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Postmortem: Ritual Entertainment's Heavy Metal: F.A.K.K. 2
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Postmortem: Ritual Entertainment's Heavy Metal: F.A.K.K. 2

December 20, 2000 Article Start Page 1 of 4 Next
 

The decision to create a game based in the Heavy Metal universe started back in the hot Texas summer of 1997. Ritual Entertainment was in full-blown production of Sin when our concept artist's agent, Russell Binder, called up one day. Russell mentioned that his client, Kevin Eastman, was looking to make a videogame based on a new animated movie called Heavy Metal: F.A.K.K. 2. Kevin told us that the name of the movie was based on the name of the lead character in the movie and that character was being based on the image of his wife, Julie Strain. The name of the movie was later changed to Heavy Metal 2000, but we decided to keep the F.A.K.K. 2 name, due to the fact that we already had two magazine covers and previews, and we didn't want to create product confusion.

Julie's nemesis, Lord Tyler,
on a good day
.

Ritual jumped at the chance to create a game based in the Heavy Metal universe. Everyone at Ritual was familiar with the original Heavy Metal movie released in 1981, and a lot of us grew up reading the Heavy Metal illustrated magazine. A few business meetings later with Kevin and Russell brought the deal to a close.

Ritual then hired a new development team consisting of two programmers and two level designers. This small team worked on preproduction of F.A.K.K. 2 during production of Sin in 1997 and on into the beginning of 1998.

Circumstances arose that caused the two programmers to leave Ritual, and the level designers were assigned to the Sin team. This caused F.A.K.K. 2 production to slow down during Sin's final crunch, from March to October 1998. After Sin shipped, part of the team worked on SinCTF (a free multiplayer add-on to Sin) while the rest of the team moved over to work on F.A.K.K. 2. When SinCTF was released to the Internet, the F.A.K.K. 2 team was fully realized. We started off with five programmers, five artists, five level designers, one support person, one sound engineer, and one project manager. However, when we finished the game the core team consisted of three programmers, three artists, three level designers, one sound engineer, and one support person. Art director Robert Atkins was the only team member that survived from the beginning of preproduction to the very end of the project when F.A.K.K. 2 went gold on July 31, 2000.

In the midst of this turnover, many of the original design team left, and many elements of the original design laid out in preproduction had to be rewritten. F.A.K.K. 2 production began in earnest in early March 1999 with the new design.

Concept sketch of
Lord Tyler (final boss).


Article Start Page 1 of 4 Next

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