If you haven't heard of FairyTale Fights then you're in for a treat, wel a bizarre treat as the folks at PlayLogic are combining classic fairy tales with a level of violence that would make Quentin Tarantino cringe. Of course we had to find out more about the game and managed to score this interview.
Can you introduce yourself and talk about your role on the project?
I am Martin
Janse, Executive Producer. I oversee all aspects regarding the development of Fairytale Fights and I make sure the game is on par with our quality requirements.
Fairytale characters with chainsaws and other implements of death and destruction is a pretty twisted concept, how did you come up with it? Are there things that you came up with in meetings that you thought would be a little too extreme for the game and had to take out of the game?
We started with a concept 3 years ago. A couple of guys from Playlogic Game Factory thought it would be cool to do something with fairytale characters. Our main influences were western fairytales and cartoons like Ren & Stimpy, Itchy & Scratchy from the Simpsons and Happy Tree friends. We made a little CGI movie to pitch the project to our mother company (Playlogic International). They were blown away and gave us the green light on the project. We started with a skeleton crew prototyping game elements and creating the art-style. Soon after, the project team grew rapidly. Now we work with over 90 people in Breda, The Netherlands (where our studio is based) and we have outsourced most of the games’ animations to Sparx Animations which you may well know from the MGM movie Igor. In total we have nearly 200 people working on the game.
Why is it so appealing for audiences, and artists, to take beloved fairy tales and warp them into something sinister and, most times, flatulent?
Well fairytales are quite sinister aren’t they? What we have basically done is put known fairytale characters and story elements in a blender and we have created our own narrative from it. Players will recognize stuff from their favorite fairytales but it will be presented in a completely different way. Because everyone knows these fairytales it is very easy for people to relate to the characters and the storyline. This allows us to tell the story in a very visual way. I wouldn’t call our violence sinister though, as it is so over-the-top that it becomes funny.
Given all the characters in all the various fairy tales, how did you settle on the four that you did? Any chance there will be more characters available as DLC?
We started with little Red Riding Hood…We liked the idea of making such an innocent girl in to a killing maniac. The other characters followed shortly after. Our version of Snow White walks like a princess but is a bit crazy and has this twitchy eye. You just know that she is capable of doing some real damage if she doesn’t get her way. The Naked Emperor is very vain and everyone who is laughing about his birthday suit will be in for a big violent surprise. Our Jack (from Jack and the Beanstalk) has grown up a little and doesn’t just kill giants anymore!
In terms of DLC, we have great ideas, but we are not telling…yet! :D
FairyTale Fights is using the Unreal engine, can you talk about why you decided to go with the engine over building one yourself? The color palette of the game is much different than every other Unreal game out there, did you have to modify the engine to include colors other than brown and gray?
Unreal Engine 3 is a very handy tool for making games. It supports multiplatform development and artists like its accessibility. In addition, it has a great level design tool. Development pipelines are easy to track and it is just great for editing different game aspects together. Unreal Engine 3 is just a very efficient tool to work with. We have looked at other engines as well, but Unreal Engine 3 checked all the boxes for what we wanted to achieve.
With Fairytale Fights we are showing that you can do other things with the engine than creating a gritty shooter. To create the look we have used filters already in Unreal Engine 3, but we have also imposed our own. On top of the Unreal Engine 3 we have developed in-house technology. We have created a system that we call Real-Time Dynamic Slicing, which basically allows players to slice and dice through a 3D polygon model in real time. Dynamic bone crushing allows players to break the bones of your enemies in real-time. Also we are very proud of our propriety volumetric liquid system. It makes fluids interactive. Our characters can skate or slide through the blood of fallen enemies, leaving streaks of blood across this very cute and colorful fairytale world. Basically if you are skilled enough, you can write your name in blood!
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