Interview: David Brickley

We talk with the Aliens vs Predator lead producer about the game.

aliens-vs-predator-20091026061304518How much did you draw from the respective film series? Can fans expect much in the way of nods and winks?
Oh hell yes. Or should that be “fucking A”? The first time you swish that vision mode, or fire a pulse rifle, or stealth kill from a ceiling, there’s a little shiver that we love to see from all who play it, and that makes us happy as that was the main goal – make you feel the way you always imagined it might. The two movies (Aliens and Predator) are what we grew up with, and while we’ve set the scene with this game there’s a million other ways to be inspired by them.

Alien began as a horror franchise and Predator as an action-oriented one. How well do you feel these two genres marry up in a videogame?
Well Alien was horror only from the perspective of the humans – when you play as a Xeno we felt it should be more malevolent! So naturally you get action there, but primarily it’s about stealth and enjoying the act of killing. Marine is where the horror lies, while with Predator it’s about being the baddest Hunter in the galaxy. Part of the fun of choosing your species is to be what you like best. And frankly that changes, day to day.

Are there any new types of Alien or Predator for readers to get excited about?
You’ll need to wait and see.

How difficult is it to get the audience/reader/gamer engaged in a story that has alien monsters at its centre?

Hell, you’re asking that of a guy who as a kid cried when Jaws got blown up! As a player you invest in your avatar no matter what species it is. What we’ve tried to do on top of this is add objectives and narrative and progression that is interesting for the player and keeps them motivated to keep playing to see it through and find out more about the character they’ve possessed.

Do you feel that the future of storytelling – particularly that of sci-fi – rests in videogames? Some argue that film, books and TV have reached something of a plateau and its only really games that have significant room left to grow as a medium…
They don’t compare really. Narrative in video games means so much more than the dialogue that makes a book so fascinating or the rigid structure a movie needs. You could argue video game stories are still years behind either books or movies, but then a game like Rez where players almost create their own stories to fill in the blanks couldn’t be done any other way. It’s another medium to enjoy, and that’s great, but it’s not going to usurp the other two.

Has there been any input in the making of the game from the film studios? Were you perhaps privy to what Rodriguez has been doing on Predators, for example?

Fox is intimately involved in everything we do and have in fact been very supportive. We’re excited to see where Predators and the Alien prequel take things. Very excited.

Aliens vs Predator is scheduled for a 16 February release in the United States on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC. For up-to-the-minute gaming news, features, interviews, reviews and previews, and much more, be sure to visit NowGamer.com and bookmark today.