News Article

Interviews: High Voltage Software - Conduit 2

Posted by Jon Wahlgren

The sequel's producer talks new multiplayer features, weapons and more

When it comes to Conduit 2, High Voltage Software's sequel to their debut Wii first-person shooter from 2009, we know a couple of things: that stuff is going to blow up and it will feature a whole host of new multiplayer bells and whistles, including a new co-operative mode.

Inquisitive minds that we are, we got a few queries in with Conduit 2 producer Josh Olson to find out more about the additions to multiplayer, Agent Ford's expanded arsenal, whether MotionPlus is in the cards and more.

Nintendo Life: Is the name officially just Conduit 2 and not The Conduit 2? Why the cut?

Josh Olson: Nice catch! It’s Conduit 2. The ‘THE’ got a bit clunky – too much of a mouthful – and we always referred to it as Conduit 2 internally. It flows better and just kinda stuck.

When did development on the sequel begin?

We started up pretty much right after the first title shipped – June of 2009.

So what’s Agent Ford up to this time around? Last we heard from him he was in quite the pickle. Does the story pick up immediately after the end of the first game?

Yes. And he’s still in a pickle. The story picks up right after the first left off, with Ford traveling through the conduit in pursuit of Adams in his quest to rid the planet of these alien puppet-masters. It’s gripping stuff.

Are all of the same voice actors returning for part deux?

We’re still working out the details for our voice actors, and have a few new parts to cast as well.

The multiplayer component sounds like it’s going to be getting pretty beefed up with the addition of customizable classes and perks, not to mention new modes and maps. What types of perks can players expect? Are the classes geared more towards custom loadouts or do they instead encompass traditional squad classes like medics and engineers?

We have around 30 suit upgrades currently implemented and continue to play around with different ideas. They run the gamut. The purpose of the class system is two-fold – we want players to be able to quickly switch to an alternate class with player-defined weapons and upgrades during a match, saving the hassle of navigating menus, as well as the ability to craft specific characters to match different play styles. If I wanted to be a medic, for example, I’d probably pick Reverse Damage (Shooting allies heals them), Field Medicine (Doubles revive times), and Robot Legs (Unlimited sprint) among my perks. If I wanted to be a tank, I’d pick Heavy Armor (Damage reduction at a cost to movement speed), Ammo Belt (Two extra magazines), and Improved Bullet Damage. Not happy with my current class? Switch it in the Spectate Screen or Pause Menu and respawn with the new class and its associated weapons and upgrades.

Tell us a little more about the new co-op mode.

Team Invasion mode allows up to four players (either online or locally via splitscreen) to take on AI opponents and complete a variety of objectives across a variety of maps. While its focus is on cooperative gameplay, it’s also fun to have that competitive element among your friends and see who the better player is by tying it into our scoring and currency systems.

What are some of the new weapons and how do they stand out?

We have all of the FPS staples already in place from Conduit 1 – the pistol, the SMG, the assault rifle, the shotgun, the rocket launcher – so we focused on more creative, fun weapons in Conduit 2 by really embracing the sci-fi. We’ve added a true sniper rifle in the form of the Phase Rifle. It also can be tuned to shoot through walls. Great fun – and our designers are having even more fun trying to balance it! We’ll get there. We have a deployable turret that can be used to auto-target and fire remotely, or the player can take more control and engage targets directly through the weapon’s camera. There’s also the Vortex Blaster, which creates a shield in front of the player that catches incoming projectiles, be they bullets, shotgun pellets, grenades, or rockets, and suspends them in the air in front of the player. You can then fire them back on your attacker – there’s nothing really as satisfying as getting a kill using your attacker’s own ammunition. There are more still that we’re not quite ready to talk about yet. We’ve also revisited all of the Conduit 1 weapons and have added an alt-fire functionality to each – the TPC Launcher from Conduit 1, for example, now can be set to fire proximity mines in addition to the point detonation canisters it fired in the first game.

You’ve previously mentioned that the All-Seeing Eye could’ve been implemented a little better the first time around and that was one of the things you’d like to build on. What are some of your ideas for improving this?

The ASE didn’t quite come together in The Conduit. It was used for both gameplay as well as for exploration. It’s much more heavily involved in the exploration aspects this time around and is similar to the visor in Metroid Prime. Coupled with our Data Log, there are a lot more conspiracy objects and story elements, as well as items that can be found to open up unlockables for both single and multiplayer.

One of the cooler things about the first game was the complete customization of controls and interface. Will players still have all of these options, maybe more, perhaps fewer?

We don’t plan on messing with a good thing. It is staying intact with the addition of a few more things for players to play around with.

Will you be supporting MotionPlus this time around? If so, in what capacity?

We played around with it a lot during the development of Conduit 1 – and probably said a bit too much as we ultimately decided to not include it into the first game. We’re still evaluating it for Conduit 2, but any integration wouldn’t be mandatory and would serve only to supplement the core experience. We’re first and foremost a shooter with a focus on keeping the pointer on the screen – we’re not considering any melee weapons that would make use of its added fidelity. Buy Red Steel 2 if that’s what you’re looking for – it’s a great game that really deserves to do well. We’ve been playing it a bunch around the office.

What release window are you shooting for?

Q4 2010.

The Grinder has gone multiplatform; will Conduit 2 follow suit or remain Wii-exclusive?

We’re staying Wii-exclusive. We like the Wii.

What’s going on with Animales de la Muerte? Is that still in development for WiiWare?

We’re not quite ready to talk about Animales yet. Stay tuned.

Is there anything else you feel is important or particularly cool that we haven’t touched on?

The latest feature to come online that we’re having a lot of fun with is destroyable armor on enemies. You can shoot off helmets and armor – it’s not only integrated into the gameplay, but it’s aesthetically kick-ass to boot. As a fun little aside, helmets stick around for four seconds after you shoot them off unless you shoot them again, which causes their counter to reset – it’s a fun little game shooting them around to keep them from disappearing. Hmmm…I should talk to the designers about making that an Achievement. It’s the little things, really.

Thanks to Josh for his time.

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User Comments (64)



JebbyDeringer said:

What was with all the talk about these types of games being failures on the Wii and no one was going to make mature games for the Wii. Now we have a sequel so soon?



jangonov said:

I am most likely getting the second, as the first was a great time online.



Philip_J_Reed said:

The first one had the potential to be much better. Instead of "average game with pretty great controls" it should have been "great game."

This is good news for me. The Conduit was a pretty nice mission statement for strong FPS representation on the Wii. Now the sequel might actually follow through.



Egg_miester said:

intel i get animals de la morta HVS can suck it
and like hell they like the wii or they wouldn't have ruined the grinder



Oregano said:

It's sounding good so far. Cautiously optimistic.

I think motionplus should be optional for improving the camera turning.



M00se said:

sounds better than the first... lets not hope they turn into peter molyneux and over hype everything then it turns out to be total s***!



Percentful said:

I loved the first one, even if it was generic. I'm sure this will be loads better, and I'm excited that you can customize stuff. In a way, it sounds like they're picking the best FPS [Metroid prime visor, CoD perks] and basing things off them.



Chozo85 said:

Would like to know more about the single player aspects of the game. That was the originals weak point.



GamingAddict said:

@Egg miester What about the Grinder being ruined ? They announced a few weeks ago it was staying a FPS on on the Wii. How is that ruining it ?



V8_Ninja said:

Sounds like a huge leap above the first game. Hopefully the game will deliver on its promises.



Ian_Daemon said:

I really dug The Conduit and am anxiously awaiting Conduit 2. I'm definitely buying day one. The first game was a bit generic and minimal in terms of story, but the FPS groundwork is solid and impressive. The Conduit was great where it counted: physically playing the game. The controls were good, the visuals were nice, the GUI was impressive, and the game was fun to play! (and who can complain about Kevin Sorbo & Mark A. Sheppard?)

There's no reason to believe that Conduit 2 won't take that solid groundwork and deliver a kick-butt game!



pixelman said:

Hey Panda... you forgot to ask if the online glitches will be fixed.

Sounds great so far. Let's hope it delivers.



Mik said:

I'd like to buy the first, in spite of its decidedly average reviews. It's VERY cheap, and that's the main selling point. It's probably sold more in the last few months than it did at launch.



Knux said:

The Conduit was one of the few FPSs I played, but it was very fun. Sounds like the sequel will fix some of the problems the original has. I might buy this.



Kaeobais said:

Sounds good. I quite liked the first one, although it could've been a lot better. Here's hoping this turns out awesome

Oh, and the online is sounding better than ever. If there's one thing even the biggest haters have to agree with, HVS is doing the best job with the Wii's online.



pikku said:

never got around to playing the first one, but now i'l probablty just skip to this one



Kid_A said:

They had me at Reverse Damage. That's the coolest perk I've ever heard of.



astarisborn94 said:

Really am interested in the game. BTW, the next time you interview them, give them this question:

Will players be able to dual-wield weapons and will there be local multiplayer aside from co-op?



BulbasaurusRex said:

The first game nailed the controls (better than anything with dual-analog), and this sequel looks like it will fix all the problems from the first game. I'm looking forward to it.

SSBF1999, they've already said that local multiplayer with be for both competative and coop modes. What I want to know is if we can play local multiplayer against selectable difficulty AI opponents like in Perfect Dark.



Imerion said:

I really liked The Conduit, a good game. But Conduit 2 sounds like a dream come true, far above the first one. If it becomes as good as it sounds, this will be the new Perfect Dark! (That is, the number one FPS-game to play with friends).



moomoo said:

Nice Black Eyed Peas reference.
As for the article itself, I'm looking forward to see the new weapons. Few shooters actually try to be creative with their weaponry arsenal, which is really weird, since that helps it separate from the onslaught of war games in the genre (Halo, Perfect Dark, the first Conduit.) I'm also liking their love for Red Steel 2.



Sean007s said:

Perhaps this time they can make the online actually work.
It was good online but not implemented well in the fact that the servers would be incredibly laggy and would take awhile to join matches.
Plus most times when I joined a match,my character would giltch out of the game and I have to turn the Wii off.

This game better not have that.



SwerdMurd said:

online co-op is such a welcome addition. So many good ideas marred by imperfect execution in the first game--if online play framerate stays better this time (and headshots actually register as headshots ) it could be a blast.

Plus way to toss a plug to a game you didn't develop just cause it's a good game. I like when HVS makes me happy--hopefully next time around, it will be a game that elicits this reaction and not an interview



AVahne said:

Whoa, looks like Conduit 2 will be the ultimate Wii FPS. not much of a fan of shooters, but i'll keep my out on this one since i wasn't able to get the first game....(wonder if someone can get it as a present for me)



MoFaJo said:

Wooohooooo!!! Might have to start the NLCC (nintendolife conduit clan) up again!

I'm obviously going to buy this game, I still have my conduit badge! (see avatar). Just too let you know how obbsessed I am with this game, I can actually read drudge (the alien language in the game)!! Beneath the words "The Conduit" in my avatar it spells NLCC!!



darklinkinfinite said:

I really enjoyed the first game and the sequel is looking great as well. My biggest complaint from the first game was simply the storytelling aspect. All the storytelling seemed to happen off screen, either in another location and you hear about it over your comm or during the pre-mission briefings. Also, I think the lack of any real supporting cast hurt the story and made it feel a bit too rudimentary. If they can pull together a well-rounded cast plus do a little more with the storytelling, I'll be one happy buyer.

Also, I do hope they decide to include motion plus support. Even if the game doesn't support melee weapons, motion plus can help solve that problem a lot of Wii FPSes have when you aim off screen and the game either goes crazy or the camera just stops. I think Red Steel 2 used it for that same purpose as well.



CheifThunder said:

More advertising campaign to the launch date,especially with all this secret society stuff across the media board.
They could use the ASE to jam weapons for example to help team mates in danger of being shot or turning auto turrents against thier own.
Conduit the anime for DLC.



Strofan7 said:

I'm not going to lie this sounds like a game I would definitely buy for PS3, so its a no brainer to get on the Wii! I'm really looking forward to this.



jbrodack said:

You should have asked them about the online glitch in the first one. Anyway, does look good and hope it comes out without any glitches or large flaws. Also, really want to hear about animales as that's probably the most original title they've worked on.



MakeMyBiscuit said:

Sweet! I loved the first one and I will be getting this one too!

HVS, it looks like you will be getting even more of my money: The Grinder (Xbox 360), The Grinder (Wii) and now Conduit 2

That was also cool for HVS to throw out a shout out to Red Steel 2. It is a great game! These guys are back on my "Good" list!



siavm said:

This game sounds really good now. It could finally be the shooter of the wii.



JimLad said:

I agree with moomoo, creativeness in weapons seems to have been lost on new FPSes. It appears to have died with splitscreen 4 players, when everything went online and balancing got really anal.
I'm liking the sound of these new weapons, although they pretty much had me at the word 'turrets'
Things I most want to see:
improved online matchmaking (with some way to avoid endless explosive matches)
bigger maps
bots in local multiplayer



mnementh said:

amazing interview, you really listened to the requests by users! Nintendo Life is really the best reason to have a Wii. HVS are also amazingly responsive in emails (they actually implied to me that the conduit 2 is coming long before it was announced!), and they're probably the best 3rd party supporter for the wii in terms of enthusiasm - if this game really comes out in 2010 Q4 this is a triumph.



Stufa said:

I always stuck up for HVS after TCon 1. I'll admit it wasn't the all perfect Wii shooter but online was an absolute joy. Really I wished TCon 1 would just have 4 player split screen too and it would have been perfect to me. But TCon 2 sounds to have all what I want in a FPS. Co ops? Ai vs 4 players? FPS heaven.

And full credit to HVS. I can tell you that they personally communicate with game fans and dare to ask 'what would you like in a game?' They are under rated Wii saints.



SilverBaretta said:

2010 = Year of the Wii! I loved Conduit 1, and this looks comparable to the quality of some of the HD shooters! Keep us happy, HVS!



Sean_Aaron said:

Sounds very nice indeed. I really do need to replay the first game, but with No More Heroes 2 coming soon that has to get my replay priority.

I have to take credit for the captions - to be honest they were placeholders, but I guess old Panda liked them too! I'm not the biggest Black Eyed Peas fan, but I really like that Boom Boom Pow.



MrDanger88 said:

The first one was the most overhyped POS I've played in quite some time. My interest in this one is zero.



brandonbwii said:

It may be in HVS best interest to release Conduit 2 early next year since it will more than likely have to compete with a new CoD in Q4.



James said:

Interesting stuff. I kinda liked the first one but like a lot of you found it a little bit generic in places. I also remember reading that, despite some indifferent reviews, the first one actually made money for Sega and High Voltage, so here's hoping for a repeat performance.



JimLad said:

I feel pity for the people shunning it already on the basis of the first one and its hype.
They're willing to improve on what you didn't like and you're not even going to give them a chance? You should be ashamed to call yourself gamers.



Kirk said:

I would love to see them add a weapon in that is pretty much identical to the proton beam/gun in Ghostbusters on Wii.

Man that has to be one of the most fun weapons ever in any game imo and I just loved blasting everything to bits in the levels with it.



Snoopy said:

online keeps sounding better. the first one was okay,but the online was full of rockets and hackers. but finally the wii is getting a solid exclusive fps title. mw:r is good, but very dated.c2 has the classes and perks and achievements? oh my!



danschemen said:

coming out in 2011 because they are adding in classic controller pro as an alternative to the wii remote combo.



JoshO said:

I loved the first Conduit, except all the cheaters and hackers, and i cant wait for the second one! by the way, my name is also Josh Olson lol



JoshO said:

Also, I think they should add a "remote grenade". When you throw the grenade, it takes 8 seconds to explode, or you can manually detonate it. But, you wouldnt be able to use any other weapons ( you'll be holding the remote). Another thing they should add is a multiplayer lobby, with games you can make with your own settings. The ability to vote to "kick" players out of matches would help against hackers and glitchers, and make the game a whole lot better. Thank you for your time



JoshO said:

It would also be cool if you could PM people in the lobby i mentioned before and send/accept friend requests.

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