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Interview about "Schizm - The Mysterious Journey"
The coming adventure game by LK Avalon (developer) and Project 3 (publisher)

by slydos 2nd March 2001

I had the possibility to lead the following interview with Erik Schreuder, one of the two directors of Project 3:

"Schizm - Mysterious Journey" is set in a future alien world of a deserted planet. For Sci-Fi fans a well known scenario. What can you tell us about the storyline - will there be surprising and suspenseful ongoings?

Australian award-winning SF-writer Terry Dowling wrote the story... so you bet there will be suspense and surprise, mostly in the video sequences that will be in the game, but also because of the unfolding of the plot. The storyline is as follows:

It is the year 2083 and humans have started to explore the universe around them as they now have the space technology to do so. A first exploration team lands on the planet Argilus and discovers an entire civilization. Beautiful cities, amazing machinery still working, doors unlocked, meals unfinished, but no people. It looks like everyone who was there, has vanished into thin air. Science teams are brought in, research bases set up. The player controls 2 protagonists who arrive 10 months on the supply ship Angel, to check on these bases. They hail the planet but there is no answer… The entire human population is gone as well, without a single trace. Suddenly your engines start to fail and the vessel crashes on the planet, you are alive but alone. Will you disappear as well, or can you find a way to get off the planet and solve the mystery? A thrilling first contact adventure awaits you, as you start to explore a fascinating landscape of living ships, floating cities and alien intrigue.

Schizm - as its precursor Reah - is a first person point&click adventure. Can you tell us the main differences between the two games and the advancements of Schizm?

Reah was a very good game as well. Nevertheless it had its flaws. Lucky for us there are a lot of gamers out there who will share their experiences with us and we’d like to think we’re listening to them. The points that were criticized most may have been the storyline, the integration of the puzzles in it and the degree of pixelation between camera switches. All matters have been resolved in Schizm. The story is very good, the puzzles have improved and the graphics are beyond belief with hardly any pixelation. The controls have been made more fluent as well. Check out if you want to know about all the new techniques that were used to create Schizm.

How many locations will we find in Schizm and will the gamer always be free to move within the evironment and the different locations?

Schizm is a 3D prerendered game, which means that there is no unlimited freedom of movement. But you can go back to previous locations if you want.

There will be two main characters in the game. How will the gamer take over the different roles? Can you change between the two characters whenever you want maybe as part of a puzzle?

Yes, you can take over between the characters whenever you want, e.g. when you are stuck (I think a simple SPACE will do it). Some puzzles require the two characters to work together to solve them.

How will the two interact with each other and the world around them?
Will there be a lot of non-player-characters to interact with?

There will be some interaction, but this is not a RPG. The number of characters with whom they interact with is something like 15 I believe.

If I would say "The Longest Journey" had a lot of dialogues and "Myst" had none - where would you place Schizm between this two on a scale between zero and 10?

There will be lots of dialogues in the game. Some are audio only, others are with real actors. I would say about 25 minutes in total. So, I think a 7or 8.

What are the puzzles like: will there be mechanical, musical, logical, inventory based, dialogue orientated, mazes or others? Will there be timed puzzles?

All the ones you mention... I am not too sure about the timed puzzles & mazes though. I haven’t played the entire game yet you see.

Is there a Game Over screen in the game (can you die) or any action parts where you have to jump, run, shoot or need any special skills such as a good reaction?

There are no elements of such action within the game. No blood, no shooting, no violence. It’s purely a challenge to the mind and a blessing to the eyes.

I assume that the difficulty level of the puzzles may vary throughout the game, but if you are an advanced gamer who already played several adventure games - will you be able to go through without a walkthrough - which means can they all be solved by logical means?

Yes, but it won’t be easy.

What if you are a beginner to the genre - will there be a help somewhere (maybe in the manual, online, on the internet)?

There will be a 32 page manual, but no tutorial. Our website will gradually show the solutions to all the puzzles, so in the end there will be a walkthrough available.

The former Project 2 was closed and Project 3 rised like Phoenix from the ashes. What makes you sure that the new corporation will be successful?

Our network and our experience. This industry is all about risk management. Success and failure are very close to each other in this business. Some publishers have licenses that sell milllions of copies but do they make large profits? No. They have flops and they have huge successes. The art of the business is just to have hits. So it all comes down to the games: selecting the winners. And Schizm is definitely one of them. I also believe Project 2 could have been saved if it had survived long enough to release Schizm (original planning was Sept 2000). We’re just glad we had the opportunity to sign it again with Project 3.

I don't want to know about the end of the game - but - is there a possibility of a sequel within the story?

I don’t think so. It’s not an open ending. Then again, do all films with sequels have an open ending?

Talking about the ending - are there multiple endings possible?


Schizm was first designed for DVD. Which DVD-system is recommended to play Schizm?

I don’t think there is a system which would perform better with this game and if there is we wouldn’t be able to recommend one now. All system requirements can be looked up at our website.

Fortunately for all those players who havn't upgraded their systems yet (including me) there will be a CD-version also. What are the differences between the CD and the DVD-versions? What will the CD-gamers miss?

Since the whole game is about 9,6 GB large and 4 CD’s accumulate to about 2,8 GB compression is the only way to do this. But compression also has its limits, especially when you really want to keep the graphic quality like it is. So, a few video-scenes will probably be deleted, maybe a few locations will be replaced by shortcuts, we’re just not sure yet. But yes, the DVD-version will be bigger and have extra’s compared to the CD-version. Nevertheless the essence of the game will be exactly the same on both versions.

How many CDs are there and will there be a lot of disk-changing during the game?

There will be 4 CD’s. About the disc changes: Reah had a lot of them and we’ve limited that for Schizm.

What is your target group? The silent but large group of adventure gamers or are you trying to interest others who don't know the genre and if so, what is the main thing you would indicate to convince them to buy Schizm?

It would be great to return to the old days of Myst, which sold 5 million units worldwide. The best we can hope for however is a revival of the adventure genre. With Schizm and Myst III coming out in the next months, there certainly should be a lot of attention for the genre again. As for the targetgroups: sure, the silent but large group of adventure gamers is priority nr. 1. But I also think there are a lot of people over say 40, who have a computer and like mental challenges and mysteries and perhaps SF, but simply think all games are about shooting and racing. We have to somehow make them aware what an adventure like Schizm can do for them. The peneration of PC’s in households has never been this high. On top of that, if there’s one genre that appeals to women it’s this one. So, that’s a separate targetgroup ... Over here in Holland, the game gets a lot of attention in hard-core gamer magazines a well, so I really think the aim has to be very wide. I view Schizm as a massmarket game and not a nichemarket one.

Adventures are doing fine in Europe - overseas gamers often have to buy their adventure games here. Will Schizm be available to all of us, whatever country or language?

Schizm will be released via normal retail worldwide, but not in all 250 countries (or how many are there?) as you may understand. Anyone with a creditcard should be able to buy it from the web though. Depending on the agreements with our distributors there will be versions in other languages, such as German or possibly Spanish; the main version is in English of course. Subtitles are another possibility, but it really all depends on the deals we make.

Will there be a playable demo?

Yes, there is one. Problem is that it’s over 600 Mb large. Not something you would want to download. And not something we want on our server too ! We do have 2 brandnew rolling AVI-files that can be downloaded from our website however. Check them out if you can.

Will Schizm be ported to other platforms, MAC for example?

It’s a shame but Schizm won’t be ported to Mac, because we feel the targetmarket is too small to make that sort of costs. Whether Schizm will be ported to a console, well let’s just say that’s a possibility.

What will be after the release of Schizm - are there any plans towards a new adventure game?

Not yet. We’re still thinking very hard about the next projects.

Thank you very much Erik for taking the time and giving us this interesting facts.


New, exclusive screenshots
Screenshots 1
Screenshots 2

Developer: LK Avalon
Publisher: Project 3 Interactive


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