Updates

Kill Conventional or Kill Crazy, the choice is yours

01/19/12

Options! Options, options, options, options, options, options, options… (What? We took a page out of the book of Ballmer on this one!)

But, back on topic, Gotham City Impostors has a magnitude of options to choose from, and will let you create a loadout that's truly your own. Whether you're looking to load up on military-grade guns straight off the black market, or homebrew weaponry made from an amalgam of sheet metal and duct tape, this is the right place.

And, having an armory this diverse and plentiful doesn't happen by accident. It's thanks entirely to a team that features a high level of skill in game development as well as a borderline-obsessive passion for guns and weaponry.

So, in an attempt to try and figure out just how the weapon creation process for Impostors went, we decided to sit down with devs Eric Kohler, Ron Harvey, Nate Edson, and Lucas Myers to find out just how the kill cannons of Impostors came to be. Join us, won't you?

Have you always had an interest in weaponry or gadgets?
Eric Kohler, Art Director - Concept : Abso-frickin'-lutely! Guns, knives, power tools, explosives... I love it all! Most of my youth was spent in my dad's workshop making deadly weapons (and messing up his perfectly organized tools). Actually, I'm amazed that I made it through childhood with all my limbs intact.

When creating the weapons for Gotham City Impostors, what was your inspiration?
EK : My inspiration for the weapons and devices was the almost limitless world of do-it-yourself projects documented on the web. From rail guns to bladed boomerangs, somebody's made one and put up pictures. A lot of real DIY devices have a great combination of rough hewn construction and ingenious repurposing of existing items. It's amazing to see the crazy contraptions people make from common items and readily available building materials. I figured that kind of inventive aesthetic was perfect for the gear carried by our "average Joe" characters. I like to think that while they may not be billionaires or mad geniuses, they've got good ol' American ingenuity in spades.

What's been your favorite part of working on Gotham City Impostors?
Nate Edson, Producer : Gotham City Impostors is a bit of an unconventional shooter, and that is definitely one of the biggest draws for me. It's awesome to get to play in this dark, well-known universe and really just let loose with irreverence and humor. Not only do we get to say "why so serious?" to Gotham, but to tactical multiplayer shooters as a whole. Just because we're shooting each other doesn't mean we can't laugh at the same time!

What challenges did you face when creating animations for the weapons in Gotham City Impostors?
Ron Harvey, Lead Animator : The biggest challenge in creating weapon and gadget animations for Gotham City Impostors would be making the animations fit in a certain time frame. The game has a lot of weapons and gadgets and needs to be balanced and fun so a lot of the fires and reload have specific times they need to be completed by. This challenged the animators to find creative ways to figure out how the make the weapon function cool on screen, in their allotted time. Also some of the weapons and gadgets are pretty wacky so we would have to sit down with the Art Director and Concept Artist to brainstorm how they would like them to function.

Any anecdotes from the creation process? Or, how does the creation process progress? What's it like creating weapons from items that could be found in a garage, or in an armory?
EK : After talking with Craig Hubbard and David Longo (the Lead Designer and Art Director, respectively) I'd start doing rough sketches and thinking about a basic theme and function for the weapon. Is the weapon air powered? Electric? Does it shoot microwaves or pop bottles full of gasoline? Once I had a theme I started doing research and collecting images of machines and parts that had to do with it. For example, when I was designing the light machine gun, an air-powered weapon, I searched for things like a paint sprayers, nail guns, air compressors, gas cylinders, gas pipes, valves, and hoses. I also found reference for more general stuff common to DIY construction. By the end of development I had a huge library of reference for PVC pipe, construction grade lumber, rebar, band clamps, duct tape, cable ties, electrical wire, bubblegum welds, and questionable solder joints. Once I had all my pics, I'd just start cutting them out and pasting them together in different configurations until I got something that looked cool, funny, and functional.

RH: We tried to film ourselves acting out death animations and falling on soft mats for reference. I think we would shoot Nerf guns at each other to simulate the impact of the bullets but all the reference turned out pretty bad cause we sucked at fake dying. Next time I think we'll try a paintball or air soft gun to get some better reactions from the animators.

What was the inspiration for the art direction of the weapons? Was research, or past experience, came in handy?
EK : Well, like a said, I've been buying, making, and using (in a relatively safe manner) weapons since I was a kid. I'm an amateur gunsmith, knife maker, and survivalist wacko, so this stuff is right up my alley.

Anything that didn't make it into the game that you can talk about?
Lucas Myers, Senior Associate Producer : We had an autotune gadget. Basically, you as a player would sing into your microphone/headset, and then it would come out as an awesome techno song for everyone to hear in game. Nearby enemy players would no longer be able to attack and would be stuck dancing in place. The team determined this was ultimately overpowered since I never stop singing showtunes (even while not actively playing!).

Okay, some of that story may not have been entirely true. We have had some amazing ideas come in late during development… But we live in a day and age where we have the technology to add more awesome gameplay in the future. So, stay (auto)tuned. ;)

That we shall, Mr. Myers! Thanks very much to all of you for spending time with us, and giving us some insight into the weapon creation process.