Avaris Interview with Donald B. Vandenbeld
by Webber
Avaris is an upcoming PC RPG, being developed by Bifrost Creations. It will feature a fully 3D Fantasy world with Anime-style graphics. I recently had the great opportunity to do an interview with Donald B. Vandenbeld of Bifrost, the game's producer. He was more than happy to share some info on this exciting title.

Q: The title of the game "Avaris" is very interesting, does it have a meaning? Where did it come from?
Donald: Ancient Egypt thrived in the Middle Kingdom. Farming was rejuvenated, trade grew well beyond its borders and the arts thrived. Then came the Hyksos people, foreigners with powerful allies that took control of Egypt. A new age of religious beliefs came about with common worship of Set, the god of the night. He was also the god of great change in life, of expand borders and of war. Avaris is a city in ancient Egypt, situated about 15 miles south and a couple of miles west of Tanis. The Hyksos ruled Egypt from Avaris for many years.

I found the history of Avaris so fascinating that its story forms the spiritual backdrop for the kingdom of Valikorae. You'll have to wait for the game for more info than that though.

Q: What is the main plot of the game? And is there a central character? I know it says the game is non-linear, so are there many quests for each of the games characters?
Donald: I cannot say more than is currently found on the webpage (about the plot). I can tell you that the choices for player characters are tailored so that they fit into the overall storyline in the game. Each of them fits into the main storyline in a different way, helping to make the game different for each character. We'll likely include a random character generator for those die-hard fans that can't do without, but they'll be missing out on an interesting portion of the story by doing so.

Q: One of the main things I saw about your game, that jumped out at me, was the decision to use Anime-style graphics. I'm very excited to see them, and outside of Asia, it's obviously very rare to see these type of graphics being produced. Why the decision to go with the Anime style? What Anime has influenced your graphical designs the most?
Donald: I knew almost from the start that Avaris would be an anime RPG. Avaris is basically about young people who are not much more than average, everyday people without much control over the world (or so say the older folk). Throughout the story they come to terms with their pasts and work out how they will realize their future. Anime seemed the ideal medium to portray these types of characters. I would have to say that Vampire Hunter D was probably the single most important factor in cementing this decision, though I was really impressed by Final Fantasy 7 as well (especially the fights).

Q: What are some special features to look for in the game, battle system, magic use, character interaction, etc.?
Donald: What we'd really like to try for is to make sure there are options to cover things that people want in the game. For instance, some people prefer realtime combat, some like turn-based. We're tuning the gaming system so that both are reasonable to use in the game. The big thing to look for will be character interaction and the level of detail in characters' actions. We're certainly trying to break new ground here.

Q: Tech-stuff, What types of 3D acceleration will be supported, and what type of system should gamers need to run the game well?
Donald: The game is being programmed using Direct3D so it will support all cards with drivers for DirectX. The base machine will be a Pentium 166 with a Voodoo 1 card, though the game will take advantage of much more powerful machines.

Sounds awesome, I'd like to thank Donald very much for his time, and please continue to check LunarNET for more coverage of this exciting game.


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