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General The general chatting goes on in here. That means talk about the LBA games and its world.

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  #1  
Old 2013-06-26, 09:24
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Meeting with Fred at PixelHeaven - Q & A and pics!

Some days ago we have met Frédérick in Warsaw, at Pixel Heaven 2013. I must say that my dream came true, that I met Fred in person, have talked, and drunk a juice with him . He is a really great person, very friendly and humorous, nothing like I was afraid of (despite my poor English speaking ability). Before his interview we've spent some time outside, talking about everything from lingual quirks to LBA3 (read below). He signed almost everything we had LBA-related (I forgot to take my CDs, what a shame) and our IDs. I thought about recording some kind of an interview with him, but I gave up on this, because that would make the conversation more prim and "official", and this way we had more fun

Anyway, we were constantly asking Fred questions, and I think I remember some of the answers well enough to make some sort of an interview transcript. But it's not word for word, but rather what he meant to say (as I remember it). Often one answer is made up from many answers for various detailed questions. So to clear things up: the answers below are not precise Fred's answers, but my interpretations of his answers.
Frédérick agreed to post it here in this form, and he made some corrections . There is something about LBA3 and a question from Fred to you .

Q: What is the current stage of the LBA1 remake?

Fred: We are working on the first remake now. We have got a functional rendering engine and we are testing various ways of controlling the game with a touch screen, without a keyboard. We are also testing some new features, like zooming of the screen, but we might set the zoom to a fixed value despite the fact that the engine allows smooth live zoom.

Q: Wouldn't it be convenient to have a zoom for the fact that the game will be running on devices with various screen sizes? A tablet's screen is about 4 times bigger than a phone's screen.

Fred: Yes, that might be reasonable, but there are some cases when the player should not be able to see something at some distance, that zoom would allow him to see. We have to consider this too.

Q: You said "first remake". Does that mean there will be a second remake? [I meant a "second remake of LBA1", but Fred understood that as a "remake of the second game"].

Fred: If the first one goes well on iOs and Android, we might make the same remake for LBA2. It depends on many circumstances and possibilities.

Q: Will the remake have the engine modifications, new graphics, etc.?

Fred: Graphics and the gameplay will remain the same as the original, but the engine must be modified to support the new way of controlling the game. We also want to make the save system to be more user-friendly and remove the wall hit damage while running. You know, it's natural, that you get hurt when you run against a wall, I wanted to force the player to behave differently indoor and outdoor, but it's really annoying in a game.

Q: There are some modifications projects running now, the File Information, another stories, engines, programs. May they interfere with the remake and possible LBA3?

Fred: I don't know. I would say that if you don't take money for them, and don't use them commercially, it's okay. But when we have the publisher for LBA3, he might not like it, and say that you must not continue the projects.

Q: Do you still have the programs that you used to create LBA?

Fred: Yes, but they are not usable now. They have been created in times when there was no internet, and DOS was the main operating system. They are made to use a special network structure (it was Novell Network) and directory structure to actually work. For example you would have to have a server with drive F containing the 3D models, drive G with scenes, and so on. It would be possible with DOSbox, but very hard to make it productive.

Q: What do you plan LBA3 to be like? Would you make it a First Person Perspective?

Fred: NO! Not FPP! LBA3 shall never be FPP. But it may happen that the publisher says: "I want you to make it FPP". Then we will be doomed. That's why it is important that we don't look for any publisher, but for the right publisher, that will give us the freedom we need. I don't want to make LBA3 according to the publisher's vision. I want to make LBA3 according to my first vision of LBA universe.

Q: So what is keeping you from starting work on LBA3 at the moment?

Fred: The lack of funds. We have talked with some publishers, but they say that an action-adventure (and cartoon-looking) game is not good for these times. It was viable 20 years ago, but now the expectations are different. We have to convince the publishers that a game like LBA would be welcome now, but the MBN fanbase is not enough. We are making the remake to tell publishers: "look, it's the same 20-years-old game, with the same graphics, story, and the gameplay, and people still want to play it!". That's why the success depends on how well the remake is received. The way for it is to make it popular by telling other people about it, when it is released. Then we can show the publishers that a game like this can get a wide audience and is worth making.

LBA3 must be made. The story was planned as a trilogy from the beginning. You have to see where FunFrock actually came from, what the Stellar Entity is, you need to meet Arthur...


Q: Will we be able to control Arthur?

Fred: It's possible, but not decided yet.

Q: Have you seen Jazz Jackrabbit? It's a platform game where you can choose from three characters with slightly different abilities and you cannot change it through the game. In LBA3 will you be able to choose Twinsen or Arthur at the beginning and play the game differently?

Fred: No, I have a different idea for Arthur.

Q: Or maybe some kind of multiplayer, where three players can play Zoé, Twinsen and Arthur cooperatively?

Fred: Sounds interesting. But isn’t LBA a one character game? This is a question for you all: How can you imagine a cooperative gameplay with several characters? (without network)

Q: How do you like discussions about various game aspects that have not been explained in the game?

Fred: I enjoy them. I remember discussions about where the temple of Bu actually is in LBA1. We could have this ambiguity, but in LBA2 we needed a solid entrance in the desert and connection to the Esmer base. For the other stories, I especially liked ideas about where the Dino-Flies came from. In the LBA1 when you get to the Dino-Fly island, there is only one left, but it's said that there were many of them in the past. But there is a possibility that Dino-Fly will not extinct...

Q: So we will have continuation in LBA3? Maybe Dino-Fly will find a female Dino-Fly? Or maybe there is an egg hidden somewhere that the Dino-Fly could incubate?

Fred: Or Dino-Fly may not need another one to reproduce. Like slugs. Or Sendell may help him somehow, she's a goddess.

Q: Yeah, she can do everything.

Fred: And she could die too.

Q: What?! Are you saying that Sendell will...

Fred: No, I’m just joking

Q: Actually, there is not one Sendell, but there are many of them, so if one of them will die, nothing really bad happens.

Fred: There are many Sendells, but they are a single entity. Like there are many of them and only one at the same time.

Q: Okay, let's leave the speculations alone. Have you thought about Kickstarter and similar systems of self-funding?

Fred: Yes, we are considering such possibilities. But it's not easy to get work with Kickstarter when the company is in France, there are some difficulties. But we are looking for other ways too.

Q: We can help with it. Each of us will buy 10 copies of the remake

Fred: No, don’t (2 is fine ). It’s very nice of you but it will be more efficient to help us to spread the news about the remake to gain the biggest visibility for the future publisher...

Q: I noticed a golden chain on your neck. Is that a Sendell's Medallion by a chance?

Fred: No, it's not . Didier said that this is this kind of detail that make the animations more realistic. You can see it going up and down when Twinsen runs. Didier insufflated a lot of life inside all characters with his cartoonish animations.


That's all folks
Of course there were more questions and a lot more answers, but many of them were not interesting for you, too private, or just not appropriate for public . And I simply don't remember everything

But I have also some pictures for you
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  #2  
Old 2013-06-26, 09:48
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Great interview! And Fred looks well.
PS: Who are those women you're with?

This is a question for you all: How can you imagine a cooperative gameplay with several characters? (without network)
I guess there could be the ability to switch characters at preset points in the game, whereby the actions you choose affect the course of the game for other characters. But that seems to complicated to implement, I think LBA should remain a singleplayer game.

It's good to see Fred being cautious about publishers, too. Developers get screwed over all too often.
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The creatures arranged in a line and started to rape Twinsen in his anus, one by one.
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P.S. Forgot to mention that Twinsen's remains were fed to dogs.
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O.K., let's change the execution part. Maybe he was just beaten to death with clubs???
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  #3  
Old 2013-06-26, 11:14
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PS: Who are those women you're with?
On the first pic, from the left: Kasia, maliavot, and KAT's girlfriend (not registered here).
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  #4  
Old 2013-06-26, 11:16
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Wonderful! And the girls are hot too (all of them)! Maybe LBA has a much larger female audience than we think!

About the "remake", my opinion is always changing about that. Sometimes I think it'll sell well, but right now I'm quite skeptical about it. I think something more than that is needed and I can't really imagine LBA on touch devices (please, Fred, prove me wrong). However, "something more" needs more money as well so we're stuck at this point. Do we have any data of the GOG.com sales?

About co-op gameplay: It's not quite right for LBA. However, it might work if only some parts of the game are co-op and it's mostly single player. It's important that the co-op parts should be managable with only one player via character switching (like in TT's LEGO games – I know some people don't like those so please don't flame me! ). It all depends on the game. In a game like LBA, co-op would be more suitable for platforming-style parts (LBA1 and 2 had some parts like that – Temple of Bu, etc.). Without network and multiple gamepads (or keyboard+gamepad) co-op with multiple players is also possible.

I think including more characters without co-op is also possible. I imagine it like that: at some part of the game, Twinsen gets imprisoned and another character (maybe Arthur) needs to free him. This idea can be further developed if co-op is included: after Twinsen is free, the two of them need to get out a dungeon together.

LBA3 must be made! So I think regardless of how the remake will sell, Fred shouldn't give up and continue searching for someone who is willing to invest/publish a new LBA game. Crowd funding is also a nice idea but a very solid plan for the game should already exist before starting a crowd funding project. Kickstarter would be ideal for that but sadly it's for the US and UK only at the moment. I know there are other options, but nothing as well-known as Kickstarter, I think – that's why it should be preferred.
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  #5  
Old 2013-06-26, 12:12
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I'm very worried about the success of the remakes... Mostly it's the fact that they're being developed for touch devices... I'm not sure if the right audience for this series can be found there. Certainly hope I'm wrong, but I won't even be able to personally contribute with sales since I don't own a touch device and I don't plan to buy one anytime soon. :/

Also it sucks to hear that they're doing all this work mostly to convince publishers that there's interest in this kind of game, that doesn't bode well. I wish they could just go indie and fund the project with kickstarter or something. At least that would give them 100% creative freedom.

Anyway it's so nice to hear him talk/tease about LBA3, even after all these years, even if it may never happen. I mean, Funfrock's backstory? Do want.
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  #6  
Old 2013-06-26, 12:54
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This is all really great!

Fred looks really old though, about time to make that game!
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  #7  
Old 2013-06-26, 13:07
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This is all really great!

Fred looks really old though, about time to make that game!
Whoa, poor Fred. I honestly don't think he looks that old. It's not like he's a walking grampa or something, he looks like a mature man in his forties to me. (don't know his actual age)
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  #8  
Old 2013-06-26, 13:11
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Great to hear that. I wish I could be there too
The whole project seems damn hard to achieve, but who knows... Broken Sword sold quite well on touch devices, but that's a point and click, not a fast-paced action-adventure game. Same audience, different gameplay. Personally, I'll give them my support, I hope those who can will do it too.

edit: three italians in a row
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Old 2013-06-26, 13:11
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Whoa, poor Fred. I honestly don't think he looks that old. It's not like he's a walking grampa or something, he looks like a mature man in his forties to me. (don't know his actual age)
He's 47 and I also don't think he looks old at all.
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Old 2013-06-26, 13:16
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47? he looks younger than he actually is to me
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Old 2013-06-26, 13:43
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"Q: What do you plan LBA3 to be like? Would you make it a First Person Perspective?

Fred: NO! Not FPP! LBA3 shall never be FPP. But it may happen that the publisher says: "I want you to make it FPP". Then we will be doomed. That's why it is important that we don't look for any publisher, but for the right publisher, that will give us the freedom we need. I don't want to make LBA3 according to the publisher's vision. I want to make LBA3 according to my first vision of LBA universe."

I love you Fred
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  #12  
Old 2013-06-26, 14:00
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47? he looks younger than he actually is to me
Same here, that's why I said he looks well
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The creatures arranged in a line and started to rape Twinsen in his anus, one by one.
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P.S. Forgot to mention that Twinsen's remains were fed to dogs.
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O.K., let's change the execution part. Maybe he was just beaten to death with clubs???
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Old 2013-06-26, 14:06
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In the second picture he looks like he's been turning to the dark side. I swear he's lost quite a lot of weight!
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Old 2013-06-26, 14:23
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Absolutely frelling awesome interview!!

As for co-op without a network?:

I think LBA is a one player experience primarily - but a multiplayer of sorts can be done without major game focus.

Different people could have their own save-games, but they interact with each-other. As you progress in the game you can leave messages for each-other. Little notes or even signposts at certain locations.

Various things are "global" to everyones save games. So when you go back in the world its effected by how your friends have played earlier. Nothing that massively effects what you have to do, but just small changes that give it some life outside you playing.

Random ideas;
* Notes/Sign posts as mentioned before.
* Graffiti also possible (but then, other players can also clean it up )
* Some lesser enemies have a daily respawn, so one player can help partially clear out a area for someone else.
* You can have words with the weather wizard and arrange to change the weather!
* You can leave gifts you find for other players. (cake for a health boast, for example).

I think even these sorts of small things would make the game very fun to play as a family. You could go further and allow one player to set races or challenges for another - maybe even letting you see a 'ghost' of how they did it. But this would be much more work.
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Old 2013-06-26, 15:49
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Basically a Dark Souls ripoff
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Old 2013-06-26, 16:30
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Well, this thread made my day!

I like the idea of Fred wanting to make LBA3, but was wondering: if he can't get to find a good publisher, why don't release it as a indie game? (like Minecraft)
You would have the freedom to make all choices you wanted and could distribute it through internet... (ok people, now you can bash my post )

And man, thanks for not making the game First-person!

About the question: A cooperative gameplay could work, but LBA sounds more like a single-player game... There could be some sort of multiplayer part of it as separated cooperative world, though...
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Old 2013-06-26, 18:30
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I like the idea of Fred wanting to make LBA3, but was wondering: if he can't get to find a good publisher, why don't release it as a indie game? (like Minecraft)
You would have the freedom to make all choices you wanted and could distribute it through internet...
Because Fred isn't (I'm assuming ) a multi-millionaire, and even if he was LBA3 is presumed to be a huge financial risk. I do think Kickstarter is a great idea, but I really doubt we have the numbers/wealth at the MBN to fund a significant percentage of it. Realistically I think the only way to get LBA3 made is to find new fans, which is where the remakes and a little modernization comes in. I really wish we knew how well they sold at GOG and DotEmu. Maybe someone should ask Fred, or maybe someone has?
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The creatures arranged in a line and started to rape Twinsen in his anus, one by one.
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P.S. Forgot to mention that Twinsen's remains were fed to dogs.
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O.K., let's change the execution part. Maybe he was just beaten to death with clubs???
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Old 2013-06-26, 18:37
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As for co-op without a network?:


There already are games out there that implement some sort of multiplayer mechanism for one person. Like the player can solo play the game but with the ability to switch between lead characters. This can complicate a storyline, but would make the puzzle element much more interesting. You could design a puzzle that can only be solved by doing something with one character, and something else with (the/an) other character(s).

In any other case where multiple players could play one game simultaneously without a network, I don't think LBA would fit. Think about Worms, LieroX, LittleFighter, BomberMan, Robot Arena. Those are for one on one fighting matches, not adventure or rpg.
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Old 2013-06-26, 18:48
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The horror game "Obscure" is the only action-adventure I know with simultaneously multiplayer co-op.
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Old 2013-06-26, 18:53
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I do think Kickstarter is a great idea, but I really doubt we have the numbers/wealth at the MBN to fund it.
Of course we at the MBN are not enough. But we wouldn't need Kickstarter if we just built the project on the people who are already here. Wee need more people, that's why Kickstarter is needed. Personally, I've read about successful Kickstarter projects today, and now I think it's not only a good but an EXCELLENT idea. However, it should be done with care. One problem is that Kickstarter only allows US and UK projects but that could be circumvented (see this). And there's where we really need to think: how can we make LBA desirable for a huge crowd. A much bigger one than this community. We have to understand that we are needed if we want LBA3 done. And I'm not only talking about donations, I'm talking about full dedication to this project. We, the "hard core" LBA fans, the original MBNers (if we're successful, there'll be much more – which is not neccesarily good but this is not related to the topic) should be the ones who run the campaign, who spread the word. And we'll need to do that quick! Fundraising for Kickstarter projects should not take a long time. For that, a thorough and firm plan is required. That's what can be done now and I think we should start discussing ideas about making LBA3 popular within Kickstarter's audience – which audience consist a lot of people who have already funded similar projects in the past. In the last year, the adventure genre is in fact starting to make a comback via crowdfunded projects. That's why I think now is the time, I can feel the momentum which can actually make LBA3 possible.
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I really wish we knew how well they sold at GOG and DotEmu. Maybe someone should ask Fred, or maybe someone has?
Anyone could ask him. He's not hard to reach these days, you know...
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  #21  
Old 2013-06-26, 19:06
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That's why the success depends on how well the remake is received. The way for it is to make it popular by telling other people about it, when it is released. Then we can show the publishers that a game like this can get a wide audience and is worth making.
This is the answer for the other thread we were posting before.
I realy like that he thinks like I do, but I don't think that they are porting the game to the correct devices...I mean, I hardly think those kids who play games on their iPhones and etc will want to play LBA1

Awesome interview, and thanks for posting it here!
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Old 2013-06-26, 19:30
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I realy like that he thinks like I do, but I don't think that they are porting the game to the correct devices...I mean, I hardly think those kids who play games on their iPhones and etc will want to play LBA1
Maybe they won't, but it surely won't hurt and it'll certainly increase visibility. Not to mention a copy of the iOS/Android version could be given as a reward for donations on Kickstarter. (Yes, I know I'm getting quite obsessed with that. )
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Old 2013-06-26, 23:02
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I think that eventhough current smartphone and other handheld device gamers might not be playing games like LBA on them, this doesn't mean they are not going to when this remake comes out.

And that comes from someone who resents the devices.
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Old 2013-06-27, 01:57
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I think targeting to a new market (handheld devices) being a great idea. We all will for sure buy that remakes no matter where they run, but the main point here is that LBA can reach new people with those devices. It can gather more fans, people who missed the game back then, simple casual gamers, who knows? The more LBA is available, the best is for the game, team and future projects.

Excited about the LBA3 and good to know Fred don't want a publisher to chief the project direction.

Some questions:

Anything about other projects? What he actually do now-a-days for living?

Did you talk about the LBA1&2 library idea we talked few months ago?

Is this remake a complete rewrite of the game's code or they picked the source code and start porting to new systems? Are they using twin-e/prequengine by any chance?

Is there any technical subject you asked that can be shared?
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LBA2Remake v0.4.0 released - open source re-implementation of the LBA 2 original engine for the web.
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Old 2013-06-27, 03:01
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SpaceGuitarist SpaceGuitarist is offline
strange dreamer
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: São Paulo, Brazil
Posts: 7,060
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Originally Posted by Renesans View Post
the girls are hot too (all of them)!
hell yeeeeeah.
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A few years ago, under the guise of protecting the population, Dr. FunFrock herded the planet's habitants into the southern hemisphere. The repression is harsh. Every day brings more and more arrests, and the people slowly begin to lose hope. In an effort to keep their spirits up, the people sometimes evoke an ancient legend along with the name of a goddess, Sendell. The mentioning of the legend or Sendell has since been forbidden by Dr. FunFrock. Meanwhile... a young quetch named Twinsen has been having strange dreams...
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" If you have no success with one type of behaviour, try another. " - LBA 2 Manual
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