platz: Tough question! I bet you’re expecting me to say Elizabeth, but I’m a huge Jack Sparrow fan. More than any other character in the Pirates films (and lots of other films to boot), Jack can handle absolutely anything people throw at him (figuratively AND literally). Given the choice, I’d cast my lot as Captain Jack. Is there anything you would like to tell our readers?

Cheryl Platz: Well, I’m sure my family will be quite excited to see this interview, since my ancestors are German! Hello, ancestors! But back to the subject at hand - All of the Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest games have their own unique take on the Pirates of the Caribbean universe, so whether you play it on DS or GBA or PSP, you’ll be getting a totally different gaming experience. Whatever you choose, have a smashing time, and keep to the Code!

Thanks to Cheryl Platz for his support.

The interview was held by Kevin Jensen for
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