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Three Speech: Behind the Wheelman - Interview with Midway Newcastle

Three Speech writes: "Keith Stuart finds out more from the team behind Wheelman…

Wheelman isn't your typical movie tie-in. Benefiting from a growing sense of synergy between the film and videogame worlds, it's a sort of cross-media joint project between Midway Newcastle and Tigon, the production company owned by Vin Diesel. The game's not based on the movie, instead it's a sort of prequel, following the adventures of undercover agent Milo Burik before his cinematic debut next year. It's also an intense, intricately realised driving shooter, with gorgeously detailed renderings of key Barcelona locales.

To get the lowdown on this prescient movie/game endeavour, we spoke to executive producer, Shaun Himmerick, and lead mission designer, Mark Thompson, who gladly popped the hood and let us peer inside.

In the first section of our two-part interview we talk to Shaun about the ever-controversial Unreal Engine 3…

Q: So all the current game projects throughout Midway's six studios are using the same modified version of Unreal Engine 3. Has this worked out well for you?

SH: It's been better for us in terms of our overall plan, to go in for one big engine that we all share, and to start with Unreal. While we all heard about the problems Epic had at launch – it didn't work on PS3, etc - starting with one building block was easier than starting with our own engine. Just the sheer number of decisions you'd have to make, and with the number of studios Midway has, getting everyone to agree, with everyone slanting toward their style of game… we just wanted to begin with a base and then start adding tools."

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