Recently I spoke with Bill Munk – Game Director at Tripwire Interactive about their pending game Maneater. I saw the game at E3 and it looks like a promising game indeed.

What is the background and setting for the game?

Maneater is a single-player, open world, action RPG set in a fictionalized version of the US Gulf Coast. Players take on the role of a baby bull shark torn from its mother’s belly. Your only tools are your wits, your jaws, and an uncanny ability to evolve as you feed. Anything and everything is on the menu … provided you kill it before it kills you.

How did the idea to play as a Shark come about?

The concept for Maneater originally came from Alex Quick, the creator of Depth and director for the original Killing Floor. Tripwire Interactive loved the over-the-top and new approach to the action RPG and open world genres so much, they decided to bring the project in-house, increasing the development staff and budget to bring the team’s concept to life.

How many levels and areas are planned for the game at release?

Players should expect a vast variety of environments to explore, including, swamps, beach resorts, sunken ship wrecks, all the way out to the deep blue sea.

What are some of the customizations that will be available and how will players be able to upgrade their character?

As players continue to eat and explore, they’ll acquire key nutrients, which can be used to help them evolve. This is where the “RPG” progression systems in Maneater really come into play. Players can choose from a variety of evolutions, that may help with increased biting power, more maneuverability, armor, and more.

What are some of the moves players will be able to do and will new moves unlock later in the game?

We really want to make sure the act of swimming and feeding feels satisfying and meaty. During our E3 demo, you saw players knifing along the surface of the water, breaching onto land, barrel rolling and charging shark bounty hunters, and diving deep into the water to gain momentum for large leaps.

What can you tell us about the enemies that players will face in the game?

Each region in the game has an Apex Predator. As you battle smaller predators and consume food in each region, the apex will do whatever it takes to protect their food source. Maneater also features a bounty system. As you wreak havoc along the coast, your infamy level will rise. This causes local bounty hunters to search for you while trying to end your feeding frenzy. Depending on your infamy level, the bounty hunters will become more difficult ranging from hunters on small skiffs, all the way up to bringing out the coast guard.

The gameplay we saw at E3 looked like fun but I was curious about how the story will advance and how do you avoid the issue of repetition in the gameplay?

Maneater is a “dueling tales of revenge” story featuring Scaly Pete, who we revealed in our newest E3 trailer. Without revealing too much, Scaly Pete is responsible for tearing you from your mother’s belly, and you manage to escape into the open waters of the gulf. That’s where our story begins. Maneater is presented through the lens of a reality TV show called “Shark Hunters vs. Maneaters” that follows the adventures of Scaly Pete as he’s hunting you throughout our world. This also allows us to follow our player shark and give a voice to the actions of the player through the show’s narrator, who is voiced by Chris Parnell.

Will the game offer multiplayer or DLC?

Right now, we want to focus on making Maneater a fantastic single-player Action RPG experience.

What are some of your favorite moves in the game?

Breaching is one of the most satisfying shark moves we’ve been working on. Breaching out of shallow waters to feed on unsuspecting beach goers on land or even on a large shark bounty hunter boat captures the over-the-top fun and ridiculousness we’re aiming for with Maneater. We’re also working really hard on what we call the “whip-shot”, where you can tail whip anything that’s in your mouth, turning objects into weaponized projectiles.

What can you tell us about the music and sound effects in the game?

We’ve been working really hard on our dynamic music system, that is constantly adapting to what the player is doing throughout the game. It’s also been an interesting challenge creating sound effects for above the water with boats, explosions and civilians and then creating a whole new set of sound effects for the underwater world, including for the underwater wildlife, underwater sounds of the boats and swimmers and so much more.

Are you planning on being at PAX West with the game?

We can’t wait to tell you more about our plans for Maneater at future shows. In the meantime, we’d recommend your readers follow @maneatergame on Twitter for the latest.

[Reprinted by permission from SKNR.NET]


Gareth Von Kallenbach
Gareth Von Kallenbach

Gareth is the mastermind behind the popular pop media site Skewed and Reviewed. He lives in Arizona with his wife Em McBride.