Q&A: Starbreeze Studios on The Darkness

Darkness is spreading! Starbreeze Studios' Jens Matthies talks about The Darkness, in-game advertising, censorship, and Rick James.

by

Starbreeze's Jens Matthies.

One of the most anticipated shooters of the year--The Darkness--blends an established comic book franchise storyline, tentacles, and the Mafia to create a macabre mix of first-person action and horror. GameSpot AU had a quick catch up with Jens Matthies--art director of Starbreeze Studios--to discuss their upcoming ultra-violent shooter, in-game advertising, and the technical limitations of developing for two very different next-generation consoles.

GameSpot AU: How closely did you work with comic book publisher Top Cow Productions, and how true to the series is the game storyline?

Jens Matthies: Top Cow was primarily represented by Paul Jenkins, and we worked very closely with him when developing the story and the characters for the game. The story in the game is rather loosely based upon storylines from the comic. The game is very much a self-contained unit and we've picked material from several Darkness comics, but mostly from the Resurrection storyline that Jenkins wrote and our own brains.

GSAU: The Darkness features an all-star audio cast with celebrities such as Mike Patton, Richard Steven Horvitz, Kirk Acevedo, and Lauren Ambrose all lending their voices. How important has it become to attach well-known names to game titles?

JM: The fact that some of our actors are well known had very little to do with our casting decisions on this game. Above all we have picked actors that are right for their parts. The known actors we hired for the game are all people whose work we have followed and loved for many years. Nice to see you mention Richard Steven Horvitz. We are massive Zim fans at Starbreeze.

GSAU: The concept of displaying real television or movies inside the gameworld was brought up early in your development announcements. Do you feel it's a feature other developers may adopt in the future?

JH: Quite likely. There's a lot of potential for this kind of feature.

GSAU: Could this feature be used to provide additional revenue streams (like existing in-game advertising) to offset development costs? And do you think it could be successful enough to potentially reduce the purchase cost of games to consumers?

JM: Who knows, as far as I know there are plenty of games out there already that are "free" to the consumer if they can put up with the ads.

GSAU: What are some of the technical limitations you faced developing the game for two next-generation consoles with very different storage systems?

JM: All of them! The storage systems were not that big of an issue, but this game as a whole has been the single most challenging experience of my life. The fact that we did it for two new platforms that are fundamentally very different is bordering on stupidity. It wasn't easy, let me tell you.

GSAU: The game is obviously quite violent. Were any modifications required to meet the Australian restricted MA15+ rating and pass classification?

JM: Australia has been supercool. As far as I know the Australian version is completely intact. Much unlike the German version, which is severely modified.

GSAU: One last question--Rick James?

JM: One of the baddest mothers of all time, one of the best singers, and one of the best-looking mothers you've ever seen. What did the five fingers say to the face? *SLAP*

GSAU: Jens Matthies, thanks for you time.

Discussion

44 comments
1PSman
1PSman

I'M RICK JAMES BI**H!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Open-Mind
Open-Mind

please guys I need help in the game TV there is a channel called POPEAR the first song in this channel what is called (the song with animeated picture) i will be very greatful if you helped me

Wayoftheninja
Wayoftheninja

Watch them cut out all parts referring to the Darkness' home-world, since it looks exactly like WWII! Nazis? Vat do you means by ze Nazis? Der ver no Nazis in Germany, and ve had no powers of darkness, eizah. jah jah!

Sagacious_Tien
Sagacious_Tien

I've played this game several times during development and I can assure anyone it is ultra violent.

Silicon_Noob
Silicon_Noob

It's kinda funny to hear about their censorship problems in Germany, I guess they're still ultra sensitive to anyone refering to their role in WW2.

Somini
Somini

Starbreeze FTW... These guys are so talented... I promise, this game will be so awesome... (Sorry for promoting my fellow Swedes).

BL1NDS1DE
BL1NDS1DE

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

HazeInhaler
HazeInhaler

The Darkness - is definetley a great comic series - I will place a watchful I on this game, sounds interesting...

comthitnuong
comthitnuong

You know the game is good when Rick James is randomly mentioned in an interview.

angkawsw
angkawsw

this better be good... this better be good... this better be good .... this better be good... ^.^

SilentHillX
SilentHillX

Hell Yeah! cant wait. The new Darkness arc 'Level' issues has been pretty decent and is supposed to be tied into the game. Needless to say but I have every darkness issue, crossover, one shot, wizard 1/2, etc. bottom line is I simply cant get enough Darkness. Ive been wanting this game so long that ill probably buy it for both my 360 and PS3, just to support its sales lol. Now if only I can get a street date on the new Darkness action figure coming out from the Legendary Comicbook Heroes line...

Demmi_Argo
Demmi_Argo

This game looks way sweet, I can't wait.

the_real_VIP
the_real_VIP

LOL, Dave Chappelle & Charlie Murphy are soo funny! "I'm Rick James B*tch! Hold my drink b*tch!" - Chappelle's Show (Comedy Central)

white_sox
white_sox

I am really hoping for a June release(no delays please).

mummyattack
mummyattack

the comics where good the game will be godlike

0dazubeN
0dazubeN

I am excited about this game....just need something good to play this summer.

NandoSupes
NandoSupes

I want this game ,it looks like a sure hit,but visuals only don't make a game,don't get me wrong it looks awesome,but I want to see the gameplay as well,I'm a Darkness fan, so my PS3 is ready!! lol.

sonofabear17
sonofabear17

I like that you can bite peoples faces off........and i mean that in the most pure and jesus like way i can.

kevy619
kevy619

Mike Patton + Starbreeze = must get for me

jmangafan
jmangafan

I love these guys! His interviews are always oddly worded, but hilarious.

JohnWinger
JohnWinger

A must own!!! Excellent interview. Thank you Gamespot!! :D

Chrissyc86
Chrissyc86

really want this game. Assuming it lives up to expectations...

RaiKageRyu
RaiKageRyu

Another interesting game published by 2K

qaz88aof
qaz88aof

HAHA... Dave Chappelle is so funny

Rusty_m
Rusty_m

i disagree gaming_deity. Instead of buying the directors cut, wait for the upcoming remake on the 360 which apparently still has all the directors cut content.

diablobasher
diablobasher

fattyxboxbutt: Personally i would think Bioshock 'should' be better as long as they dont balls it up, but this looks awesome too.

fattyxboxbutt
fattyxboxbutt

This should be the best single player FPS experience this year, I hope...

jackle2071
jackle2071

can't wait for this game. but im glad im not a german!

jussimple
jussimple

I'm sold on this concept. The story line alone merits the purchase and all the videos I've seen have gotten me all anxious to put the term "Yiolence is Necessary" to the test.

fkholmes
fkholmes

Sweet, this is one of my most anticipated titles!

Gaming_Deity
Gaming_Deity

Really, buy the Director's Cut of Chronicles Of Riddick. All of the commentaries Jens Matthies does are HILARIOUS. After you listen to him for long enough you feel like he's an old pal.

Cz-100
Cz-100

Where the hell did the Rick James thing come from. Mind you it did give me a laugh, but WTF.

Trigun1
Trigun1

lol. Wow, I now want to go work for starbreeze. What a tight company.