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Sebastian Barz from Alienpac Software kindly took the time to answer the questions for this month's interview.


Q: How big is the team behind “Lived” and what are your team members specialties?

A: We are currently 3 members: a sound designer , a musician/composer and me the lead designer (3D Art, 2D Art, scripting). So the team is still very small and we are currently searching for artists.

Q: What type of AI are you using for the game?
A: For the first dusmania demo we used the perfect AI from the Acknex User Magazine, so thanks to you George. But we are currently working on a new AI system; enemies will be able to search the environment to spot the player. The enemies will call reinforcements in critical situations.


Q: What are the main functions of your Alienpac Network Tool? Why did you decide to build it?

A: The Network Tool was developed to keep the team communication, development and file sharing organized. So we created a basic tool to share our files and to have meetings.


Q: Can you name a few features that make the weapons from “Lived” stand out?

A: One of the main game features is the weapon system, which is fully customizable. We mainly use original (realistic) weapons and give them a futuristic design. We have a Chainsaw Machete,  Pistol,  AK 74/G36C Assault Rifle,  MP9, Shotgun, Rocket launcher and a secret weapon. All the weapons can be upgraded throughout the game with silencers, scopes and iron sights.


Q: What type of shaders are you using in the game?

A: We use normal mapping (with alpha blending support) , specular mapping, environmental mapping, multitexturing shader and detail texturing shader. Every texture in the game has got shader information, mostly we use normal mapping to create the unique game look. Even leaves got normal mapping applied.  

Q: I understand that physics play a big part in your game. Where and how are you using physics objects?

A: We use the newton physics engine to create a realistic and interactive environment. The player can also use the physics objects to take cover in the hot zone or he can use them to take out the enemies.  So there are a lot of situations where the player can use the advantage of a physicalized environment.


Q: What is the biggest mistake youve made while you were developing the game?

A: I don't know about development mistakes, but to be honest we started to create content before the design document was ready. So there were a lot of feature tryouts to find the ones that are solid and perfect for the game.


Q: Please give us a few tips for beginners.

A: Beginners should start a small project and idea development before they start to create their own game content with tools like Softimage XSI. Even small projects need some kind of planning before you can start to work on stuff like characters, weapons, buildings and so on. The best advice I can give is never give up and stay focused on developing your own skill day by day.


Thank you, Sebastian.