On November 21, news broke that Cyberpunk Shooter Hard Reset was coming to the OnLive cloud gaming service. Hard Reset was developed by Polish Flying Wild Hog. OnLiveFans had the chance to ask questions to, Artur Maksara, a QA Specialist, as well as the co-founder and programmer for the company, Klaudiusz Zych. Both interviews can be seen below:
OnLiveFans: What is your name, and what position do you hold with Flying Wild Hog?
Artur Maksara: Artur Maksara. I’m a QA Specialist at Flying Wild Hog.
OnLiveFans: What made you decide to bring “Hard Reset” to OnLive? I know that members of the OnLiveFans forum have been hoping for this game to come to the service. Did this have any effect on your decision?
Artur Maksara: The OnLive service is a great idea. It allows you to play many games on any hardware setup. Since it sends only the video signal via Internet, you can play virtually any game without the need of a powerful gaming rig. And you don’t really need tremendous disk space to install all the games. As for the community – we get loads of emails asking us about when Hard Reset is going to be available on the OnLive platform. It’s great that the OnLive community is so active.
OnLiveFans: Do you have any date in which you expect to see this game on the service? How far along in the process are you in porting it over to OnLive?
Artur Maksara: We will soon announce the OnLive launch officially.
OnLiveFans: When did you first begin communicating with OnLive about potentially working with them? Did they contact you, or did you contact them?
Artur Maksara: OnLive contacted us. Just before the official release of the game in September earlier this year. But people started asking us whether the game will be available on OnLive a few days after we officially announced Hard Reset.
OnLiveFans: What can OnLive gamers expect out of Hard Reset? What do you think they will enjoy the most about this game?
Artur Maksara: Personally I think that the sense of accomplishment after they beat the game on insane mode. Hard Reset is fast paced and requires loads of concentration and skill. I also think that all the 20 weapon modes in different combinations are worth checking out.
OnLiveFans: Do you have any future plans with OnLive other than bringing Hard Reset to the service?
Artur Maksara: We hope that all our future games will be launched on OnLive and that OnLive will become more popular and will be available in more regions (it’s still unavailable in Poland).
OnLiveFans thanks Artur Maksara for his cooperation in letting them conduct this interview with him.
OnLiveFans writer/editor Ryan Dejonghes had an exclusive interview with the co-founder of Flying Wild Hog, Klaudiusz Zych, which can be seen below:
Ryan Dejonghes (OnLiveFans): Before we get started on the game itself, let’s talk about you a bit. Many people talk about how cool your name is. Is there any meaning behind it?
Klaudiusz Zych: Hehe. I have no idea what it means. It’s a quite popular name in Poland, though.
Ryan Dejonghes (OnLiveFans): About when did you get into video games? Where do you get some of your gaming inspiration?
Klaudiusz Zych: As pretty much everyone, I started experimenting with graphics in 3D Studio 2.0 (for DOS) and coding small games in high school. Then I started working in the game industry as an engine programmer in 1999, at Metropolis, a company that was disbanded several years ago. Later I moved to People Can Fly, when it launched in 2002 and I worked on Painkiller for Xbox, and then a game that was sadly never released – Come Midnight. After that I worked for CD Projekt RED when they were finishing The Witcher and I worked also on the multiplatform engine used in The Witcher 2.
Ryan Dejonghes (OnLiveFans): What made you want to break out and start Flying Wild Hog?
Klaudiusz Zych: It’s a complicated story, and I can’t really talk about it. Anyway we decided to quit CD Projekt RED and try our own luck. We talked about Hard Reset even while we worked in CD Projekt RED, so when there was an opportunity to start on our own, we decided to do it.
Ryan Dejonghes (OnLiveFans): Now about the game, Hard Reset looks totally kick-ass. What can you tell us about this game? Have we played anything like it before?
Klaudiusz Zych: Well the base idea for Hard Reset was to mix cyberpunk with an old school skill based shooter. Cyberpunk was (and still is) very unpopular in games. There was Syndicate, Deus Ex or System Shock and these are well known franchises. And there are a few less known titles but that’s it. At the same time, most Sci-Fi games are created in a very Star Wars-like clean artistic style. Cyberpunk was a natural choice for us. We also wanted to add a modern mechanic that would push players forward. We observed casual games’ mechanics, and chose to add an experience based upgrade tree for weapons and skills. I think its origins are RPGs, but such systems are now commonly used in console action games like God of War or Devil May Cry.
Another unique feature of Hard Reset is to have lots of physical destruction that can be used as a gameplay mechanic. We also have randomly generated enemies – when destroyed during gunfights they will turn into loads of debris. If you play a lot of different games it’s hard to find a single feature that is unique to a single game. But a creative blend of different features from different games in a well-fitting way is what makes a game unique.
Ryan Dejonghes (OnLiveFans): What is the background of the game? What is the history of the main character?
Klaudiusz Zych: The plot revolves around Mr. Fletcher the main protagonist and (a mysterious) Profesor Novak that creates a breach in the city’s barriers and thus allows the machines to invade Bezoar. Fletcher as a member of the CLN – a special unit of the corporation – steps in to deal with the intrusion and is ordered to assassinate Novak.
Ryan Dejonghes (OnLiveFans): There looks like there will be some awesome firepower in the game. Can you elaborate on what kind of weaponry we’ll be wielding?
Klaudiusz Zych: Our approach to weapons is kinda different. After all, good weapons is what really matters in first person shooters. We decided to create just two guns but in such a way, that they can morph into dozens of different weapons. We have a ballistic gun with standard weapon modes, like shotgun, machine gun or grenade launcher. Also it has this specific look of a custom made heavy firearm. Animations also show its bulk and the different mechanisms inside. And in contrast we have the energy gun that looks very light and sci-fi, and it shoots plasma and lightning. Each weapon has 5 primary modes of fire and 5 alternative ones. So there is plenty to choose from.
Ryan Dejonghes (OnLiveFans): Some of those boss fights look epic. Where are they coming from and what can we expect to be fighting against?
Klaudiusz Zych: The whole background is based on digitalization of a human being’s mind and about an AI getting self aware and autonomous. The AI can build war machines out of junk and spare parts, and sometimes out of organic tissue. Some enemies are just cannon fodder, while some are really hard to kill, and there are huge killing machines thrown at humanity.
Ryan Dejonghes (OnLiveFans): In descriptions of the game, I’ve caught the buzz words “destructible environment”. How much of the environment will be destrutible in this game? Is it all for blowing up purposes or will there be some puzzling involved?
Klaudiusz Zych: It’s not that you can tear down everything you see. We wanted to give you a feeling that there are thousands of physical elements laying or flying around everywhere you move. And we wanted to use that environment in the gameplay, so in Hard Reset you can shoot ATM machines to cause electrical discharges. Those discharges will stun nearby enemies – then finish them off with setting them on fire and exploding a vehicle. Destructible environment has a purpose – to help you kill your foes efficiently.
Ryan Dejonghes (OnLiveFans): When people see that the game is single player only, does that mean it will take a while to play through for the first time? What kind of things are you including to increase the game’s replay value?
Klaudiusz Zych: A single walkthrough takes about 8-10 hours on average. But depending on how you use your N.A.N.O. upgrade points to build up your weaponry it can be a different experience each time.
Ryan Dejonghes (OnLiveFans): How are you distributing this game? Are you working with Steam and/or are you doing any retail distribution?
Klaudiusz Zych: Yes. Hard Reset is available on Steam. We are also distributing it in retail in some regions.
Ryan Dejonghes (OnLiveFans): We’ve heard you were interested in OnLive, how did you get in touch with them? Did they reach out to you first or did you reach out to them? What was that process like?
Klaudiusz Zych: In fact I tried to reach OnLive on several occasions but with little success. Luckily OnLive has a great community that helped me get in touch with the right person in OnLive.
Ryan Dejonghes (OnLiveFans): As much as you are able to talk about, what is/was it like to get your game ported over for distribution on OnLive? Is it pretty labor intensive or straight forward?
Klaudiusz Zych: In a way it’s hard and easy at the same time. OnLive works on regular PCs so in a way it’s only a relatively minor change to the code. But OnLive has very restrictive certification requirements similar to those on consoles and this is similar to porting a game to a console. But it’s a good thing; PC games lack a solid certification process and often lack in quality comparing to console versions.
Ryan Dejonghes (OnLiveFans): Now for the bonus question, do you have an OnLive account? If so, do you care to share it?
Klaudiusz Zych: Nope. It’s not available in Poland.