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New Interview With Ghostbusters Developer Highlights Proton Pack Design

GhostbustersSometimes I think I should just turn Press The Buttons into a full-time Ghostbusters blog and be done with it, but when something of interest about the upcoming Ghostbusters: The Video Game for the Sony PlayStation and Microsoft Xbox 360 comes along, I can't help but talk about it.  This time the spotlight is on the legendary proton pack.  What does it feel like to strap an unlicensed nuclear accelerator to your back?  How detailed is the in-game pack compared to the original film props?  Both of these questions and more were pitched by Kombo's Joey Davidson recently, and Glenn Gamble of developer Terminal Reality was there to catch them.

We have full access to the Sony prop archives, which I know a lot of people would chew their left foot off in order to get access to. We got a lot of nice, hi-res images of the proton pack, all of the surviving props, the ghost trap, the slime blower, all that stuff. Pretty much, we built the proton pack from the ground up exactly like the film, then we got it in the game, then we saw the way it played. We tried to make modifications based on gameplay around that.

Example being, first off, with the proton pack, what prevented the player from running through the entire level always with the stream on? That lead to overheating. The problem with overheating is that when it overheated it just shot out steam. And everybody thought that was really lame. So that eventually lead to a scenario where, which has a funny story behind it, of the actual pack and the proton core -- it's a nuclear accelerator on your back! I figured, you know, the four little red things were rods deep down inside, it has to pop out to cool the rods.

The proton pack actually serves as the game's heads-up display in that all of your basic statistics and indicators are part of the design in order to help make the game feel as cinematic as possible.  Dead Space did this sort of thing last year, but Terminal Reality claims that they thought of it first.  Personally, I don't care who thought of it as long as it works well and is beneficial to the experience.  Be sure to listen to this week's episode of Kombo Breaker for more about Joey's thoughts on the Ghostbusters demo.

And if that isn't enough for you, let me point you to SCI FI Wire's interview with Glenn in which he talks about how Walter Peck of the Environmental Protection Agency fits into the story and how the new mayor of New York City was elected.  There's also a little talk about the Nintendo Wii version of the game, but there's nothing to see at this time, unfortunately.