Interview with producer Jim Tso (September
The movie adventurer Indiana Jones continues to be a popular
character and LucasArts also continues to publish games based
on the rogue but charming 1930's archeologist. With The Collective
(who have received acclaim from their latest game Buffy The
Vampire Slayer) handling the developing chores, Indiana Jones
and the Emperor's Tomb is set to whip (pun intended) into
stores in spring of 2003 for the PC, Playstation 2, and Xbox.
HomeLAN got a chance to chat briefly with LucasArts producer
Jim Tso as he talks more about their plans for the game.
HomeLAN - Why did LucasArts wish to bring back Indiana
Jones to games?
Jim Tso - With the power available in the new console
systems, we thought there was an opportunity to make a Indiana
Jones game unlike anything that's been done before.
HomeLAN - Why was The Collective picked to developed
Jim Tso - The Collective has had a lot of experience
making games that combine great storytelling and fast-paced
action. Plus, they already had an engine that was perfectly
suited to a Indy game.
HomeLAN - Why was the decision made to make the game
available on so many gaming platforms?
Jim Tso - Indiana Jones is one of the most popular
action heroes in history and we didn't want to limit him to
just one platform.
HomeLAN - What was the genesis behind the actual storyline
for the game?
Jim Tso - We wanted to take Indy someplace that hadn't
been explored in previous movies or games. The Far East seemed
like a natural choice. From there, it was easy to pick 1930's
China as the location since it offered so many opportunities
for gameplay and storytelling.
HomeLAN - What can you tell us about the types of
settings and levels in Emperor's Tomb?
Jim Tso - As I mentioned above, China and the Far
East play a big part in the game but Indy does quite a bit
of traveling. The game starts out in Ceylon and that setting
is an ancient temple set amidst a tropical jungle. From there,
Indy journeys to a medieval castle in Prague and ends up in
a mosque in Istanbul. After Istanbul, Indy makes his way to
Hong Kong and the South China Sea. Eventually, Indy ends up
in Xian where the tomb of China's first emperor is located.
As you can see, there's a wide variety of environments and
settings in the game.
HomeLAN - How will combat be handled in the game?
Jim Tso - There's basically two types of combat: hand-to-hand
and ranged. Hand-to-hand combat allows Indy to use a wide
variety of punches, kicks, and grabs. He can also use weapons
such as swords, chairs, and his whip. Ranged combat allows
Indy to use his pistol and other weapons such as a shotgun,
HomeLAN - What enemies will Indy have to deal with
in Emperor's Tomb?
Jim Tso - Each environment has its own set of enemies.
These range from mercenaries to Nazi soldiers to Triad fighters.
There are also level bosses that Indy will have to defeat
in each of the different locations.
HomeLAN - Previous Indiana Jones games have been more
adventure oriented than action. Why was the decision made
to make Emperor's Tomb more of an action game?
Jim Tso - We wanted to capture the feel of an Indy
movie, fast paced action mixed with a variety of elements:
adventure; romance; and intrigue.
HomeLAN - Did the development team do any historical
research in the time period where the game takes place?
Jim Tso - Yes, extensive research was done on the
first emperor of China and his tomb.
HomeLAN - What other gameplay elements in Emperor's
Tomb do you consider to be important?
Jim Tso -There are many gameplay elements in the Emperor's
Tomb but I think the most important thing is how we've balanced
everything. There's been a conscious effort to make sure the
game moves along at a good pace while providing all the elements
that traditional Indy fans have come to expect: adventuring,
exploration, and puzzle solving.
HomeLAN - Finally, is there anything else you wish
to say about Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb?
Jim Tso - It's the next best thing to a new Indiana
- by John