Wing Commanders

The creators of the GBA Prophecy speak.

Take-Two recently battered down the door to Raylight Studios, the developer handling upcoming GBA space shooter Wing Commander Prophecy, and were kind enough to send us the interrogation footage. From this we managed to extrapolate the following, which sheds some light on the course of the game's development. Wing Commander Prophecy is due out June 27th.

Take-Two: The Wing Commander series has something of a cult status - how did you feel about working on something so established?

Massi Di Monda: We all are very excited about Wing Commander Prophecy on the GBA. In the past we started working on a demo called "Star Giants" that was inspired to the first Wing Commander game. We were convinced about the idea of making a Wing Commander game on the Game Boy Advance and I contacted Origin and Electronic Arts, who then redirected me to Destination Software. I started talking to Destination and we provided a new Wing Commander demo based on Prophecy, which used our new Blueroses technology. As soon as we released the demo, we got approval first time around which was great! It has been hard, but well worth it as we ended up making it!

Take-Two: How different is the GBA version to its PC and console predecessors?

Massi Di Monda: We tried to keep the game as close as possible to the PC version, including real time cut scenes during gameplay and the ability to give orders to your team-mates, which is a great help during the missions. Of course we had to cut the full motion videos present on the 4 CDs of the PC version, but we introduced wonderful 3D real time intro and ending sequences to compensate. Also, we tried to keep all the essential in game controls, while considering a system that worked with the limited number of buttons available on the GBA. In addition to this, the game features all the ships present in the PC version and 48 missions.

Take-Two: What new features does the GBA version offer to fans of the games?

Massi Di Monda: The most exciting and fun aspect is the multiplayer option, where it will be possible to select alien ships and join in with high-action space dogfights.

Take-Two: How long has the game been in development?

Massi Di Monda: We developed the game in 4 months.

Take-Two: What have the team and Raylight worked on before?

Massi Di Monda: The key members of Raylight have 10 years of experience in the games industry and have worked on PlayStation, PC and Color Game Boy. As Raylight we worked on Speedball II (GBA), Superman Countdown to Apokolips (GBA), Wings Advance (GBA) and R-type III: The Third Lightning (GBA). At the moment, we're looking to secure a publishing agreement for R-type III. In addition to these products, Raylight is the developer of award winner Blueroses technology that is one of the best GBA 3D engines available. The Blueroses technology is also available for PC and GameCube.

Take-Two: Can you explain how the game is structured and the kind of experience gamers can expect from WCP?

Massi Di Monda: The players will face different missions and storylines according to their achievements during the battles, unlocking more and more missions as they progress through the game. It offers a mixture of fast paced dogfight action and combat strategy elements.

The game is the first real space combat simulation to appear on a handheld console and includes strategy aspects, as the player can give orders to their CPU controlled teammates. This is a really important feature they'll need to master in order to survive during certain missions i.e. escort, save, recognition and more.

Take-Two: What multiplayer features have been included in the game?

Massi Di Monda: In the multiplayer mode up to 4 players can join the game with up to 4 cpu controlled pilots, giving a total of 8 in all. There are two multiplayer modes, Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch, each with different options available. In Deathmatch each contender plays against the other, while in Team Deathmatch you can choose to play as either Confed or Alien and fight for the victory of your team!

Take-Two: How have you found working with the GBA technology?

Fausto Cardone: It has been really funny, the more the machine is limited the more you have to push all your resources to try to achieve the best results. It's an on going challenge!

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