Techraptor recently spoke with Ted Morris, Executive Producer at Petroglyph, to talk about Petroglyph’s upcoming RTS game, Grey Goo!
TechRaptor: As we get started, what’s your background as a team? How did you come together?
Ted Morris: Many of the developers at Petroglyph came from Westwood Studios, which created the original Command & Conquer. A few years ago, our publisher Grey Box was looking for a developer that had extensive experience in AAA RTS game development. And the goal was always to make an RTS game that the community would really enjoy. And Petroglyph has a vast amount of RTS experience on projects such as Star Wars: Empire at War, the Command & Conquer series, Dawn of War series and others.
TR: How did you get the idea for Grey Goo? Is there anything that inspired the game’s design? It certainly looks interesting.
TM: When we first set out to make an RTS we knew we wanted to revive some of the best qualities of vintage titles, but we also wanted to plant a new flag in the ground to proclaim that RTS is still a genre open to new possibilities. So, we came up with the Goo faction.
Of our three factions (the Beta, the Humans, and the Goo), the Beta, and the Humans are polished RTS archetypes derived from classic play styles. The Goo was the faction where we challenged ourselves to create something that could not have been technically possible a decade ago, both in art and design. The Goo was the centerpiece to our core vision for the game.
Coupled with our desire to play in the hard sci-fi setting, we drew natural inspiration from the sci-fi concept of grey goo, a topic that truly fascinated us.
TR: How is Grey Goo going to play? What sets it apart from the competition?
TM: Grey Goo is being developed with all RTS players in mind. This means that the game is going to strike a balance between those who are hardcore competitive fans, those that like to just have a little fun in multiplayer online, and also support for LAN mode with friends in a casual setting. Other RTS games have not had this wide of gameplay choices in a long while, so we’re excited to see what level of play community decides to choose most.
As for the gameplay itself, each race has unique points that complement each other on the battlefield. The Beta has the ability to expand out of their starting base onto all corners of the map with self–sufficient satellite bases. The Humans are more defensive and employ all sorts of powerful towers and walls to keep the enemy at bay. The Goo is truly unique in that the entire race has not been seen before in an RTS game. They don’t employ a base, but instead grow and expand their essence to spawn units as needed.
TR: Have there been any hardships during development?
TM: We’ve put our heads together to figure out what the game most needs to make it fun, which has led to a ton of features that we’re excited to reveal in the coming weeks (such as more about each faction’s epic units). And there are also some extra things that we’d like to have in the game but we aren’t able to include at launch; for example, we would have loved to have added even more modding features. In the end our goal has always been to focus on providing a great core RTS gameplay experience.
TR: How long has the game been in development, and how close is it to completion?
TM: We’ve been working on the game for roughly two years now. It’s been an awesome experience working to put together a dream game of ours. We’re working to build the next game that die-hard RTS fans have been waiting years for since the classics like Command & Conquer. And we’re launching in early 2015.
TR: What platforms will the game release on? Are there plans to port to others down the line?
TM: Right now, Grey Goo is scheduled for release on Steam as a PC game.
TR: Thank you for your time.