View Full Version : Toby Gard talks Galleon

10th Aug 2002, 09:07
From www.pczone.co.uk.

For those with short attention spans the last question may be of interest to you.

Tomb Raider and Lara Croft creator Toby Gard gives us the update on his latest project

15:08 Unbelievably, we first saw Galleon way, way back in 1998: we're still waiting for it to appear. Slated for launch with GameCube in Europe, it's since slipped back and isn't due now until the end of the year. But despite the delays, when you've got someone like Toby Gard behind it, you should still be keeping a watchful eye as its release date slowly draws near.
Galleon is an action-adventure title set on land and on the high seas, that casts sea-faring swashbuckler Rhama Sabrier in the leading role. The main story revolves around a race to secure an ancient and all-powerful artefact, and on the way Rhama will have to deal with giant monsters, evil slave lords and the odd buxom wench who needs to slip the shackles of terror.

Visually the game looks more like a cartoon, retaining a Disney-esque feel that's heightened by excellent character animation, character personality and dialogue. We've now seen Galleon several times in various stages of production, and we have to say that we've been constantly impressed by what we've laid our eyes upon; which, at the end of the day, makes the considerable delay all the more annoying.

Now for the bad news: Galleon has always been confirmed for PC, with GameCube and Xbox versions being announced last year. Not any more. Gard revealed today that a definite doubt exists over the imminence of any PC outing. "At the moment the only versions I can definitely confirm are for the Xbox and Game Cube," he said. "There is not a PS2 version, although we would like to do one in the future and a PC version is also pretty likely."

We're hoping that this simply means the console versions will come first, with the PC one to follow. Cross your fingers and pray.

The man responsible for Lara Croft talks here and only here: pay attention.

For those who may not have heard of Galleon before, could you give us a quick overview of the game, outlining its genre, the plot, and the main character and his objectives?

Gard: Galleon is a third-person adventure game with a strong emphasis on having an engaging and exciting storyline. You play the character of Rhama Sabrier, the captain of a small ship in a mythical world based loosely around the world of the buccaneers in the 1700's. Captain Sabrier is an explorer who sails the forbidden seas looking for adventure. The game is played on the islands he discovers and takes the form of mini-adventures. Each island has its own sub-plot, and the game as a whole is tied together by one main story.

From a gameplay point of view Galleon has a very advanced control system that allows Rhama to explore, leap, tumble, climb and fight his way through environments in a very free-form way. The game is filled with exciting set-pieces, huge sword fights, puzzles, acrobatics, romance and, most importantly, absolutely vast monsters to fight.

Unfortunately Galleon's been heavily delayed. What have been some of the major reasons for the hold-up?

Gard: I put it all down to two things: the game is very ambitious, and our team is far too small. We are only 14 and really we should be 100 or so.

In connection to the above question, how has overcoming these hold-ups changed the game, whether that be in terms of content, look or actual gameplay?

Gard: Well, hopefully not too much. I mean, we could have cut it back drastically and brought it out earlier, but instead we stuck with it, hoping to make something really good by the end. I feel pretty confident that we have achieved what we set out to do. It just took longer than expected.

What other major changes have you made to Galleon over the past few months?

Gard: We've been upping the poly count on characters because they look too "90's".

Much has been made of Galleon's visual style and character movement. How much time and effort has actually gone into animating the characters in the game?

Gard: An enormous amount. Rhama's physical ability is just unheard of in a game. In most games the complex environments you move around are only there for show. If you see a complex looking archway or statue in a room, it is invariably surrounded by an invisible box that your character bounces off. In Galleon it is never like that. Rhama moves correctly over everything, so whatever you see, regardless of what it is, you can clamber over it, climb on it, vault over it, or whatever. This means that you can explore every inch of the world using Rhama's almost supernatural agility.

The control system to achieve this is quite innovative. Instead of directly controlling the character, you instead control the camera. You turn the camera to face where you want to go, and then by applying forward pressure to the analogue controller you tell Rhama how fast you want him to head in that direction, and whether or not to move unsafely. Rhama then moves that way, sensitively adapting to whatever he encounters. This all happens completely seamlessly and very intuitively, keeping the controls easy to learn but full of hidden depth. The upshot is that he looks like a real person moving around in very complex areas, but despite the fluidity of his movement he is still ultra-responsive.

What can you tell us about the work you've done in bringing personality to the characters in the title?

Gard: We have put a lot of effort into the story, giving the characters the opportunity to do something that you very rarely see in games - the chance to be actors. The story does not dwell on massive back stories that frankly would just bore the player, and our cut scenes are invariably action- or character-based, brief and to the point. Plus the characters are very likeable.

You've said that Galleon will be the game you always wanted the original Tomb Raider to be. Could you clarify what is meant by this statement? How near do you think you are to achieving this goal?

Gard: The core concept of Tomb Raider was to make a real-time interactive Hollywood film. Galleon is much, much more filmic than Tomb Raider was, but I have to say that I still haven't got to exactly where I want to go yet.

10th Aug 2002, 19:36
Thanks, Dave. I've been waiting to find out more about this one.

10th Aug 2002, 21:53
Originally posted by DaveJ
From www.pczone.co.uk.
The control system to achieve this is quite innovative. Instead of directly controlling the character, you instead control the camera. You turn the camera to face where you want to go, and then by applying forward pressure to the analogue controller you tell Rhama how fast you want him to head in that direction, and whether or not to move unsafely.

I've been anxiously anticipating this title for years, but Toby's comment about the control system has me worried. No direct control over the character? Don't want to make any snap judgements but it would be kinda lame if the character would jump, crawl, open doors etc automatically while the player would control the direction. Oh well, I'm still going to give this one a chance.


11th Aug 2002, 01:20
this game looks very interesting, looks like i will need yet another game machine though. good read!!

Marcus T
20th Aug 2002, 00:28
I've been waiting for it for quite some time, it'll be interesting to try it out.

20th Aug 2002, 10:34
Sounds Cool!!!

I am buying a Gamecube for:
>Resident Evil (+RE 0 RE 4)
>Eternal Darkness
>Rogue Squadron

Adding another to the list makes the purchase even more justifiable :)
I have been holding out for at least 5 must haves.

Let's see how 'Galleon' compares to the CLASSIC TR.

Blue Bananas