LOS ANGELES — We’re very hopeful about The Conduit, a Wii exclusive shooter that will boast 12-player online multiplayer.
Blast got to talk to Rob Nicholls, game designer for High Voltage Software, which is developing The Conduit.
The the buzz growing around this game, and we’re happy to show this interview in its full form:
BLAST: Tell us a little about The Conduit and a little bit about the challenges of developing a formative shooter for the Wii and the Wii only.
ROB NICHOLLS: Well, The conduit is a fps action styled on the Wii. It has single player components: nine missions, 8-10 hours of gameplay, standard difficulty settings settings. It also has a multiplayer component where you can have up to 12 people competing online where you have your standard deathmach type modes to team-based gameplay with a variety of modes. We have team modes, 13 different rule sets interspersed around those modes, nine different weapons sets and seven different maps that you can mix and match to those.
Plus the maps very in size from 2-6 people all the way up through really big ones that are meant for 12 people, but if you want to put 12 into the smaller maps you’re more than willing to do so.
The storyline for the single player is you play as Michael Ford a Secret Service agent in Washington D.C., and all these strange events have been occurring. There’s been this freak weather system that’s rained and flooded certain parts, and then people got this illness called “The Bug” where they were either not going to work or not showing up to school. A lot of people got reported missing but then showed up later. And then you have these strange terrorist attacks, like the Washington Monumen gets bombed. A senator and presidential hopeful gets assassinated by a member of her own staff. It kind of culminates with you being assigned to the president’s Secret Service detail, and you save him from the other members who suddenly turned on him and tried to kill the president.
This has put you in contact with a mysterious individual known as John Adams who runs this sort of M.I.B.-esque organization called The Trust. Your saving the president has proven you to be “Trustworthy” and loyal and he’s kind of tapped you for this assignment.
What you find out is that it’s the prelude to an alien invasion of Washington D.C.
BLAST: Was it a challenge to make an action shooter just for the Wii under those standards without all the blood and gore and hacked off limbs? Was that easier or harder for you?
RN: It wasn’t really more difficult. It’s just if you’re skirting that line between teen and mature a lot of that depends on who the ESRB has brought in for your session. But I think we’ve got one (game) that still has some hardcore elements. We got a teen rating, but it’s still enjoyable. You can still shoot heads off guys and so forth.
For us I think it was really more important to get that teen rating. As you say this is kind of a new realm — rather, ground that’s been gone over before and nobody’s succeeded. So what we want to do is do everything possible to make this game succeed so it will encourage developers to do more of these in the future.
BLAST: We’re seeing a lot of games in either the post apocalyptic or the “impending doom” genre. Either the world has ended like has in Fallout 3 or the 10 games like it that are coming out or something very, very bad is about to happen. Do you believe that there’s a mimicking of society component in video games?
RN: I think there’s some mimicking. That’s why you’re seeing all these disaster movies. It’s kind of the mindset that society is in. You’re in bad times, you’re going to get stories about bad times or enduring those bad times.
In bad times where like you have a recession, people are worried about losing their homes, losing their jobs, things of that nature, their anxiety is hyped. So that’s the sort of movies that kind of resonate with them and that’s why they’re so popular.
BLAST: Is that Gold for someone like you?
RN: Gold? Well, what story do you want to do? What is going to resonate with people and what are they going to identify with at the time that the game comes out?
We are definitely trying to tell a story with The Conduit, and the 10 second blurb I just gave you is just barely scratching the surface of what is going on behind the scenes.