Tyrone Miller Interview

[LadyGamers]: What is it like working for such a well known publisher like Ubisoft? How did you get involved with Beyond Good and Evil?

[Tyrone Miller]: Ubisoft has had an exciting year - we launched several great games like Prince of Persia, Rainbow Six 3, XIII and of course the game I work on - Beyond Good & Evil. Ubisoft has a young, energetic and talented staff, making it a fun place to work – there never is a dull moment here.

I am the public relations manager for Beyond Good & Evil.

[LadyGamers]:  The name Beyond Good and Evil didn't really click at first. It sounds very plain, yet now that I have played the game for the past few weeks, it gives it justice. Everyone knows there's always good and there's bad but is there a hidden meaning behind the title?

[Tyrone Miller]: Many people assume that Beyond Good & Evil is a reference to the Friedrich Nietzsche book by the same name. Although you could probably make an argument – this game really has no connection to the German philosopher. As an action reporter, players need to investigate beyond the superficial facts of what is good and what is evil – which is dictated through government propaganda in the game. The player has to see what nobody else can see, what is hidden to the people of Hyllis. This theme is relevant to issues we face today – understanding the reasons behind the apparent facts.

[LadyGamers]: There's a lot of diversity when it comes to gameplay alone. You can fight with the Dai-Jo Stick, take pictures for income, sneak past guards without being caught, search out to find pearls, rescue people, race in hover races, and the list goes on. What do you feel is the biggest accomplishment achieved with this game?

[Tyrone Miller]: The biggest accomplishment, and most impressive feature of the game, is the seamless integration of all these varying types of gameplay. When you play, its one cohesive game experience - not several mini-games randomly thrown together. To achieve this mix between the games, the development team in Montpellier created development tools and the JADE engine that allowed them to create a game like this.

[LadyGamers]:  While playing, I noticed a desire for multiplayer. Is there a reason why they didn't develop a multiplayer option? Can we hope for future BGE2 plans?

[Tyrone Miller]: Like most action-adventure games, Beyond Good & Evil really is a single-player experience. There is some cooperative play – but the presentation and navigation of the game is much more suited for one player. If there is a BG&E 2, there will probably be more gameplay options that may include multiplayer as well as online gameplay.

There is a code that players can use to unlock a multiplayer mode within the puck mini-game. As you may have noticed, every time you save a game - you are given an Internet code. The Internet code is a summary of successful gameplay - it contains quantitative information such as total playtime, number of pearls earned, and amount of pictures taken. Each code is unique, depending on how well the game is played. Once your code reaches a certain level, you will gain access to the multiplayer puck mini-game. For more information about this, visit the “Darkroom” at www.beyondgoodandevil.com

[LadyGamers]: Where did the inspiration for the character art come from? Was there a reason why the main character is female and not male? Jade especially has a unique appearance about her. I couldn't help but wonder what nationality she was.

[Tyrone Miller]: Michel Ancel’s wife, who was a character artist on the BG&E development team, played an important role in the development of the Jade character. Rumor has it that she actually served as the main inspiration and muse for Jade.

Although Jade may have an “ethnic” look, she does not belong to any race. Keep in mind that the story takes place in the future on another plant, where race is not really a factor.

[LadyGamers]:  Ubisoft created an awesome U.S. design to capture the heart of the BGE followers. The music flows as you open the official website. Who created the design?

[Tyrone Miller]: The web site was designed by Pod 9 out of Los Angeles.

[LadyGamers]:  Since the Jade character stays true to you're adventure type of girl, and not a sex symbol, many women have already raved about this game. Have you had a lot of positive feedback that Jade wasn't your average big hooters, typical dime a dozen character?

[Tyrone Miller]: Ancel wanted to create a character, a persona, a real person. Nothing against sexy action women, but with Jade, the question was more about her role, her situation in the world, and the meaning of her quest (opposed to the size of her breasts). She evolved a lot during the development of the game – visually (the first model of Jade was significantly different that the final model in the game) and psychologically. Feedback on Jade has been extremely positive. She’s the girl next door that people seem to really identify with.

[LadyGamers]:  With about 30 in the development team, what methods were used to keep on track and focused? Were there any obstacles or challenges you thought you couldn't maneuver?

[Tyrone Miller]: The development team worked out of the Ubi Pictures studio in Montpellier, France. The studio is an old, somewhat run down barn house - opposed to what you probably imagined. They used out of date PCs and a/v equipment, which is amazing if you consider how great the game looks. The team worked very closely together, putting in a countless number of sleepless nights in order to hit all the development milestones. The studio itself has a lot of character, some of which was integrated into the game. In fact, the interior of Jade’s lighthouse looks very similar to the Montpellier studio.

[LadyGamers]:  The music alone just grips you as a movie would. Can you give us a little information about the creators of the in-game music?

[Tyrone Miller]: The music was done by Christophe Herald who is part of the BG&E development team.

[LadyGamers]:  As for voice talent, both Jade and the governor have great voices for their role. Pe'j also has that old wise farmer accent. How did you find the people who did the voices in Beyond Good and Evil?

[Tyrone Miller]: I do not have too much information about the voice actors, but I know that they were cast in Paris and did an excellent job.

[LadyGamers]:  Lets say three years down the road, somehow Beyond Good and Evil ends up being led to having a movie made. Which actress would you feel best fits the appearance of Jade (if this wasn't an animated film)?

[Tyrone Miller]: I think Shannyn Sossamon (A Knight’s Tale, 40 Days and 40 Nights, Rules of Attraction) would make a perfect Jade. She has the look and carries herself a lot like Jade.

[LadyGamers]: The JADE engine alone created amazing surroundings. Are there any other games in development or released that are currently using this engine besides Prince of Persia? Who are the master minds of the engine?

[Tyrone Miller]: The JADE engine was a collaborative effort, developed by the BG&E development team. As of now, Prince of Persia and Beyond Good & Evil are the only games that used this engine. It is such an innovative and powerful engine – I am sure it will be used to develop more Ubisoft games in the near future.

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