Ubisoft has supplied us with a Q&A with Yannis Mallat, the executive producer of the Prince of Persia brand. The Q&A focuses on the DS exclusive title 'Battles of Prince of Persia'. Ubisoft has also released a trailer for the game, revealing details on the story behind the DS only title. You can get the trailer here.
What was the reason behind your choice to create a game based on strategy rather an action-adventure game?
Yannis Mallat: The Prince of Persia universe is huge of mysteries and secrets and we really wanted to tell that missing chapter between Sands of Time and Warrior Within. We had various characters in the world of Prince of Persia but it's hard with an action game to go as deep with their background as a strategy game would be able to. Giving more depth to the series was our main objective, and you'll see how well it fits with the strategy genre. Also, thanks to the unique capabilities of the DS system, we thought that a strategy game would be just right. The double screen allows us to give players more information while battling, creating their decks or thinking about the strategy. The touchscreen also helps the gameplay by fastening the decisions, and give players more responsive controls over their field of action. It was a way for us to avoid having numerous buttons to press in order to command or take a decision. Finally the wireless aspect of the DS was really exciting to us since it gave us a chance to make a unique social and gaming experience by playing against friends.
Why can we say that the gameplay is original?
YM: The originality of the game resides on the fact that we have two kind of gameplay mixed: Strategy and Cards. We didn't want to go for a typical strategy game where waiting times between rounds are frustrating and just really boring for the players. We decided to break down the turns into smaller rounds, where you don't necessarily move all your units right away, and also we used the cards system to help increasing the depth of the strategies and the fun also. This is a very interesting twist, as the countless possibilities now give players the chance to play their own way, their own style.
Why did you want to develop a POP game for DS?
YM: Well, by creating a strategy game, we had the opportunity to take the Prince of Persia universe to an epic scale. So far, the Prince of Persia games were very centric around the Prince, but by pulling back the camera and controlling a vast army of generals and soldiers, we can understand many things we couldn't before. The Prince of Persia universe is huge and you'll see how far you may be from knowing the secrets and insides it holds...
Can you describe the storyline for BOPOP?
YM: The story takes place between the events of Sands of Time and Warrior Within. The laps of time between those two is important and we wanted to explain exactly what happened, and boy that was a heavy task! Between the Prince's mentor getting killed, the Dahaka showing up and the Prince setting loose a curse that was put into motion by the Vizier, there is so much going on that we had to let the player take on the role of various characters to make sure all the angles were covered. As for what exactly is going on, you'll just have to play it to see...
Do you think this type of game can appeal to all gamers?
YM: Of course! Fans of the series will uncover a story they thought they knew. Expect important twists, major revelations and characters development. Also, as stated before, it will be the first time we will be able to control armies instead of one, generals instead of the Prince only. The epic side of Battles of Prince of Persia really gives a new face to the universe. Adding cards to the package is another important move. Customization of decks will play a major role, and the fact that you can trade and collect those cards adds a lot to the experience. So for me, fans of the series will discover a new type of gameplay that perfectly suits the story elements. As for strategy/cards gamers, they will unveil a new twist in the gameplay, backed up by the deep and incredible story Prince of Persia is always known of. That's very interesting for us, and we know it will be for gamers as well!
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