March 18, 2008

Scott Miller on Radar Group, Prey 2, and more

Some pretty exciting news broke yesterday that will be of interest to 3D Realms fans. Formally announced yesterday are two new ventures that 3D Realms is involved in, those being the Radar Group, and Depth Interactive. What are these? Well, to answer that, we'll go straight to Scott Miller, the founder of Apogee / 3D Realms, and the Chief Creative Officer of the Radar Group:

Q: First, the obvious question: What is Radar Group?

Scott Miller: Radar Group is neither a publisher nor a development studio. We're something new. We believe that the best ideas in the game industry are original ideas, and so we will incubate, nurture, co-design and co-produce ideas that are tailor-made for the game industry, versus using existing licenses from other media. Think of us as the anti-Brash. lol!

Not only are we something new, we're something our industry desperately needs. Radar will team up with many of the industry's top independent studios to help them create original IP in which they own a substantial ownership stake. Why is this important? Because in today's industry it's nearly impossible, unless you're Epic or Valve, to create original games and not give away full IP ownership to the publisher. Radar believes that creators should share ownership, and all of the long-term benefits that come from that.

Another key part of the Radar plan is that all of our projects are built around a rich storyverse. Think about properties like Star Wars, Harry Potty and Lord of the Rings. All of these fictional creations have a vast and deep storyverse that can support numerous stories, with numerous compelling characters. Quite simply, a storyverse is the possibility space for stories, and all of our projects are being developed as a storyverse that can then support not only games, but linear media, too, like film, comics, TV, novels, webisodes, and so on.

Radar has every intention of leveraging our games in these other media, through our sister company based in Los Angeles, Depth Entertainment. The Max Payne film, currently filming in Toronto, is Depth's first production, by the way. Depth will specialize in respectful, high-quality game-to-film adaptations.

Q: Is there anything that you wanted to tell our readers about Radar Group or any of its titles that we hadn't hit on yet?

Miller: In part, Radar is an extension of 3D Realms' long history of working with external teams to co-create hit games, going back to 1990 when we teamed with Id Software on Commander Keen and then birthed the FPS category with Wolfenstein 3-D. It's not as well known that we were also involved with the inception of Descent, funding that game and giving design guidance for its first 16-months, before selling the publishing rights to Interplay. And then of course we played a huge role in Max Payne, working with Remedy, and also Prey, working with Human Head. If you include Duke Nukem into the mix, all of these franchises have sold over $1.1 billion at retail.

Scott also spoke in some detail about Prey 2, giving some previous unknown detail about that title.

IGN: Prey is obviously the most well-known franchise of the bunch. Since the original's release, we've also played a little game called Portal. Has said title's use of portals influenced how the technology is being used in Prey 2?

Miller: Absolutely! While Prey pioneered the portal concept, Valve's Portal took it to an all-new level. It really shows what you can do when you focus on a single core cool gameplay concept. So, while Portal impressed the heck out of us, it has also inspired us to return the favor to Valve and hopefully leap frog them as they did us. We believe we have new ideas for portals that will keep the portal race interesting.

In the original Prey, the lead character, Tommy, was too reluctant, and didn't realize his hero status until late in the game. So, in the new game we're making him a hardened, take-charge character who's learned fast from his previous experience, and ready to accept his status as a galactic savior. We're definitely beefing up the combat—expect more enemies onscreen simultaneously versus 3-4 in the original—as well as the spirit powers. And while the original was too much of a corridor shooter, Prey 2 will have much more variety and wide-open areas: think CoD4 to get a good idea of what we're shooting for in terms of open-world look and feel.

Scott also talks about the other previously announced title, Earth No More, in addition to a new title that had not been mentioned before, "Incarnate".

The quotes above are taken from a lengthy interview over at IGN where Scott talks more about Prey 2, the Radar Group, and other things you will definitely want to read. Head over to IGN and check out the full interview. For further details, make sure and check out Scott's blog at the Radar Group website here.

One final note about this announcement. It does now mean that Prey 2 & Earth No More, which had previously been announced as 3D Realms titles, are now no longer so. These are Radar Group titles. Before anyone asks, this won't affect Duke Nukem Forever. Duke Nukem Forever remains a 3D Realms title, and all this Radar stuff will not affect DNF in any way, as none of the internal DNF 3D Realms staff is working on any Radar titles, other than Scott Miller in an advisory fashion.

These titles look and sound quite exciting, you'll want to keep your eyes on the Radar Group website for all the latest!

Posted by Joe Siegler on March 18, 2008 at 11:30 AM | Permalink | Discuss this story on our forums
News Categories: About 3DR / 3DR Staff | Duke Nukem Forever | Earth No More | Prey | Radar Group