Interview:Official Australian PlayStation Magazine, April 1998

From Gallowpedia, the MediEvil Wiki. You'll be dying to read!
Official Australian PlayStation Magazine, April 1998
Cover of the Official Australian PlayStation Magazine issue 9.
Issue No. 9
Page(s) 22-23
Interviewee(s) Chris Sorrell
Jason Riley
Jason Wilson
Interview Subject MediEvil
Language English
URL available? Yes

An interview with Chris Sorrell, Jason Riley and Jason Wilson from April 1998 published in the Official Australian PlayStation Magazine issue 9.


Work in progress




Here is an interview with the SCEE Cambridge development team on the forthcoming PlayStation game Medievil. A bit of background information on the development team:

Jason Wilson (lead artist)

I've been involved in the games industry for the last ten years working on design and graphics for many titles on many platforms in that time. I am inspired through watching various fantastical films/B-movies and reading copious amounts of comic books, oh and playing cool games.

Jason Riley (artist)

I had an Illustration background prior to joining the games industry. Since starting work with Millennium Interactive (now SCEE Cambridge) I had worked on four titles prior to Medievil. Interests include film, art, and keeping fit - four times a week. I've spent two years on Medievil doing certain in-game areas and all FMV sequences, using Alias and Avid Matador. Main influences are films directed by Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Peter Jackson, Tim Burton, Roland Emmerich, anything that has a good strong colour scheme.

Chris Sorrell (producer)

In the nine years that I've been working on games I've been involved in graphics, design and programming. I used to have interests - films, games, books, etc, but then Medievil started. As far as games are concerned I have most respect for Miyamoto-san and the various games he has been involved with.

What was the main inspiration for Medievil?

CS: Definitely the style of Tim Burton's work, the kooky-spooky feel of films like the Addams Family, and game wise, the arcade game Ghouls'n'Ghosts from years back.

What makes Medievil different from other platform action games, i.e. Tomb Raider, Croc, Nightmare Creatures?

CS: Although there are aspects of Medievil that are similar to these games, its gameplay mix is quite different to any of them. Our emphasis is foremost on zombie slicing action, with puzzle solving as a secondary factor and 'platform' gameplay quite low in the mix. The game also has some quite RPG style elements, and has a pretty thick streak of black humour running through it all.

How long has Medievil been in development?

CS: Design and graphic work for the project started early in '96, programming in the summer.

How many people have worked on Medievil since it's[sic] inception?

CS: Programming started with three people and has increased to six (including myself). We have had four artists plus Jason Wilson (lead-artist/design) working on the game throughout, and two people have worked on the game's mapping and enemy placement. Creation of the sound effects and music has been the shared responsibility of the three members of our in-house audio group.

How did you accomplish the amazing level of detail and crispness in the graphics?

CS: To keep true to our Tim Burtonesque influences it was always going to be important for us to have a powerful and flexible game engine. We set out to create a system that would allow the artists to model worlds in a completely free manner (as opposed to the grid-block based approach used in many 3D games), and add further atmosphere to their work through programmed lighting and magic effects.

JW: A history in the old 8-bit days teaches you just what is and isn't possible within the limitations of given hardware. There is no excuse for sloppy looking textures on the PlayStation!

What is the one thing you are most proud of with Medievil?

JW: Hopefully setting a new standard of visuals on the PlayStation and keeping ahead of the N64 with regards to its hardware tricks.

CS: I believe we've managed to achieve a level of detail, graphical richness, and a quantity of full-3D characters and objects that few games can match.

How did the main character Dan Fortesque evolve?

CS: We believe that Mr and Mrs Fortesque were very much in love, and in a special moment, their son Daniel came into existence. Forty three years later he died valiantly in battle. One hundred years after that his bony corpse was accidentally reanimated by powerful magic.

JW::[sic] From too many late nights brain storming with Chris Sorrell - we did many different skeleton types - we had massive bulky Dans with small heads, little Dans with huge cartoony heads but we settled on the dorky fun look we have now. Mitch Philips who is our animator then tidied our rough Dan up and then he further evolved through the FMV sequences.

CS: We like the idea of having a hero that was heroic but at the same time quite goofy. Dan has become a kind of undead Dirk the Daring!

Tell us a bit about the storyline

CS: The core storyline is classic good vs. evil, but with a fair few twists along the way...    As mentioned, Sir Dan starts the game dead, but is reanimated as a side effect of the evil magic that his arch nemesis, the sorcerer Zarok is using to spawn a skeleton army. Caught up in Zarok's evil scheme, Dan has little choice but to pursue Zarok, fighting his henchmen, and negotiating the hazards that the sorcerer has left behind him. Inevitably Dan's quest leads him towards Zarok's fortress and ultimately into a direct confrontation with the wizard.

Are there plans for hidden options / cheats in Medievil?

JW: Oh yeah - loads!

CS: I can't talk about the secret features - they're secret.

How many end bosses are in the game? How are they different from other platform game bosses?

CS: There are guardians in the game, but we didn't set out to make Medievil the kind of game that relies too heavily on such characters - rather they appear only when appropriate to the main storyline. I think the characters we have are pretty unique - a huge demon made from stained glass and a giant be-tentacled pumpkin are just two that spring to mind.

How long did the CG sequences take to produce? How many animators are working on Medievil?

CS: We have had just one artist working on FMV, while three other artists handled the in-game graphics. Of these, one has worked as lead animator throughout while the other two have handled all character and world modelling and supplemental animations.

JR: I worked on the CG sequences. There are 2 intros, an outro, and 10 other individual small story telling segues, totalling 14 minutes.    These took a year and a half to make. There are a lot of scenes and a lot of editing took place to make the pacing punchier.

Medievil is due to be released shortly and we hope to bring you a full review in an upcoming issue