Copyright 2005 www.tombraiderchronicles.com

[ August 23rd 2005 ]

Future Publishing caught up with Tomb Raider Legend producer Morgan W Gray at the German Game Convention and quizzed him on the technologies behind Lara Croft's upcoming adventure. Currently being developed by U.S. studio Crystal Dynamics, Gray is lucidly promoting a product refined beyond all expectations and produced by a team bent on restoring the original properties of Lara Croft as ardent Tomb Raider - procurer of all things ancient.

"Our philosophy with Tomb Raider is that we want to encourage exploration, we want to encourage fun. I think oftentimes by making things overly complex or overly difficult, the expectation is that you're creating gameplay. We think it's actually holding gameplay back when the player's worried every step of the way, they're not exploring, they're not giving it all it can have."

The abhorrent control system and problematic camera assisted in the demise that was The Angel Of Darkness, Core Design's final Tomb Raider episode. Gray goes to great lenghts to address the improvements players can expect in both areas.

"The camera system is the platter on which third-person action adventure games are served so we spent a lot of time identifying not just the technology behind finding good algorithms for our run-time default camera but obviously giving the player easy control. Our cameras serve both gameplay and the presentation of the environments. We spent a lot of time finding a camera system that a) showed off Lara Croft in the most engaging way and b) filled in the player path and where you need to go but making both unobtrusive. 'If you notice the camera, we're doing something wrong' is our philosophy"

Fans of Tomb Raider will glee with the news that Eidos and Crystal Dynamics intend to capitalise on the original success of Tomb Raider by taking Lara Croft back to her roots, and Gray offers more info on the locations to be features in Legend.

"Well there's Africa and Peru, we're going to go into some ancient ruins there. We're going to go to the Himalayas where you're going to get a little window peek into the birth of Lara Croft. We're also going to bring you across the globe to other locations but we're kind of piecing them out one by one. But you globe trot all over."

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