We sit down with Quantic Dream to get to know more about Omikron2 and why the original game was so heavily delayed.
Today we talked to David Cage, the developer of Omikron: Nomad Soul, at Quantic Dream. Since the company made a lot of noise recently with the cancellation of the PlayStation version of Omikron and the surprise announcement of a Dreamcast version, we thought it would be a good time to find out what else the team is working on. And guess what? Omikron will have a sequel.
GameSpot News: So where does Omikron 2 connect to the first game? Will it be a true sequel, continuing where the first game ended?
David Cage: Yes and no. The story takes place two hundred years after Omikron. At the end of the first episode, a civil war driven by the Awakened destroyed the government, the trusts, and the religion. Omikron 2 tells what happens two hundred years later. The city has changed, a new city has appeared, and a new religion now rules the city. The team is really excited by this sequel (and this is rarely the case when people have to work on a sequel...).
GSN: Were there things you couldn't implement in the first game that you plan to implement into the sequel?
DC: I would rather say that there are things that we want to implement better. Most of the ideas we had were implemented. Now we want to go further to improve each part of the game.
GSN: What was it like to work with someone like David Bowie? Is his involvement also planned for the second Omikron game?
DC: Working with David Bowie and Reeves Gabrels has been a great experience that all the team really enjoyed. I really love the songs he wrote and found them really refreshing for a sci-fi video game. Where most musicians would have written standard techno music, he came up with something really human and different. I think he did a great job and really gave us the will to continue this type of partnership.
GSN: Do you plan to have any other stars in the world of Omikron 2 like Bowie?
DC: Definitely. Our policy for all Quantic Dream titles is to have talented people on board. Not just because they are famous, but because they bring their vision and their talent to the game. We hope to have a singer, of course, but also an actor or a director. Video games are an interesting new field for talented people coming from the movie industry. With Omikron, we tried to come closer to movie standards in its manner of story, acting, and directing.
GSN: What new features can we expect in the second game? Are you going to change any core parts that you were not happy with in the first game?
DC: We always felt that Omikron was the first step in a new direction. We wanted to give a movie-like experience - with total immersion, good acting, good directing, total freedom for the player, and the ability to make a wide range of actions, including fighting and shooting.
The main thing we were not happy with was the limitations of the action sequences. On Omikron 2, we're working on improving them and creating better integration between the action and the story. We will also leave the first-person view and add the third , for more coherence in the general feel of the game. AI will also be completely redefined. The 3D engine will be improved. There will be also a couple of minor changes, like flying vehicles, plus a couple of surprises....
With Omikron 2, we want to make the second step in the direction of creating interactive real-time 3D movies, with more immersion and more freedom. We hope to take the best of the experience gained from working on Omikron and the positive feedback from gamers.
GSN: Omikron is also being delivered for the Sega Dreamcast. Are there any plans to bring Omikron 2 to the Dreamcast or to the PlayStation2?
DC: We hope so. We would like the PlayStation2 or the Dreamcast to be the lead platform for the sequel rather than the PC. Eidos should make this decision in the coming weeks.
GSN: How long do you think it will take to complete the Omikron 2?
DC: While building Omikron, we developed all the tools we needed. Although major parts of the game will be improved or completely redesigned, the development of the sequel should be faster. We are aiming for a release date in 2001. The total development time should be around 20 months.
GSN: Why was Omikron delayed so dramatically? I remember having read a first preview in a UK-based magazine ages ago.
DC: Thanks for asking this question.... The game was delayed one year, mainly because the development of the tools took longer than expected. The development of Omikron took exactly two and a half years. If you compare this schedule to most of the other games similar in size and scope, you realize that our development time is quite average (if not below average....). Eidos started the marketing and talking to the press very early in the game's development (we showed a prototype at E3 only after a couple of months of development). This is why some people think they heard about us ages ago. But believe me, when you develop a game like Omikron, two and half years seem extremely short.
Autor: Axel Strohm