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Joby Otero on Sacrifice
As every RTS fan eagerly awaits Shiny's Sacrifice, we got Joby Otero, Sacrifice's art director, to speak a little about what we can expect from the game. Amazing.
By - Nate "Lokust" Timperley

GameSpy: First off, lets introduce you to our readers. Who are you, and what do you do at Shiny?

Joby Otero: My name is Joby Otero. I'm the art director on Shiny's latest game, Sacrifice.

GameSpy: When did you decide you wanted to work in the game industry? Where did you get your start?

Joby Otero: I've wanted to make games since I was a little kid of seven or so. I grew up pretty poor, so to buy my first computer (1980) I saved an immense about of money from my paper route and sold a huge batch of Lego blocks. That's really where I got started. I immediately started teaching myself to program my own art/animation tools and started trying to make my first crude games.

I started my professional career in 1990 at a company called Cyberdreams. Soon after, I started working on my first commercial release, Darkseed. It was a graphical adventure based on the style of famous Swiss surrealist HR Giger and benefited from direct input from him.

GameSpy: Sacrifice has been described as an action-oriented role-playing real-time strategy game. That's quite a mouthful, and some people aren't real clear on exactly WHAT Sacrifice is. Can you give us a quick description of what the game is all about?

Joby Otero: Simply put, Sacrifice is a real-time strategy game with strong elements of action and role-playing games.

The strategy and action elements are pervasive throughout the multiplayer and single-player game. It's in the single-player campaigns where the role-playing elements come through.

We've streamlined resource gathering by making the most important resource the actual souls of your enemy's creatures. This puts the emphasis on battles more than resource gathering. Players are encouraged to actively seek combat. When a creature dies his corpse remains on the battlefield with its soul lingering above it. If this is your creature you can re-absorb the soul(s) and use it to cast more creatures. If this is an enemy creature you must convert the soul by calling in a special witch doctor (sac doctor) to revive the creature to be taken to your altar for a ceremony that will rend the soul away so you can use it to cast more of your own creatures.

You can imagine some of the implications of this set-up. For one, players can not sit in a safe spot gathering every resource in sight, build a huge armada, then come to the action with all guns blazing. You must put your army at risk in order to advance.

Also, the more damage you dole out, including the sacrifices you make to your god, you more experience you will gain. When you've gained enough experience your god will reward you with more spells.

Next: Joby's inspirations...

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