Knight Rider 2
With almost every new game, system requirements lift off and rocket into space but the pc necessary to play Knight Rider 2 can be a quite modest one. Was it one of the priorities to keep the game light so that gamers for once did not have to invest all of their hard-earned money in new technology?
Yes, it was a priority for us since we want to provide a good experience to owners of a 2-year old PC, as well. Another thing to consider is that the title is also developed for PS2, so it is unavoidable that some PS2 constraints also apply to the PC. Nevertheless, we’ve upped the minimum specs and the graphics since the previous version of KR considerably.
Did that restrain the designers’ creativity sometimes?
Yes, but that is normal. Any game designer knows that he has to do certain reality checks. Anybody can write up a great game concept, but the real challenge is to keep in mind the limits of technology, budget and talent.
You won’t hear me complaining but what were the reasons to opt for a PS2 and PC version and why was a big platform like Xbox or Gamecube left out?
Actually we did consider an XBox version, but we had some delays during the project, and that meant that we had to make painful choices. The Xbox version was dropped simply because we ran out of time at the end.
CEO, Roger Avis said that the customer’s feedback was processed and incorporated in the sequel, could you give a few concrete examples of improvements in relation to the first Knight Rider game?
I have attached a document that describes what we see as the main lessons and conclusions from the feedback that we received on the first game.
Because that was three pages long I decided to select some of the features I found important.
In KR2 you are thrown into the action right from the start, but also gently eased into the use the various gadgets of KITT one-by-one.
The player has to manage KITT?s energy level and find ?power-stations? to replenish KITT?s batteries during/after combat.
The game offers varied sceneries, e.g. snowy mountains, high-tech compounds, dark factories, and of course the good old Arizona desert settings that we all remember so fondly
An experienced tester finishes the 11 missions of the game in just under two hours (without skipping dialogs or using cheats). We estimate that the average player will need about 4-6 hours to complete the game.
The game will offer 11 (unlockable) clips with stunts from the TV series, as well as background information, photo?s and a trivia quiz.
I could not find details on the sound, does that mean we will have to settle for stereo or are there perhaps some Dolby Surround features present?
Nope. Just stereo. There is wide-screen support in the PS2 version, but that’s not sound-related, is it?
There seems to be a new Knight Rider movie in pre-production, perhaps a third game could be released which uses a game/movie combination because that does seem to be quite popular these days?
That would be extremely cool and we are certainly looking at those possibilities.
Seemingly the game has no multiplayer option where gamers can try destroying each other in an arena and cooperative single player doesn’t seem to be incorporated either. Do you think gamers will find the eleven missions enough value for money?
We had to throw out the alternate game modes, and it was the most painful decision we had to make during this project. We had planned a “duel” mode whereby one player would play KITT and the other KARR or Goliath, and a “dirt track” race (just like the one in “Knight of the Phoenix”). Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to finish those extra game-modes properly. As a consolation, we added a number unlockable video clips from the original TV show, in which KITT performs all kinds of stunts. We think the video clips work well and really add something to the product. So yes, the game is still good value for money, but I admit that the extra game modes would have made it extra special. I guess, it is something to start with for a sequel….
Will the difficulty settings be enough to make gamers play it again or are there surprises to unlock that will keep players occupied some more?
I think some of the missions have a couple of good fights in them, that will keep players coming back. There’s also the option (on PS2) that one player drives, while the other shoots. It is not a big thing, but it’s certainly good fun.
When I saw the box shot of the second game it really felt as if the gates to the third place would open. Did you put more effort into its design this time? Is it something you did yourself or did you go to an external company to do the design?
I don’t really understand this “third place” expression, but I will take it to mean that you like the new packaging better than the previous game’s. This time we worked with a special hires artist who upgraded the game models of KITT and the helicopter and put them in an “action scene”. If you’re interested have a look at some of the attached “in progress” renders, that will clarify how this scene came to be.
Do you think marketing and advertising are important or is that something you can do without and in that way cut some costs too?
Of course marketing is important, that is why we work with local partners. For example, in the UK we bought a KITT replica and parked it outside retail outlets, so people could have their photo taken behind KITT’s wheel.
Besides the license from Knight Rider, there is now Miami Vice too. Will there be more games based on similar licenses that we can expect?
Yes, there will be more. But in this business it is not wise to talk about deals that aren’t signed yet, so I cannot really say much more.
I am very grateful for Lambert Wolterbeek Muller answering my questions so sincerely and patiently. They really explain a lot and now I am definitely looking forward to a third part. Thank you once again.