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Exclusive xBox Superman Game Interview

[Date: May 2, 2002]

Circus Freak Studios are the team behind the up-coming xBox Superman game "Superman: Man of Steel".

The Superman Homepage would like to thank them for agreeing to do this interview.

This interview is Copyright © 2002 by Steven Younis. It is not to be reproduced in part or as a whole without the express permission of the author.

Click on the images to view larger versions.

xBox Game Play Q: Can you please tell us a little about Circus Freak Studios?

A: Circus Freak Studios was founded from a complete and intact internal development group at Infogrames who spun off to form their own company. Superman is their first title as a company, though the veterans on the team have worked together for over 3 years and shipped over 100 titles between them. Circus Freak Studios lobbied hard for the opportunity to develop Superman for the Xbox, and has the strong support of Infogrames and DC Comics in their endeavor to make the definitive Xbox Superman game!

xBox Game Play Q: How did Circus Freak Studio land the contract to produce "Superman: Man of Steel" xBox game? Did you pitch the idea to Warner Bros? Or did they contact you?

A: Circus Freak Studios has a great relationship with Infogrames and when we found out they wanted to make a game based on the Superman license we jumped at the chance. It is important to us that we are working on a game that we have passion about and "Superman: The Man of Steel" fits that description perfectly. Superman is one of those archetypal characters that everyone can connect to.

xBox Game Play Q: Are the creators/developers working on this game Superman fans? Have they watched "Superman: The Animated Series" which the xBox game appears to be based on?

A: Who isn't a Superman fan on some level? We have many fans on the team from "Smallville" to the classic films to the awesome comics. A number of us faithfully collect DC comics every month. We are fans of the animated series as well as the great new "Justice League" cartoon but our xBox game is based on the comic book version of Superman. Our goal is to portray all the classic elements of this great character that have been represented for years combined with the great storylines currently happening in all the Superman comics.

xBox Game Play Q: What involvement (if any) have you had with the Superman comic book creators at DC Comics?

A: Our storyline flows directly out of events from the comics. In the Y2K storyline Brainiac 13 injected Metropolis with a technological virus. Superman was able to prevent it from spreading but as a result of it the city was upgraded into a true "City of Tomorrow". Huge high-tech buildings soar in to the sky while hover cars and the Rail Whale bullet train travel throughout. As our game begins Brainiac has decided to return to Metropolis and harvest the technology that is residing in the city. Of course this results in chaos and danger that Superman must stop. We have been fortunate to work closely with Scott Peterson one of DC's award winning writers on our storyline and script.

Q: How long has the Superman game been in production? When will it be released?

A: Circus Freak Studios has been hard at work on the game for about 9 months now. It will be released this fall.

xBox Game Play Q: What do you think fans will most like about this new Superman game? What are you most proud of about the game?

A: I think one of the most amazing things about this game is the immense size and variety of the environments. Metropolis is huge and the player can fly all over it. We have missions in many different areas of Metropolis, earth orbit, a deep space asteroid field, the Phantom Zone and on Warworld. Superman will combat everything from giant robots to rogue satellites to space fighters and of course various super villains. Another unique aspect of the game that I believe players will enjoy is our inertial flight gameplay. As Superman they will be able to lift huge objects that will retain their mass. Even though Superman can carry them with his super strength he will have to carefully maneuver them into place fighting against their weight and gravity.

xBox Game Play Q: What is the soundtrack for the game like? Does it use the theme from the animated series?

A: The Playstation 2 version is based on the animated series. Our game is drawn stright from the comics. We will have a powerful score that will convey the heroic, larger than life feeling that Superman conjures in peoples minds.

Q: Which of Superman's powers are available for players to use during the game? Any you wanted to add which couldn't be used?

A: One of our basic goals in making this game was to make certain that the player would have access to all of Superman's powers at all times. The great thing about this character is his vast array of ablities and we have the ability to take full advantage of that on the xBox. Flight, speed, strength, telescopic vision, x-ray vision, heat vision and freeze breath will all be accesible by the player anywhere in the game.

xBox Game Play Q: Which characters (both friends and villains) appear in the game?

A: Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen will be in the game as well as Steel. The primary villain will be Brainiac 13 but we have a host of other villains including Bizarro, Metallo, Mongul, and Cyborg. Even though he won't be in physical combat with Superman Lex Luthor will also have a hand in things... as always.

Q: Fans have emailed me concerned about the necessity for Superman to have to re-energize throughout the game (based on images of the game showing an "energy bar" of his remaining strength/stamina). Any comment on this?

A: A video game with a totally invulnerable character wouldn't be very fun or challenging and even Superman can be staggered. Enemies can delay and even knock Superman out in our game. Both of these will cause Superman to fail in his mission. Having said all that, Superman's energy level will steadily return on it's own. He will never have to pick up energy boosts or anything of that nature in order to keep fighting or use his powers.

xBox Game Play Q: Superman fans were badly let down with the release of the N64 Superman game a few years back... Some experts in the gaming industry are predicting that this xBox Superman game "is going to be massive!" In your opinion, what is it about this game that will make it such a huge success?

A: I think that the scope of the environments is the primary thing that is prompting words like massive. The key component of this game is Superman. By empowering the player with all of this awesome characters abilities we are going to provide a spectacular gameplay experience. The player will be doing things in the game that are fitting to Superman. Whether it is flying through space, battling deadly enemies, lifting huge objects or protecting Metropolis our game will make the player feel like he is the one wearing the cape.

xBox Game Play Q: At what point did you hear about the (almost) simultaneous release of a new Superman game to the PS2? Did you know before you started production? During production? Who told you?

A: We always knew there was a Superman game in development on PS2 based on the animated series. Since our game is on the XBox, has a completely separate design and is based on the comics I am sure the games will be quite different.

Q: Did the news of a PS2 Superman game affect your team's aims and/or production of the xBox Superman game?

A: Not at all. Every platform deserves a great Superman game!

Thanks for allowing the Superman Homepage to interview you!

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