We're getting many questions about KURSK. Michal Stepien, CEO of Jujubee and Creative Director for the game took the time to answer a few of them to shed some light on this upcoming title - feel free to reprint or share!
How far into development the game is?
The development moves according to schedule. Our team got much bigger recently, so we are making a lot of progress. Right now we are focused mainly on graphical assets and on game mechanics. Even though we are still prototyping a lot of stuff, we are already happy with the results and we see a lot of potential in them. We want to polish all main features at the beginning of development – quality first and our goal is to make a game that will be an exceptional and immersive experience.
How does KURSK differ from your previous games?
This is the first game we’re doing with PC and consoles in mind. Sure, some of our previous titles were available on PC, for example on Steam, but let’s not forget that mobile games are not able to compete with products made from scratch for desktop platforms. Steam was generating some extra revenue for our company, but we were fully aware that if we want to succeed on PC or consoles we need something else. And this is why KURSK is so much different in matter of budget, mechanics, visuals, audio, story-telling and so on.
Some believe that the topic is too controversial for a game.
I don't agree with such opinions. It might sound pretentious, but I think it's not a matter of KURSK, but of the entire gaming industry and where we want it to be in the next years. I believe time has come for games to tell true stories. And I'm pretty sure KURSK will show if this is the case. Nevertheless it would be a shame if games only focus on fiction or pure entertainment. As a person who grew up on games I expect more from them and I'd love to be able to experience true stories through my favorite medium and not only through movies or books.
The fact is that there has not been this type of product on the market and who knows, maybe KURSK will introduce a new genre called "documentary games" or will be one of the first titles of such kind. I am absolutely sure that in a few years more and more developers will try to tell real stories. Real-life events have more emotional meaning and can initiate some important discussions - for example in this case on the idea of continuous armament and where it will lead us. Besides time doesn't stand still and the way we communicate is very much different than it was before, so communication methods must keep pace with these changes. I'm pretty sure young people prefer to play games than to read books and you can't blame them. But this is why games should also be focused on serious topics.
KURSK will provide a cinematic experience. But does it mean the game won't offer a lot of freedom to the players?
Exactly the opposite. What we do mean by "cinematic experience" is the way the game will be directed, its atmosphere, story-telling and stuff like that. But the gameplay will offer you a lot of freedom, full control of your character, the possibility to interact with many objects and people, you will also be able to explore almost the whole ship. Even cut-scenes will be less traditional because we want it to be as immersive as possible. One could compare our game to Heavy Rain in this matter however KURSK will offer much more freedom when it comes to mechanics. It will not be a point&click game, but a nonlinear full-fledged first-person perspective adventure survival game with stealth action, great dialogues and many unique features. But what's even more important - in our game all the mechanics are there to tell a serious and intriguing story, not the other way around.
Who does the player represent in the game?
From the very beginning our goal was to have a credible storyline. In the game you play a spy who wants to acquire top secret data on VA-111 Shkval supercavitating torpedoes. At that time it was a revolutionary technology and only Russians had mastered it, so many countries, including United States, were conducting strong intelligence activities in this region. We didn't want the protagonist to be a member of the regular crew, because it would sound a bit naive. Kursk was participating in a large-scale naval exercise, so there were also people from outside - five officers from 7th SSGN Division Headquarters, and two design engineers. The protagonist is one of them.
Does all the action take place aboard Kursk?
Absolutely not. While a large part of the game will indeed take place on board of the ship, we want the tension to build slowly. The player will take part in some events before entering the Kursk. One of such locations will be Vidyayevo, a closed military city in Russia. This place is quite extraordinary and extremely intriguing, so visiting it should be an interesting experience.