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Tomb Raider Info Blowout – It was “Built From the Ground up on the Xbox,” Sequel Direction Teased, “No Plans for Single Player DLC,” Much More

March 19, 2013 Written by Jason Dunning

Much like how the Phil Fish AMA on Reddit yesterday told us that they were in talks with Sony about a PlayStation version of Fez, the Tomb Raider AMA with Karl Stewart, Global Brand Director, and Noah Hughes, Creative Director, gave us some more interesting news.

Fair warning, there’s a good chunk of stuff covered ahead, so prepare yourself:

In one of the questions, that has been deleted, it looks as though someone asked about the development of Tomb Raider and who handled what:

The development of the game has really been kept to a very tight group of internal studios. The entire game has been developed and built from the ground up on the Xbox platform at Crystal, Nixxes (a long time partner of the studio from way back in the Kain days) built the PS3 and PC versions based off of the code we developed at the studio, and then Eidos Montreal built the Multiplayer.

The HUD was also addressed, after they were commended on the cover system:

First off, thank you for the compliment on the cover system. We loved it from the first day we implemented it, and believed it was something that supported the style of game we were developing. With regards to the Hud, from day one we were big fans of letting the world and game speak for itself on screen, we want the player to become as immersed in our world as possible. Having constant distractions on the screen pulled you out of the experience to much so we never even went there.

A person then asked why they included multiplayer, also saying, “It feels sooo tacked on,” and wondered if we might see single player DLC:

We honestly believe that creating a multiplayer experience was and is the right thing to do. This is our very first attempt to create a MP experience and with that comes a lot of learning. We will continue to monitor and tweak the experience until we get it right.

At this time there are no plans for single player DLC

Multiplayer once again came up, with Karl talking about where the idea came from:

The decision to do a multiplayer actually came from Crystal. We truly believe that it was and is the right decision to make. We looked to the future of where MP is heading and made the call to begin the process of setting the foundations. Everyone has to start somewhere and this is our first time.

Singe player DLC then came up more than once, to which Noah elaborated:

Currently there are no plans regarding single-player DLC. Now that Lara is more experienced, we are excited to take her on new adventures that challenge her new strength and confidence. It is important that even as Lara grows as a character, so do the challenges she must face.

Sticking with DLC, they were asked if we might see a “Blue Top/Khaki Shorts” outfit like the Lara of old:

There are not currently plans for a classic outfit DLC. We did try to have a lot of nods to the classics in this reboot, and even her outfit itself is intended to evoke her classic outfit in a way, but is more practical for her situation. This was just an example of trying to play that balance between fresh and familiar.

A three-part question was poised – 1. Was there a “hunger” mechanic at any point, 2. Any plans for additional missions/tombs, and 3. What was the research like for the island:

We steered away from hunger pretty early for pacing reasons. We did however have it tied to the health system much farther into development, but never got it to a point where it was a fun gameplay loop. Hunting still does effect Lara’s strength as a character through the XP system, but this allows players to have a more optional relationship with the system. 2.Currently no plans. 3.It was important to us that we started with something that was grounded in real mythology so we did a fair amount of research on the myths, but we also expanded on that starting point and took creative liberties from there. Our art director travelled to Japan and took thousands of pictures that really helped inform the island.

Next up, “Was Square Enix quick to jump onboard this reboot:”

We had already begun the reboot back in the Eidos days, and when SE purchased Eidos, they loved the direction we were taking the game and fully supported our vision.

As Tomb Raider has become a critical and commercial success, a sequel is inevitable, with people asking what we might expect in Lara’s next adventures:

With ref to future games………..no spoilers here :)

With that said, the goal of this vision was to introduce you to a story of how Lara becomes an adventurer and a true Croft. Future games will be defined by who Lara has become as a result of who she is at the end of this experience.

And:

In terms of where we go next, we cannot answer too directly, but now that Lara has survived the Island she can follow the clues that she found on the Island. In terms of the non-linear spaces, we were really happy with this aspect of the design and how it catered to player-driven exploration. This is somthing we are excited to continue and evolve.

Finally, Noah talked about how they decided to handle “Lara’s own moral behavior when it came to taking life:”

This is a very difficult topic to deal with in games (especially games with a shooter component). Games have a long history of fictional conceits that are there to serve the goal of fun, but in doing so it does ask for a healthy amount of suspension of disbelief. Specifically in a game where 1/3 of the conflicts are resolved with combat (traversal/puzzles/combat) it creates a reality that does not adhere strictly to RL morality. Having said that, we still wanted the moment where Lara crosses this threshhold and takes her first human life to be meaningful. We tried to do everything we could to transition from the significance of the one kill to a need to take many lives in order to survive. We tried to present a situation where Lara and her friends would die if she was not willing to make this transition. Additionally Lara tried to talk her way out of this path but the scavengers were not interested in negotiation. Lara realizes she is not the kind of person to break down in the face of that conclusion, instead she steels herself for the challenge at hand, and even scares herself with her ability to do that.

Which piece of news stuck out to you the most? Let us know in the comments below.