1. While developing Turok 08 were the original Turok games in the back of the teams mind? If so did that bring pressure upon developing such title?
At Propaganda, we were all huge fans of the Turok IP, so of course you want to do it justice. The last few games in the series weren’t as well received as the first couple of games, so there was some work to do there in terms of restoring some lustre back to Turok while still maintaining a laser focus on the core themes – the dinosaurs and the Turok character himself. Outside of that, we took liberties to freshen it up and bring it forward for the fans in a way that made sense for 2008.
2. When did you first become interested in Turok and how ?
I’ve been reading the comic since before the first game out on the N64. I’ve always been a massive dinosaur enthusiast, and the fact the main protagonist was an indigenous person was a real breath of fresh air as well. Opportunities for different stories and different perspectives made Turok a must-read for me, and a lot of other fans!
3. In percentage how far along was T2 before being canceled?
Without putting too fine a point on it, we were moving out of pre-production and making significant headway on a vertical slice. In development terms, that refers to a small level that provides a polished core gameplay experience. The expectation is that a tiny portion of the game is brought to as near a ship state as possible to properly demonstrate how new features will work, etc.
4. Which Turok game do you like the most?
Besides my own? Turok 2 and the original Turok are my 1A and 1B, The sense of adventure in the original Turok, never mind the fog/hardware limitations, was unmatched at the time. Plus the weapon arsenal in Turok 2 was absolutely crazy. I still have it and my N64, and play from time to time.
5. Since the engine and mechanics weren’t that bright during the development of Turok did that take a toll on its expectations for you and the team?
Actually, we were developing Turok in the early days of Unreal Engine 3, and receiving new SDKs (engine updates) on a regular basis as Epic provided support. Teething problems were a given considering 1) new engine 2) new tech and 3) brand new studio, but we persevered and came away with a game that I’m proud of to this day.
6. Do you think anyone will feel brave enough to pick up the Turok series and try for another release?
I’ve heard that the rights are stuck in limbo now. It would take a bit of doing to get that sorted out, and throwing money at lawyers is not my idea of a good time.
7. What are you working on now ?
Launching a new graphic novel on Kickstarter called “SAVAGE EMPIRE”. The storyline is basically “JURASSIC PARK” meets “BLACK HAWK DOWN”, so if you’re a dinosaur fan you’ll be in for a treat.
A massive earthquake has shattered the West Coast, tearing a large swathe of California coastline free. At the quake’s epicenter, pulsing energy portals appear, random gateways to ancient worlds. Through these portals, apex predators – the dinosaurs – reclaim their territory, killing indiscriminately and acting as harbingers of an even more malevolent force in the Pacific.
It’s the story of a group of black-ops, sent into the earthquake zone to retrieve the technology that holds the key behind the event, all the while acting as a handler for mercenary who specialized in finding those who don’t want to be found.
All this set against a backdrop of insane dinosaur survival action. It’s a massive labour of love for me and I hope Turok fans appreciate it. Who knows, with enough support on the Kickstarter it’s likely to have the momentum to turn into a game as well! So get out there and support SAVAGE EMPIRE on Kickstarter, you may get that spiritual sequel to TUROK yet.
8. If you could tell the Turok community something what would it be ?
I’d tell the Turok community, “thank you”! Seriously, it’s extremely gratifying to see so many fans who appreciate the work done on Turok 2008. There were a lot of long nights and hard decisions involved in bringing the game out, but we’re all very proud of our work and appreciate you fans who have shown it – and us – such love. Many of my colleagues were thrilled this support. It’s a good feeling. Thanks, all of you!
And check out the interview on the forum: