Diego FERNANDEZ BRAVO – Game Director
Lionel HILLER – International Brand Manager
1. In Rabbids® Alive & Kicking, we have the pleasure of seeing the Rabbids invade a new platform. What motivated you to change focus after five years on Wii™?
[D.F.B] The challenge of working on a new platform and being able to do full-body motion control! Over the last five years, we’ve tried everything that could be done with the Wii Remote™, the Nunchuk™, the Wii MotionPlus™, the Wii Balance Board™, and with online play… So we thought it might be a good idea to start fresh for the Kinect™ for Xbox 360®. When you think about it, it’s a natural move: you’ve been playing with your hands, then with your butt, and now you’re going to play with your entire body! Get ready to use Kinect like no other games can!
2. What’s the Rabbids’ invasion plan this time? And who’s this enigmatic "Scientist?"
[L.H] What’s fascinating is that Rabbids never run out of stupid plans to invade our world! This time, the infernal duo (think Batman and Robin, but on the side of evil…) composed of Grand Master Chief and his subordinate (aka “punch-bag”) and the Mad Scientist. Imagine the ultimate plan: flood our cities with thousands…millions of Rabbids! Let’s be honest; this plan was not intentional, but in the end, geysers of manic, chaotic Rabbids are set loose on our cities and the Mad Scientist is flooded by the entire army as he falls into the middle of your living room! This is where our story starts, and where you, the player, jump in!
3. Who is this game intended for? Do you think the game will appeal to a more “gamer” audience?
[D.F.B] As with previous opuses, Rabbids® Alive & Kicking was designed from the start to appeal to a very large audience. The game is easy to pick up and enjoy, but most of all, it is a very social experience for friends and family to share. What’s interesting is that we also aim to appeal to our new audience: Xbox 360 gamers! They will enjoy the innovative controls and offbeat tone of the game. Above all, they will rediscover the Kinect and all the new possibilities of Augmented Reality. In fact, we’ve got a few more surprises lined up especially for them!
4. You’ve mentioned new uses of the Kinect features. Can you provide some examples?
[D.F.B] Yes, there are two things that we specifically focused on during development: Augmented Reality and developing gameplay for four people playing at the same time. We’ve got quite a lot of experience with what can be done with four simultaneous players and we were a bit frustrated with not being able to continue with that. The microphone is also something that’s inspired us. I can’t say any more about this; some things are still in development, so I’ll keep them as a surprise!
5. Did using Augmented Reality in the mini-games present technical challenges for your team?
[D.F.B] Augmented Reality is like having a recipe with lots of ingredients that all have to be perfectly blended together. If one of those ingredients is no good, everything will fall to pieces! For Augmented Reality to be successful, you need quality 3D, detailed Rabbids (several tens of thousands of polygons), sturdy algorithms for detecting natural light sources and calculating lighting paths, and a very precise physical interaction between the player and the Rabbid that’s quick and responsive. We’ve focused a lot of effort on that specific feature, but it was worth the time because it simply looks amazing! Facing the Rabbids for real is so unique and believable; it gives us tons of new ideas and possibilities to explore. Rabbids invading your living room is just the beginning!
6. Can you tell us more about the game modes?
[L.H] The exclusive game modes developed for Rabbids Alive & Kicking allow us to reach a new level of fun! This is a party game, which really means “fun for all in the middle of your living room,” right? Imagine now that our game modes set out to raise the bar even further with the possibility of playing with up to 16 players! This means that your whole building, or the entire neighborhood, can join in, and we promise you will make lots of new friends. Party games are usually criticized for their fleeting appeal, and that’s why we developed these game modes to give the player the opportunity to rediscover the different mini-games in a whole new way!
Our game modes are partly inspired by successful board games and TV shows like Wheel of Fortune, but they’ve been twisted the Rabbids way. You will be able to experience several game modes, each with their own delirious rules and punishments, like drinking carrot juice to the death, muhahaha!
7. What’s the “sharing” feature?
[L.H] Party games are about sharing and being ridiculous! That is why you will be able to send pictures taken during your gaming sessions directly to Facebook and other social networks. Sounds fun, but remember that Rabbids Alive & Kicking lets you take very awkward pictures and it puts you in the most unusual situations you’ve ever experienced in a video game! That’s a promise! Between you and me, these ridiculous pictures are a great way to blackmail someone you don’t like! Okay, just kidding… Or not.
8. How did you manage to make the mini-games playable with up to four people? Until now, Kinect games were only playable with up to two players simultaneously.
[D.F.B] Aha! That’s the surprise for future players of Rabbids Alive & Kicking. What I can say is that it works really well and that four-player games are a whole lot of fun at home!
9. Which types of customizations and unlockables are available?
[L.H] As you play the different mini-games, you will be rewarded with Toilet Paper Dollars. You will then be able to buy tons of items in the game shop to be used in In Ze House mode. It can be a simple costume to pimp your Rabbid, or a more complex interactive object like a bomb, an extinguisher or…well, you will have to discover them for yourself!
10. Finally, when can we expect the game?
[L.H] The Rabbids will invade your living room this holiday… For real!
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Rabbids Alive & Kicking – Gamescom Q&a August 2011
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