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UFO: Afterlight - Interview

Wir hatten die Gelegenheit, ein Interview mit Lukás "Izmi" Veselý vom tschechischen Entwicklerteam Altar Interactive zu führen - Hier die englischsprachige Originalversion:

UFO: Afterlight has been developed relatively fast in comparison to the predecessors. One could get the suspicion, that it was originally planned as an Add-On for UFO: Aftershock?

Afterlight or any third sequel of UFO series wasn't planned before starting the project. We had known that making next installment would take less time because of the experience of previous ones - workflow, engine, game mechanics etc. When the publisher came to us and wanted a sequel in one year, we agreed.

The most obvious change in UFO: Afterlight is the style of the graphic arts - Why have you ventured this step?

Previous UFO games were criticized about their graphic style as flat, unimpressive, pallid etc. We don't think that's completely true but decided to change artistic concept basically. We intended to make more colorful and modern style of graphic, stylized like cartoon or comics rather than realistic representations. And we believe we succeeded.

What are beside the graphic arts the essential innovations and improvements of UFO: Afterlight in comparison to the predecessors?

The most significant is an amplifying of RPG elements. In Afterlight there are characters known by their names and their advantages and shortages. They are unique with their own biographies not just generically generated anonymous cannon fodder. Other improvements were made in diplomacy - more factions and more options to negotiate. The most obvious innovation is changing the planet the story takes place. Instead of Earth player control his base on Mars where some people were expulsed to by Reticulans after events of UFO: Aftermath.

After our impressions from the demoversion there are no essential changes with the combat system in general - Why do you do yourselves so hard to improve something in this elementary part of the Gameplay?

There are some little changes and improvements although not large because the combat system SAS (simultaneuos-action system) works very well. This time there are more options to set the combat like turn-based or more like real-time as the player feels it comfortable. Also formation and better planning options were added. Recent system really evolved in well-functional version.

In the demo and in the English sales version as well the automatic camera is almost useless because of abrupt pan shots with height differences. Are there soon improvements by a patch? Could the problems be solved maybe already in the German version?

Automatic camera is mostly for beginners and is tuned the best possible way. You are true it is not universal and in some special occasions it can behave not so user-friendly. According to these cases there is free camera, trickier to control though more useful for advanced players.

Our reader "Dabrasch" would like to know the following: Are there some opponents who are visible only in certain optical modes?

There are some enemies really hard to spot in normal visual mode and much easier in other modes. No one is seen just only in special mode. In comparison with Aftershock there is one visual mode more - electromagnetic; it is natural sensorial way of one of the factions on Mars and is useful to see particularly robots and drons.

By the way, how many new opposing aliens do we become to hit in UFO: Afterlight? Can you describe one or two of the more intelligent a little bit closer?

The opponents are obviously one of the prospective surprises in the game. So I can't spoil these aspects of the game. Very discussed are natural forces like elementals of whirls of wind and rocks - Whom are they controlled by? Where they came from? In diplomacy two factions of Reticulans are interesting; recently arriving ones are not so friendly to their colleagues and this fact relates to events of Aftershock. Most intelligent are supposed to be the main enemies - Beastmen, especially their leaders and specialists like e.g. Alchemist.

"Gomeril" is interested in the weapons and the balance of the game. He would like to know if the many weapons are real options or is there a super-gun like the rocket launcher in UFO: Aftermath which has disturbed the balance of the game sensitively when it appeard?

We concerned about balancing weapons' and other equipment's parameters much more this time. There are some weapons like Reticulan launcher again ;) that makes players to twist their common way of combat. New enemies with almost ultimate weapons are challenging and prevent the game of boredom and routine.

Psi is in his opinion a possibility to topple the balance of the game as well. His all time favourite UFO: Enemy Unknown becomes boring at the moment where one could do everything by Psi. How is this avoided in UFO: Afterlight?

Psi controlling is an important part of the tactical game. Not all enemies are psi controllable and the chances of psi attacks are balanced with the same care as other stuff in the game.

Which features offer the already published Mod-Tool? Are additional features and substantially changes integrated in comparison to Mod-Tool of the predecessor?

Released mod-tools consists of documentation describing how to mod parameters of all entities of the game or add others like technologies, characters, equipment etc.; and model converter that enables a possibility to change any 3D model in the game. We co-work with modders and support them in their effort. Anybody can join the community at official forum at and contribute to develop the best mods.

The support of Brigade E5 by Publisher Morphicon was really awful in our opinion. Does the danger of such a bad Support exists with UFO: Afterlight as well?

We can't judge work of local publishers. We provide our own support; any dissatisfied fan can take advantage of that without hesitating.

"Guardian" would like to know at the end if you are plannung another sequel with more radical, real innovations? According to his opinion you could shift the scene to the planet Venus where one can see nothing but red smoke clouds. Then a sombre atmosphere would be quite included... ;-)

Yes, a progress of the next sequel is very satisfying yet. It's almost completed and planned to be released in second quarter of this year, meant in few months! The new events are placed on Jupiter and Saturn where very evil wizard called Myrmecol blasted the remnants of both Reticulans and humans off. Queen of Yuckules (the native inhabitants of those planets) would save them if they brought an egg from Myrmecol to her… Just kidding ;-)

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