(47 Tek logo)
An Interview With Mark Hirsch,
President of 47 Tek

Known previously for their fighting titles on the PC, 47 Tek has decided to jump into the next generation gaming scene with a new title for the Sony PlayStation. Game Zero speaks with the President and founder of this company about their plans and background. We would like to thank Mr. Hirsch for taking the time to make this interview possible.

Gaingris (screen shot) MerMech (screen shot)
(Team 47 Goman Logo)(development shots)

R.I.P.:Could you tell me a little about 47 Tek and it's goals?
M.H.:Sure, I founded 47 Tek two years ago strictly to go after the true 3-D entertainment market. We have been focusing our efforts initially on the PC, but we will be developing for any viable platform that will support true 3-D. Systems like the PC, Sony PlayStation, Sega Saturn, Nintendo Ultra 64, or the new 3DO M2 platform. All of them can support real-time 3-D environments so we will be building content for these different platforms.

R.I.P.:Do you have plans to develop games outside of the 3-D fighting genre?
M.H.:Absolutely, right now we're developing platform games, driving games and fighting games. We're trying to go into each of the standard gaming genres and do them with a new and unique, true 3-D implementation. We started in the fighting area because that's our background and expertise, but the title we're working on right now is more of a platform/action or platform/adventure game. Although it does have a fighting component to it, it's more of a thinking man's strategy type game were you have to manage your resources and hunt down a monster and stop him before he destroys the environment.

R.I.P.:What future platforms do you plan to support other than what's currently out.
M.H.:Well, we're currently developing for the Sony PlayStation and we will be developing for the Sega Saturn and Nintendo Ultra 64 eventually.

R.I.P.:How about the M2.
M.H.:Most likely, again, any platform that can support a true 3-D environment is of interest to us.

R.I.P.:Will your software be cross released or are there plans to do titles specific to each platform.
M.H.:They'll be cross released. Probably with different schedules.

R.I.P.:..and on that same question, in regards to the Ultra 64 since they are tying their developers into exclusion contracts?
M.H.:We have not started any sort of development on the Ultra 64. If we have to do something strictly for the Ultra 64 then we'll have to look at the business model, and see if it's justifiable. We're not adverse to doing it, we think the Ultra 64 is going to be a great platform. But right now our focus is to try to just get as many titles out as we can on viable 3-D platforms. Not just focusing on one particular one.

R.I.P.:Since you've announced support for Windows, will that be the platform that you are doing your development in?
M.H.:Yes. We'll be doing all of our in-house development here under Windows NT actually.

R.I.P.:...and that will be for all platforms?
M.H.:Yeah, that's just the internal environment that we'll use. Some companies are using more of a UNIX based (environment), we're real comfortable with Microsoft's family of tools. Microsoft Visual C and all of their other administrative type tools, Microsoft Office, etcetera, so it's very easy for us to work within that environment. They provide other convenient things like peer-to-peer, disk sharing, and chat features, this type of thing, that are effective in a game development environment.

R.I.P.:How would you say you were received at E3?
M.H.:I thought we had a great show. We seemed to have a lot of people interested in what we we're showing on the PlayStation, the other stuff in our booth, the Coconuts booth as well as the Sony booth. And although we were only showing a very early prototype, I think we were showing something that not a lot of people have seen before. We're really trying to focus on a lot of high-quality graphics aspects in our games, especially in our animation, without sacrificing any sort of gameplay. So for instance in our robot type games, we're really trying to stay true to Japanese anime and have very fantastic and very impressive moves as opposed to a very blocky kind of American style robot.

R.I.P.:Was the demo shown at E3, Team 47 Goman?

R.I.P.:..and some questions related to that title... Why only a one-player game?
M.H.:Well, again, this is not a fighting game. It's a platform type of game and we could of made it turn based, but we wanted you to get focused on the mission which is stopping the monster. It didn't make a lot of sense to let you play the monster, so we just have you playing the mech. In the future we will try to make multi-player games where you will have a split screen. But we didn't have time to work some of those features into this game.

R.I.P.:Will the game be one-on-one against the monster our will there be lots of enemies on a level?
M.H.:It's one-on-one against the monster, one monster per level, which has between six and nine sub-missions where you have to go and stop him. Once you start to do battle, there's a certain point where he will move onto his next mission, and you will have to chase him down and head him off. Make sure you have enough energy to continue battling him and stop him before he destroys all of the different power sources in the level. If you kill the monster and he still destroys everything in the level, you get a dishonorable victory, so you not only have to kill the monster, but you have to stop them before they destroy the environment.

R.I.P.:How big will the play area be on a level?
M.H.:Each level is aproximately 25 square miles, and at top speed it should take you 30-40 seconds to move from one end to the other. The missions will be in different areas of a level, and the different monsters will be going on different kinds of paths until the end when there is no path and they're out to kill you. So where ever you go, their going to hone in on you and find you, and that's in New York.

R.I.P.:How do you travel from mission to mission?
M.H.:Team 47 Goman is called to stop this monster who's about to reek all this havoc. You'll go through a selection process where you choose which mech, and you will be sent out. You'll fly out to do this mission (level), and when it's completed, you'll come back to a select screen and be given a new mission, and you'll be able to choose a different mech. Each of the different mechs have different strengths. Some of them are built for speed, some of them for strength, some of them have special features, such as MerMech (left screen-shot, above) who'll you'll want to use in Hawaii because he can go under water.

R.I.P.:What methods do you have for chasing down the monsters?
M.H.:You can walk, walk fast, you can run or fly, and each of them will use up varying degrees of your resources.

R.I.P.:Will character mechs have the ability to transform?

R.I.P.:Will any of the characters have "super-moves" or undocumented special attacks or weapons for players to discover?

R.I.P.:What is the projected frame rate for the game?
M.H.:We're targeting 30 frames per second. Frame rate isn't such an important issue to us because we do everything based upon time. So we dial in the right game feel, and it's somewhat independent of frame rate.

R.I.P.:What is the projected polygon rate for the game?
M.H.:Between 70,000 and 90,000 polygons per second for the PlayStation version.

R.I.P.:Will the play environment be totally texture mapped?

R.I.P.:And what would you say makes this title special?
M.H.:The fact that there is total freedom of movement with the 3-D motion and you have a wide open area. As Takara has done with Toh Shin Den, in our games not only can you block, jump, and attack, you can also actually evade left and right. We are taking this to the next extreme so that the user can really decide how you want to move, left, right, diagonal, not just roll left and role right. In addition, there's a lot of strategy and a lot of thought that has to go into conserving your resources, it's not just a twitch level fighting game. However, we're trying to incorporate that same quality of a fighting engine into the game as well.

R.I.P.:Any closing comments our last words you'd like to make?
M.H.:We're very excited about all of these new next-generation platforms, because our total focus is 3-D and now that they are providing some sort of 3-D excelleration, we can bring our products out on many different levels.


[For more information you can read press releases on 47 Tek and their new game Team 47 Goman.]

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