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Interview: Croteam's CEO and CTO talk more about Serious Sam 3

serious sam 3
After years of "serious" first person shooters that perhaps took themselves a little too seriously, 2011 may be a year where the "over the top" shooters make a comeback with titles like the already released Bulletstorm and the upcoming Duke Nukem Forever. Sometime this summer, developer Croteam will release Serious Sam 3, the next game in its FPS franchise.

The game already looks like it will stay true to the roots of the previous games in the series, although with an all new graphics engine. Big Download got more info about the game from Croteam CEO Roman Ribaric along with its CTO Alen Ladavac.

First, it's been several years since the last all new Serious Sam game and the first person shooter genre has perhaps gotten more "serious" since then. Do you feel there will be a place for Serious Sam 3 in 2011?

Roman: Yes! This year it's all "No cover, only man" arcade action FPS war between serious boys. And we all know Serious Sam is the king of all seriousness. Seriously.

What can you tell us about the game's plot and how it relates to previous games in the series?

Alen: Serious Sam 3 is a prequel to The First Encounter, and will feature the events that led to Sam "Serious" Stone entering the Timelock. This time, we made the events in the game more integrated with story itself, so you can follow the story without resorting to reading the Netricsa. The Netricsa is still here for you to read up on various details about weapons and enemies, and feast your eyes on the models, but will not be required to understand what is going on at the tactical level.

All of the Serious Sam games are known for massive amounts of enemies on screen at once along with huge outdoor levels. Is it safe to say that Serious Sam 3 will continue that trend?

Roman: Yes, it's safe as getting icing on the cake.

Will we see any returning enemies in the new game such as the headless bomber or the charging bull?

Roman: Yes, those boys are key ingredients for Serious Sam franchise.

What new enemies can we expect to see in Serious Sam 3?

Alen: If you've followed the screenshots released so far, you have already seen Scrapjack, Antaresian Spiders, Witch-Bride of Achriman and a glimpse of the Technopolip. This is not the whole set, but stay tuned for more shots in the future. And of course, the favorites from the Encounters will also appear in Sam 3 and all of them have been redesigned in the new updated style.

What new and returning weapons will we see in the new game?

Alen: You'll wield the standard FPS arsenal with a few new additions in Serious Sam style. His trusty minigun and cannon are still here and they now look even more badass than ever before.

What kind of settings and locations can we expect to see in the new game?

Alen: Sam will be blowing both of chunks of concrete (or what's left of it) through the war-thorn Cairo in the middle of Mental's invasion, and stone from the ruins of ancient Egyptian temples. Plus you'll get to see some things that connect the stories of Sirians, Humans and Mental minions, but more about it when the matching screenshots appear.

Will Serious Sam 3 have any multiplayer features?

Roman: Sam is the king of all kings when it comes to co-op. Along with 16-player co-op campaign, we will also have various versus modes like the standard competitive Deathmatch, Beast Hunt modes, Capture The Flag etc.

In terms of the game's visuals, how does Serious Sam 3 compare with other current first person shooters?

Roman: It compares very good. First, we can handle 16 co-op players playing singleplay campaign, while still having stunning visuals like other current FPS games. Feel free to check with others how they handle that. If, of course, they even have co-op singleplay campaign to begin with. Also, among others, we have a support for a full range hdr rendering and dynamic direct light with color-bleeded light bounces. With these alone we are able to do additional miracles in game visuals. Just check our released SS3: BFE screenshots and see for yourself.

What other gameplay features do you think are important?

Alen: What could be more important than recklessly mowing down wave by wave of Mental's minions? Ah, yes, doing that together with your friends in 16-player online coop mode. Seriously though, we did a lot of tunings and adjustments to the gameplay to make it more modern and even more interesting than it was in TFE, but we took very special care at each step to keep that action feeling that's always been the trademark of Sam. There are some new things, like special moves, and we will reveal more about that in time, but "frantic action above all" is the rule.

Any plans for a beta or demo for Serious Sam 3 before its released?

Roman: It is too early to say at this stage, as there is still a bucket load of work on the full game. Once the work is done we will turn our attention on the demo.

Finally is there anything else you wish to say about Serious Sam 3?

Roman: Stay serious, support indies.

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