We chat with Kuju's Ed Daly about their WWII action-adventure game that uses a comic-book style and role-playing elements to make itself stand out.1. Hi, Can you please tell us a bit about yourself and how you are involved in the game.
I'm Ed Daly, I was running the Wide Games studio, which is now Kuju Brighton. I've been in the loop since the high concept was brought to us by the original publisher, Wanadoo.2. Why did you choose a comic-book style of graphics as opposed to other styles? Did you try any other graphics styles?
We wanted a style that would differentiate Pilot Down from other WWII games. We felt this style provided a refreshing look, to complement the refreshing gameplay.3. What levels will be in the game, will they be a mix of action and stealth or full on action, going in guns blazing?
The levels have been designed to allow players to specialise, spending experience points on action, stealth and survival skills. This RPG aspect provides added depth to the gameplay. Players also have the freedom to become all rounders, combining stealth or an all guns blazing approach.4. I understand there will be side quests in some levels; can you give us an example of one?
Sure, in one level the player sees a train loaded with ammo destined for the front-line, although he can leave this alone he has the opportunity to engage in some behind the lines sabotage. Spotting another carriage full of food (that will be rotten by the time it reaches the front-line) he sneaks into the points room, switches the carriages and sends the train on its way. Its a typical example in which the player uses his imagination to help the war effort without drawing attention to himself - after all he's on his own and surrounded by the German army. 5. Do side quests have any effect on future levels or the overall ending of the game?
Yes there are some effects of these episodes on future levels, though the overall ending of the game is based on the main storyline. I wont ruin all the surprises in the game by giving this away.6. What are the enemies like, are they all German troops or are there any others?
Well the troops are all German, albeit that there are several types which all pose different problems. In addition there are civilians to deal with. Our hero is a good guy so he doesn't kill unarmed civilians, however they can cause serious problems for the player by telling the soldiers where you are. 7. What is the AI system like? Will the enemy try to group together to take you down?
The AI combines a perception system, which determines what the bad guys see and hear, with behaviours such as searching, and indeed tactics in a fire fight.8. What sort of weapons will feature in the game?
There are a range of pistols, machine guns and rifles, all based on real world weaponry. Although the game's graphics are stylised, the detail remains historically accurate.9. As part of the role-playing elements of the game, will you team up with NPC’s or do you have to “go it alone”?
For the most part the player is alone - this is the essence of the game, alone and hunted in enemy territory. There are however some friendly NPCs who you can help and who will help you on your way.10. What sort of skills does the main character have? Can they all be improved throughout the game?
Skills cover stealth, unarmed combat, ability with weapons and survival skills. The survival element of the game is very original, the player needs to keep fed and warm. This creates many dilemmas for the player, do you wade through the icy river to avoid the patrol on the bridge, players that are able to stand the cold for longer may have this option, others may be forced to fight their way through.11. Finally, what has been the most challenging part of creating the game so far?
The game spent almost a year in limbo while companies changed ownership and while the original publisher exited the games industry altogether. Its fair to say that creating the game was the easy bit - finding a route to market was certainly a challenge! We're very happy that the game will at last be released this summer. We hope you enjoy it.