I spoke with Vince Desi, Steve Wik & Mike Jaret of Running with Scissors about their new project Postal 3. I want to thank Vince and the gang at RWS for taking time out for this exclusive first in depth look at the game.

What is the background and setting of the game?

Vince: In the POSTAL world, background literally means background, its always about whats in the Postal Dudes head that counts, and this is where the player comes in, we give gamers the chance to be someone beyond the normal realm.

Steve: Having “accidentally” destroyed Paradise in Apocalypse Weekend, The P Dude is forced to emigrate to the larger, wittier and more appropriately named town of Catharsis. Hilarity ensues.

With all the controversy of the past games, what do you plan to do to up the ante this time out and as a follow up, to what do you attribute the games huge success in Russia and Abroad, especially know that people can download the game.

Vince: From the very beginning I’ve always said POSTAL is about FUN, not controversy. We don’t sit around thinking of how we can make something bigger or badder, we simply strive for fun gameplay and funny shit. In simple terms PC’s rule Russian gameplay and POSTAL is the GTA of Russia, that’s the easy answer…the more analytical evaluation would take into consideration a new country, a new mindset, a new political and economic system, and multiply it by 100, and that’s what POSTAL is all about, Running With Scissors is America, and that’s what young people all around the world want.

Steve: The funny thing about it is that we don’t approach it in terms of controversy; we just try to invent fun new gameplay that hasn’t been done before. If some people find the idea of urinating on yourself (or someone else) to extinguish fire to be “controversial”, what can we do?

Mike: We don’t do anything to FORCE controversy….people take our humor the way they want to, and some are more offended then others….

The success in Russia is the love for Americana….our game represents everything Americana!

What kind of weapons with the Postal Dude be using this time around and what are your favorites?

Vince: I have a few ideas, I only hope we can implement them so they’re fun to play, I actually think making movies is easier than making games. I’ve always loved FIRE, the goal now is to burn things in a new way.

Steve: Classic weapons like the Shovel and the Boomerang Machete will be back along with a tantalizing selection of entertaining new items that will surely freak out everybody’s mom. We’re definitely evolving the use of animals to a new level. PETA will not be pleased.

What forms of multiplay will be featured?

Vince: For POSTAL III we have a devoted team just working on MP stuff, and these are real P MP fanatics, so I’m very confident. For us its important that the Postal brand continue to evolve, so we’re looking at new ways to bring gaming orgies into reality.

Steve: All the good forms that the people like! LOL The key aspect for us is keeping all the little things that made our multiplayer gameplay unique and building on them. I’m constantly astonished that there are still Postal 2 multiplayer servers out there. Players tell us that our game just plays and feels different from the other multiplayer games and that’s why they keep playing. We’ll try not to screw that up.

Mike: Multiplayer will play a HUGE part in POSTAL 3. Share the Pain was only the beginning of what we have to offer in the multiplayer realm…be prepared to be anally intruded with some insane multiplayer!

You had mentioned to me before that the game would be using the Source Engine, aside from greater graphics, what will this allow you to include in the game that you were not able to in previous versions?

Vince: When I was young my dad always said its not the tools, it’s the person, not everyone who can pick up a wrench or a hammer is a plumber or carpenter, same with game development, that said I’m ecstatic that we are using SOURCE. The RWS team has been around the block a few times and this new toolset is by far the best opportunity we’ve ever had to bang out a super game.

Steve: Source should allow us much greater advances in NPC AI than we had before and a much finer level of polish to the animations and cinematic sequences. Valve has an impressive record of spending as much effort on things that improve gameplay as they do on things that improve graphics and I respect that. Too many companies are going the “beautiful graphics, mediocre gameplay” route, and I think that’s feeble crap..
MikeJ: Source allows us to do a lot more with the multiplayer. Valves netcode is some of the best around, and we cannot wait to put our sadistic twist on the source netcode.

As a follow up, how did the decision to code the game in Russia come about and how has the experience been?

Vince: We’ve been working with Moscow for almost 5 years now, so this was never a real concern. Our team in Moscow is known as Trash Masters, you gotta love that, these guys (and girls) are true gamers, with PS2 experience and of course PC, so I’m totally stroked.

MikeJ: POSTAL huge success in Russia played a major part of it. Those gamers and developers LOVE our game and having them put their love towards a product that they actually care about will show in the final product.

What sort of Enemies will the Postal Dude face this time out and what are some of the planned locales for the game?

Vince: Don’t think in terms of enemies, that’s the wrong approach, think more like what assholes will the Postal Dude have to deal with. In Postal III we will offer a variety of settings from urban to suburbia to countryside, but of course with a RWS twist.
Steve: Let’s just say that pigeon enthusiasts or Segway owners with “alternative life partners” may not want to play this game…

MikeJ: The POSTAL series has classically taken place in reality and will continue in this “reality” Apocalypse Weekend was just a small shakeup to include some Zombies and a Boss monster! POSTAL 3 will be reality based….for the most part 😉

Will you have Gary Coleman or any special guests in the game?

Vince: Its important to have POSTAL evolve, and so yes there will be special celebrity guests.

Steve: Yes! But the real question is: “who will actually be playing the role of Gary Coleman?” Muahahahahahahah

MikeJ: Gary and other celebs will appear…we might have another huge cock in this game….and we also might have a guy whose cock is a large as his tiny body!

Music is getting to be a huge part of games, what sort of P-Tunes do you plan to include if any?

Vince: I’d love to go in a new direction with music in POSTAL III. We’re about to release a music cd, “Music To Go Postal By”, and we have so many great musician/writers that want to contribute, the key is for us to find the right way to make it all work. I could easily listen to Beethoven while shoveling away.

Steve: Music is problematic for us for a couple of reasons. First, since the player has an unprecedented degree of freedom in deciding how to behave, it’s difficult to have music that appropriately fits the onscreen action, or lack of it. Plus, part of our effort to bring the environment to life has to do with hearing the bystander’s reactions to things. Music obscures that, especially when the bystanders are far away. We’re researching some possibilities for music, but our core design goals make things more complicated for us than for most other games. We’re just masochistic that way.

What are some of the greatest challenges you face in creating the game as well as your greatest triumphs?

Vince: 360 360 360, this is the 1st time POSTAL will be on a console, we’re very fortunate to have an experienced and devoted dev team like Trash Masters to partner with. As for triumphs well we just got back from shooting the POSTAL movie, we just released our greatest POSTAL collection called Postal Fudge Pack and we’re about to release our 1st music cd, and on top of that 2007 will be our 10th anniversary.

Steve: The challenge is for us to design things to a far higher degree of detail than we ever have before. In the past our approach has been very “seat of our pants” where we have a pretty good idea of what we’re making and then everybody goes berserk and makes a bunch of stuff and we pray it all comes out okay in the end.

As a follow up, with the recent shift in the House and Senate, do you think that it will be easier to distribute the game, and do you think that people are not as likely to freak out over the game as they have been in the past?

Vince: Unfortunately most politicians are all the same once there in power, theres very little difference between the 2 parties. I think the real question for our industry is what will the 08 presidential election bring, you have people actually thinking Mrs. Clinton is a conservative and Joe Lieberman is being painted into a Nazi, very strange times we live in. About a year ago we started using digital distribution and its worked quite well for us, I guess POSTAL was the perfect product to test this with. With POSTAL III being on 360 and PC we will clearly be looking at worldwide retail distribution, and as it is now an established game brand, with an actual marketing budget, well money talks, that’s the reality of business, even the game business.

Steve: That’s a really difficult question to answer because we seem to be held to a different standard. Other games are specifically designed around the idea of being a thug murdering your way up the criminal food chain and few complain, but we do an optionally violent game about a guy who has to buy milk and some people act like it’s the most evil thing ever conceived.

But in the end it probably doesn’t matter because half the time we get attacked for things that aren’t even IN the game..

MikeJ: The democrats are the home of the music/video game censorship ….. Lieberman, Hilary, Tipper Gore…..they will try to bring us down…..fuck that noise!