They've conquered the skies with Echelon (interview) and Echelon: Wind Warriors, now developer MADia has its sights set on the sci-fi shooter genre. We recently had the opportunity to sit down with the developers behind Operation: Matriarchy to get an inside scoop on the details of this promising FPS.
the Junkyard: I'm a trooper in the government army sent to attack mutated aliens on the planet Velian. Is that as deep as the story goes or am I missing something?
MADia: Well, except for the fact that mutated aliens once were humans and the planet was a human colony in the past and it seems that the relationship with the aliens before the latest events with sending troopers was quite peaceful for years and years, I think, you can very well say so.
tJY: The FPS genre is already crowded with great deal of games as it is. What do you think will set Operation: Matriarchy apart from the rest of the games out there?
MADia: In fact, almost in every feature it is a shooter except for some little differences. For example, take power armor suits. States within the suit or without it will be equal and complementary. We mainly aimed at creation of psychological contrast between stealth gameplay (without power armor suit) and fights with strong enemy, from which you have to cover (within the suit). In accordance with the type of suit you can choose any line of equipment, up to the most monstrous and destructive. But with big gun and heavy armor you will lose your mobility. You can't go everywhere, enemies can hear and see you better, but besides powerful weapons the player gets powerful defense, his strength also increases greatly, he can throw heavy objects and break the doors with one punch, and that would remain only a dream without power armor suit.
tJY: Speaking of storyline, the planet Velian first appeared in the Echelon series. Does Operation: Matriarchy feature a shared history with any of your previous games?
MADia: Yes, this is the same world that you have seen in the "Echelon" game series. The game starts about 15 years after the last war with Velian is finished. The colonization transports of Confederation, which routes are lying not far from Velian's system start to disappear into the blue. Expeditionary Corps head to Velian to settle the problems.
tJY: The enemies that I'll be fighting in the game are mutated aliens referred to as "the weaker sex". Just which gender are we talking about? Are you worried that the public may view Buka as sexist?
MADia: I suppose there's nothing to worry about... though... Let's wait till the release of the game. Hope the public reacts positively.
tJY: What kind of multiplayer gaming are we looking at? Can we expect to play as both mutated aliens and troopers from the government?
-Almost for sure we'll have deathmatch and cooperative modes. Well as we mostly concentrated our attention on single player mode there won't be many multiplayer modes. Perhaps we'll make up some other project with them.
tJY: Can you give us the low-down on some of the 16 weapons that will be in the game?
MADia: Well it begins with a knife-gun and Kalashnikov machine-gun, although very modernized.
tJY: With over 20 levels in the game, how long is it going to take the player to finish it?
MADia: Good news for you - the number of levels is not 20, but 18 in a basic gameplay. Still it's rather time-consuming - 3-4 days to complete the mission. Well this is for gamers with skills above average. For a professional it might take several hours.
tJY: How much of the game will take place in space?
MADia: In fact, not too much. One or two levels (speaking of the outer space).
tJY: The screenshots look pretty snazzy. What engine is Operation: Matriarchy running on and have any other games been released using it?
MADia: The game is created on our own 3D engine. It meets all the modern requirements, vast DirectX9.0 support and options of latest generation Video Accelerators. Well, better see it than hear.
tJY: What's the current status of Operation: Matriarchy and are you on track for a Q1 2005 release date?
MADia: We are close to alpha and hope to be in time with the release deadline.
tJY: Do you have anything else you'd like to add?
MADia: Good luck to all of you!
tJY: Thanks for your time!
MADia: Thank you.
The MADia team has already established themselves as a solid development team with two successful combat flight sims making up the Echelon series of games. How will they fair with their feet firmly planted in the ground? Results look promising.