Drew Markham 02-11

Februari 11, 1999 on evilavatar.com/Gib/kingpin/kingpin.htm
A = Drew Markham (Original Concept, Design and Direction)
Q = Ryan Schwarz

Kingpin: Life of Crime is shaping up to be one of the top first person shooters of '99. In excess of it's impressive list of technological features it also boasts something very few of the other upcoming FPS titles shall -- character. When poised with the choice of assuming the role of Quake 3 or Unreal: Tournament's generic space-marine like characters versus Kingpin's Mafia crime lord, the obvious choice is readily apparent. Top it off with the fact that the title is being developed by Xatrix Entertainment, the fine folks behind quality software like Redneck Rampage and Quake 2: The Reckoning, and you've got yourself a sure to be winner.

I was recently able to ask Xatrix CEO Drew Markham a few questions regarding the upcoming game.

Q: What improvements has Xatrix made to the Quake II engine?

A laundry list:

1) 32-bit color
2) True Gourard lighting on all models
3) Sprite effects, like coronas around lights, gun flares, etc.
4) Procedural smoke and fire effects
5) Fog
6) Environment mapping
7) Material differentiation (metal, concrete, wood, etc.)
8) Team AI functionality
9) 15-segment character models with location specific damage

Q: How modifiable will the world of Kingpin be? Just as, or more so, than that of Quake II?

A: We will be including a copy of QERadiant that has been modified to work specifically with Kingpin. The texture set for KP is very rich, which should give level designers plenty to work with. Also, there are a ton of different skins for the characters, and they should act as templates for anyone out there who wants to create there own skins. So, the world is basically as modifiable as Quake II, but with some extras.

Q: Will there be a playable demo? If so, when will it be released (approximately)?

A: We're currently finishing up a "press demo", and the public version should follow shortly after that. Should be within a week or two.

Q: What will the minimum system requirements be in order to achieve a passable game speed?

A: Hmmm...I guess that depends on your definition of "passable". I've actually played the game on a P200 with a Voodoo 1 card, and its okay, but I certainly prefer playing it on a PII 450 with a TNT card. A PII 233 with Voodoo 2 is also a decent setup, but I must say that we wholeheartedly endorse the TNT card due to its killer 32-bit color rendering.

Q: What degree of environmental interactivity is planned? What will the player be able to destroy?

A: That's one of the things that the animation department is working on, and we currently have crates and stuff that you can destroy, with tables and chairs coming up next.

Q: Will the player be able to operate vehicles? If so, what types?

A: We have an early version of the motorcycle in right now, and its pretty cool. The next big effort will be to get the driving enemies in place for that. Another segment takes place on a moving train, and there will be jetpacks in the final level.

Q: How refined will the movement code be? Are you aiming for a speedy Quake II style of play, or a more realistic Half-Life type approach?

A: We're all a bunch of Quake II junkies here, so we decided early on not to screw with the physics too much. We have altered the player's height and few other little things, but basically its going to be pretty "speedy". We do have a "sneak mode" key that lets you move around without making any noise; very useful for creeping up on a guy and capping him in the back of the head with your silenced pistol. However, you do move pretty slowly while in "sneak mode".

Q: Do you plan on incorporating differing pain skins to realistically portray where an enemy has been shot (as seen in SiN)?

A: Pain skins are a big part of the character animation system in Kingpin. We have taken the character models and broken them up in to 15 pieces for more accurate damage. So, if you pop a guy in the upper leg, the damage shows up in that spot. There are two levels of pain damage for each part of the body.

Q: Will the player react to positional damage? For example, if shot in the leg will one develop a limp?

A: We have accounted for that with all of the NPC's, but we're waiting to see if there's enough RAM left over to actually pull if off, as it adds more animation frames for each character. Currently, the NPC's do react based on the damaged area; if a guy gets shot in the gut, you'll see him double over with pain.

Also, damage is more intense in the pelvis, torso and head areas, making them particularly juicy areas to aim for.

Q: On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rank Kingpin in terms of goriness? Are we in for the usual score of generic giblets, or do you guys have something "special" in the works?

A: I think that we'll wind up with about an eleven. When you beat an enemy down with the lead pipe their eyes swell and close up as the blood smears their face. When you kill someone, they will bleed out from the exit wound. And, yes, we are working on something "special" for the gibs, but since we're still working on it I'll leave it as a surprise for now.

FREDZ | Tuesday 18 January 2022 - 20:20
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