MI6 quizzed Senior Producer Chris Plummer about the forthcoming "GoldenEye: Rogue Agent" game...

GoldenEye Rogue Agent - Chris Plummer Interview (2)
16th October 2004

To what extent are you using the Havoc Engine and are you using it for both rag doll physics and object physics?
We're using Havoc and we've had it modified quite a bit so that it works with our technology and works with all the different platforms; it works on PlayStation 2, Xbox and Game Cube for us. We use it for collision, we also use it for deaths and rag doll for throwing guys, we use it for interaction for when guys fall down the stairs, all that kind of stuff. It's mainly used for special effects for over the top stunt physics moments.

Above: Chris Plummer talking to MI6 about the latest game "GoldenEye: Rogue Agent"

"Doctor No's forces wouldn't be complete without the dragon tank, so you might see those as well."


What sort of enemies will the Rogue Agent be facing and what villains will he meet along the way?
You will face henchmen on both Goldfinger's and Doctor No's side of the conflict, and each of them have different ranks of enemies so you can kind of think of it as the officers and the kind of elite guys and there' are also mini bosses amongst those guys. So the mini bosses will influence the behaviours of the guys around them, so that when a mini boss is around the guys will be more aggressive, they might be a lot more co-ordinated in the way they behave.

So if you take out the guy who is the mini boss in charge of the henchmen, then it will influence the underlings so they won't fight as effectively. There are basically four tiers of AI if you think about their levels of intelligence and different weapon combinations on top of that. There are also key characters that you'll have showdowns with such as Odd Job and Xenia Onatopp. There's more than that, but we haven't disclosed all the boss fights yet.

Then of course there are lots of vehicles. Doctor No basically has a para-military army and is very well equipped to fight. So his troops have very sophisticated body armour, his more elite guys actually have more sleek and sophisticated armour that makes them move a lot faster and makes them more difficult to hit. But he also has air and ground vehicles that you'll do combat with, and our AI system works throughout these types of enemies. So from large to small air vehicles, to tracked ground vehicles, and of course Doctor No's forces wouldn't be complete without the dragon tank, so you might see those as well.

Is the main campaign section of the game limited to single player?
You can play the campaign by yourself or you can play in co-op mode.

Going Botty

What about online support, will there be bots online and offline?
We're supporting the E.V.I.L AI in offline play rather than designing a new bot system. Our number one goal was to allow people to experience the multiplayer content without having to play it multiplayer. This was so that they wouldn't be intimidated if their friends played the Uplink match and bunch and know they are going to go play that map. Instead of going into it blind they're going to experience the same content that they are already familiar with.

The way we've done that is by setting up a skirmish mode where you play against the E.V.I.L AI, it's a little different to bots because our E.V.I.L AI does things that bots don't do - like using cover. When you think about bots they usually run around as fast as they can, which is sort of what the player does honestly, but we've found it more fun playing against the AI rather than just bots. So that's the way we're approaching that one. You won't be playing with players and AI in sort of a death match though for example. So it's specifically for skirmish mode

Above: Screenshot from the Golden Gate Bridge location


Unlocking Extras

Have you considered the possibility of downloading extra levels off the Internet for the multiplayer levels?
We have thought about that, and have opted to make all the content unlockable, we don't want to short-change the people not playing online.

So for all of the unlocked content there are plans are to make it all available by playing the single player game, the offline game if you will. Including the multiplayer offline, so if you want to play split screen things can be unlocked. Basically you can unlock everything that way.

Evil Behaviour

With the E.V.I.L AI you were talking about, what sort of thing can we be expecting enemies to be doing?
So the bread and butter activities are that they'll use cover very aggressively, so that means if your applying tons or pressure. They'll do blind shots or kick out and attack you that way. They'll move and use the environment intelligently, if you blow there cover up, they'll just move to somewhere else in the room and effectively fight from there. If there's a switch in the room they'll use it and activate a death trap or a machine. If you're in the wrong place at the wrong time they'll use it against you, none of this is scripted which makes it very interesting.

The player can learn the skills of almost creating a diversion and herd the AI to their advantage, so a player can trap them in a death trap. They are aware of changes in the environment so if you destroy cover or destroy something that they would normally try to use they're obviously not going to use it, they're not going to stand out in the open and wait to get killed.

They'll also do things like, if you intimidate them you can actually project your villainy onto them, they will freak out sometimes. They might grab one of their own hostages or go berserk, or even surrender. These are kinds of things are unique to this AI system and play into our own concept of playing as a villain.

So we're very much encouraging players to do things like one shots kills, death traps, throwing guys out the window and all that kind of stuff. And when you're performing like that you can influence the AI's behaviour and also power your Goldeneye. Which is a really important part of the game, so we're using your Goldeneye and that's an advantage, by playing like a villain you'll have a lot more opportunity to use the Goldeneye.

What was the reason for the shift, making the game as a bad guy?
Well it's always been a villain game and the reason for that was we wanted to make a great first person shooter in the Bond universe. To do that we really needed to be the villain, because Bond is really the stealth guy, he's about driving fast cars; he's a different character. Especially now in video games there's a lot more enforcement of how Bond's character behaves under license than there was say when the original GoldenEye was made.


Above: Screenshots from the Golden Gate Bridge location

  Stay tuned to MI6 for further intel reports on "GoldenEye: Rogue Agent", due out in stores November 2004.

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Images copyright EA Games.