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volume 1, issue 27

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Serious Brass Ones
(A peek inside the world of Derek Smart)

By Jason "loonyboi" Bergman

 

Is any of the original code from BC3K going into the sequel, or is it a brand new engine?

There are several advanced engines that were developed specifically for the BC3K franchise. These will be updated as new things come up but with the exception of new 16-bit rendering technologies and a true WIN9x core, the core engines are not brand new. The BC3K kernel was developed with true plug-in technology, so putting in features is not very difficult. We do it all the time.

Are there any plans to make 3020 a persistant online world? It would seem that it's ideally suited for such an undertaking.

Yes, it's called BC3K Online and I expect it out in 2000 sometime. The multiplayer in BC:3020AD will be the test bed for it because that too will have some form of persistent universe.

Will you be able to do cooperative play in 3020, or will multiplayer be strictly dogfight style action?

Like everything else in BC3K, multiplayer is not just something we're sticking in for the heck of it. If anybody wants to log on and dogfight for the heck of it, they've got Freespace, Terminus, X-Wing Alliance etc, to do that in. No, multiplayer in BC3K will go way overboard. Apart from having co-op play, the ability to choose alliances, race etc caste, the player will be able to exist in the same world as other players and NPCs. In fact, due to advancements in Fleet Command & Control as seen in v2.0x, a player can potentially play in co-op mode with NPCs from his race, caste or alliance. Yes, I'm going so far out that I'm gonna need my own zip code by the time the dust clears.

Any chance we can squeeze a release date out of you? Or even a general time frame? It's not going to be another decade, is it? :)

When its ready. I would envision sometime around Q4 '99, all things being equal.

Are there plans for new types of craft in 3020?

Probably just a new Battlecruiser and Interceptor fighter class. Right now, the entire object database is being re-textured in 16-bit. However, all the surface objects will be brand new because I plan on heavily populating the planets and moons.

You've hinted at a "Strike Pack" for BC3K 3020 that amongst other things, would implement a first person perspective, allowing you to actually walk around your ship. This sounds more like a standalone game than an add-on pack...is that the plan, or is it not even an issue at this time?

The ability to walk around in your own ship is only one part of it. You will be able to walk around any ship or station you board or dock with. With the Strike Pak, you will be able to run around in your ship going after pesky intruders if you so desire or be able to just saunter down into launch bay to see pilots milling around their crafts. Walk into engineering and you can expect to see engineers in there etc. Think of the Strike Pak as the Perscan computer in 3D. Everyone and everything will be accurately depicted in a fully destructible environment. It is already in development and in the hands of a second team. That is all that I can say about it at this time.

You've said that there are "45 new features that will make your ass burn" in 3020. Any hints as to what these are?

I can't add anything to what I mentioned earlier. The feature set is under wraps. However, think massive, think cool, think "...just when we thought they couldn't add anything else to it"

What's your opinion of the other space sim games out there? Wing Commander: Prophecy and Descent: Freespace are just two of the current crop, but so many have come and gone in BC3K's development.

Great. This is bound to get me into trouble...but here goes.

Freespace: Cool graphics. Interesting missions. Multiplayer sucked. Same emperor, new clothes. Chris did it first.

WCP: Cool graphics. Interesting missions. No multiplayer. Same emperor, new clothes.
Chris already did that. Besides, I think after WC3, they couldn't do any better.

I-War : Cool graphics. Interesting missions. No Multiplayer. New emperor, righteous threads. Now this title made me want to play other space sims. Loved it. Don't have a clue what they're doing in I-War 2 but since everyone is already jumping on the dynamic world and kick-ass AI that BC3K is now notorious for, I'd expect the same and multiplayer in the next go around.

Yes, so many have come and gone and you know what, I don't think any of them turned a sizeable profit. At least not in the US. There will be more. Terminus is shaping up to become the BC3K lite candidate albeit one with an RPG element to it; Chris & co are at it again with Starlancer; Freespace 2 is coming out with more of the same; I-War 2 is doing something, etc. BC:3020AD and BC:3030AD will be around to cater to gamers who want the totally immersible experience of commanding a ship and crew in a vast dynamic universe with all the bells and whistles you can expect from a high end, hard core sim. Gamers are getting older and wiser. BC3K has a niche and it is going to be very hard for any other team to encroach on it.

Are there any plans for a tutorial system in 3020?

Nope. Gamers will have to RTFM.

Lastly, let's talk about the movie possibility. Are you in talks regarding a film version of BC3K?

Yes and I CANNOT talk about it. When I can, I'll do a formal press release like I always do. There are a lot of things in the works, the movie, the book deal, BC:3020AD deal etc. I'm just keeping things quiet for shock effect.

The Wing Commander movie seems to be a fairly cliche' sci-fi flick...do you think Hollywood is capable of making a film that captures the depth of BC3K: The Game, or would you have to take matters into your own hands?

I think the WC movie will tank. I know someone who saw it already and from his accounts, it should have gone straight to video. I have been talking about this a lot. It would be impossible to put BC3K: The Game into a 2 hr movie unless it is good enough to warrant several sequels. This is why I have been thinking more along the lines of a TV series or perhaps a special TV presentation or something. It is hard to shop sci-fi around these days, just ask those who know. Heck, JMS is still shopping Crusade around last time I heard! I am certain that Hollywood can capture the depth of the game but since I like to be in charge, if a movie does happen, I'll make sure they don't screw up my universe or my characters.


Personally, I think a better movie would be a biopic of the game's development. No chance of that happening any time soon, I assume. :)

Who knows, when I'm 60 maybe someone will want to do it. Stranger things have
happened.

 

- Jason "loonyboi" Bergman is the editor-in-chief here at loonygames. He kicks ass, baby.

 

Credits: Illustration © 1999 Michael Krahulik. Serious Brass Ones is © 1999 Jason Bergman and Derek Smart. All other content is © 1999 loonyboi productions. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited, so don't try it...or we'll get you a publishing deal you'll never get out of. Muhahahahah.