Interview with Modern Dream’s Ollie Clark - LA Cops
Imagine for a moment that Hotline Miami and Syndicate were getting busy with Starsky and Hutch on the television across the room and the Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage” playing in the background. It’s essentially the combination of the four that produced indie studio Modern Dream’s fourth creation: LA Cops. It’s currently in development and in a nutshell, it’s a fast-paced, top down shooter with a touch of strategic planning…and it’s fun as hell.
Valenka managed to catch up with Ollie Clarke – not the soccer player – for an exclusive behind the scenes look at LA Cops.
VALENKA: How would you describe LA Cops to someone who’s never heard of it?
OLLIE: LA Cops is an addictive top-down shooter with a bright artistic aesthetic set to a theme of 70s cops in LA. The gameplay is addictive and reminiscent of Bullfrog’s classic ‘Syndicate’ in that the player has control of more than one cop that will cover the other as they attempt to keep the mean streets of LA clean. It’s an addictive gun toting challenge of a game.
VALENKA: You mentioned more than one cop in the game; how many are there? Do they have their own unique abilities or styles?
OLLIE: There are six playable cops in the game and they all start with the same attributes, however, as you play the game, you’ll be able to choose your favourites and upgrade them with new weapons and improved attributes. You’ll also see cutscene interludes with the cops that will show a little about who they are and how they fit in with the overall story. The cutscenes are abstracted from the game so that it feels like a soap, almost like an episode of Hill Street Blues or Starsky and Hutch playing out. Some cops are bad, some are good and some are just having a crap time with what’s going on in their life.
VALENKA: That sounds fantastically appealing; the whole theme of 70’s noir is paired perfectly with a cop adventure. Is there a story behind LA Cops or is it just primarily mission based?
OLLIE: Yeah, we want it to be modular so that we can hopefully expand the game after release. LA Cops is mission based with a briefing and the cutscenes are designed and written to sit alongside the levels, describing a specific moment and context of each cop’s day. For example, Jo Murphy is the first female cop at the department and a cutscene will show her experience as such.
VALENKA: What inspired the overall idea for LA Cops?
OLLIE: LA Cops was inspired by the classic top down shooters from the 16bit era. I played games like Syndicate and Archon to death; those games never stopped being fun and the challenge for LA Cops is to see if we can make a game as fun that people can enjoy on the PC and tablet or phone.
Theme wise, the Beastie Boys’ ‘Sabotage’ video was an inspiration. I always thought that would make a great game, they just seemed to be having so much fun! That combined with the Modern Dream in-house art style we’ve been developing over the last year made it compelling for us to make an action game with attitude.
VALENKA: I have a sense that its theme will appeal to a wide audience spanning multiple age generations. I can’t wait to see how it’s received by the community.
OLLIE: It would be good if the game does appeal to lots of players from all walks of life. To be honest, we’ve been deliberately targeting the hardcore players, but I think you can do that without alienating other groups of people.
VALENKA: Since its being released for PC as well as Android and iOS, can we expect any platform-exclusive content or is it universal for everyone?
OLLIE: We’re aiming to have the content universally available for everyone. We want people to be able to enjoy the game no matter what their preferred gaming platform is.
VALENKA: Is there a chance we’ll see LA Cops hit the indie section of the Xbox Marketplace or the Playstation Store?
OLLIE: We haven’t approached either of them; however we’d absolutely love to see LA Cops on Microsoft’s Xbox Marketplace and Sony’s Playstation Store. The game works really well on [game] pads and would look great.
VALENKA: It looks like you hit the proverbial nail on the head with LA Cops. From what I’ve seen so far, the theme and the gameplay do the project great justice. Have you set an official release date?
OLLIE: Thanks! It’s definitely the game we wanted to make and we’re really pleased with how players have taken to it so far. We’re aiming to have the game out by the fourth quarter of 2014, however, we’re also aiming to have an early access version of the game available so that we can share the game sooner and fix the major issues that bug players. Having said that, we’re going to put out a solid version of the game; some people have taken advantage of early access and released shoddy content. We’re not going to do that.
Day 10 | Modern Dream