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access_time January 14, 2015 at 3:17 PM in Microsoft by David Poole

Exclusive Interview with Evolve Producer Chloe Skew

A few weeks ago, I got a chance to play an extensive amount of Turtle Rock Studios’ upcoming Hunters vs Monster game, Evolve, and it remains to be one of my most anticipated games this year.  During that time, I got a chance to sit down with Turtle Rock Studios Producer Chloe Skew and talk about the game.  Now that the game has gone gold and we’re learning a few more details about the game, some coming up in the interview, now seemed to be as good of a time as ever to see what she had to say about the shooter.

David Poole (DP): So, Evolve, it’s actually one of my highly anticipated games of [this] year, I was kind of bummed out when it got delayed, but at the same time it needed a little more time, so that’s always worth it in the long run.  What kind of stuff was influenced from Left 4 Dead into Evolve exactly?

Chloe Skew (CS): I think that Phil [Robb] and Chris [Ashton] have a real passion for making games, and I think that’s something you feel when you play both Left 4 Dead and Evolve, I think they have a similar spirit to them. The idea of cooperation, you know I think that the four-v-one where you had four of the Left 4 Dead survivors and the Tank, that was sort of the early test phases of like “hey maybe we can make a whole game out of this”, cause they had the idea for Evolve before Left 4 Dead, but the technology wasn’t really there until this current generation of consoles, because you can’t have a monster trying to hide and Phil reached “is it really getting rendered properly?”, so we really needed that lush environment that we get with CryEngine.

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DP: Okay, so we have three monsters now with the Wraith revealed, and then there’s a fourth monster coming that’s downloadable content later on?

CS: Yes.

DP: Yes, okay, is there anything we can hear on that?

CS: Well we just had a “Name the Monster” competition, and we didn’t give people very much.  We gave them a silhouette and a size comparison so you can see he’s kind of the same size as Goliath, but wider, so that’s pretty exciting, I don’t think we’ve announced which name won yet, so he remains nameless.  [Behemoth has been revealed as the fourth monster!]. We’re really excited, we’re obviously still in the thick of working on him.

DP: And he’s releasing after the game launches or during the launch?

CS: Yea, he’ll be [post] DLC.

DP: Is there any monsters planned after the fact?

CS: Well, you know Phil and Chris have been working on this game for three, almost four, years, and we had an extraordinarily creative team, so there’s tons of ideas that have been floating around, things that we tried out early on in development that we could’ve figured out the mechanics of.  There’s plenty of ideas that exist, so we’ll have to see if people like the game enough and want to support us making more monsters.

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DP: Well I think that a lot of fans will definitely support it, you guys are definitely being very good to the fans.  I saw that you announced all the downloadable content maps are going to be free, so that’s a good move on your part.

CS: Well Phil and Chris are gamers, and they understand what gamers want, and if we can make these games and not charge people for them, they would totally do that, but unfortunately making monsters is not only a super time-consuming experience, it’s also very expensive, cause you have so many people involved in just one monster.  They didn’t want us to put things behind a pay-wall, if your friend buys all the hunters, and you don’t because you’re in college and you don’t have any money, you guys can play together with two bots, and you can hot-swap, so you can still swap into that character that’s paid DLC that you may not have bought, because your friend has it and you’re playing together.  It’s pretty cool, you can still have all the functionality of the game, it’s not going to shut you out just because you haven’t bought the DLC.

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DP: Speaking of the monsters and the hunters, do they feel that the overall gameplay is completely balanced or do they still want to wait on feedback from other players post-launch?

CS: I feel like because of the nature of the game, we can only get it to a certain level of balance, and once it’s out in the wild, people will come up with new strategies, people will put hunters together and combo abilities in a way that maybe we haven’t even thought of yet, so it’s definitely something we’re planning on being active on once the game launches.  There will be patches, there will be tweaks to things that we see at the telemetry like “oh, Wraith wins one-hundred percent of her games”.  First of all, that would never happen, because in the studio we tried to get it fifty-fifty pretty consistently, but we’re going to be paying attention to it, we’re going to keep balancing because it’s a lot of things to balance, asymmetrical gameplay is harder, so we’re going to get it to as close as we damn-near can, and then we’ll listen to the community feedback and continue fine-tuning it.

DP: Okay, so we already know there’s a fourth monster on the way and potentially other monsters, are there going to be more hunters after launch? [Yes, there are!]

CS: We haven’t announced any hunters for DLC yet, but there’s a lot of ideas floating around just like with monsters, so we hope!  We want people to want more.