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Interview Dec 18.2003

Publisher S2 Games
Developer S2 Games
Genre Multiplayer only FPS/Action/RPG/RTS (I know, it sounds wierd, but it's excellent.)
Requirements

Windows 98/ME/2K/XP/Linux, 600mhz CPUI, 128 meg RAM, 600 meg HDD, Geforce or Radeon Video Card.

We Recommend

Buying it. Now. Playing. Having a hell of a good time.

Test Machine

Athlon XP2500+/1 gig DDR 3200/MSI Geforce 4ti4200 Video/Creative Labs Audigy value.

The Good

Music, graphics, backstory, weapons, races, commander map, etc. There's just too much to mention. You can also purchase and download the game online and start playing the full version immediately.

The Bad A few little bugs here and there, such as CTD's and clipping errors.
Downloads

Demo Version (185 meg)

Replay Value

Immesurable, especially in the full version. Even the demo version doesn't get boring.

Cost

$39.99 USD



Jesse Hayes (COO) from S2 games has kindly agreed to answer a vertiable barage of questions from FRAGtopia staffers and readers about their new game Savage. Special thanks go out to Raluca State from Zeitgeist Communications for arranging the interview for us.

How many people were involved in the making of Savage, what was the development time like, and what would you say was the greatest challenge you faced?

Savage had an incredibly small development team: 3 full time programmers along with 3 full time artists, 2 contractors, and execs. Together with this team we’ve created an innovative game combining 2 genres as well as an entirely new game engine. I’m extremely proud of the team we have. The largest challenge I would say was finding the balance between too much commander control and not enough. Even though the commander is the guy in the driver’s seat we have to ensure that all 30 people under him are having a positive experience.
 
Savage is one of the most unique games we've seen in ages, and just the sort of thing I've been wishing that someone would create for years.... What inspired you guys to come up with it, and what were the biggest influences on the game?

We had originally started working on a typical RTS game and a little over 2 years ago Marc Deforest, S2 Games’ owner came to us and said “I want to change the game up”. He then sprung the current idea on us. So we grumbled for about 2 minutes and quickly realized that even though it was a giant task it could be amazingly cool. Why control AI when you can have real human interaction. This brings so much more to the table leadership, trust, human intuition, all which create a more dynamic playing field.
 
This is a unique genre you've ventured into, and regrettably it seems that games that are too different (even if they're really, really good) don't seem to sell well. Any worries or trepidation about taking such a risky step?

It’s always a risk when you do something new. But we made very deliberate choices when designing Savage. Plain and simple, we didn’t want to work on some cookie cutter game. We designed Savage the way we actually wanted to play. The biggest hurdle is trying to get people to try something new. Once they do most of the players are hooked quickly.
 
The savage back story just seems to scream for a single player game... Any plans for something along these lines?

You never know. We have a ton more story we would love to have see the light of day but right now all of our energy is going into Savage and the current content updates we are working on. After this one we’ll be most likely looking at putting in a few more game types.
 
Everyone wants to know... Why are workers so darned dumb sometimes? (The computer controled ones, not the human players) :) Any plans for AI improvements?

Well first I’ll start by saying pathfinding in a true 3D game with dynamically changing obstacles and where the workers have to interact with real human players is a very complex issue. Far more complex than in a traditional RTS. Now with that said you’ll be happy to know the worker AI has already been redone and you’ll get to see it once our content update goes live.
 
Will the game be patched with new races, units, maps etc in the future, or will such things likely be an retail expansion pack?

We are currently working on a gigantic free content update. Some of the things you’ll find in this update will be entirely new and rewritten network code, demo recording, 2 new healer class units, new structures, upgrades, balances, tweaks, all new weapon effects, items are now handled first person making them feel much better, and more. We really want to show that when we say we are dedicated to providing support for Savage we mean it.
 
Distribution question: Do you think that the online method (ex. downloading the game) is the wave of the future?

For us it was a great way to reach players who were interested in the game who didn’t have access to purchasing it.
 
Considering how critical a good commander is to the team, and to everyone having fun, why does it seem so difficult to impeach a bad commander?

This has changed now and it should be easy but the old system required about 66% of the players to vote for a vote to pass. So this means if you have 30 players on your team and the vote is 15 to 1 it wouldn’t pass since only 50% voted. So again this has been lowered and is now much easier to pass votes.
 
Savage seems to be a game that works much better with voice communication. Have you considered integrating voice communications into the game?

Yes we’ve looked into a couple but they didn’t exactly fit our needs. Right now there are several free voice com apps available that players can use. A good deal of the Savage clans use them when playing. We don’t have any immediate plans to build one into the game but it’s something we’ve always wanted to do.
 
And of course, the world's toughest question...... There's so many games out there for people to play right now... Why should they try Savage?

I can’t think of too many games out there with the amount of team strategy Savage offers. We designed it from the ground up with hardcore teamwork in mind. It is perfect for clans and the players who want more than just a simple deathmatch. The addition of the commander with an RTS view was just the most logical choice for the person behind the organization.


Savage is one of the most unique and interesting games we've played in a very very long time. The first time we tried it was at a little 8 person LAN party. We started playing it, and 9 hours later looked up to realise that the sun was coming up. It's an unusual game that keeps you hooked for that long. Go, download the demo and give it a try. Virtually every person I know of who's played it has gotten horribly addicted to it. :)

Get more info and the playable demo from the Offical Savage site: http://www.s2games.com/savage/index.html
 


 


 
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