Air Warrior II Interview
Interview with Interactive Magicís Lynne Beaman
Interview by Al Giovetti
Producer: Interactive Magic
Publisher: Kesmai and Interactive Magic
Website: http://www.kesmai.com, http://www.imagicgames.com/awii.dir/awii.html
Requirements: 486DX, 50 MHz(486DX/66 Mhz recommended), Windows 95, 8MB RAM, SVGA (Local Bus Video with 1 Meg RAM), Supports most popular sound cards, Mouse and Joystick support
Lynne Beaman is Interactive Magicís Media Relations Coordinator who was kind enough to help me out with some questions I had concerning the review. Lynne has thouroughly checked out her answers with her contacts at Kesmai, such as Jonathan "Blue Baron" Baron and those at Interactive Magic.
Al Giovetti (AG): Thanks coming to see us and talk with my listeners and readers about Air Warrior II.
Lynne Beaman (LB): Thanks, Al, it is nice to see you again, and to get this opportunity to help.
AG: Air warrior is a flight simulator. We had heard there is a game outside of the online game where the game player can play solo with over 100 scenarios.
LB: If you are referring to our boxed version of this game then you are correct. You can use the FE software to fly off line, but there is no AI in this...just you flying or playing back a film. There are really two games here...AW 2 online and AWII, the I-Magic boxed version of the game. The boxed version saves players a long download, give a chance to practice against enemy AI and has improved graphics. It also comes with 15 free CompuServe hours and the FE software for the on line game.
AG: By FE you are referring to front end, which is the game design for the online game. We have heard rumors that you are putting in a difficulty matrix to make it easier for some players to play at their level of expertise. A novice or an expert will be happy in the new game. How have you dampened the difficulty level to make the game more accessible to different levels of game player?
LB: This is true...it's also true that the AI has been 'dumbed down' since a prior box version of the game. The AI in the former game was too aggressive and accurate...no human could fly that hard and fast for that long. This version should be much more user friendly.
AG: Do not expect the Chuck Yegar Air Combat type of no cockpit view to allow for full screen views with the instrumentation on the screen like a HUD display.
LB: You can get a full screen view, but you have no instruments to fly with if you do. Some can fly this way...usually altitude is pretty obvious, but airspeed isn't. I like knowing that...
AG: Other views missing include the padlock view and rearview mirrors seen in other popular air combat simulators. What can you see in the game?
LB: Use your hat switch you can look off each wing, above you and behind you. If you have no hat use your arrow keys.
AG: Ground design now sports mountains, flat terrain, and water areas. Don't expect the detail levels seen in many single-player games coming out, this is an online game. The planes look very primitive when compared to planes similar to this in other flight simulators. What can be done to make the art more beautiful or is this just not possible with the online game?
LB: Check out the new art on line...there was just a big download last week. Also better terrain is coming, but you're right...on line it won't ever look as good as in the boxed game. FE (front end) would be too big.
AG: What about wing person commands? All we know is there are wing persons.
LB: On line you have a real person as your wingman and can type to him/her. In the boxed game you can have up to eight AI people flying with you and you communicate with them by set commands.
AG: Are there any voice actors in the game?
AG: What about a music score and sound effects? Does the game have these?
LB: In the boxed game there will be sound effects in the hanger, runways and even music and foreign languages to give you a feel for where you are. For example, when flying a Japanese mission you'll hear Japanese being spoken and period Japanese music in the background...likewise Big Band for US Air bases...and other sounds and clips
AG: I understand that the gameís greatest hope is to draw to the online arena many of the gamers who have played solo for a long time.
LB: Yes if that happened we would be most happy. I looked over your review and I think you did a good job. Good!
AG: Well thank you and give my regards to Wild Bill, and remind him that Doug and Al will be down soon to go flying with him again.
LB: I sure will and thanks for having me and letting me speak to your audience and readers. I hope this helped.
AG: Thank you, we always enjoy these little chats with the people who are really doing things out there and helping gamers get what they want and need. Thanks again.
Also the following conversation with the Developer Jonathan:
Al Giovetti: I would like to introduce Jonathan Baron, the Designer and Producer of Air Warrior II from Kesmai and Interactive Magic. Jonathan is known as the Blue Baron to his friends and enemies in Air Warrior circles. Welcome and Hi Jonathan.
Jonathan Baron: Hiya Al! Long time :)
AG: Jonathan, tell us something about the Air Warrior II team.
JB: The desiner and producer of the product is me. Lead programmer is Greg Meador. Technical leads are Lorin Jameson and Rich Lawrence. The Host lead is Brian Cadieux. Host programmers are Bill Dalton, and Paul Lieberman. The Senior programmer and lead for offline mission/campaign editor is Jeff Meyers. The Front end programmers are Steve Miale, Tom Gambill. The AI programming is being performed by your old friend Kelton Flinn. The Lead artist is Frank Williamson. The 3D artists are Mitz Tanaka, Rich Sisson, and Jay Thompson. The 2D artists are Greg Grimsby, and Steve Templeton. If you like the Cockpit art thank Dale Homburg. The guy making everything sound alright is00 Lead sound designer, and composer, Dan Bernstein.
AG: A lot of people out there have no idea the size and talent to produce a quality product is immense. But these are the most exciting people that there are in a product.
JB; There are more folks, of course, such as the folks who do our sound effects, but I'm working from home today (writing campaigns for the product at the moment) and I only know their first names.
AG: Jonathan, thanks for coming and sharing with us.
JB: My pleasure.
References: Al Giovetti, The Computer Show Review,
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