We had a chat with Paul Turbett, Lead Programmer and Founder of developer Black Lab Games, about the upcoming space-based strategy game Battlestar Galactica Deadlock.
First of all, what can you tell us about Battlestar Galactica Deadlock?
Battlestar Galactica Deadlock is a 3D strategy game based on the award winning TV show that ran from 2003 to 2009, set during the first Cylon War.
The game is set roughly 50 years before the events of the TV show, during a time period that is talked about in the show, but never fully explored.
Players will take command of Colonial Fleet as they battle the Cylons - robots created by mankind that have rebelled - in 3D tactical space battles.
The game uses a hybrid turn-based/real time system called WEGO, which means that the player and the AI (or other player in multiplayer skirmishes) give their commands at the same time whilst the game is paused, and then watch the results play out in real time. There is also a handy replay feature with cinematic autocam that replays the battle afterwards, which has been designed to look and feel like you're watching an epic battle from an episode!
How accessible will it be to newcomers?
Hopefully it's pretty accessible. Like all games these days we have a detailed tutorial to explain the rules and how to play.
It’s been a while since the TV show finished, how do you feel this affects your marketing strategy?
We are finding that even though the show finished a number of years ago, there is still a passionate fanbase who are interested in new stories and experiences in the BSG universe. I feel like there is a pretty big crossover between BSG fans and people who have an interest in games, so I'm surprised there have been so few games made from this series. I hope that we are filling a hole in the market.
Who is your favourite character from the show?
That's a hard one to answer, because there were a lot of really well written and acted characters, I don't think I can pick only one. I always thought Colonel Tigh was really interesting, seeing his flaws when put in charge of the fleet, what he went through during the occupation, and finding out about his true nature. I also really liked Bill Adama and the wisdom he brought to the role as commander.
Were you fans of the show before you started on the game?
Oh definitely! All of the core development team were existing fans, even going back to the original series in some cases, so it's a dream project really. We've also managed to convert some of the new team members we've brought in along the way as well.
Is it more geared towards casual or hardcore gamers?
Definitely more towards the hardcore end of the spectrum. Whilst it's not a full-on grognard war game, it's still a relatively complex game. It's designed with the experienced gamer in mind.
What prompted the decision to choose to make Deadlock a strategy game instead of another genre?
Well, strategy games is what we do. It was never really a decision about genre. The decision was really 'How do we make an awesome strategy game set within the BSG world?'
As the game takes place during the First Cylon War, how much of the conflict will the campaign take place over?
The campaign is set about four years into the conflict, and whilst we don't really spell out the time it takes within the game world, it's probably only a few months.
What has been your favourite part of development?
Being able to work with a franchise that I love and am a huge fan of, and contribute to it. I still find it hard to believe sometimes that we are creating new stories and characters in the world created by my favourite TV show. It's quite an honour.