Thanks so much to all of you who asked questions, and a huge thanks to Frederik Schreiber for putting aside his time to give us some great and insightful answers!
Interceptor Entertainment started out as a small modding team working on the official reboot of Duke Nukem 3D. Personally, I created a small “proof of concept” of what Duke3D would look like if it was made on today’s hardware. It caught the attention of Gearbox Software and we started working on the project. In later 2011, Apogee Software approached us, asking us if we were interested in working with their IPs. A few months later and Rise of the Triad was reborn on paper, and Interceptor was established as a real studio.
Interceptor is a true virtual studio made of industry professionals and fans. What makes our studio unique is the transparency and the love of games. We embrace games, and games will always have the highest priority for us. We are one big family, who develops games as if we were making them for ourselves. Blood, sweat and tears go into every game – not because we have to please publishers and investors, but because we want to please the gamers. For the love of the game!
I would say an Interceptor game is identified by its love and passion, which shines through every aspect of the game – we might not have pixel perfect facial animations, or big budget triple-A cut scenes, but that doesn’t matter to us. We create games for the love of the medium, and for the love of fun. An Interceptor game has the soul of the Founding Fathers of Videogames, while having the fresh ideas and innovation from extremely talented game designers – that’s what identifies an Interceptor game.
For gamers unfamiliar with Interceptor Entertainment and Rise of the Triad, what has been your focus throughout the project to ensure it’s relevant to gamers nowadays, while still retaining the retro feel?
Our primary focus has been to encapsulate the soul of what made the shooters of the ‘90s so great. A lot of elements were lost and forgotten over time, which we believe made shooter games so memorable. Many modern shooters have turned into “cinematic” experiences, which we are not fans of. For Rise of the Triad, the most important factors are exploration, fast paced action, skill, and most importantly – fun!
I think people will see it as a breath of fresh air – many elements that defined first person shooters have been slowly disappearing and becoming forgotten. We saw it as a challenge to discover the elements that we liked the most, and an even bigger challenge to mix these up with our own ideas in order to create something both new-school and old-school gamers will like. We are very happy about the game, and we hope you guys will be as well!
During the development process, how did your time decide on what elements of the original Rise of the Triad game you wanted to retain and build upon, and which bits you wanted to leave behind? Kazduin
We basically analysed the entire game and evaluated what we liked the most, and what we felt could be cut. We also reached out to the fans, getting their feedback on what they would love to see return, and what they liked the most – we even reached out to a couple of the original ROTT developers to help us out througout the development, with feedback and guidance. Mixed with out own ideas, and an original game design, we ended up with what we have today – an extremely satisfying and ludicrous shooter.
The defining feature is the “Competitive Singleplayer.” We wanted to try and bring the joy of the old arcade days back into Rise of the Triad. We designed the entire game around coins, scores, speedrunning, rocket jumping and secret areas. At the end of each level, your scores are compared on a leaderboard. This makes the game very competitive, trying to find every single secret in the levels, or trying to beat your friends high-scores.
I believe Rise of the Triad is very unique. Our competitors have focused on other elements, what we didn’t feel represented what was great about the classic shooters. Shooting at hordes of enemies is not what makes a great shooter for us – it’s a combination of puzzles, exploration, secret areas and great action that make a strong shooter. Those games are rare these days, as developers have been trying to embrace the simplicity of the classic shooter. We are not doing that with Rise of the Triad.
The past 10 years, I’ve felt the games industry has been in a “de-evolutionary” state. A great example is amongst first person shooters. During the ‘90s, the genre was evolving. With games like Duke 3D, ROTT, Doom and Quake, we started seeing explorative first person shooters. With SiN, Unreal and Half Life, we started to see multi path level design, action based outcomes, and true interactivity. Deus Ex revolutionised the genre further, introducing a narrative open FPSRPG with an exciting storyline, and the concept of shaping your own destiny
Then something happened. Games became more and more about the automated experience. Catering the inexperienced gamer, and being afraid of punishing the gamer. Games like Call of Duty, went backwards, and made the games simpler, more scripted and more cinematic. My personal opinion is that the current state of videogames, is closer to 1993 than 2013, looking at how game mechanics, challenges and “FUN” have evolved.
Gaming is not about reaching the same goal and experience as a movie – for me, games are about skill. It’s about giving the players tools, having the player fail (often over and over again), until you get that one jump right. Until you finally figure out that puzzle, or until you finally clear out a specific type of enemy. Those experiences give you satisfaction – they make you feel like you achieved something – learned new skills, improved your reaction time. That’s the difference from the overall gaming industry at current, and what I want to change.
What does the future hold for Interceptor? When will we hear more news regarding Pathfinder?
We believe we have a great future ahead of us – we have a lot of ideas, and a couple of unannounced projects up our sleeve. You can expect games that embrace what we believe make games great. We will have some great news for you guys in the near future J
With next-gen consoles just around the corner, will we see Interceptor moving towards console gaming as well as PC and mobile?
Definitely – We love the next-gen platforms and see a ton of potential in them!