By Al Giovetti
Genre: real-time strategy
Release: December 1997
Developer: Bungie
Artists: Rob McLees, Mark Bernal, Frank Pusateri
Lead Programmer: Jason Jones
Producer: Jason Jones

Myth: The Fallen Lord's Doug Zartman of Bungie Interview

Mon, 7 Jul 97 17:37:23 -0600

Alfred C. Giovetti (AG): Thanks for being with us and sharing with us this great information on a brand new game, Myth from Bungie.

Doug Zartman (DZ), *: Hey there, Al, Myth is still in alpha, but approaching beta rapidly. It may be a bit premature to cover it, but here are some answers to your questions...

AG: What is the full name of the product?

DZ: Myth: The Fallen Lords. It is a game that will replace pinball. You know a decrepit sign on an abandoned store near my home says, "For MENTAL and PHYSICAL exercise... play PINBALL!"

AG: Hey, that is great. What type or genre of product is Myth?

DZ: Real-time strategy game

AG: When can we be expected to see the game in stores?

DZ: Before Xmas '97

AG: I have heard a lot of good things about the game, what does Myth play like?

DZ: Fast fluid battle between hundreds of units. Unlike most real-time strategy, there is no harvesting or building, just you, the enemy and the battlefield, where you use maneuvers, formations and guile to chase away or destroy the enemy.

AG: Views and perspectives are always important, which ones do you use in Myth?

DZ: First-ever multimetric point of view: overhead perspective which can fly in any direction, rotate around the heads of troops, zoom in and out.

AG: Will you have any maps or maping utilities?

DZ: Ther will be at least 25 huge maps with variable dimensions. The first tangibly rolling 3D terrain in a computer game, with snow, swamp, desert, forest and other environments.

AG: Who did the music for the game, the music composer?

DZ: Bungie.

AG: Who is involved with the game? And what about their backgrounds?

DZ: The lead programmer is Jason Jones. There is no lead artist. The artist triumphirate includes Rob McLees, Mark Bernal, and Frank Pusateri. The game designer is Jason Jones. These guys were on the Marathon team, the makers of the most succesful games on the Mac.

AG: Tell us something about what makes Myth's graphic features special?

DZ: Myth has reflections in rippling water, transparency overhead maps that fade in and out, dynamic shadows and lighting effects.

AG: What are the pixel densities, which give us the quality of pictures?

DZ: The game engine uses a pixel density of 640x480, with a minimum 8-bit color to make the pictures more detailed.

AG: What about the speed of the animation in frames per second?

DZ: We are still working on this one trying to improve it. Since we only have a beta.

AG: How was the animation done?

DZ: Figures were rendered as 3D models, then reduced to 8-rotation sprites. There can be hundreds of characters in view at the same time. Keeping the characters simple was key to keeping the game speed high.

AG: Tell us something about the sound effects?

DZ: There are ambient environmental sounds like howling wind, and rushing rivers. Explosions, and characters talking trash to the enemy are particularly nice.

AG: Doug, what is the plot of the epic?

DZ: The myth of the story centers around a deity which appears in this world in cycles of a thousand years. During one cycle the deity will appear as a Savior; in the next, as a Destroyer. At the beginning of Myth: The Fallen Lords, he has returned in the guise of Destroyer, with the Fallen Lords, a group of resurrected and powerful generals. These beings and their legions of undead and spirit forces rise up to destroy the living beings of this world, while the player controls the living and tries to stop the onslaught. Forces of the Fallen include zombielike Thrall with axes, shadowy Menhir with poisoned daggers and nimble Ghols, who lope around the battlefield carrying huge cleavers. Forces of the living include Fir'bolg archers, doughty Warriors and the indomitable Dwarf, who throws explosive cocktails and can drop mine-like satchel charges.

AG: What about the Myth multi-player features?

DZ: Myth: The Fallen Lords will support any kind of networking the player wants: LAN, direct-modem, direct Internet connection, Internet via gaming services or Internet via "bungie.net, Bungie's free Internet game server. The server will hook people up into games, sorted by skill or latency or any other criterion, and will host areas for modified game files, demos, chatting, etc. A variety of netgames will include games of Assassin, King of the Hill and the split-second action of Steal the Bacon.

AG: What are the scenerios and missions like and will they be dynamic or scripted?

DZ: Myth has 25 levels following the war of the living races against the Fallen Lords.

AG: What are your future plans?

DZ: The Myth engine has already attracted licensing proposals for a variety of well-known developers. who shall remain nameless for the time being. Forget it, Al, we can't tell you now.

AG: Well, Doug, sum it up for us.

DZ: If Myth keeps attracting the attention it has already, it'll be one of the top five games of the year and permanently change the way people think about real-time strategy games.

AG: You can see more at www.bungie.comThanks, Doug for coming by and sharing with us.

DZ: Thanks for bringing me on the show.

AG: We want to bring you back later, closer to the game release. How about it?

DZ: Great and thanks again.

AG: Well there you have it, the scoop on one of the most sought after and anticipated titles. After we come back . . .



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