Almost from the beginning of the industry, pirates have always had a bad luck with the game adaptations of their adventures. We can remember poor effect of Sid Meyer’s Pirates!, russian game Age of Pirates and other mass-produced items which are based on movies. A situation can be changed by upcoming action Raven’s Cry, made by debutants from Octane Games Productions. The team has been creating a new project for several years, where strong storyline and delicate dilemmas meet brutal combat system and dark world and go together. Furthermore, authors say that the major task is to change already formed image of piracy, which appeared due to superficial industry, and to show that pirates are not only about being Captain Jack Sparrow or road agent; they are ruthless cut-throats, booze-hounds and murderers. The producer of Raven’s Cry, Henry Lindgren, tells about the precise details of that action-adventure in the interview for GameStar.ru.
Greetings. Please introduce yourself to our readers. Tell us about your position and job responsibilities.
Hello Hello! My name is Henri Lindgren and I’m the Line Producer in Raven’s Cry project.
Tell about Octane Games Productions. How many developers work for your company and where is your company’s office situated?
There are roughly 20-25 persons in house at the moment. We have a strong and dedicated team of professionals all around the world. The core team has been working together from 2007 so the “team spirit” is really strong in our team.
For our readers who might not be aware of Raven’s Cry, care to give us a brief rundown of what the game is about?
Raven’s Cry is a 3rd person Action Adventure pirate game that focuses on challenging the image of pirates in pop culture. Today pirates are seen as funny fellows from the Caribbean. We bring brutality, darkness and grittiness to pirates — the real essence of pirates back in the day. Basically what we are aiming is to get the “Yo-Ho-Ho and a bottle of rum” into “Yo-Ho-Ho and I’ll cut your head off”!
The story of Raven’s Cry is basically a classic revenge tale which tells a story of Christopher Raven, a ruthless pirates who’s mother and father were killed in front of him when he was a young boy. He now seeks revenge to the pirates responsible for this blood bath and is not afraid to do everything to achieve his goal.
What you would say is this game’s main selling point — The story? The RPG elements? Action? Etc...?
There are no RPG elements in the game. We liked to keep the game realistic and stay away from the “look! Flowers! Let’s pick them and make potions!” type of gameplay and focus on the brutality of the melee combat as well as the story. Those two are the key selling points for the game and we have really put a lot of emphasis on getting them done right! Player’s will see a lot of blood, a lot of great looking cinematic combos and a great story!
Do you know how much content there is in Raven’s Cry? Do you think there's enough to keep people interested?
Raven’s Cry is a really story driven game which makes the game really interesting from beginning to the end. I can already unveil that the decisions that the player makes during his vendetta can and will influence how the game plays out in the end.
What audience do you expect to be interested in the project?
We are expecting all pirate fans to be really excited about the game but also all Action and Adventure game fans will surely enjoy it!
How far along then is Raven’s Cry?
We are currently going to Alpha stage. Still lot of work and polish ahead!
Are there any planned online modes for the game or is this strict single player experience?
Nope, strictly single player in order to make the story and combat as compelling as possible!
What has been the most challenging aspect of development up until this point and why?
This is the first AAA title for our studio so basically the entire project has been a big learning experience for everyone. Challenging, yes, but also really educational and exciting! The best part of the development really
On the design side, how do you guys work?
We believe that in every game developer lives a small game designer. That’s why we see that is really important to take all opinions into consideration when designing e.g. melee combat. We love brainstorming on coffee breaks! Everyone in Octane Games is a dedicated core player and I think it shows in Raven’s Cry!
Are we going to see a sequel or more?
Hopefully. We’ll see… ;)
What is a stage of Raven’s Cry development? What elements of the game are finished and what will you work in the nearest future?
As said, we are currently going to Alpha stage. Still pre-Alpha and working hard on the melee combat at the moment! For the next few weeks the whole team will focus only on getting the melee combat fun to play!
First, it seems that we should expect some kind of pirate adaptation of the count of Monte Cristo story or are we mistaken?
I would say that you should expect the incarnation of true pirates to pop culture!
Tell us who of the team members has Emilio Salgari, Muller or history books of buccaneer to corsair era in their private collection? By the way, what are the most notable events in the history of piracy that you consider to be its turning points?
We have stacks of historical books and references in our office about the age of pirates and the era in general. We even have real historical swords and pistols in our office to keep the good work motivation going!
Our game is set in the end “buccaneering period”, late 17th century but we have kept the exact year as blur as possible to enable some freedom in the game design.
Will we be able to meet any historical figures and famous sea wolves that have actually existed? Such as Francis Drake, Edward Teach, Jean Bart or Thomas Anstis. Or maybe their in-game interpretations? Tell us more about the protagonist. How did he become a pirate?
The story is fully fictional but of course some references to the real pirates are present in all the main villains and in the main character also. We also wanted the main character to have the almost corny pirate hook, only because we want the melee combat to be as brutal as possible. In fact the hook is not a normal hook but a curved blade that does severe damage to enemies.
The protagonist is so called “new born” pirate — he became pirate not through greed and thirst for power but through anger and blood-thirst for the pirates who murdered his family. It’s almost ironic that through the hate that he has for the people responsible for the murders, he becomes more and more like them. Like Nietzsche said; “Be careful when you fight the monsters, lest you become one”.
Is there going to be magic or mysticism in your game? Or are you aiming to make it as realistic as possible and there's no place for all this bokor and voodoo stuff?
There is going to be some voodoo type of “realistic” mysticism in the game. Voodoo was a big thing back in the day in the Caribbean and we wanted to show this in our game as well.
Which pirate business is going to prevail in Raven's Cry — sea battles, clashes on shore or rum parties in some dirty pub?
Clashes on shore will take the high ground immediately followed by the sea battles. Rum parties in dirty pubs can of course be handled by the developers themselves!
Does player even have to be a pirate in the first place? Can we switch jobs? Or are we going to play the role of a “tough guy” any way?
We are trying to give an image of a brutal and dark pirate character in the game so the choices that player is prompted are going to be “bad”, “worse” or “badass”. For example: when interrogating another pirate in a dirty tavern the player can choose to intimidate the pirate with a pistol which is semi-bad OR he can go “bad-ass” and hit a knife through the pirates hand on the table! After getting the information he needs, Christopher Raven can either walk away or take the lantern from the table and set the pirate on fire! Pirates were bad and we like to stick to that image.
Interview by Anton Zhuk