Interview With Jakub Cislo Developer of Upcoming Old-School FPS Project Warlock
This week, we once again got the opportunity to interview young indie developer Jakub Cislo about his upcoming old-school FPS title Project Warlock. Initially, the game was named Exitium 3D, followed by Cataclysm 3D before finally deciding the game's title would be Project Warlock.
We discussed the changes made to the game since its first greenlight submission and how Cislo handled the massive criticism he received on the Cataclysm 3D Greenlight page.
In Project Warlock, you take on the role of a powerful mage who is attempting to rid the existence of evil by travelling through various dimensions and universes.
To help him in his quest, the mage uses all forms of weapons including a pistol, shotgun, SMG, akimbo SMGs, magic staves and spells. Project Warlock, like games of the era it is inspired by, will consist of 5 episodes -- with each one having a different theme.
GameSkinny: It must have been difficult to get such a huge amount of harsh criticism on the Cataclysm 3D Greenlight page, especially as you had just given the game an overhaul. What was your initial reaction to it all?
Jakub Cislo: I was pretty sad, but instead of being arrogant, I decided to move back from greenlight and improve the game. I wanted to shut down the haters completely. Improve the game so much that they couldn't complain anymore.
GS: One of the features listed on the Greenlight page is the game will contain multiple game modes. What are these additional modes?
JC: One additional game mode that is coming for sure is survival. Basically, it is going to be a wave-based survival game mode. Another one is a "single-level game mode", where players would jump right into one fast level. I was also thinking about a "Total Carnage" game mode, where the player has a restricted time to deal as much wreckage as possible. Multiplayer is also an option, but after the main release.
GS: From the trailer for the game, I get an impression the protagonist is a silent type of a character with a badass attitude, something similar to Clint Eastwood’s characters in his Western films. Is that the kind of character you always imagined the mage to be?
JC: The short answer is -- yes. I always loved these kinds of characters. Not only in games, but also in movies. It makes them feel unstoppable!
GS: Originally there was a scoring system in place just like in Wolfenstein 3D. Is this feature still going to be in the finished game?
JC: The scoring system is still there, although changed a bit. Currently, the scoring system gives the player "unlock points" once he reaches a certain amount of score.
GS: You mention on the Greenlight page that Project Warlock will have a lives system similar to games like Contra, Super Mario Bros, etc. How exactly does that work in the game? Upon dying do you start the level over, or do you simply respawn in an area that you previously cleared?
JC: If upon death, the player has more than 0 lives, he can either choose to restart the current level, go back to the HUB to buy some upgrades, or pick a different set of levels to play. Once the player has 0 lives upon death, the game is over.
All progress is erased. Sounds rather harsh, but the number of lives found inside the levels is sustainable. We don't want to make the game frustrating.
GS: One of the notable game features is non-linear level progression. Is this in relation to the players being able to approach each episode as they see fit, or are there multiple approaches to how they complete a level?
JC: The levels are handcrafted. That means that most of the levels, excluding some simple ones, can be completed in different ways. Shortcuts, secrets, explorable areas -- everything is there.
The player can also select with which episode he wants to start with, except from the last episode -- the toughest one, which requires all previous episodes to be completed. So once the player hits "New Game", he has 3 episodes to choose from, as one requires at least one boss slain.
GS: Will there be a co-op option available upon release or at a later stage of development?
JC: Upon release, no. There are plenty of reasons, but the main one is time. Developing multiplayer and co-op components would take the time which I could use to improve on the level design, gunplay, AI and more important stuff. We want the game to be polished as much as possible.
GS: Originally there were to be only 3 episodes for the release of the game, now there are 5 in total. Is there any particular reason for the additional two episodes?
JC: Initially the game didn't feature any location-based episodes. Right now each episode is being designed in a different theme -- Medieval, Antarctica, Industrial, Egypt, and Hell.
GS: What platforms will the game be available on for release and will it become available on others at a later date?
JC: If the game is going to get a satisfying amount of attention and sales, ports should eventually come. As said above, making additional things would move the release date.
Despite its massive overhaul and numerous changes since our previous interview with Jakub Cislo, the original concept and style of Project Warlock remain the same. At its core, it aims to create an old-school FPS that is inspired by the classics of the 90s like DOOM and Wolfenstein 3D.
Project Warlock is bound to take the interest of those who are fans of those early FPS titles, and it's looking to become a most promising game. It is scheduled to release in October this year.
GameSkinny would like to thank Jakub for taking the time to answer our questions and wish him the best of luck with the development of Project Warlock.
If you would like to know more about the game, you can check out the Steam Greenlight page for more info.