What is it like working for such a well known
publisher like Ubisoft? How did you get involved with Beyond
Good and Evil?
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.
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?
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.
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?
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
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
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
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.
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.
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?
The web site was designed by
Pod 9 out of Los Angeles.
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?
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.
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?
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
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?
The music was done by Christophe Herald who is part of the
BG&E development team.
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?
I do not have too much information about the voice actors,
but I know that they were cast in Paris and did an excellent
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)?
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.
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?
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