Ben Gonshaw (Elixir Studios) on Republic: The Revolution
The latest progress of 'the revolution'.
Ferrago sat down with Republic: The Revolution’s assistant Designer Ben Gonshaw, of Elixir, to discuss a little more on this ambitious game in the second part of our interview on the topic. Ferrago: From what I can gather, the game appears to be founded upon a strong strategy element, though its broadness seems to defy categorisation. Do you play the game from an ‘epic’ viewpoint – in that you take an overview of the broader game picture, or are there instances where the action is literally “hands-on”, too? BG: The power of our Totality Engine allows the player to do both in equal measures, depending on the circumstances. You can choose to zoom high above the city and zoom back in on certain actions you have ordered as and when they take place. In certain actions you can have a hands on approach if you wish, such as choosing the level of resistance, etc. All in all though it is from an epic viewpoint with the freedom allowed to the player of how involved you become in the game. Ferrago: It could be argued that a sense of empathy, like cinema, can create the most fulfilling gaming experience – or at least some feeling of commune and involvement with the game’s subject. What will prove so immersive and appealing in Republic? BG: Firstly there is a loose storyline, set against a childhood memory of the player’s character involving the current day President (I won’t say any more). Playing the game itself is a cinematic experience in that each action is filmed using specific cameras designed to create an involving and epic feel. The biggest immersive element is that the city is alive. If you do an action there are natural repercussions, not just from your opponents, but in the way that the civilians’ daily lives are affected. The level of complexity in the world and the impact you have on it is compulsive and unique. Ferrago: In Republic, will the player be omniscient like in the majority of strategy games, or will they be down on the streets of the city, vulnerable – but also more involved with in the thick of the revolution? BG: The player is an actual character in the game. You don’t have direct control over them, but you can see yourself walking around the world. As it is a game with wide reaching scope, you can also fly the camera around the world and view the action from up high in a more traditional manner. The totality engine however makes changing between the two entirely seamless. Ferrago: Why is the power of Republic’s graphics engine so crucial to the actual playing of the game, not simply its visual realism? What epic scenes will unfold before us, and will the player have involvement at all times, or will it be a case of sitting back and watching the fruits of their labour? BG: I won’t talk too much about the epic scenes, as I don’t want to ruin the experience for you: it’s always better when you get to discover it for yourself. The power of the engine is harnessed purely for gameplay. As I’ve said before, the way you can interact with Republic is only possible because of the power of Totality. Imagine selecting to leaflet half a city from a high up view, watching cars creep around and tiny ant people moving about, and then zoom in to see those people being given pamphlets, then zoom to a medium height and see the effect it’s having on that region, whether people are drawn together or repelled away from your helpers. This can aid you in where to perform this action next. Totality allows Republic to deliver an unmatched and never before seen level of interaction.