16 June 2012

My sister recently travelled to E3 as a Tomb Raider UK Ambassador. During her time at the event, she had the opportunity to interview Karl Stewart (Global Brand Director). The questions were a combination of some my personal ones, a selection sent in by the owners of Music of Tomb Raider and Lara's Society (G&G E3 partner sites) and a handful sent in via this site's social media pages:

Transcription of interview with Karl Stewart which took place in Los Angeles on 7th June 2012:

Jaden from Guns & Grapple would like to know were there are any reference photos taken to aid the creation of the concept design and artwork?

Yeah, Brian took a lot of photographs, I’ve - every now and then I try to inspire myself by dipping into his archives, you know, to just sort of help me understand and get an idea of his perspective so when we’re talking about the game and when we’re presenting it we’ll know more about the process in every area, yeah – let me just say there’s a lot of photographs in Brian’s folders!

I’ll underline “lot”! And where were they taken, which locations?

In a variety, as Brian mentioned we travelled to Japan not so long ago, and Brian took a day off the beaten track off up to Toniko to be able to take some photographs for reference. And in general Brian likes want to try to get out and see things from himself as well so most of the locations that are in the game, at some point in time, Brian has had the opportunity to get out and study them and analyse, make sure that they feel real and feel natural.

And we also work with a very talented group of concept artists who have done a tremendous job of using source material and reference material to be able to bring our world to life, so it was a lot of photographs have taken but the goal is to try to make it feel as real as possible.

Harry from Music of Tomb Raider has asked if there’ll be additional bonus material in the Collector’s or Limited Edition sets?

Yeah, we actually, we’re right in the middle of deciding that as we speak, there’s a lot of content that get created in making a game and there’s a lot of stuff that ends up on the cutting room floor, you know, much like movies, you know, a movie starts at four hours and ends up at ninety minutes.

You know, for us, there’s a lot of stuff we want to talk about, we’ve been a little more strategic in the way in which we go about doing it now, so that when we do performance capture we capture all our B-rolls to make sure that we’ve got it all and then instead of just launching it all, you know, in one big lump in a collector’s edition, this is where we’re going to be doing these chapters as you’ll see over the next coming months is to bring some of that to life and in a very unique way, so it’s very important that we show people some of the procedure that we go through, the process that we go through, so yeah, you’ll see a lot of additional content.

Harry has also asked, regarding iTunes releases whether any of the music either from this title or from previous titles (or any other – other suppliers are available).

I need to have a look at that right now, I think it’s - obviously, you know, iTunes has now become the defacto place to go and get most all your music in a lot of cases so I know Meagan’s worked hard to make sure that we do things like getting podcasts are up there, I know certainly from our experience of our soundtrack when we do release the soundtrack we’ll make sure that it’s on iTunes because it’s the defacto, so, you know – it’s interesting, I might have a look if they’re not up there already I would like to make that happen actually, it would be great to get all the previous soundtracks – or whatever soundtracks are out there, up on iTunes.

You said the soundtrack will be released in line with the game – regarding the game’s release, is that going to be a worldwide release date or is it going to be staggered?

Right now it’s a world-wide release date, we’ve been talking with our European counterparts and we’ve made the decision that March 5th will be the date that we launch the game in our EFIGS territories [English, French, Italian, German, Spanish] and North America, we haven’t made a final decision yet with regards to our Asia markets and our Japanese markets, that will be a little harder because they’re a little more complex, to make sure that, you know, translations and VO and making sure it hits at the right time.

So certainly from North America, South America, right through to all of Europe our goal is for it to be day and date, which is a big thing, because obviously normally it’s Tuesday at one place and Friday at the other – we wanted it to be March 5th as a global release date.

Tiernan from Lara Society has some queries regarding Lara’s background in her reinvented form and wants to know how much has changed and whether she still has her aristocratic roots.

So, obviously, I get that question a lot you know, about who she is and where she’s from and really we looked at the character and thought, you know, when breaking it down and trying to bring this new vision for Lara and reimagining her, you had to be willing to – to be willing to take the risk of delivering emotion you have to have a character which feels believable and real for today and you look at Lara on this journey, this is her first adventure and already you see a very different side to her, she hasn’t paid to be on this – in past worlds Lara would have bought the ship and paid for it herself and hired a crew – or not even bothered hiring a crew and doing it herself – this is a girl that wants to be accepted, she wants to be a part of the team, she doesn’t want to be, you know, kind of left out on her own, you know, she really wants to do this and she wants to show her worth. And we see a side to Lara which we’ve never really seen before.

You know, we haven’t and we won’t just yet, start talking about her backstory in any depth because I think that detracts from what we’re trying to present right now, I think there’s a time and a place to be able to get into that detail but for now certainly what we’re presenting is a young girl that’s energetic, ambitious and maybe a little bit naive because she thinks she can do the things that – you know, it’s a little bit like Nemo’s dad? You think you can do these things but you can’t? You know, we’ve got to take you on the journey to see how she grows and she becomes a person, you know, and when we set the foundation on this game, we’ll see how that plays out, but right now we don’t really want to get into – too deep into the backstory of, you know, who she is versus who she was.

There’s been some interest in an animated series like the Gametap episodes, is this something you might be interested in bringing back to promote this game or possibly future releases?
(asked by @RyanRaider_)

There’s no plans right now to do any animation, or animated series, our goal as a studio is firmly in making sure we build a great game and we take this awesome opportunity to, you know, bring the series back to life in a way which hasn’t really been done in video games, so I think we have to be careful that we don’t lose focus.

CLICK HERE to Read Part Two of the Interview


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