James Allsopp (Interviews) Susan Cummings, Executive Producer, Tiny Rebel Studios (Producing and Directing The War of the Worlds)
Could you run through the weapons in The War of the Worlds?
War of the Worlds is a game based on the story of one man who must ultimately survive, more so than
attempt to fight, the fierce Martians. The majority of the game you will be unarmed, using only your
wits to survive a variety of increasingly difficult weapons and machines in the Martian arsenal including
the red weed, the spiders, the iconic Tripods, the drones, probes, and black smoke. That said, you will
eventually discover an axe to provide some help to you…
How many levels are there to play through, and what is your personal favourite?
Roughly a dozen levels. My personal favorite would be the intense rooftop Tripod chase.
What gave you the idea to develop War of the Worlds into a video game?
Paramount gave Tiny Rebel Studios (Producers and Directors of the game) the rare and very cool
opportunity to sift through its massive back catalog of films to find an older property we could go crazy
with. War of the Worlds is a property that our Creative Director, Lee Cummings, has always wanted to
make a game for and low and behold, it was also one that Mike Mika, the Creative Director at Other
Ocean, has shared a similar ambition to do. Bringing the two of them together, with Paramount’s
resources, and a variety of incredibly talented people we have either worked with or wanted to work
with, was too good to pass up.
Getting into discussions it became quickly apparent that the way to really do the property justice, was to
go back to the 2D side scrolling games we all grew up with, and pay homage to them through the use of
rotoscoping, parallex 2D art, and old school design sensibilities (particularly where it comes to difficulty!).
Do you plan on introducing The War of the Worlds on other platforms other than PS3 and
At this point, we’re focused 100% on delivering the most compelling console experience we can. Once
that mammoth task is through, we will consider what else is possible.
Are there any multiplayer capabilities?
No, we decided from the beginning that this needed to be an isolated, haunting experience, to really put
you in the shoes of Arthur Clark. For that same reason, we chose that the one and only voice you would
hear in the game (with the occasion of the occasional radio broadcast) is Arthur’s (voiced by Patrick
Also, as a producer who must be mindful of schedule and budget, I am keenly focused on properly
scoping a game from the beginning. Because we set out to make a single player experience, all of our
time and resources could be focused on making that experience as vivid and interesting as possible
– multiplayer can be very distracting for the team, when your are trying to make a compelling solo
experience. And it ends up feeling tacked on when it’s not a focus.
The graphics look stunning for an arcade game; how did you go about achieving them?
The 2D graphics in the game, I think, do a wonderful job of making the user think they are seeing 3D.
Rather akin to the experience of looking through a hole in a shoebox diorama. The old school technique
is known as layered parallax scrolling. In our game, you will see upwards of 60 layers at any given time.
What’s amazing is how little these layers drain the processor in a console. Other Ocean tells me that even
with 200 layers going, they were able to maintain a solid frame rate.
Our animation is all rotoscoped, also used in Flashback and Out of this World. This is another old
technique where the animator traces over live action filmed footage taken with a green screen.
How much will the game cost for PSN users and XBOX Live users?
The game will be 800 points on XBLA. We have not announced our pricing or date yet for PSN.
What date will the game be released in the UK?
The game will ship simultaneously in North America and Europe very soon on XBLA.
How long do you think it will take the average gamer to complete The War of the Worlds?
We estimate that the average, experienced gamer will take 5 – 7 hours to complete the game. This is a
challenging game, and you will die frequently, but we make ample use of very fair save locations so that
you will not have to go back and redo an overly challenging puzzle.
Do you plan on releasing any add-ons or purchasable upgrades to The War of the Worlds?
Undetermined. All of our focus right now is on shipping the best game possible. It certainly is a natural fit
for DLC however.
And for the last question… are you working on any games after The War of the Worlds?
Yes, my other focus is on overseeing the new Star Trek game for the upcoming Bad Robot film sequel,
which was announced back at E3.