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Chronicling Riddick: Extra Extra!

Concept art. Meh. Concept demos... Now that sounds infinitely more exciting. Just prior to leaving Starbreeze, we had a quick chat about Riddick's bonus content.

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

One of the things trailed ahead of the game's release was Starbreeze's plan to include work-in-progress content from the game as unlockables. The intention was to give players the chance to see how the game evolved from beginning to end. Extras, unlocked by collecting cigarette packets strewn around the game world and available to buy from certain NPCs, would not only consist of the usual barrage of concept artwork and movie stills, but footage of the game in action and even - as far as we knew based on previous interviews and press briefings - actual playable preview versions of the game. On a recent visit to Starbreeze Studios in Uppsala, Sweden, we quizzed lead programmer and designer Jens Andersson and lead modeller Pelle Tingström about the game's bonus content...

Eurogamer You included playable prototypes as unlockables - was that hard to do, because they must have been unfinished so a bit buggy?
Jens Andersson

They are only videos. They were playable, but we recorded them to video and put them in as unlockable videos. We were thinking about having them as playables but we couldn't because we wouldn't have passed Microsoft certification - we would have had to finish them first!

Eurogamer Do you think developers will continue to include this sort of work-in-progress material in future releases?
Jens Andersson

I guess so. We were pretty sceptical about it as well because we weren't sure if it was only cool for developers and reviewers to see.

Eurogamer Presumably it's interesting in the same way DVD extras are interesting.
Jens Andersson

Yeah I guess. We got really good feedback on that, so it's probably something most people haven't thought about very much. I know they did it for Metal Gear Solid - that's where we got the idea from.

Pelle Tingström

[Grins] We should have a commentary track, and talk about how, you know during a particular section of the game we didn't know how we could get something to work and stuff. It used to be really slow and it looked ugly!

Eurogamer You got there in the end though.
Jens Andersson

Yeah we got there in the end. It's all due to all the hard work that the whole team did. And that could be the difference between other movie licences.

Pelle Tingström

We have a tight core game, and we all worked together for a long time.

Jens Andersson

...And really cared about the project.

The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay is due out in Europe on August 13th, and is reviewed elsewhere on the site.

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