Homefront Interview


posted 10/6/2010 by Tina Amini
other articles by Tina Amini
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Last week in San Francisco, THQ hosted a multiplayer event to show off Kaos’ upcoming first-person shooter: Homefront. After tackling rounds of the Ground Control mode in two different maps, Gaming Nexus got to sit down with Creative Director Sean Dunn to dig deeper into the origins of this game. Read on to see what we learned.

How do you think North Americans are going to feel towards the whole idea of the game, considering it's a sensitive topic? Economic disaster, the threat of an international influence, etc. How do you think they will respond?

The premise for the game is intriguing but it's not so close to reality. It's not something that we are on the precipice of. There's enough of a distance that you have a certain sense of disbelief, so you can understand that it's a fictional piece, but there's also enough ties.

You saw in that trailer where Hillary Clinton is talking about the submarine that sunk the Cheonan. Those types of things give you enough of a place in there where you have a point of view in the sense of not realism, but a sense of potential. It's an entertainment piece first and foremost. We're not trying to make any political statements or anything like that. So far the response has been pretty straight on and understanding that it is entertainment.

You answered my next question, if there were any political messages in the game.

No. For specific selfish purposes we really want to play on what the human cost of war is, but that's because it makes for a much more interesting story. We're not trying to take a stance. War sucks, obviously, but it's not something that as a company we're trying to make a stance on.

We do want to play that idea of the characters in the game are human. They're not all jingoistic,"ra ra, kill 'em all" stereotypes that we've seen in games to date. They are resistance fighters that may have been a gas station attendant or doctor or teacher. They've been forced into these areas where they have to fight, and they actually have very humanistic and emotional approaches to it. We do that from a standpoint that it makes good drama and it makes good characters and good narrative.

Within the story arcs, do you see anything that progresses more like Red Dawn (which is a clear inspiration) with characters that aren't exactly involved in the fighting, in the actual rebellion?

One of the writers on Homefront is John Milius, so you can imagine there is a little bit of tie in there with the importance of the characterization of not just the allies but also the enemy. Those are important to making a good narrative. Something that you can actually feel like you can suspend your disbelief of the general craziness of the world and put yourself into the role of what you're playing. Things play out to make it feel like a well-crafted, well-rounded world.

Are you worried at all about popular media back-lashing at this?

We hope popular media backlashes. That's great PR!

How would you respond to it?

It's an entertainment piece. If people have negative responses, that's entirely fine. It's not something that we are trying to play on. We don't anticipate a huge, wide, broad range of negative response to the context of this. There's enough separation from reality and enough entertainment take on it that we're not too worried about that. It's great to have different opinions on entertainment media.
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