Weird War Q&A

We talk to Pawel Kalinowski, producer at Mirage Interactive, about his plans for this humorous World War II-inspired role-playing game.

Techland recently confirmed that it will publish Mirage Interactive's previously unannounced World War II role-playing game Weird War later this year. The game has been described as a humorous combination of action movies, like Raiders of the Lost Ark, and TV shows, like Allo, Allo. We recently spoke with Pawel Kalinowski, the game's producer, to find out more.

GameSpot: How many characters will players control in Weird War, and will they have the option to customize their appearances?

Pawel Kalinowski: There are a maximum of five characters in the team. All team members can wear a wide variety of helmets, hats, jackets, trousers, footwear, belts, gloves and extra gear, like gas masks and binoculars. And this customizes their appearances in the game. Besides that, the player has an option to choose a face for the team leader.

GS: We understand that the game will feature more than 50 unique skills for players to learn. Will players have to specialize in particular areas or will all of the skills be available no matter which character class they choose?

PK: A set of available weapon skills is mostly the same for the three classes available in the game (Differences are obvious. For example, only Strongman can use mortars and heavy machine guns.). The real difference is in special abilities. Each class has own specials, like "Soviet Union Hero Post Mortem Medal" for Strongman (increases chances of destroying a heavily armored enemy) and "Boring Lecture" for Intellectual (character gives the enemy a number of lengthy lectures, which makes them weak and sleepy for a specific period of time).

GS: Could you give us some examples of the different enemies that will appear in the game, and perhaps talk about the different ways that players will have to deal with them?

PK: The most common enemies are Nazi troops--Afrika Korps, Kriegsmarine, Wehrmacht, and the deadliest of all--Waffen SS (Gestapo agents are there, too). The player also fights with local people--Arabian highwaymen and assassins, African tribal fighters, etc. The real challenges are tanks, transporters, and similar heavy machinery. Generally, all the fun in the game is in using special abilities against opponents, together with characteristic boosters, like unique and rare weapons, clothes, and potions.

GS: How was the decision to make a humorous RPG, inspired by World War II, arrived at?

PK: I remember that gloomy Monday morning and a horrible headache. It must have been that moment. Seriously speaking, the idea came about four years ago when WWII games were not as numerous as today. We thought about something that would enrich the role-playing world by letting casual gamers immerse themselves into an RP game. By casual, I mean the one not knowing much about fantasy and AD&D. WWII environment was a natural choice for us, as we had been working with this theme since our first-person shooter, Mortyr. But we did not want another bloody serious "death and honor" game when a Pythonian approach was perfectly possible. Just look at The Meaning of Life or The Funniest Joke in the World sketch. And we will always remember that "in 1945 Peace broke out. It was the end of the Joke."

GS: Is the gameplay in Weird War story-driven, and, if so, can you tell us anything about the game's plot?

PK: Weird War is story-driven. We did not want to reinvent the wheel, and the story is a mixture of the best elements from the Lara Croft and Indiana Jones stories. In general, it is about preventing Nazis from discovering a weapon which enables world domination. More specifically, the heroes get involved in a secret Nazi mission to an ancient tomb, where a mysterious artifact is supposed to be located. Their ultimate goal is to get the artifact before the Nazis do. During their mission they will visit the Northern Sea, North and Central Africa, and Austria.

GS: Can you give us an example of the kind of quest that players will be required to undertake as they progress through the game?

PK: Although most of the quests are based on a simple scheme--"I'll give you what you want when you give me what I want"--there are many exceptions, like delivering love letters, working as a hitman, or painting a submarine yellow.

GS: Given that Weird War takes a lighter approach to the events of World War II, will all of the weapons in the game be authentic?

PK: Weapons are part of the game we are most proud of. There are tons of very nicely reproduced WWII weapons, and these weapons are as close to originals as possible. The very interesting aspect is that many other objects, like the fork, monkey wrench, shovel, and such, may be effectively used as weapons.

GS: Finally, which other role-playing game would you say that Weird War has the most in common with, and how do you intend to ensure that your game stands out from the crowd?

PK: Weird War resembles Baldur's Gate the most because of the importance of the storyline and dialogs in the game, as well as the fact that the game is pretty much team-oriented. On the other hand, a large part of the game's playability is based on dynamic combat and object management. This feature brings the game closer to hack-and-slash games like Diablo. I think that what makes the game stand out of the crowd are the story background--meaning locating an RPG during WWII--and a large dose of very specific humor.

GS: Thanks for your time.

PK: Pleasure was all mine!

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