Related ArticlesNate Schaumberg on
Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb
July 18, 2002
GameSpy:: First off, tell us why you chose The Collective's
game engine technology to power Indiana Jones and the Emperor's
Tomb? What does it give the developers that other engines
Nate: We chose The Collective's engine for a few
reasons. First and foremost, we felt that the functionality
they have captured lends itself extremely well to the Indiana
Jones franchise and really brings to the table some great
features that one would expect from an Indiana Jones title.
Their engine is also allowing us to bring Indy to next generation
consoles (for the first time) and really provide highly
detailed characters, environments, and gameplay elements.
Being the robust 3D engine that it is, we are really able
to concentrate on story and gameplay elements that bring
the Indiana Jones franchise to life and deliver a game that
has all the qualities you'd expect from a high quality 3D
action / adventure game as well as delivering on the expectations
of the Indiana Jones property.
GameSpy: Tell us about the storyline of this game.
When does it take place (before or after the last motion
Nate: Indiana Jones and the Emperors Tomb takes
place in pre WWII 1935. In the Indy timeframe, this is just
prior to Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Where Temple
of Doom begins in China, our game ends in China.
GameSpy: Indiana Jones has apparently been brushing
up on his hand-to-hand combat skills since the last game.
Give us an idea of what kinds of moves this game will give
Nate: Indy has all sort of moves in this title.
The type of moves you'd expect from Indiana Jones. The combat
system consists of two buttons, which, when pressed in any
order, will perform a number of punches, kicks, and grabs.
Combos are generally three button pushes in a row. A quick
tap on either button will throw right and left jabs, and
most combos work off of those.
He does uppercuts, haymakers, two-handed haymakers, punches
to the gut, kicks to the gut, kicks to ... it hurts to think
about it. He can grab opponents and punch them, knee them
in the gut, throw them to the ground, throw them off of
buildings... and that just the stuff he does with his two
GameSpy: The trusty whip is in the game and enhanced
to boot. What can Jones do with the whip now that he couldn't
in previous games?
Nate: Indy can use his whip in many ways, mostly
to swing across impassable chasms, gaps, traps, and other
dangerous and life-threatening areas. The most notable inclusions
in this game are his abilities to disarm opponents as well
as grab them and pull them towards him with the whip.
GameSpy: How linear is the gameplay? Does the game
force you to follow a certain plot path or is it open-ended?
Nate: There is definitely a plot to this game, and
the player progresses through the levels with specific objectives
for each part of each level. The player can roam around
parts of the world, but the story is laid out for the player
GameSpy: On the adventure side of things, what kinds
of puzzles and problem solving will players have to deal
with? How difficult are the puzzles in this game?
Nate: The bulk of the puzzles and problems are navigational
puzzles -- trying to figure out how to get from A to B.
There are also plenty of traps along the way, ranging from
loose coverings over treacherous pits to hallways full of
buzz saws and spiked logs. There are also more "traditional"
adventure puzzles that revolve around items to be used at
certain times, perhaps something to be used to trigger an
event, for example.
GameSpy: Tell us a bit more about the "Heart of
the Dragon." What is it, who wants it, how many pieces are
there and how easy will it be to put it back together?
Nate: The Heart of the Dragon is a single black
pearl that has been buried with the first Emperor of China.
The heart of the dragon lies with the Emperor's body. It's
gaining access to the tomb that is the trouble, since the
key to the tomb is in three pieces and scattered across
the globe. The key is being sought after by Indy, The Black
Dragon Triad, and the Nazis.
GameSpy: How in-depth is the storyline for Indiana
Jones and the Emperor's Tomb? Will it offer a lot of plot
twists and surprises for gamers?
Nate: The storyline for this game is very well thought
out. We've taken into account many aspects of Chinese history
and folklore to make the story recognizable and deep. There
will definitely be some surprises along the way...
GameSpy: What are some of the differences between
the various versions of the game? Does one version shine
over the rest in terms of technology or would you say they
are all on equal footing?
Nate: There will be no differences separating the
GameSpy: How is the game shaping up at this point?
What are some of the things your working on now?
Nate: The game is looking great! Right now we're
working out nebulous "fun factor" items such as tweaking
levels to make them more dynamic and exciting, tweaking
AI, polishing art, and so on.
GameSpy: Will the game feature an accurate physics
Nate: Yes, the game features a fairly accurate physics
system for jumping, swinging, falling etc...
GameSpy: Give us a percentage on how much of the
gameplay is adventure and how much is action. Do you think
you've found that delicate balance between both?
Nate: That's a tough one. There's a great balance
between the two. The game is action-packed from beginning
to end and the adventure aspects are woven throughout the
action. 100% of both? Think of an Indiana Jones movie --
that's the pace and balance we've tried to capture.
GameSpy: Are there powerups or pick-ups in the game
like health and ammo?
Nate: Indy will gain several different weapons throughout
the game, and he will also pick up ammo for these various
weapons from time to time. Health is a little different,
as Indy drinks from his canteen to regain health. There
are freshwater fountains scattered throughout the levels
where Indy can refill his canteen.
GameSpy: Besides your fists, a gun, and a whip,
are there any other items or tools that Jones can pick up
during the course of his adventure?
Nate: There are plenty of weapons, and items the
Indy can use along the way. He'll pick up shotguns, machine
guns, dynamite, and underwater charges in addition to the
others. Indy can also pick up a number of improvised weapons
along the way such as chairs, table legs, bottles, and shovels.
Then there are also of course mission and story critical
- by James Fudge