The Shrek games are some of the few movie-tie in games that aren’t as bad as the movie game stereotype. With a third movie headed into stores you know that a new game wasn’t far behind. We had the chance to talk to the associate producer of the game to see what we can expect from the upcoming game.
Can you introduce yourself and describe your role on the project? How long have you been in the gaming industry and what drew you to your current position?
I’m Kelly Lee-Creel, and I’m an Associate Producers on Shrek The Third. I’ve been in the production department at Activision since 2003 when I transferred from a different part of the company. I have always been a huge fan of these types of games and really love working on the DreamWorks properties. This is my fifth DreamWorks based game – and probably my favorite.
Movie tie-in games do not have the best reputation, what are you doing to make sure Shrek the Third doesn’t fall into that trap?
Luckily, I don’t think any of the Shrek tie-in games have fallen into that trap. Shrek 2 was the best-selling kids’ game of 2004 and Shrek the Third is trying to replicate that magic and bring a high quality and entertaining game to the market.
How involved was the movie team in the development of the game? Did you have access to any of the computer models or assets from the movie?
DreamWorks was highly involved in the process, giving the Shrek the Third game team access to anything that would assist in making the game look and feel true to the movie. The game really is a way to further explore the characters and world created by DreamWorks and a great relationship with the company really made our game possible.
How much of the game is from the movie and how much did you have to develop on your own?
The game closely follows the plot of the movie and it takes some liberties in exploring locations and plot twists not seen in the movie. The game is really a way for the public to live the adventure of the movie and go beyond it.
Will the different versions of the game have the same content or will the different versions have different features? Why isn’t there a PLAYSTATION 3 version of the game?
All the console games are pretty similar in content and were designed and created with each individual system in mind. The games really take advantage of the individual features of each console. The controls of the Wii version are completely motion based, so the user is right in the action of the game. The Xbox 360 version of the game has numerous Achievements, adding additional challenges not seen in the other platforms. Also, the GBA and NDS versions of the game are completely different in both story and gameplay. For instance, Shrek the Third for the Nintendo DS is the first ever wireless cooperative multiplayer game on the platform allowing players to play together (not against each other like most multiplayer games) through the entire game.
The reason a PS3 version of the game was not created is becauseour target audience is 8-12. We decided it would be best to develop our game for the platforms our target audience mostly own. That is also why we wanted to make sure to develop a GBA version of the game.
How many playable characters will be in the game? Do you have a personal favorite?
There are six playable characters in the Story Mode including Shrek, Puss in Boots, Donkey, Fiona and a couple of new characters to the movie. My personal favorite is Fiona – she has some great kung-fu moves. The Multiplayer Mode of the game has several villains you can play as well, including everyone’s favorite – Hook.
Is there be co-op multiplayer in the game?
Gamers can engage in six multiplayer mini-games including Castle Capture, Shrekleboard, Frog Herder, Shooting Gallery, Catacombs Leap and Ships Ahoy. These mini-games can be played in single-player or two-player multiplayer.
How many levels are in the final game? Have you added any environments that aren’t in the movie?
There are 20 levels in the Shrek the Third. You’ll get to explore some of the really cool locations from the film, as well as new locations like icy peaks, Hook’s ship, the Evil Queen’s Castle and Stromboli’s workshop.
Can you describe how gamers will be using the Wii remote for the Wii version? Was it difficult to come up with ideas on how to use the controller?
The Wii controller was really fun to work with and we’re excited about the variety of controls in the main story mode and mini-games. Some of the highlights include:
In Castle Capture, you’ll:
· CHARGE the castle by lifting your arm in the air to ready your catapult
· SWING your arm down to LAUNCH boulders at the enemy castle!
And in Shrekleboard:
· SWING your arm back and release to hit pucks on the deck of Pirate Hook’s ship in Shrekleboard, but watch out… these decks are littered with exploding barrels!
What was your approach to coming up with Achievements for the Xbox 360 version? Can you give a few examples of what’s going to be in the final game?
In Shrek the Third, we have achievements tied into finding secrets and collecting objects in the game along with completing levels on different difficulty settings. There are lots of side quests to complete for the gamer who wants an extra challenge.
Has there been any talk about providing additional content for the game after it launches?
At this point, we don’t have anything planned for after the launch.
Is there anything we haven’t talked about that you want gamers to know about the game?
I’ll just share a tip – be sure to check out each character’s unique fairy dust move!
We’d like to thank Kelly for taking the time to answering our questions and Wiebke and Neil for coordinating the interview.