Thread: Ask Eric
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Old 12-01-09, 17:07   #505
Squamula
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: California
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MMAN: Yeah, I'll discuss more with Story later, but for now, concept art is often much more grand than is possible to do...it's inspirational. As for Natla's personality, I don't think it has changed...it's hard to judge with the few things she has ever said, but she, like anyone, has moods. As for boss fights, I was pretty much against boss fights from the start, because they require a lot of special code and script and work that takes away from the rest of the game, and I'd rather a buildup of excitement and commitment rather than some big one-off monster sitting in the last room all the time...it's so predictable and often aggravating when the mechanics to beat the boss are ones you have to learn right before or during the fight itself...a pet peeve of mine. The affedct this had on story and voice versa I'll address later.

danny.rex: I was a consultant for the DLC team, but not the driver. My name (last I saw) is not on the DLC credits but only the Underworld credits.

Aussie500: I don't remember about the Deep Sea Encounter soundtrack specifically, but we did some shuffling after the music was composed when we thought a piece would work better elsewhere.

Ashnod: I will talk about this stuff when I talk about Story, but please, everyone, when I do talk about story, if I forget to address one of your questions, please feel free to bring them up again. As for my opinion about TRU's performance with respect to market conditions, it's hard to say. It was an unprecedented year for bad economy and crowded marketplace. Predictions are guess, and guesses are only that, guesses.

mau3genius: already answered, and no, we didn't consider AoD cut elements...I don't even know what they were.

CrazyMonkey: We didn't have to scrap everything and start over, but refactoring code for next-gen was a big deal and took a lot of effort and time. And 3 years is only a lot of time with a team much bigger than ours. Look how many people are on the credits lists of other games, given the type of games they are. I think it's a damn miracle, and a testament to the team, that we delivered what we did under the conditions we were under (team size and engine refactoring for next-gen). And yes the Teen rating meant we couldn't do things we wanted to or were done in the past, but it was a publisher mandate at the tmie. It won't always necessarily be so, though, the future can always be different.


AmericanAssassin: The managers who said it had to be Teen left some time ago, so maybe that could change sometime. I'll talk about AoD with the other story stuff. And I really don't know much about the Anniversary layout decisions.

The Arimaspan: If you got your hands on an old game design document, I'm pretty sure it would be trouble for you to publish it. Laws were broken to get it from the office to your hands, and even if you were only the receiver, you could be held liable anyway knowing that it was illegally obtained. I'm not a legal expert, though, but I wouldn't do it if I were you.

josh21: I'll talk about Wraith stone powers along with story.

amiro1989: We were torn about making Underworld a Mature title, in the studio. I wanted to do things that a Teen rating prevented, but I also wanted it to get the players the first unrated games, did. In the end it didn't matter because publishing wanted it to be Teen.

Ward Dragon: I wrote the journal myself over the summer, as a way to do exactly what you praise them for, so thank you! I had to struggle to keep them in the game, too, and I did it for the small slice of people who wanted to know more about how everything hung together outside of the cut scenes, because I know that part means a lot to me and would to some others, too.

EmeraldFields: I don't know when DLC is going to be released, but I think that info is available somewhere...


Sharon 14: Yes, I played TR1 as soon as it came out and loved it. And after years of evasions, here's my real opinion about them all. TR1 = loved it. TR2 = loved it. TR3 = liked parts, but it slowed for me, I got stuck, and drifted away and didn't finish. TR4 looked like more of the same, and I didn't play. TR5, same story. TR6 looked wrong to me, not the Lara Croft I loved, so I didn't get it until I joined the Legend team, and then I tried to play it but the game design risks they took didn't work for me and I stopped. But I looked at video playthroughs of all the games during development.

laralover 07: Autographs? Send me a PM and we'll discuss pricing...

Nightwish: I haven't spoken to Toby since Thursday, so I don't know what's up with him, or who the list of 30 contains.
I can't answer the DLC questions, and the story stuff will come later. Already answered the merc question...

TR1CRW:
Titan Wars! My first Crystal Project! And Sherlock Holmes. You know when I landed the gig to do Sherlock Holmes I hadn't read any of Doyle, so I stayed home for three days and read everything back to back...it's great stuff, so much better than the movies ever were...thanks for writing!

Love2Raid: The Artic area, thuogh I have said was deliberately smaller for pacing reasons, was meant to be a bit bigger than it turned out, but things got complicated and we did the best we could.
As for the marketing campaign, I don't know how that voodoo works, so I wouldn't want to say anything about that as it would be the uniformed opinions of an unemployed guy!

abraham: It's not rude to ask about Kyle Mannerberg. He died during production in his sleep of an unexpected brain bleed at the age of 29. He was out Lead Level Designer, and he is dearly missed. Yes, that portrait in Lara's yacht is Kyle, and he would hate us for it because he avoided havnig his picture taken, but it meant a lot to us to include it.

Boris S.: I can't really what the precise reasons for the Crystal Layoff were...you'd have to ask them, but I suspect it's just as they say, about focus in a touch economy and marketplace. Me and Alex Jones (Sr. Producer) were the first two people on the project, and we started it just as Legend was ending. No boss fights were planned...more on that later. And it's no coincidence that Mexico is the longest level and the first once we worked on...that's how iteration works. And how do I feel about being let go from Crystal? Sad, but life is complex and I try not to oversimplify what happens according to my emotions.

Philio: How can Amanda catch a god? Lara herself got the better of Natla more than once... And while we never intended on a snowmobile for the Arctic, we did concepts of a motorcycle that had a halftrack for a rear wheel, but couldn't get it to work to our satisfaction, aesthetically or physically.

TRJTA: Can't talk about what's coming in the future. I didn't see your mod, but I've been out of the office and mainstream, doing press and whatnot, since the game shipped. And I don't think it's really legal for you to release the soundtrack, but I guess it depends on what you mean. I'm no lawyer. I love that everyone likes the soundtrack so much!

Edsta: My favorite was TR1 because I always love the first, but I have very good feelings about TR2, also. I loved Lost Valley, Cistern, cat mummies in Egypt, the doppelganger fight, coming out on the underground Sphynx, turning into gold, and training in the mansion.

daventry: Harley had already moved to a new company, after having her baby, who is very healthy and happy.

Joshorty: I'minterest in where I will be a year from now, too!

Drone: the glitches you see would have been cleared up given more time, but again, the lack of time was as much a planning issue on the team as it was publishing pressure.


Supernova: so many people wanting old style Tomb Raider has always been a big challenge In part they (and I count myself among them) want to have that experience again, and you can't go back. The feeling you had the first time you got to drive a car was great, but how can you do it again? So many people left the franchise because it kept being the same, and the same doesn't fly anymore. I'm sad we can't go back and have the experience of driving fhr the first time again, but it's unavoidable, and the best we can do is try to elicit similair feelings in new ways. Yes, NEW ways. And it's a hard challenge to meet.

Aussie500: Some level info will have to wait for story... And Thailand did change because Beta testing told us a lot about what people were getting and what they weren't, and what was keeping people engaged and what wasn't.

Ward Dragon: Squamula has a long history with me, but for odd reasons. Many years ago I came across this word because my college roommate was studying bugs. I looked up the word Squamula in a dictionary, and every single noun in the definition was a word I didn't know -- specialized entomology jargon. I looked up each of those words, and the definitions of those words had words I didn't know. It took forever for me to sort out that a squamula is (in entomological terms) the scale the covers where the wings of some insects attached to the body. The idea of obscure words being nested in piles of other obscure words was hilarious to me.
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