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Scarface Producer Interview

Game: Scarface: The World is Yours
Company: Radical Entertainment

Chris Meyer AKA J.R. Nip recently traveled to Vancouver, B.C.'s Radical Entertainment to spend some quality time with the development team of Scarface: The World is Yours.

GV: First off, who are you and what was your role in Scarface: The World is Yours?

Cam Weber: My name is Cam Weber and I'm the Senior Producer here at Radical Entertainment.

GV: What experience or technology was the team able to leverage from Radical's previous titles (Simpsons Hit and Run, Hulk: Ultimate Destruction) in order to make developing The World is Yours easier?

Cam Weber: We were able to use the open-world streaming system and the destructible environments, or State Prop System as we call it, that we had developed for Hulk as well as some of the basic vehicle mechanics from Hit and Run and plug them into our in-house engine, but what we were really able to pull from our past games was the dialogue-based humor we used in Simpsons. And with over 32,000 lines of dialogue, we can really show that storytelling and bring it into Scarface.

GV: What past technology from those games did you have to just throw out because it didn't fit what you needed for Scarface?

Cam Weber: Hulk was about a bull in a china shop. Everything was very generic and we didn't need a lot of variety. Because of that, the World Designers created a limited number of city parts that just plugged into each other like LEGOs and we just streamed those in as they were needed. But in The World is Yours, we had to come up with very specific and exact locations and we needed to allow the players to see more detail. In Scarface, you can see the grime on the side of the buildings and the details of the world.

GV: What is the relationship between VU Games and Radical like? Did VU Games approach your company about doing this game or did Radical go to VU saying "We have this great idea for a Scarface game"?

Cam Weber: Three years ago, when we first started developing this game, we were not owned by Vivendi, so the exclusivity that exists now wasn't a question at the time. Instead, we were developing a demo of a shooting, driving game and we were showing it off to several different publishers. Around the same time, the Scarface 20th Anniversary edition DVD came out and it sold really well. When we approached VU with the demo, they expressed an interest in that demo becoming a Scarface game.

GV: It's obviously no coincidence that Scarface: The World is Yours is coming out around the same time as the Scarface: Platinum Edition DVD. Why do you think this is happening now?

Cam Weber: I think it is a part of one big Scarface franchise push to get the name out there get people interested in the story again.

GV: What made you decide to go with this open-world GTA style format?

Cam Weber: Radical already had experience with games like this. Though each world was limited, Simpsons: Hit and Run and Simpsons Crazy Taxi were open world environments, and so was Hulk. But the main thing was that when we talked to the public and focus tested, they typically said that they wanted to be Tony Montana. They wanted to start up a drug ring and sneak coke into the states and put it out onto the streets to build up a massive empire. They wanted the Tony Montana experience, and this format just lends itself to that style so much better.

GV: There is a stigma against most movie/game tie-ins. What do you think Scarface offers that will keep it from falling into that pit?

Cam Weber: Scarface: The World is Yours isn't just a rehash of the film. This is an original story and it is letting fans of the film get even more Scarface and Tony Montana. This game is more like a sequel to the movie instead of just a tie-in. We wanted to bring Tony Montana's personality to life and put it into the game.

GV: So why did you decide to make The World is Yours take place after the movie? Couldn't you have achieved a similar effect by using the same story?

Cam Weber: People cared more about being Tony Montana, than re-playing the movie. What they wanted was the rise-from-nothing theme that was presented in Scarface and we thought it would be lame to just re-do the movie itself because everyone knew what would happen there. Instead we decided to start big. Let the game begin with the big mansion shoot-out scene and allow the players to change Tony's fate.

GV: If you could have gotten any other big-name actors to take part in this game, who would you have wanted to get and for what role?

Cam Weber: We pretty much got everyone we wanted. Sure there were a couple of people that didn't want anything to do with the game. But, for the most part, when we approached one of our prospects, they jumped on the idea. They were all Scarface fans and just loved the idea of being a part of the project. Most of them did the job cheaply too. They just wanted to say they had a part in it.

GV: I couldn't help but notice that the game isn't being released for the 360. Are there plans for releasing a next-gen version?

Cam Weber: No, we developed the game so that it can output HD quality and play well and look good with a hi-def TV. At one point, we were debating whether or not we should move the Xbox version over to the 360, but ultimately we wanted to make sure we maximized the quality of the current generation versions and push the limits of those consoles rather than move people off of the main development team to work on porting the game over to the 360. What we did do though, was make sure the Xbox version was compatible with the 360 so that you can still play the game on the next-gen console.

GV: What is your favorite mechanic or mission type in the game?

Cam Weber: The distribution missions definitely. I just love the tension involved with trying to get past the DEA boats when you are going from the islands to Miami, and then trying to stop by all your fronts with 30 million dollars worth of coke in your car before the time limit or you get busted. Its the thrill and strategy of deciding whether you should go through the rougher areas to get that extra million or play it safe because you know if you get caught, all of your money and coke that's on you will go away. It's a great mission style that really lets you test the player's greed level and the tension is just a rush.

GV: Was there anything else you wanted to say before we wrap things up?

Cam Weber: Yes, this game has a ton of depth, and sure you can play through only the main story drug-running missions and get through it in a reasonable amount of time, but there is so much more to this game. Between trying to clear out rival gang-nests and buying exotic cars, you will be able to play for weeks after you get into the open-world aspect of The World is Yours.

Thanks to Cam, the entire Radical Entertainment team and the folks at VU Games for making this opportunity happen. Be sure to check out our Scarface: The World is Yours preview, Scarface movie review and the Scarface: The World is Yours game reviews for the PS2 and Xbox!

-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

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