Playfire Q&A: Interceptor Entertainment

Playfire Q&A: Interceptor Entertainment

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!

What’s the history behind Interceptor Entertainment? How did you originally get into the games industry and, as a developer and as a studio, what led you to this point in your career?

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.

What is it you feel makes Interceptor unique from other developers? Do you have particular unique ways of working that sets you apart from other studios?

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!

Following on from this, what would you say are the most important and recognisable elements of an Interceptor game? What gives them the Interceptor identity?

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? xdragonwiingz

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!

How do you think people will react to the First Person Shooter genre going back to its roots? What has been the most challenging thing throughout development? DSP21

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.

Building on that, what do you think is the defining feature of Rise of the Triad, and how have you expanded on that?Walsa

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.

Now that the shooter genre is so competitive, what do you think it is about old-school shooters like Rise of the Triad that will appeal to the current gaming audience? Tarang_khaitan 

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.

If you could change one thing about the gaming industry at current, what would it be, and why? pecan50 (Playfire Favourite!)

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!

Site Maintenance: July 31st

Hey folks,

At 0700 UTC on July 31st our technical team will be carrying out some important work on our servers and such. This work may take up to an hour to complete, and so the store will be unavailable for a measurable period of time.

When this countdown reaches zero the planned maintenance will begin:

Update 0805 UTC July 31st: Work is now complete


37 Deals on Square Enix this Weekend Only

We've got 37 deals from great Square Enix franchises, all available at 75% off and all available until 1500 UTC Monday July 29th! How much time is left on them you ask?  This much:

Remember you can always keep up to date on our posts by connecting with us on social media!


Get GMG Credit this Week

This weekend it's all about GMG Rewards! Unfamiliar with GMG Rewards? Fret not, I'm about to give you a description in a nutshell.

Selected games get Rewards put onto them. You'll know if it has them on the game page by the dollar and piggy-bank symbols. To make it easier, keep a lookout over the next seven days for games on the homepage that have a coin with an R on them - that means there are Rewards!

You'll have the option of Cash Back or GMG Credit. Cash Back gets sent back by us once your transaction is complete, and takes a few days for your bank to fully process. GMG Credit is instant, and you always get more for it, so that's what I'd recommend you grab! Below are just a few of the highlights in our Rewards Week...

$12 / £10 / €12 GMG Credit

Battlefield 4 provides
$12 / £10 / €10 GMG Credit

$6 / £4 / €6 GMG Credit

Citadels provides
$6 / £5 / €6 GMG Credit

Face Noir provides
$7 / £4 / €5 GMG Credit

$12 / £7 / €10 GMG Credit

$8 / £5 / €7 GMG Credit

$4 / £3 / €3 GMG Credit

$4 / £3 / €3 GMG Credit

$6 / £4 / €6 GMG Credit

$3 / £2 / €2 GMG Credit

$3 / £2 / €3 GMG Credit

$12 / £7 / €11 GMG Credit

$12 / £10 / €11 GMG Credit

You can find other games offering Rewards by checking out the site!

EVE Online: Alliance Tournament XI Weekend 2

The EVE Online Alliance Tournament XI continues this weekend. You can watch the livestream by either heading to the Alliance Live Stream page, or just hit play on their channel below!

The first matches of this weekend start at 1500 UTC on Saturday July 27th, of course you can also check the whole schedule here.

Watch live video from twitchernest on

To continue the celebration of the grand event we have two more ship models to give away, generously provided by CCP! This weekend we have two Collector's models of the Raven. 

*The above is an in-game screenshot and not of the model

How do you get your hands on it?Just hit the two buttons below and if you're selected as a winner we'll DM you!

Make sure you enter by 1100 UTC Monday July 29th, we won't look at entries after that!

MINI-UPDATE 1913 UTC 26th July: To avoid disrupting the #tweetfleet feeds for EVE users we've changed the hashtag to #GMGCompRaven. If you've already tweeted you don't need to tweet again for entry. Apologies for any disruption caused, the intention was to generate awareness and the speed to entries on this post is greater than the first and causing obvious upset. -James

WINNER UPDATE 1144 UTC 29th July: Congratulations to both cian1500ww and Yngwiedis! You're our Raven winners!

Playfire Vulcan BETA Update

Playfire Vulcan Beta testers, we have another build for you!

As the Playfire tech team rest up and enjoy a well deserved ice cream, we're hitting the big red 'deploy' button for another Playfire Vulcan update before we crack on with the next release.

Version of Playfire Vulcan includes the following changes:
  • Further improvements to logging and error awareness have been made to assist in troubleshooting.
  • Resolved an issue where you users were unable to log in after changing their password on
  • Resolved an issue that resulted in licensing information being omitted. A full list of third party credits is now available to view in the ‘About’ menu.
Bit of a small update this one, but it was important that we released this as soon as were able to. We can't have people having problems logging in, can we? Thanks for those of you who helped us unearth this particularly crafty bug.

As always you can find a list of all outstanding issues that we're busy working on, as well as a place to drop a few pieces of your own feedback, over in the official Playfire Vulcan feedback thread.

Also if you haven't gotten around to reading the latest Letter from the Engine Room, give it a look. You might find Playfire popping up and down over the next few weeks as we migrate servers, so this might affect you.

Until next time.

Ben (radMonkey), Joncol and the Playfire Team

Letters from the Engine Room #3

Hey folks,

This edition of the Engine Room has been marked First Class, and has arrived a little earlier than originally expected due to some important updates the Playfire team have for you.

For the regular readers among you, you'll remember that one of the more difficult, but high priority tasks was the migration of Playfire onto new servers. By doing so we'd be making Playfire more responsive and stable, allowing us to build upon it. In the coming weeks we're going to be carrying over the final few boxes and unloading the contents to our new home - well, metaphorically speaking. Here's Lee to explain more:

Over the next couple of weeks we'll be moving Playfire to it's new home in terms of hosting. This will involve people seeing the maintenance screen more frequently and in some cases for hours at a time.

Normally we'd do it piece by piece over a period of months. However, we have some major fixes in development that involve doing things we can't do on our existing hosting. To get these things out sooner, we have to move things quickly than we'd usually like.

There you have it. On one side we'd prefer to schedule maintenance ahead of time and warn you in advance, but in exchange for some unexpected downtime here and there, Lee and his team will be able to move to the servers quicker, allowing us to start progress on other areas of Playfire's development.

Speaking of developments, if you've kept an eager eye on our forums you'll see that we've been drip-feeding updates to the Playfire website as and when they're completed. One of the most important issues we've been able to address is the duplicate PSN trophies that were plaguing people's profiles. After thorough investigation the tech team have been able to remove these duplicates and patch up the offending code. There's unfortunately a similar issue with Steam achievements that's still rearing its head, but we're hoping to have that one nailed down quickly once we've done a bit more digging around.

I'll be updating the Letters from the Engine Room thread with any other fixes as they arrive, so make sure you check it regularly. But for now I must say my goodbyes so I can write up those all-important design documents.


Ben (radMonkey), Joncol and the Playfire Team

20% Voucher Available

Hungry for a new code to get discounts on the PC games you want? Hunger no more and use it on hundreds of PC digital titles on Green Man Gaming!



*This voucher is valid until 1500 UTC July 26th 2013. Note that some titles will be excluded from vouchers, multiple vouchers cannot be used in conjunction, and that vouchers do not work on bundles or physical versions of games.

Staff Picks: Oddplanet and AirBuccaneers

More recently we've played Oddplanet and AirBuccaneers. Guess what we're talking about today? Yep! Bot of these games are in our weekend promotion too, so definitely check that out. Let's not hang about then. Here's a spoonful of opinions...


George: AirBuccaneers, bit of a quirky game, huh?

James: Amazing start. Good kick-off point George. Yes. It's quirky. But then the best games always do something a bit different.

George: Yeah, quirky in a good way - it's one of the few games that has actually managed to tear me away from F1 2012. The teamwork aspect to it is fantastic - rocking up in a battleship with 2 of my friends on the guns, it's amazing.

James: Otherwise you might as well play Generic Brown Landscape Shooter 7.  Did you get far in terms of levels and abilities?

George: Erm, I can't say I did. I may not have been very good at it (I once got caught in the giant tornado on one of the maps after stupidly saying 'look I'll pull a slingshot manoeuvre and speed into the enemy!'), but I enjoyed it.

James: Well, I spent some of my time yesterday playing Oddplanet. An extremely light game (in terms of space anyway, it's about 65mb and runs off the .exe) with a very dark atmosphere. If you think Limbo in terms of how it looks, with a dash more colour and a far bigger sense of dread about the world you're in. I've not played it much but I'm going to go back to it. It's something like.. the game-style of Limbo meets Alice in "I'm going to kill you" land.

James: The main let down for it I think is the controls. Which can be a bummer when you're platforming and need to move mid-jump, but the totally bizarre way of the world is making me want to go back to it. I died a whole hell of a lot over and over, and while you might think "Well that sounds dumb" I'd wager that's how most people who played LIMBO felt.

George: I must admit I'm not really one for dark platformers, but this one looks really rather interesting. What was it that particularly dragged you into the game? Was it the art style, story etc?

James: Well it describes itself as a mix of Limbo and Oddworld. I loved Limbo so was already interested.  What it does differently to Limbo though (which is obviously what will make me play it instead of just going back to Limbo) is that rather than having just the gruesome murder of the character, to make me go "UGH!" and keep trying, the world you're in is far more alien than you'd think.  For example, in my first go on it you need to get across a small pool of water and the only object you can use to help you in this is a ball with a foetus inside growing off of a tree. You have to knock it from the tree and roll it into the water.

James: It sounds grim. And it is. It seems like a very cruel, hostile world. So surviving it will be a good challenge!

George: I think I'll stick to blowing up zeppelins with my antler hat on thank you.

James: It's certainly up there with "weirdest and most disturbing things I've seen". And I've only played about 20 minutes, so it'll be interesting to see where else it goes. That said probably 10 minutes of that was drowning and falling onto spikes.  Die much in AirBuccaneers?

George: As I'm not too good at it - I did die a lot. However it is so quick to get back into combat with other ships, you just don't mind. The respawn system allows you to fly to your chosen ship on an kite-type-thing.

James: I imagine you chose some empty ships to take the helm right?

George: of course, I'm a control freak - so had to be the one steering the ship! Which leads me on nicely to the rank system. Unfortunately you're able to 'pull rank' on the person steering the ship, which happened a few times to me. Leaving me to man a gun.

James: They updated that a while ago I think. Or rather fixed it. It used to be you could constantly pull rank. I think you can only do it once a round now. Of course in a game of 32 players.. You could still get rank pulled a lot.

George: Oh yeah, it was once per round - however I got multiple people doing it to me! Being put to the cannons made me realise something pretty quick. They are bloody difficult to aim.  Flamethrowers were nice and easy, however it left you rather exposed as you have to be really very close to the enemy in order to use them.  My favourite ship was the artillery platform - which is where you basically trundle round and low altitude firing the enormous cannons at the unsuspecting ships above.

James: The platform isn't bad, though I find shooting from so far and when you can't match the other ships speed trickier. I actually prefer the flamethrower move! Get close, and boost just after you order the attack. I mean: assuming the crew follow it. Above all there's massive potential for clan matches in that game.

George: It's one of those games where I found myself playing it in short bursts. Each match is pretty intense and I just had to have a break at the end of them most times.


And on the off-chance you're interested in seeing a bit more about Oddplanet, I streamed a bit of my playing it and uploaded it to YouTube. You are warned up front that I am not humourous. I will not amuse you. I will simply play games at you.

Staff Picks: The Journey Down and Duke Nukem II

Even though we offer games on amazing deals we know there's a fair few people that still make a choice between just a few of them. If you're lost for what games to narrow it down to, we've got some suggestions this weekend. Starting with an adventure game and a classic side-scrolling shoot-em-up, George and myself talk about why you should consider these titles from the whole offering of The Indie Weekend!


James: The reason I'm supporting The Journey Down as a serious consideration is that it's a charming story (or rather the first part of it), with a very unique visual style. Like any adventure or point-and-click game I ended up cheating a little by searching for a guide, and surely the more I play of adventure games the more I'll be able to logic, right?

George: A noble reason indeed, I on the other hand have chosen Duke Nukem II because it is undoubtedly the game of my childhood. Though I was young, I still remember the cutting edge graphics and the creepy monster hands reaching out through the jail bars on the first level (I did have nightmares about this for a few years afterwards)!

James: I'm not so sure Duke Nukem should've been played by children. Though who of us didn't play games we weren't "properly aged" for?

George: Looking back at it, I probably shouldn't have been playing it at the age of 4. However it's actually the one game that has stuck with me for my entire life (so far!). That said, I think Journey down looks incredibly frightening.

James: Initially I was a bit freaked out by the character models in Journey Down too.  The lack of eyes is immediately obvious - but once you see the characters coming through in the story you stop noticing it as a weird thing, and it just becomes part of the integral charm of the game.  Besides you can't see the Duke's eyes anyway, right?

George: That's because he's too cool to remove his blood spattered sun glasses. Though if I remember you can see his little pixel eyes.

James: I'll admit I never played the Duke games. They were slightly before my time and I never really played retro games all that much (everything kept being new and exciting). Of course being 4 is also a bit early for it I'd imagine but hey, it hasn't made you a psychopath! Lot of fuss over nothing all that media coverage of games being evil. How does DN2 hold up against modern day shoot-em-ups?

George: I think being so young I didn't really understand the game - it was just monsters and bright colours on the screen (admittedly I don't think i got much farther than level 2). As far as comparing it to modern day shoot-em-ups? I think the only game that would come close to Duke Nukem II would be Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon. The bright colours, ridiculous enemies - the retro 80's and (in Dukes case) 90's themes.

James: I just think if someone is going to buy something they should go for an up-to-date experience. The Journey Down offers that, and has the promise of more in store with future chapters!

George: I disagree, as you mentioned - you haven't played Duke Nukem as it was 'before your time' and I think it is something everyone should experience. You're not a proper gamer till you've played the Duke Nukem series.


Despite being a perfectly functioning member of society George immediately flew into a rage screaming "NUKEM!" over and over attacking team members. He's okay now though and we're all having ice creams.

So there's just two of our personal recommendations for this weekend. Don't forget to check out the full list of indie offerings because there's a LOT of good stuff!


The Indie Weekender

This weekend is all about indie games! You have until 1500 UTC Monday July 22nd to pick these up, and in case it's handy we've included a timer just below to show what time is left:

Behold the grand more-or-less alphabetical list!

If you choose to pick one up one or more of these games why not write a review for them and help other users know what's good to get? If your reviews get approved you'll also earn some GMG Credit! To write a review just go to the game page, scroll down and start writing! There's a few basic guidelines you can follow.


*Discounts are available while stocks last.

The Indie Weekend Grand Giveaway

We've got another massive indie promotion coming up - those who have been with us for a while will remember the last one! If you've got a good memory you'll remember we gave away ten indie games to ten people on a Facebook competition.

We're upping the ante this time - ten winners will get 21 products! The full list of them is below, and they're all so great:

Really if you look at it too, you're getting the Worms Collection which has over 20 titles alone! Then the Dual Pack, another two games. Well over forty titles for a summer filled to the brim with cool games!

To enter just hit up our Facebook page and check the Competition tab. The competition closes at 1100 UTC Monday 22nd July. It's seriously easy to do so don't miss out your chance.

UPDATE 0926 July 23rd:: Winners have been chosen and will be contacted shortly by the provided email. Thanks to all those who entered and congratulations to those who won!


Playfire Vulcan BETA Update

Konnichiwa Vulcan Beta participants!

This week a lightly toasted team of Playfire Vulcan engineers worked tirelessly through the heatwave to punch out another release. Rather than squeezing out two new builds this week we've got just the one. Despite this we hope you'll agree that there's plenty of cool stuff locked up inside the update.

Playfire Vulcan BETA includes the following changes:
  • The frequency of the Xbox Live 2-step authentication prompt has been reduced.
  • An issue has been resolved where a semi-colon in an achievement would cause Playfire Vulcan to fail to correctly gather data from Steam
  • When data gathering hangs after an extended period of time, it’s now cancelled and restarted.
  • Extra details can now be optionally logged for easier troubleshooting.
  • Xbox Live data gathering is now more efficient.
  • Loading up the settings window will force Playfire to check whether there’s data gathering in process before cancelling the process.
  • The login screen has been replaced with a welcome screen that now allows new users to register from within Playfire Vulcan.
Now, we've still got some pesky issues to fix, but your constant feedback has definitely helped us push through the beta. We've managed to clean up many of the niggles that were plaguing the way Playfire Vulcan gathers data, and while we've still got some server-side fixes we're working on (duplicate trophies etc.) for the most part the client has made great headway.

While our talented engineers smooth over those few remaining bumps, we're beginning to write up some design documents so they have some a big stack of work to get through when they're finished - muhahaha! There's plenty of ideas for what direction we'd like to see Playfire Vulcan take - not to mention what platforms we'd like to see it ported to - but ultimately your thoughts are at the core of our design process. Whether it's a friends list or the ability to take screenshots, give us your best ideas in our Playfire Vulcan feedback thread

Signing out,

Ben (radMonkey), Joncol and the Playfire Team

EVE Odyssey: Cargo up for grabs

Operatives from the CCP Station have sent word of a competition, to be provided to the citizens of Green Man Gaming. This was included in the transmission:

Starting this weekend is the Alliance Tournament XI, taking place over three weekends with the grand finale on Sunday August 4th. There's some massive prices up for grabs for those who have entered, but even if you're not in one of the corporations taking part, we've got something available for you.

To help mark the big event we have some brilliant prizes that any die-hard EVE Online fan can't live without! We have six models provided to us by CCP of EVE Online ships. Each weekend we will give two of them away.

This weekend we're giving away two models for the Amarr Battleship, Apocalypse. The below picture is an ingame screenshot and obviously the model will look different! We'd put up some pictures of them but that would take the joy away from the winners who receive them* - maybe they'll put them up on the EVE forums! You never know.

So how do you enter to win one of these badass models? Just hit the two buttons below and if you're selected as a winner we'll DM you!

Make sure you enter by 1100 UTC Monday July 22nd, we won't look at entries after that!

If you want to watch the action the guys at CCP will be having it streamed live on their channel.

In related news, the EVE Online Starter Pack - Amarr Bounty Hunter is 75% off this weekend!

UPDATE 1436 UTC July 22nd: We have our winners! Congratulations to JeremyEffinger and Palacinko

Good luck!


*We admit though we had a sneak peek at them. We were pretty excited.

Playfire Q&A with Interceptor Entertainment!

Hey guys,

It’s that time again. You know the time. The time when we get some really cool developers to answer your questions in an intimate and insightful Q&A. That time! 

We're also offering GMG Credit to the sweet tune of £20/$30/€23 for the best question, as judged by our interviewee!

After our last Q&A with Criterion Games – which you can digest in all its glory here – we decided to hook up with Frederik Schreiber, CEO and Creative Lead at Interceptor Entertainment, for another Playfire community interview.

Interceptor Entertainment is due to release the rebooted and improved Rise of the Triad later this month. It’s a remake of the 1994 classic, and it looks set to be a hit on Steam. Interceptor’s previous work includes Duke Nukem 3D: Reloaded, and they’re also working on a next gen FPS, codename ‘Pathfinder’, which they’re promising more information on soon.

So, you probably know the drill by now. We want your questions to pitch to Frederik at Interceptor. Are you looking forward to Rise of the Triad and want specific information about the creation of the game? Have you wondered what it’s like to reboot an already revered game and the difficulties and pressures behind that? Or are you interested in the way that Interceptor carries out its development? Whatever they are, ask your questions in the comments below. Make sure to put your thinking caps on because the person with the best question (as chosen by Interceptor) will bag themselves £20/$30/€23 GMG Credit – nice one!

Once we’ve got a nice number of questions, we will send them off to Interceptor and then publish the finished Q&A live on the site soon after.

Thanks guys,