With the upcoming release of Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe, the leading publisher of gaming strategy guides Prima Games is knee deep in putting together their "Official Game Guide" for the game. Each Mortal Kombat game usually has it's own changes which can change how a strategy guide is put together, so it's interesting to see what the publishers put together to offer the customers a great benefit from purchasing their guides.
So to get more insight into this process, Prima Games allowed TRMK contributor The Aces to conduct an interview with freelance writer Jason Wilson who is the content author for the upcoming Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe - Prima Official Game Guide.
The Aces (TRMK): What's your name? Introduce yourself and let's hear what you do. Have you done any other guides in the past before this one?
Jason Wilson (JW):
My name is Jason Wilson, I am a freelance video game consultant who currently does freelance contracting for Midway Games & Prima Games. In the past I worked for Pelican, NubyTech and as a Senior Editor of Tips & Tricks Magazine for almost 8 years authoring over 50 strategy guides.
TRMK: Lots of fans were displeased with the guide for the last MK game, MK:Armageddon. One of the biggest dissappointments was lack of artwork and poor usage of renders. Would there be some new art direction on this guide, versus the previous guides? Maybe use of the full character shots?
I actually don't know who is doing the art direction and layout specifically, I am only responsible for content and screenshots, so I would guess that would depend on the content provided to Prima via Midway and if/or Prima decides to use it.
TRMK: Another of the gripes with the previous guides were that the story mode sections were rather incomplete. Do you intend to go very indepth in this guide on the story mode? For instance, will we see a list of cameos, who you run into/fight, what happens, etc?
I think the different between this game and Armageddon is that MKA was a beast of a game, and I am pretty sure the authors did not have much time to delve into that as opposed to what they had access to. Story Mode is not the in-depth part of the strategy, as it is pretty self explanatory, and unlike Armageddon, which had modes similar to Deception, and tons of characters, the meat of this game is really the balanced Vs. Mode gameplay.
TRMK: Ah, understood, but there will be a story mode section of the guide?
There will be a Story Mode section, but it's definitely not the bulk of the guide.
TRMK: While playing the game, assuming you have, who is your favorite character to play as, and who is the most balanced character? The entire list has already been revealed so it shouldn't be too revealing.
My favorite character(s) in Mortal Kombat have always been Jax, Liu Kang, and Raiden. Jax being my all-time favorite, though in this game I am sticking more to Raiden and Green Lantern. As of right now, I would say Green Lantern is a very "balanced" character at the moment.
TRMK: Will there be a secrets section? Some of the past guides have been rather incomplete and most of the buyers were upset with this because some can't be bothered to spend countless hours searching. Will there be a complete secrets section in the guide?
All the secrets will be revealed, but again, Armageddon was a beast of a game with tons more stuff going on: options, characters, etc. Most of that was hard to decipher though.I'm not doing moves all based on controllers, there will be one controller "key" at the beginning and all the Attacks will be named the way they were meant to be understood for consistent button layout ( 1, 2, 3, and 4 Attacks ). I could not understand half the combos in that guide because you kept having to refer to moves lists.
TRMK: Since the dial-a-combo system is gone from the previous Mortal Kombat games, will you guys just list the best combos?
The combos in the guide are all user-created, and won't be available at the in-game moves list. Each character has a few standard 2 and 3 hit combos, but nothing like the dial-a-combos from UMK3, or the predetermined combos from the previous 3D MK games.
TRMK: Awesome. Like the ones you used to see listed in the older MK 2D game guides?
Corner combos and things of the like, well not corner combos in this but I know what you are referring to. MK II things like Jump in deep with HK, crouch LP, crouch LP, stand HP, Spear, Uppercut in corner type stuff, with Scorpion as an example.
TRMK: So we'll see that type of combo strategy here?
Yes there will be some decent juggle combos, nothing stupid hard though - there are training modes for some of those, but these are mostly higher end "useful" combos.
TRMK: Awesome! This brings us to our next question: If there are secret characters, will they be covered in complete depth like the others? Not saying it hasn't been done, but it's another concern. Also on that note, if there are Downloadable Characters in the future; can we hope to see an updated guide with those included?
Everything will be covered in depth that is currently in the game. I am not leaving any stone unturned. I don't know anything about downloadable characters, so I can't answer that question.
TRMK: Can we expect to see an Art gallery section in the book with various concept arts, maybe even characters who never made it? Even a developer interview? There hasn't been one of those since the Gamefan Mortal Kombat Trilogy guide.
If Midway/Prima arrange that, then it would be in there, but again, I am only responsible for content. Interview will depend on time, as we are already on a very short schedule as it is.
TRMK: On characters, will it be possible to see a really indepth biography about the character? Like past guides have done, because some DC fans won't be too sure on MK characters and vice versa, so a little history would be nice to include while looking through. Another is inclusion of strategies: Like is Scorpion good against Flash, and when to plan his spear or combo him. Things like that. But based on that, how much will each character get, page wise?
There are biographies for each character in their "current" state, but this game is more of a crossover title, so I think in terms of historical Mortal Kombats there is a lot of concentration on the DC characters. As far as strategies go, that all depends on time left. There will be a tier list, and the plans are to breakdown the matchups in numeric possibility out of a series of 10 who would win X amount of times if two expert players had them in hand, but the beginning strategies for each player will have the information on the type of sequences and moves to use, and when to use them. pagewise I think about 4-5 pages apiece; I guess that depends on the layout.
TRMK: Will each characters' moves and fatalities be detailed via screen shots or just be lists, like the previous couple guides.
Moves are lists, fatalities are screenshots, but things like overheads, popups, medium attacks, low attacks, all those will have extended info and screens.
TRMK: The final five questions were taken from board members on TRMK's message forum. The first is based on content : What will come with the guide? Will there be a poster, easily accessible fatality cards? Anything bonus wise?
At least 140 pages of Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe goodness!
TRMK: What makes this guide so special? Rephrased, what would make users / players want to purchase this guide as supplemental material while playing this game?
The guide is written by experienced and tournament calibur fighting game players. I am helping with the game balance with a co-author, and we are going over all of the information with the guys that basically created the gameplay, so there's really nothing else out there like this. There's at least 4 guys involved with the content (information, certain key points, combos, etc), and everyone involved with it is working on the game at Midway's headquarters in Chicago.
TRMK: Will there be a section concerning online play including options, achievements and some strategies as to how to achieve those?
If there is time, everything is all about whatever time we have left
TRMK: Okay, another question: Will Character Endings be included in the guide or will that be something players will have to go through on their own?
Nah, that is something they will have to see on their own, have to have some type of reward for finishing the game, you get to see something that may take awhile to get to!
We would like to thank Jason for sitting down and taking the time to do this interview with us, Prima Games
for arranging the interview and for the fanbase for shooting us these questions!