Singularity Interview

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posted 6/10/2010 by Charles Husemann
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Singularity was introduced at E3 last year and wowed quite a few people with it's time bending plot and top notch visuals.  With the game scheduled to hit stores in a few weeks we were able to land an exclusive interview with Raven software to dive a bit deeper into the game.  Here it is.

Can you introduce yourself, talk about your role on the project and how you got into the games industry? What kind of things do you do daily on the game?
I’m Brian Raffel, Co-founder and Studio Head of Raven Software. Singularity is a very important game for us, so I played many different roles from level design to artwork to story. I wanted to make sure it was the best it could possibly be.


What's the backstory for Singularity and could you introduce us to the character we'll be playing? Is he based on any real life person or group of people? How does he differ from the standard FPS hero?
In Singularity, you take on the role of Nathaniel Renko, a U.S. Recon Marine. Because we want to immerse the player in our world, you rarely see Renko in the game and he doesn’t speak at all - this helps the player feel more like they are the main character.



How did you come up with the concept of the game? Did you start with the time manipulation elements and work a story around it or the other way around?
The game started around the core concept of using time to change the state of objects/creatures/people on an individual basis. We knew that would open the player up to seeing the world in a whole new light and give them abilities they’ve never had before. The story and the time manipulation elements were developed at the same time – it was the best way to make them feel like a natural fit with each other.


Was it hard to get the greenlight on a new IP with Activision? Is Singularity going to be a stand-alone game or are you looking at it as a beachhead for a new franchise?
New IP’s are very costly and always a bit of a gamble so yes, it wasn’t easy to get it to the light of day. But Activision is always willing to try new a IP if it offers something new and exciting. We did develop a secret demo off the radar because we knew the core concept was something they had to see in action - a bulleted paragraph just wouldn’t do it justice. It was very cool for me to show it to Activision and have them so impressed that they were ready to move on it right away.


Russians seem to have become a popular bad guy in games lately (Modern Warfare 2, Bad Company 2) and now in Singularity. Why do you think we're back to fighting Russians in games again?
We chose Russia for several reasons, the number one being my brother, Steve, and I grew up during the Cold War and we wanted to use that to drive the story. Secondly, the Russians have always impressed us with their ability to think on a massive scale; it would be believable for them to pull off this type of scientific accomplishment.
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