Published on February 12th, 2014 | by admin
Evolve Interview – Jon Bloch (Turtle Rock Studios – Producer)
Welcome to impulse gamer Jon (Producer at Turtle Rock Studios)
How did you become involved in the gaming industry?
I started a little over 10 years ago and my first job was in Q&A. I was temporarily a QA tester that I kind of used as a foot in the door. I then moved around the industry and wanted to be a producer to work with the development of games directly. That’s where I set my career goals and never looked back.
What was your favourite game of 2013?
The last game that I sunk a lot of hours into was Skyrim and I’ve played through that game twice. It’s easy to sink a lot of hours into that. The first time I done a lot of side quests and thought that I could come back to the main missions but somebody kicker over my Xbox 360 at a party and scratched the disc. It was another six months before I had the time to go into it again so I got a chance to play through it all again which was nice.
Who inspires you in the industry?
I don’t have one person but I have worked with a lot of talented people in the industry. I’ve worked with some guys in the Ukraine that just baffled me every time they came up with something. Those guys were geniuses out there. And then down to the guys I work with now like Chris and Phil who are really great. They’ve given the industry a lot of inspirations as a whole.
How did you come to Turtle Rock Studios?
I was working at THQ as the Producer and Project Manager of Evolve and been involved since the beginning. Then when THQ went down under and I was invited by the Studio to work with them and continued working with the guys on the project.
Can you tell us a little about Evolve? What inspired the idea?
The idea of Evolve was bouncing around the head of Chris Ashton for a number of years and he is the co-founder, designer and CEO. Even before I met him, this was an idea that he wanted to make but he didn’t have the technology at his disposal to fully realise his idea and dream. Over the years while working on other games like Left 4 Dead, there are certain elements from those games that we reinvigorated for Evolve and he then realised that the technology was finally going to be available. They then jumped at the idea with force once the technology was there.
It’s on PC, PS4 and XBox One. Is there a reason why you concentrating it on just the new consoles?
The technology is not there on the PS3 and 360 and as you saw, the lush environments would not be possible without the latest Cryo Engine and hardware. The dynamic wild life system is controlled by a technology called the Zoo Keeper which is similar to an element from Left 4 Dead. It’s taken it to the next level and the amount that we’re doing with that system would not have been possible on the previous generation, especially online.
Will you be tailoring Evolve for either of the new consoles (e.g. Kinect or the DualShock 4 touchpad)?
At the moment we’re not talking about any additional platform enhancements but we are looking to make sure that the game runs to its maximum efficiency on each platform.
Can you describe the story and themes of Evolve?
We’re not diving into the fiction too much at this stage but the basic idea is that Shear is a frontier colony world that both the monster and the hunters are foreign to it. The hunters are like a team of lion tamers and they go around to colony worlds and help deal with the wild life that get in the way of colonists living and normal operations. And they also happen to be best equipped to handle these monsters. The monsters are also foreign to Shear and that’s about as how much I can talk about the fiction right now.
What’s the main highlight of the game for you?
The two main differences is that when you’re playing as the monster, you’re playing by yourself, you’re the lone wolf. You’re this one person wrecking machine and you get all these abilities at your disposal and you traverse around by climbing up things. You’re pretty powerful, adapt, mobile and agile and that kind gives you this real sense of raw power by being this monster. As a hunter and on your own you’d be pretty outmatched going up against the monster. But with the four classes working together and utilising their skills for each class, you can be a pretty powerful force together.
Finally, can you wrap up why gamers should be excited to play Evolve?
For me, it’s totally different to what is currently available online and really pushes the current hardware. We’re hoping it’s going to be something different and that people get on board this new gaming dynamic!
Thanks for your time Jon and we can’t wait for Evolve to be released later this year!