Joe Falke is the lead designer on Clive Barker's Jericho, the game in which seven psychically-gifted super-soldiers shoot ripped-in-half medieval children, climb up gigantic creatures formed out of human corpses and get eviscerated by flying harpies who then use their flesh to pad out their wingspan. In short - Joe's day job is a just a little on the grim side...
So what's Clive Barker's involvement? How close is he to the dev team?
Falke: Clive and his team, Alchemic Productions, supplied us with the story, dialogue, concepts and initial design for Jericho... He's been with us from the start and his involvement is still ongoing and key to the project.
So what's up with Al-Khali? Why does it keep appearing and disappearing?
Falke: The city of Al-Khali, or in modern times, the ruins of Al-Khali, is always present. During key moments of conflict or strife, a giant sandstorm envelops Al-Khali and everyone in it. Each time the growing storm appears, a team of spiritual warriors has entered the storm, banishing it, but never returning...
So they stay behind, and bad things happen to them?
Falke: Each time the storm has appeared and been banished, a different version of Al-Khali has been taken into another dimension. When the Jericho Squad enters this storm, they're entering into this dimension comprised of all the different versions of
Al-Khali from times past. All those who were in the city at the time are trapped in a state of undeath, warring and fighting for power over their dominions.
Charming. So what eras do the people trapped there come from?
Falke: Previous Jericho Squads include Sumerian priests, Roman centurions, Knights Templar and British commandos. Some have succumbed to 'the Box' and become servants of the evil force that rules there. Others have held out, attempting to aid
the next generation of warriors who must save their world. All have been altered by the experience.
What do the supernatural talents of the Jericho Squad themselves bring to the game?
Falke: Varied, exciting and original gameplay. In Jericho, you'll be bending bullets around corners, clearing landslides with telekinesis and toasting enemies with a flame spirit, using the Squad's basic powers. Later in the game, the player will be able to combine the basic powers of two Squad members at a time using a technique called threading.
What's the sickest thing that you've put into the game so far?
Falke: The game is basically the Argos Catalogue of foul. It depends on what sir requires to sate his desire for the disgusting. How does a child who's been ripped in half and attacks you with its entrails sound? A suicide bomber who puts the explosive inside his body? How about a woman who makes her furniture out of human flesh? A man who's been nailed to a cross, every joint in his body fused to that so that he suffers for eternity? How about a guy who's flayed the skin on his back into wings and dug the flesh out around his eye sockets so he can better see his prey? Take your pick. Sick bags sold separately.