Interview with Shaun Mitchell
I recently had the opportunity to ask Shaun Mitchell some questions about Noctropolis. Shaun Mitchell is the Co-Designer, Co-Writer, Director, and Art Director of Noctropolis and also starred as the Barney Fife security guard at Dynatech in the game. He is still working with Noctropolis Co-Designer, Co-Writer and Co-Founder of Flashpoint Productions, Brent Erickson, at Bethesda Softworks.
Given the opportunity to interview Shaun about Noctopolis, I asked him many of the questions that have been sent to me by fans that have visited the Noctropolis site. On this page I am returning Shaun's answers to you Noctropolis fans.
Shaun has also provided files from the archives used in producing the game. These files are available in the files section of the web site.
Regrettably, it's doubtful that there'll be a sequel to Noctropolis. The main reason is that Electronic Arts, who published the game, owns all rights to the Noctropolis identity. These rights extend until the game is "de-listed", or is taken off the market. At that time all rights will revert to Flashpoint, but since Noctropolis has continued to sell well in "classic sales", it may be some time before is de-listed (although I would really really love to do a Noctrop sequel as a 3D adventure! - In fact I wrote a sequel which unfortunately never progressed into development because we were acquired by Bethesda).
Brent and I are planning to return to the dark adventure formula in the future and have several prospects, but it will be at least a year before they can proceed into development. The most promising of these concepts could incorporate work done by a team at our corporate division on a new 3D adventure game entitled "Redguard" - sort of a Sinbad the Sailor meets Indiana Jones / Tomb Raider. In addition to a grundle of character interaction, there's also some cool swashbuckling sword fighting and some impressive puzzles.
We're in the process of developing a new engine, but I've got a darker, gothic story that could really showcase a lot of the gameplay developed for Redguard - especially the sword fighting. Like Noctropolis, the story would take place within an eccentric, surreal city that seemingly has a character and mystique all its own...
I'm sorry, but I can't recall any cheats or Easter eggs for Noctrop.
Brittany Lewis is primarily a print model (and she is gorgeous - I can understand why you'd ask after her!). The only movie I'm aware Brittany's done is "Dream Machine" in which she co-starred with actor Cory Haim. The movie is available on video. I'm sorry to report that I've lost touch with Brittany, so I can't really say what she's doing at present.
The comic book was a vehicle for the plot and exists only to establish the game, so only one Darksheer comic was created. When I sat down to write the story, which would concern a real person assuming the identity of a fictional hero within a comic book world, I lamented that we didn't have the resources to acquire a license for an existing comic property like Batman. Instead, I adapted a fantasy premise that I'd developed some years earlier which dealt with incarnations of natural phenomena and also a race of elemental beings who were dedicated to managing and maintaining the forces of Nature. The marriage to a dark comic hero formula really struck a chord with everyone concerned and Darksheer was born. I did meet with Rob Liefeld at Image Comics to discuss a possible Darksheer line, but it never got off the ground. I'm glad to hear from you that the comic was well received.
I must agree with you regarding the Noctrop music - it is very cool. It was composed by Ron Saltmarsh who left the company not long after the release of the game. Ron's a very talented musician and composer who's gone on to success in the music industry. Although I'm sure the source files are archived someplace, the only place I'm aware the soundtrack is available is on the game CD.
An amusing "behind-the-scenes" story that comes to mind concerns the shooting of the first kiss between Peter/Darksheer, played by Michael Berger, and Stiletto, played by Hope Marie Carlson. The kiss occurs in Shadowlair and comes after Stiletto has beaten the crap out of Peter, who is seeking to establish himself as the new Darksheer.
It was the first day of shooting for the Darksheer and Stiletto combo, so the actors didn't really know each other. We'd just finished shooting the fighting sequences where Peter attempts to prove himself to Stiletto, so the actors were both energized and their adrenaline was really high. I was directing the kiss/resolution scene (you never quite know what to expect in these sensitive circumstances, but obviously one hopes for the best). We'd closed the set and I called for action: Michael and Hope delivered their lines and kissed... and kissed and... well, let's just say it wasn't exactly like pulling teeth to get them to look like they were enjoying their job. I called to cut action and they went right on kissing. I started to give some redirection and they were still liplocked. The crew all started to laugh, I threw my script in the air and joined them for a good chuckle. It was obvious to all that our duo was quite... dynamic.
On behalf of the fans of Noctropolis, I'd like to thank Shaun for his kindness and consideration in response to these queries. I'd also like to thank Shaun, Brent and the rest of the Noctropolis team for a tremendous effort on producing such an enjoyable game. I wish continuing good luck to all who have contributed to the game's success, including you - the fans.