ECTS'97 REPORT (September 1997)

ECTS'97 Europe's leading entertainment show is being held in Olympia London from 7 to 9 September.

TR2: The new demo According to Adrian Smith from Core people attending the ECTS'97 show will be able to play the first level of TR2 (The Great Wall) and watch some rolling demos of new levels not seen yet.


Rhona Mitra at ECTS'97

Rhona at ECTS'97 The Eidos booth at ECTS'97 was one of the most popular.
Partly because of the Tomb Raider II demo (you know, the one that should have been released two weeks ago...), and partly because of Rhona Mitra, impersonating Lara Croft.

Lots of people gathered around her asking for autographs and wanting to take pictures with "Lara".


Lara's Interview at ECTS'97

Lara Croft roared into ECTS on a vintage Harley to steal the show. As grown men came to near fist fights to get a closer view, ZDNet's Arif Mohamed stole an exclusive interview with the real Lara Croft.

Could you tell me about your forthcoming film with Eidos - does it reflect the Tomb Raider plots?

I'm afraid I can't really tell you very much at the moment as plans for the movie have not been confirmed yet. If we are able to go ahead with the movie, I'll be making sure that the plot closely reflects my own adventures - it'll be a bit like an Indiana Jones movie - or Indiana Jane if you like - action-packed in every sense of the word. After all, I hardly lead a dull life!

Is there a romantic angle, and if so, which lucky fellow plays the part?

Again, with regard to the film I can't confirm that one just yet, and anyway, I don't exactly have the time for romance. The last hug I had was with a grisly bear!

There is talk that Eidos is having money problems and is pinning a lot on the success of the film. How do you see your future and the future of the firm if it bombs?

I certainly haven't heard of any money problems! What with Tomb Raider, Fighting Force, Deathtrap Dungeon and Tomb Raider II, I can hardly believe that you would believe such a rumor! The only problem Eidos has at the moment is dealing with the sheer amounts of stock they'll need to produce to fulfill the massive orders for these top games, not to mention numerous other releases. I don't know how they manage to do it!

My future is looking busier by the day! Once I've finished my adventures for Tomb Raider II, I'll be needing a bit of a rest but I know it won't be too long before I reappear. You know I can't resist a challenge and I hear that Core Design are already making plans.... I can't say too much, but I can't imagine life without a new adventure.

As for the film: well, if something happens then, I'm certain that Eidos will be sure to take the bull by the horns. You know they never do things by halves!

So, what was it like working with U2 - and is that your kind of music?

It was fantastic to meet the boys - they're all so nice! I wouldn't have worked with them unless I respected their music, although it's a pity I don't get much chance to listen to it when I'm off adventuring. I'm afraid they don't have much of a following in Tibet!

Girl power is a phrase often connected with your name. Could you see yourself as a sixth Spice Girl?

I think that it was extremely coincidental that the 'Girl Power' thing happened around the same time that Tomb Raider was released. I certainly didn't go out with the intention of representing young women today - all I'm really interested in is getting on with the adventure.

However, it seems as though I have inadvertently become a founder-member! I think that many girls have identified with my independence and determination to succeed, no matter what their profession may be. Don't get me wrong, I'm really pleased that the phrase is often connected with my name - it's really important that young women today get what they really, really want! I'm not sure if the Spice Girls know much about me but I think that there are enough of them without adding a 6th member! After all, what would my nickname be - Lara Spice? or maybe something even worse...!

You've become a role model for girls and sex symbol for boys - why is that, and how do you stop it going to your head?

As I said, it's all been rather inadvertent but the reasons are probably the same as stated in the last question. As for being a sex symbol - well, I can hardly complain if people find me attractive - I was created to be pleasing to the eye! I must say however, that if the boys spent as much time with their girlfriends as they did playing Tomb Raider then I'm sure they wouldn't have cause to ogle those ridiculous nude pictures of me. I find that extremely degrading to my whole philosophy.

Forgive me for the personal question, but what are your vital statistics - millions of readers want to know?

Height 5'8" / 1.73m
Bust 34D
Waist 24/61
Hips 35/91
Dress 10/38
Shoe 6/39

What sort of men do you go for, presumably not the sort who'd double cross you over an amulet?

I'm afraid I simply don't have enough time for men at the moment. My parents wanted me to marry the Earl of Farringdon, but after the plane crash my perspective of life changed radically. I do actually like the Earl and I believe he's still waiting for me... even after all these years.

What's the worst chat-up line you've ever heard?

'What's a man got to do to get that kind of attention from you?' - whilst I was reading a magazine article about my discovery of Bigfoot!

Tomb Raider and Tomb Raider II took you all over the world. What was your favourite country and why, and where is there left to go on holiday to?

I think that my favorite was Peru - the people were so colourful and friendly - well, most of them were... Unfortunately I can't say the same about the weather there. I think that another reason for Peru being my favorite is because it's the country where I first started the Tomb Raider adventure. I'll never forget my excitement at the prospect of discovering the Scion. Little did I know what discoveries it would lead to! There are still plenty of places for me to go on holiday, but if I tell you where I'm going you'll probably think that I'm talking about the next game. I'll leave you to keep guessing!

Interview taken from Computer Gaming World UK. Copyright (c) 1997 ZDNet UK.


Matrox m3D
Great 3D card. And maybe TR2 bundled with it.

The new Matrox m3D is a new stand alone 3D accelerator being shown at ECTS'97. Better know for theirs excellent range of 2D cards, Matrox plans to enter the 3D scene this Christmas with a new board based on Videologic's Power VR2 3Dxchipset. With a RRP of GBP75/$99, this board could well be this Christmas best selling piece of hardware. Particularly if some of the rumors come true: it's almost certain that the original Tomb Raider will be bundled, and maybe TR2 if it's ready on time. Other games will also be bundled (rumors say a total of three) as well as a demo disc with 20 enhanced game demos. With a expected street price of around GBP50 this board its a sure winner.

On the performance front, early reports say that a demo of Tomb Raider is running at 1024x768 resolution at 36 frames per second. Need we say more?

In the meantime, Videologic is showing their latest GL driver for their 3Dx based cards, wich is also an added value for the Matrox card.


Toby Gard found
What is the original TR designer up to?

CTW (the games industry's trade paper) has reported that the brains behind Tomb Raider have left Core and set up their own development team. Toby Gard and Paul Douglas have been bank-rolled by Interplay and are already hard at work on a new title called Leviathan.

Their new company is called Confounding Factor and their first release is expected in 1999. As lead graphic artist, Gard concepted and designed Tomb Raider along with Lara Croft, while lead programmer Douglas was responsible for much of the gameplay. The game was called, by some people, a Mario knockoff, but in truth, Toby and Paul had been developing it almost two years before anyone had seen Miyamoto's Super Mario 64.

About the new company, Gard said, "After the success of our first project we were courted relentlessly by a number of very high profile publishers, but in the end the decision to sign to Interplay was fairly straightforward. We wanted to work with a publisher who really appreciated games. Secondly, we needed a truly global publisher with distribution and marketing strength. Brian Fargo (Interplay CEO) and Interplay are recognized for putting game quality first, this aligned with Interplay's world wide presence meant that they therefore became the obvious choice." We wonder if someone at Core or Eidos would like to comment Toby's words...

"I have said it before, and I'll say it again" says Interplay CEO and founder Brian Fargo, "you cannot go wrong by going with great talent and Toby and Paul are among the most talented developers that I have come across in recent years. We are very excited to be working with Toby and paul and are sure that both Interplay and Confounding Factor have an excellent future together."

They are set up in England, and this agreement is a multi-title deal that covers world-wide publishing rights.


Robert Wheeler's impressions on ECTS
Arriving at ECTS and at the Eidos booth.

SUNDAY 7th SEPTEMBER ARRIVES

This was it, the day had arrived. My alarm woke me at 6am, which for me, who normally gets up on a Sunday between 11am -1pm was a first :-) A phone call to Mark at 7am didn't wake him up due to him not being to bed yet :-), so we arranged to meet at the train station at 7.50am. A check with the train helpline informed me of the train leaving at 8.05am bound for London.

The journey was uneventful (as most journeys are), with the event opening at 10am, we had plenty of time, even though we missed one train at Earls Court bound for Olympia, and had about a half hour wait :-)

We arrived at the venue, directly opposite the tiny Olympia station, a nice 'less than 100 feet walk' and then we saw the QUEUE and it was only 9.35am :-( Showing our badges to the men walking up and down the line we learned that we had to join the main queue as we had already registered for the event, there was another queue for people wishing to register and this was twice as long as the queue we joined (motto - Pre-registering is GOOD). So we stood there waiting for 10am.

Suddenly we heard air horns and a small white van with - WARNING - VIRUS - CONTAMINATION' pulled up at the kerb not 3 feet from us and the rest of the people in the queue ! Three men in dust masks and carrying small dry powder fire extinguishes jumped out, threw a box covered with 'VIRUS' labels to the floor, while shouting, "Keep back...." , and then they sprayed the box with the extinguishes, then they proceeded to place traffic cones around the box and cordoned it off with yellow 'CAUTION' tape they then stuck a few yellow 'CONTAMINATED' stickers on people around us (what was wrong with us :-) they then got back in the van and sped off. All this happen in a few seconds, it was oblivious a publicity stunt, but one that security didn't like and they quickly removed the box, cones, tape and then tested the powder (to make sure it wasn't harmful ?) and they did not look pleased.

This made the last few minutes before the doors opened fly pass and then after another twenty minutes we mounted the steps, had the bar codes on our badges read, and received a bag with Lara on (cool), and the ECTS Handbook (for GBP5 :-), then it was though the main doors into the great hall.

INSIDE ECTS

Walking through the main doors we saw down the main aisle the EIDOS Interactive stand that took up a large central area. We walked down and saw a video wall with Lara's bike in front of it, but no lara :-( EIDOS showcased - Tomb Raider II on PC & PSX, Dominion, Deathtrap Dungeon, F1, Shadow Warrior, Fighting Force & Ninja, they also had on display with the F! game a Williams Renault and a Ford Bennaton Formula One racing cars.

Mark quickly jumped on the normal version of 'Tomb Raider II' and I was annoyed that he got there first :-), as he started to play (I realised there was no sound) and complete the first puzzle in minutes, where others playing the other versions were still stuck, Adrian came over (he wasn't wearing a name badge, but I recognised him from his picture from a computer magazine, but I didn't introduce myself in case I was wrong:-) and said to Troy Demming (Producer) about the version Mark was playing should be 3Dfx (I believe) and asking Mark if he could just adjust it, Troy exited out of the Demo in to the Windows95 environment and changed the settings and re started the Demo, which put mark back to the beginning :-( Troy had to adjust it a few more times always putting Mark at the beginning and Adrian stood by offering hints, especially when Mark couldn't find the Gold Key to open a door.

Adrian on the other hand knows the game inside out and knows all the fastest ways to complete at least 'The Great Wall of China' level if not the others, which I expect he does. His command of Lara and her moves is amazing and he plays with a practised ease.

On continuing to play the level Mark accessed the 'Inventory' menu and was greeted by, Pistols, Small Medi-pack, Large Medi-pack, Shotgun and a STOPWATCH. So of course I asked about the stopwatch, and due to the fact I was standing behind Mark, Adrian couldn't see my name badge. and he answered that it was for a timed explosive device Lara would get. Sounds great doesn't it :-)

Adrian chatted we us for a while and it is obvious if you met him that he likes to be very involved with gamers at their level and not just from the Company perspective, he had no hesitation of talking to people at the event and he is well versed in what people know, expect and want from the CORE designed games. A great guy :-)

Report sent by Robert Wheeler, webmaster of The Tomb Raider Archive.


Robert Wheeler's playtest of TR2
Robert and a friend having fun.

Robert Wheeler and a friend, Mark Hamilton, reveal us their impressions on the latest TR2 demo.

MARK'S PLAYTEST OF 'Tomb Raider II' First level - The Great wall of China Demo
(c) Mark Hamilton 1997

I played the original 'Tomb Raider' about a maximum of five to ten times, my original thoughts on the game were that it was quite good, but not my sort of game. As we got to ECTS, I was amazed at the size of the event and as we walked though the main doors to the hall the name that really stuck out was EIDOS in front of us, but on to the playtest :-) First the time this will be a game I will buy, which goes against my normal preferences. The amount of extra detail and the suburb graphics is outstanding compared to the original game. As soon as you start the level you have to start thinking and be smart and fast 'cause you will be bitten by the TIGER, this shocked me were compared to the original game where you have to go a distance before you met any creatures. This game is very fast and furious, if you are not careful you will die early on. I think the most detail has gone into Lara herself, the way she moves more freely and looks more agile than in the original. I congratulate CORE for their quickness in the response of producing a squeal for the TR fans.
Marks out of 10 , I give it 11, which is very rare for me. I would like to offer a special thanks to Adrian Smith for his time and patience in answering our questions for the TR fans.

ROB'S PLAYTEST OF 'Tomb Raider II' First level - The Great wall of China Demo
(c) Robert Wheeler 1997

This was it, I had a PC keyboard under my fingers, as Lara moved in 3Dfx glory in front of me on a large 21" monitor. This was what I wanted, Lara back in a new environment that offered a new and exciting challenge. Lara herself is much better defined and looks better than ever, and I see now that the 'Tomb Raider II' Beta (or should that be Alpha) version that appeared available for download from the Internet was a VERY EARLY VERSION, the Demo that I played at ECTS was much more reminiscent of the finished game and it showed. If you played the Beta 'net version and were disappointed, don't worry as 'Tomb Raider II' is GREAT and like when you played the original game for the first time the beauty of it will keep you playing the same level for weeks. Lara moves more fluid, and when you press jump when she is against a step she now lands on it, the ponytail moves and she climbs beautifully, but spiders like rats are small and cause you to either shoot before you see them or land on them and jump back :-) The tigers are beautifully animated and coloured and they eat you for lunch as they bound over on powerful legs. The crows attack in groups and after you have killed one and moved a step forward two more appear. In the first level there is the same 'Lara turning her head to help you on your quest' and lots of GREAT opportunities to show off her excellent moves like the 180 degree roll and the dive.
Marks out of 10, I give it 100 :-) and this WILL BE the Game of the Year, by the way it is quite hard :-)


Robert Wheeler's interview with Adrian Smith
The man who knows it all.

THE INTERVIEW
I interviewed Adrian Smith at the event, but due to all the meeting rooms that EIDOS Interactive had set up being taken I had to conduct the interview in the middle of the EIDOS Interactive stand. I taped the interview which was in two parts, as after about 25 minutes Adrian was called away to play the 'Tomb Raider II' demo WHILE being interviewed AND filmed, everybody wanted to speak with him it seemed, as before taking to me he had been interviewed by the BBC so I heard. So after about quarter of an hour he came back over to me and told me to follow him into where the meeting rooms where, so I did and sitting in the nice little office type room around a table, with the door open to keep the temperature down, I continued the interview to it's conclusion 15 minutes later, on reviewing the tape on the way home it transpired that the background noise was too loud for about 50% of the interview to be heard, so a transcription of the interview is not possible, so on what I can hear, what I was told and the notes I made on the journey home, I will try and relate, as best I can, what Adrian was kind enough to tell me as I interviewed him.

WRITTEN COMMENTARY OF AN INTERVIEW WITH ADRIAN SMITH, OPERATIONS DIRECTOR AT CORE DESIGN LTD, INTERVIEW BY ROBERT WHEELER ON 7TH SEPTEMBER 1997 AT ECTS
(c) Robert Wheeler of 'The Tomb Raider Archive' A= ADRIAN SMITH (Operations Director at CORE Design Ltd.)
R = ROBERT WHEELER (Webmaster of The Tomb Raider Archive)

I started off with questions about the original 'Tomb Raider' -

R: "Is there a secret level in the original Tomb Raider ?"
A: "No"

R: "Good"
A: {Adrian Laughs} "No, there wasn't, I have heard loads of rumours that there was one, ahhh, but we never really did anything, ahhh, on Tomb Raider One or Two we always wanted to link the secrets and .............., those little Gold Polo's, Silver Polo's, little bit of a clue, next time around we sort of thought a bit more about it what we could do with it, ahh, and also this time around it was developed more on the PC than the PlayStation, Tomb Raider 1 was really PlayStation, PC was following.............., this time out the has been a lot more thought about like the box CD, and thing like that."

After this most of the Background noise made the interview very hard to hear and transcribe......

R: "Where is Tomb Raider : Unfinished Business ?"
A: Adrian told me that the original level that was designed by a programmer at EIDOS in the US was too much of a shoot 'em up and not really 'Tomb Raider' material, so it went back to be re-done, while that was going on the programmer produced two areas called: Cat & Egypt, that were better, but they had to go back and be tweaked which is what is happening now. Adrian was unaware of anything to do with TR:UB and Next Generation Online, so he couldn't really comment.

R: "How many levels in TR2?"
A: "Sixteen."

R: "Does that include the Training level?"
A: "No, so 17 in total."

R: "Will the crawl be in the final game ?"
A: "No", Adrian explained that the crawl was causing problems with fighting and the camera angles, and Lara couldn't fight and the camera gave some strange views so it had to be removed from the final version.

R: "Is there a nude cheat in TR2 ?"
A: "New cheats? Yes...... sorry, nude cheat no."

R: "How long did it take you to come up with the new elements of TR2, like the different creatures?"
A: Adrian explained that it happen very quickly starting from about December 1996, it was decided where Lara would go, then those locations had the types of creatures created that would really exist in that area, that is why there are more human enemies this time around and then the story and plot was written around those elements.

R: "Will it be released on November 19th 1997 ?"
A: "Yes."

R: "How many hours were put into a level, like the Great Wall of China........roughly ?
A: Adrian had this to say:, "Paper design is about 7 days, objects and textures take about 7 days, building...... The Great Wall is only a small level, so that takes about 10 to 15 days and then testing takes about 10 to 15 days , we worked out it would take about a month from design to completing a level. "

R: "Is there anti-alaising on the PSX version of TR2 ?"
A: "Yes"

R: "More music ?"
A: Adrian replied with the following information - Yes, for the original game we added the music the weekend before it was released, this time we started the music early, we have now got dynamic sound, 3D sound, sfx, bears roar in the background, lots more tunes. To quote, "Great tunes I must say."

R: "Will a demo of TR2 be released ?"
A: "Yes we are straight after this [meaning ECTS]"

R: "What software did you use to produce to put it together ?"
A: Adrian replied that most of the software was in-house designed by the programmers, but that they did use 3D Studio for some of it.

R: "What 3D cards will TR2 support 'Out of the Box' ?"
A: Adrian answered that about 15 of the most popular 3D cards would be supported

R: "Any major problems ?"
A: No (apart from the crawl :-)

R: "Is TR2 complete yet ?"
A: Yes

R: "What are the minimum system requirements of TR2 ?"
A: Adrian replied that it would be higher than the original, so probably a minimum of P90 & Quad speed CD-ROM , but game will run on machines with the minimum requirements of the original game i.e. P60 & Dual speed CD-ROM

R: "Are you surprised at the response to TR & TR2?"
A: "Yes, I think so, you always believe you have a hit, we always felt it would go well for a CORE game, in the realms of what it has done it has sold about 3.5 million units, that's real scary."

R: "Have you ever read any Online fiction ?"
A: "Yes I have..........I have read all the fiction and printed them out and I wait for new chapters, they're great."

R: "What do you think of the Unofficial TR sites in general ?"
A: "I think you know what I think, I think you do a fantastic job, I mean it's really difficult......considering what little information is out there, that's partly our problem, we need to support you where we can. I personally think they are great, I maintain at group level that we can't afford to not listen to what you say and work with you."

R: Any favourite sites ?
A: "Oh, yours of course, The Croft Times, I have half a dozen I go through, I used to like Tim's page, I thought that was very good, I started to look at Matt's page, Bandit........... It's great how you rally round, it's great how you support what we do I guess by being not for 'Nude Raider', the Beta demo was a bit of a nightmare."

Here was where Adrian had to go off and be interviewed and filmed WHILE playing 'Tomb Raider II', he came about ten minutes later and the interview continued in one of EIDOS's meeting rooms......

R: Beta testers on the Internet ? There is somebody on IRC who saids he is beat-testing TR2 and has a copy ?
A: Adrian told us that all Beta testing was done TOTALLY in house.

Adrian was very talkative and answered my one sentence questions with paragraph answers, and he asked us a few questions about the look of the new Lara, he is some of the other information that he kindly passed on -

The TR mechanise will be of a high quality and therefore be slightly more expensive than other merchandise for other things, like Lara's bag will be a replica in real leather. There will be Lara dolls, T-shirts, caps..........

Adrian explained that they have to keep most of the game secret due to the fact, that otherwise there will be no surprises, like in the 3rd level of the original the T-Rex comes to eat you, that was a fantastic scene that no-one knew about in advance, and they don't want to spoil all the great things that will appear in the game.

I would like to thank Adrian Smith for his time and for allowing me to interview him, he is really a nice guy.


TR2: Official press release from Eidos
Includes an interview with Adrian Smith.

TOMB RAIDER II
Official Press Release from the CD-ROM 'Tomb Raider II - Digital Press Kit'
Released by EIDOS Interactive

'Dagger of Xian' : Ancient Chinese artifact. 'He who plunges the dagger deep into his heart will gain the power of the dragon.'

Believed to have once been used by an unnamed tyrannical emperor before its seizure by Tibetan warrior monks. Subsequently restored to a legendary resting-place within The Great Wall. Also coveted by the Fiama Nera, fanatical cult worshipping its mythical powers.

An Encyclopedia of Ancient Chinese Mythology. Liau Tjang Mygano

'Lara Croft' : Freelance adventurer, known to have made various significant archaeological discoveries.

See Tomb Raider. Core Design

'Tomb Raider II': Highly anticipated sequel due for release November 1997, Sony PlayStation and PC CD-ROM. Combination of Tomb Raider's classic game-play with impressive array of new features and enhanced elements:

Features

  • Dynamic lighting
  • Exterior settings
  • Enhanced Lara Croft
  • New moves
  • New clothing
  • New weaponry
  • All-new enemies
  • Win '95 Native
  • All new levels
  • Refined game engine
  • Smoother control system
TOMB RAIDER II
INTERVIEW WITH ADRIAN SMITH
(OPERATIONS DIRECTOR FOR CORE DESIGN)

1. What is the plot/storyline?

Lara is looking for 'The Dagger of Xian': an artefact that is hidden in an ancient emperor's palace within the Great Wall of China.
When she arrives at The Great Wall she'll have to find her way in and then locate the doors to the emperor's palace. However, it's not as simple as opening the doors and taking the treasure... the plot will begin to unfold and will send Lara to several locations in search of clues. Locations will include Venice, Tibet and an underwater shipwreck.

2. Could you describe how a typical TR2 situation differs from a TR1 situation.

Lara will have more freedom to explore in TR2. This is given to her in the new climbing move. She can climb hand-over-hand as well as side-to-side, so instead of looking for ledges to jump up to and making a bee-line for those, she'll have to be looking for hand-holds in the sides of cliffs or other objects that look as if they can be scaled. Once she starts to climb up the walls she can then move across to the left or to the right to access further areas of the map.

Also we'll have the underwater combat working in TR2. Instead of swimming like hell from the underwater nasties, Lara will be able to shoot at them with her new harpoon gun.

3. What specifically will be different about Lara, visually and otherwise?

  • Different 'outfits' for different locations.
  • A more detailed model - more faces and polygons.
  • Dynamic hair - her ponytail will swing / float around.
  • Refined texture maps (more detail).
  • Larger palette.
  • Additional moves and actions such as hand-over-hand climbing and underwater combat with her new harpoon gun.
4. Has the structure of the game changed?

The structure of the game hasn't really changed. We know from the success of TR1 that the combination of different elements (exploration, puzzles and combat) works really well as it stands. Lara will, however, encounter far more human baddies in TR2, so you can expect quite a lot more action than in the previous game.. The baddies will also be far more intelligent than those in TR1 so she'll have a lot of ducking and diving to do.

5.What kind of visual changes can we expect?

The new lighting effects will distinguish Tomb 2 from Tomb 1. Lara will be equipped with a flare in TR2. We're going to base a few puzzles around this new element. Some stages of the game will be played in complete darkness so Lara will have to rely of her flare to light the way. She can throw the flare wherever she likes e.g. down dark shafts to see what dangers lurk below. The flare even works underwater...! Dynamic lighting means that we can get really great gun flashes each time Lara shoots - this makes a massive difference to the overall atmosphere of the game, particularly when she's shooting in darker areas. Real-time lighting will mean that by the time Lara has completed a certain stage of the game, the sun may have gone down.

6. Which graphics accelerators does TR2 support. Are you limiting the PSX version in comparison, or will both versions be pretty much identical?

TR2 will support all major 3D cards as it will incorporate direct X drivers. The PC and PSX versions will be identical in terms of gameplay and SFX etc.

7. Which technical feature are you most proud of in TR2.

We are very proud of all the technical enhancements made to TR2, however, probably the most noticeable will be the dynamic lighting additions. The lighting, as I am sure you will agree, really does add depth and realism to TR2.

8. How many TR2 features have been suggested by fans, and what are they?

Through the many official and unofficial TR websites there have been literally hundreds of suggestions. A great deal of them were ideas that we had been playing around with ourselves: For example, Lara now has a number of costume changes and moves throughout TR2. It's almost impossible to site examples of fans' ideas being specifically incorporated, needless to say we read with great interest any suggestions that are made.

9. How far have you gone out of your way to tighten the gameplay with respect to the criticisms of Tomb Raider 1?

In all areas of development we have looked to enhance and generally improve the feel of TR2. We were aware of certain minor technical problems in the first game and we feel that we have now successfully addressed all of the known problems simply by enhancing the engine and therefore the 3D system etc. For example, clipping and tight spaced camera angles.

10. Please give examples of how the vehicles are involved - how drastically do they affect the gameplay environment?

There are certain elements of the game that we wish to keep under wraps just for a little longer - looks like you've just found one!

11. Any advance information of what kind of soundtrack we can expect? Any major record company tie-ins, famous recording artists, that type of thing?

The soundtrack for TR2 will be produced at Core Design by Nathan McCree, the artist who wrote the original TR score. He'll be composing in a similar dramatic orchestral style with plenty of atmospheric pieces that'll hopefully give you a few goosebumps.


The ECTS Awards
Guess who's the winner.

Voters from several magazines gave Eidos and its products lots of awards, making the company the overall winner:

CTW Marketing Award - Gold: Tomb Raider - Eidos

Developer of the year: Core Design

PC Game of the Year: Tomb Raider - Eidos

Publisher of the Year: Eidos

Game of the Year (from Spain, Eastern Europe and Germany): Tomb Raider - Eidos



by The Croft Times September 1997