Interviews// F.E.A.R. 3: Ernest Zamora

Posted 14 Apr 2011 14:09 by
Alma returns in F.E.A.R. 3, and this time she?s not quite the creepy little girl you tried to run away from in absolute terror. Now, she?s the slightly older, creepy teenage girl you try to run away from in absolute terror.

With an aim to tie up the story surrounding Paxton Fettel and Point Man and a heavy focus on co-operative and multiplayer, Day 1 Studios is hoping this will be the intense closure fans will expect.

The most interesting thing I came away from my multiplayer preview of the upcoming sequel was the heavily tweaked modes - rather than simple horror-based takes on classic modes found in other games, these seem tailor-made to suit the game?s premise and background.

I promptly had a chat with Ernest Zamora, producer at Warner Bros. Games to learn more about the direction the series is taking.

SPOnG: You guys are showing off some rather unique multiplayer modes today. That?s quite a departure from the modes offered in previous F.E.A.R. games isn?t it?

Ernest Zamara: Yeah, these multiplayer modes are completely different to those you?ll find in F.E.A.R. 2. If you look at our F.E.A.R. 2 modes, they?re very sort of traditional modes, with team deathmatch, capture the flag and so on.

From the get go with F.E.A.R. 3 what we set out to do was break away from that and focus on making modes that are innovative and unique to the franchise, and stand out from all the other titles out there.

We really thought about it for quite a while and focused on leveraging the F.E.A.R. brand - so things you saw like Possession and Alma?s Wall of Death? seeing Alma herself? all of those things are really the foundation of our modes.

SPOnG: Were there any ideas that didn?t make the final cut?

Ernest Zamara: No, not really. I think at the end of the day you could leverage some other F.E.A.R. elements but we focused on the four that we thought were the most fun and compelling.

SPOnG: Day 1 Studios is working on F.E.A.R. 3. Monolith worked on the first two games. Going on from F.E.A.R 2, was there any pressure on you guys to deliver an experience that equals or even betters that?

Ernest Zamara: I think it?s more of an opportunity, because what Monolith established with F.E.A.R. 1 and F.E.A.R. 2 was a great franchise. A great foundation with Alma and Point Man and the story of the family. What F.E.A.R. 3 does is it continues the story of F.E.A.R. 1 and 2, and you can think of it really as wrapping up a trilogy.

Day 1 was able to leverage what Monolith started - add the same frenetic combat, the horror and paranormal elements. But they were also able to build on it as well, and add the unique and innovative Diversion co-op mode. It?s staying true to the franchise but expanding the world of F.E.A.R. into new areas.

SPOnG: You said this is like the conclusion of a trilogy?

Ernest Zamara: Yeah, you can think of it like that. I mean, it remains to be seen - you?ll have to play through and see the ending of F.E.A.R. 3 - as far as where the franchise might go after this, but in terms of the story, yes.

It wraps up the story of the brothers and the family, Alma, and it also gives a lot of backstory for folks who have played F.E.A.R. 1 and 2 - they get to see a lot of things that were only hinted at in past games. But for new fans, what we?ve done with F.E.A.R. 3 is simplify the story and we?re really making the core of the story about the brothers. It also tells some of the history of their childhood.

SPOnG: How has the collaboration been between Day 1 Studios and Monolith? What kind of involvement have Monolith had?

Ernest Zamara: Day 1 worked on the port of F.E.A.R. 1, and such they were very familiar with Monolith. From the get-go, F.E.A.R. 3 actually started development before F.E.A.R. 2 wrapped up, because we wanted to allow proper time for all of these innovative and unique new features that we?re adding, as well as time for polish.

Given that development started before F.E.A.R. 2 finished, the Day 1 team went out to Monolith and had lots of initial meetings with them, working hand in hand, making sure all of the tenets of F.E.A.R. were in place from the ground up. There were various folks who worked hand-in-hand throughout development from WB Games that assisted Day 1 in those efforts.
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