Charles Cecil on Broken Sword 3 interview

Since we published the ECTS preview of Broken Sword 3: The Sleeping Dragon, the game has been subject of much debate on our forums. Specifically, many wonder what motivated lead designer Charles Cecil to make some rather controversial statements on the state of the adventure genre.

This interview appears courtesy of Tamás Beregi, game journalist for the Hungarian magazine GameStar. The interview was conducted after the York Sightsonic festival, where Revolution Software held a demonstration of The Sleeping Dragon. Focusing mainly on the future of the adventure genre and the issue of 'action vs. adventure', this article hopes to give us the answer to what we can expect Broken Sword 3 to deliver. We've included twenty screenshots of the game, most of which appear for the first time (as far as we can tell).

Could you tell me how did you get into computer game business? What were your first games?

When I left school I was sponsored by Ford to study mechanical engineering at university. I met a fellow student, Richard Turner, who was writing games for the ZX81. He invited me to write some text adventure games--which I did. Richard founded a company called Artic Computing which published the games. The games were very successful and I decided that video games was the place to be!

What drew you to making adventure games? Which characteristics of this genre do you like most?

We’ve always been fans of narrative and emotion in computer games--and the adventure genre is by far the best for us to do that. We’ve always focused hard on our plots, and none more so than with the Broken Sword games. The key to their success is, I believe, the way we weave established myths or legends--such as the Knights Templars or the Mayan Prophecies--with contemporary fiction, creating a game world which is fantastic yet plausible. Testament to the strength of our storytelling is the fact that many players who have completed the Broken Sword games have subsequently developed a fascination for the subject matter.

Which game do you consider Revolution Software's first major success?

Lure of the Temptress was our first game and, thankfully, our first success--both critically and commercially.

Does Revolution Software have some kind of philosophy for game design?

Revolution’s main goal is to further the development of emotion within games. Our titles have always told stories--and we’re keen to marry storytelling with the advances in technology to create genuinely compelling games. Games that will make you laugh. Games that will make you cry. We’re not talking interactive movies here; this is a whole new genre.

Many adventurers agree that the genre needs change. Can you explain why you think the answer lies in the 3D engine and the new challenges it brings?

The reason there was such a gap between Broken Sword 2 and work beginning on The Sleeping Dragon is because we felt we’d taken the genre as far as it could realistically go within the constraints of previous technology.

We were always keen to move to 3D--and knew that when we did, the fundamental gameplay would have to change. People have tried point and click in 3D before, and it hasn’t really worked--the graphics moved on while the games remained the same.

Gaming has moved on tremendously since the original Broken Sword--so it is important that we adapt to cater for the modern gamer. The fact is, relatively few people want to play point and click adventures any more. Which is why we’re so keen to advance the genre.

The direct control interface has allowed us to introduce a much more diverse range of puzzles, from the traditional ‘use item x on object y’ to more typical action-game challenges such as infiltrate a certain building or defeat a particular enemy. However, it is important to realise that The Sleeping Dragon will not be an action game per se. This isn’t Tomb Raider or Metal Gear Solid. It’s not Dead or Alive or Curse of Monkey Island. It’s a totally new mix of action, adventure, stealth and combat--and hopefully it will make people think about pigeonholing games in the future.

Next: examples from the game itself

Continued on the next page...

Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon available at:

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Game Info

Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon

PC, PlayStation 2, Xbox



Game Page »

Europe November 14 2003 THQ
United States November 14 2003 The Adventure Company

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Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon

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