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Interview: The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning

by Daniel VuckovicJune 25, 2006

We recently had the oppurtunity to interview John Welsh from Aussie developers Krome Studios, John is the producer of the GameCube version of The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning, in A New Beginning Spyro embarks on an epic quest to uncover his roots and realize his destiny.

Click Here to read our Exclusive Interview.

The subtitle of the game is “”A New Beginning”” where does the game take place in the Legend of Spyro timeline and what can you tell us about the story?

This game starts Spyro over again. He is a young purple dragon and his best friend is a dragonfly. Beyond that the options available to us have been entirely open which has been really fun and a lot of fun for us as game developers. We wanted to actually set out and tell this story from the start – the story of where he came from, of how he came to have such a friend as Sparx, of where he is going and how he gets there. Its a classic story coming of age meets prophesy meets road trip.

With this game the story and gameplay are integral. We have a first class writer and some fantastic design work incorporated into what we are creating so that the player knows why he or she is doing what they are doing and having a heap of fun doing it.

A New Beginning is said to be moving away from platforming and have more action in it, how does the combat work in the game as opposed to older Spyro titles?

Actually the game has a number of platforms, one of which is a giant jellyfish-type creature.
Players, particularly for this age group, have access to a wider variety of games now – much broader in style of gameplay than they were when the first Spyro game came out. Many of these games have branched out and are action or combat based so it felt like a natural progression and one that Spyro could benefit from. Besides, hes a dragon. Thats what dragons do. He has 4 legs, a set of wings and an arsenal of incredible and powerful breaths. Throw in a bunch of enemies and the game is crying out for combat.

Additionally we want players to develop a relationship with their character, and to have that character as unique to the player as possible. Players can choose to level up specific breaths, with an orientation to fire, ice, earth or electricity. Or they can choose to level up breaths equally across each element.

Then theres the combat itself a series of melee attacks that unite moves and breaths with some spectacular results, particularly as its combined with comprehensive enemy AI. In previous games, enemy AI has detracted to a degree from immersion into the credibility of the experience. Spyros enemies act intelligently, aggressively, defend themselves and summon others. In this game, Spyro will now have to battle enemy mercenaries that are prolific throughout the game, as well as local enemies that, although they dont have anything personal against Spyro, dont particularly want him around either. And in many cases its a mixture of both.

Its a heap of fun deliberately designed to have the player on the edge of their seat working out the best ways to create some intense enemy gameplay.

The art of A New Beginning looks great and features a bit darker themes in it, what were the decisions behind this?

Thanks, weve worked really hard to make this a really fantastic looking game. Many of the previous Spyro games have softer tones and palettes and we wanted to move on from there. Having Spyro as a New Beginning meant that we could explore ways of developing the style and look into something that represented a maturing of the game and its environment, as well as taking full advantage of what the technology is capable of. Now palettes are stronger and darker, to generate the appropriate mood. For instance, Spyro is on a voyage into the unknown and the unknown can appear dark or isolated, certainly strange and perhaps even harsh.

We have created lavish, gorgeously lit and intricate environments, establishing a consistent style unique to the new Spyro world. That style extends to everything in that world to the enemies that Spyro encounters, to everything with which Spyro can interact, and to the depth of the storyline where what is, is clearly linked to what was.

Early screenshots have shown off a very unique look for Spyro, what type of graphical effects are you bringing to the new Spyro?

Is this Spyro himself or the game as a whole? Certainly Spyro as a character has also embodied the same stronger lines, tones and textures that are concurrent and thematic throughout the game. His crest, back ridges, horns and tail fin indicate the strength of his character and thats all very deliberate. However, he is never the less absolutely recognizable as the character he is. He is roughly the same age as in previous games and his character is similar in nature (although this obviously develops with the story and the through the realization of what he is capable of).

As for the graphical effects, well thats where part of this games considerable magic is coming from so I dont want to spoil it. Put it this way, you will not have seen anything like this before.ever.in any other previous Spyro game and perhaps in many of the games of similar genre. This game is out there, on its own, with some of the most awesome effects possible. Take Spyro for a spin, fire up some breaths (no pun intended) and then unleash a furyThen pick your jaw off the floor.

This is a magical world with magical powers. So it only makes sense that the effects available arewell..magical.

Spyro is a well loved franchise; will fans of the older games still feel at home with all the changes that have occurred?

Absolutely. The majority of the team thats worked on the game are Spyro fans as well as their family members including some mothers! Spyro is definitely a well loved franchise with folks of all ages so we could have been in serious trouble if wed have got it wrong!

We definitely think that fans of the previous games will feel at home.its just a new home..and its in the right place for this latest Spyro game.

Will the game feature any multiplayer elements, if so what are they?

No, the core of the game has always been delivering an exceptionally fun single player experience so it definitely felt to stick to and enhance upon that experience. The focus has and will always be on Spyro and his own experience as he learns who he is, what he can do and what he has to do.

According to the press release of A New Beginning, Elijah Wood, David Spade and Gary Oldman will all be using their voices in game, how do you think this will enhance the Spyro experience?

Its an amazing line up of VO talent Vivendi has secured for the game. In making this game we set out to build an experiencea whole experience where every effort has been made to achieve excellence in every aspect of what the game delivers on. Its in the features, its in the style, its in the environments and its in the story and the storys characters.

Having Elijah, David and Gary agree to be part of this project, as part of all the tremendous cast of voice talent involved, is hugely exciting and actually totally fitting. There was much discussion over which actors would best fit the main three characters, Spyro, Sparx and Ignitus the fire guardian, and those guys nailed it.

Elijah as Spyro is straight down the line.inquisitive, innocent, eager to learn and apprehensive about the world he discovers but brave enough to go on. David is a master of improvisation and just adds the perfect level of sarcastic, edgy, side-kick humour that is the character of Sparxpreferring the easy life but actually as brave as Spyrojust in his own way. And Gary as Ignitus is the epitome of the wisest and most powerful of dragons, bearing the mantle, and recounting the story of the years that have past and the prophesies of the times to come.

Ignitus: It’s true, the prophecies spoke of a purple dragon destined to put his stamp on this age
Sparx: You’re actually going to go along with this lunatic?

Thanks for taking the time to answer all our questions today.

My pleasure, I hope you and your readers enjoy the game when it comes out later this year. Weve had a great developing it, the game is really a lot of fun!

Thanks to John Welsh, Producer of The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning at Krome Studios for his time. Also thanks to VUGames

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About The Author
Daniel Vuckovic
The Owner and Creator of this fair website. I also do news, reviews, programming, art and social media here. It is named after me after all.Please understand.

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