Paramount Digital Entertainment has taken a unique approach with its new Facebook game, Mission: Impossible The Game. Developer Funtactix has created a very deep multiplayer online experience for fans of the film franchise that boasts 200 levels. The game currently available focuses on the first three films in the franchise and a new level based on Ghost Protocol will be launching in December before the new Tom Cruise movie from Paramount Pictures opens. Sam Glassenberg, CEO of Funtactix, talks about this new project in this exclusive interview.
How will this game stand out from the typical Facebook gameplay experiences?
Mission: Impossible is the first Facebook game based on a major motion picture. This is the first time players will be able to enter the world of one of their favorite films on Facebook. The Mission: Impossible universe is rich in detail and history, making it an ideal setting for a game. Players can jump in and take on the role of an Impossible Missions Force (IMF) agent just like they’ve seen in the films. We’ve also used some incredible in-house technology to create stunning graphics and 3D animated characters. We’ve combined the best aspects of Mission: Impossible with the best features unique to Facebook, creating a deep experience that you can share with your friends.
Can you explain how the multiplayer gameplay will work and how many players can form a team?
Players recruit their Facebook friends to act as agents on their team. Team size is limited only by the number of friends you have on Facebook. Certain missions require you to bring your friends along with you to act in support roles. Each player fills a role on the team just like in the films. Additionally, the size of your overall team gives you benefits to taking down other players (rogue agents) and defending you and your safe house from attacks. Multiplayer happens asynchronously, meaning you don’t need to have your friends actually online when you’re using their character for a team mission.
How has the game been designed progression-wise? Can players meet up and play at routine times or can one player form teams with multiple people?
As is the case with the majority of Facebook games, there is no need to coordinate play times with other players. You have full access to use their characters in your progression whenever you need them. You recruit your team of agents from your friends list, once they accept the invitation; they are part of your team.
Can you walk us through some of the locales in the game?
One of the great things about the films is the exotic locations that are featured. We brought back a lot of the iconic spots from the films and reproduced them for Facebook. Players will find themselves in Ireland, the island of Mauritus, a military base in Burkina Faso, CIA Headquarters in Langley, VA, Kiev; and that is only in the first few missions. There are 50 different locations and we’ll be adding more to the game in the future.
Are people playing through actual missions from the first three films?
We took inspiration from the films, but added our own twist. We didn’t want to recreate the stories from the films; we wanted the player to be their own agent taking on their own missions, not taking on the role of an existing character or an existing storyline. There are a lot of familiar places for fans but the missions themselves are all new.
Will players interact with any characters from the first three films?
Over time we will be introducing several major characters from the films that will tie into the story arch and act as mentors on the player’s advancement.
Are there specific weapons or gadgets from the first three films in the game?
We sprinkled in several recognizable items and gadgets from the films in key locations and missions. The mysterious “Rabbit’s Foot” that part of the core story of the third film as well as several items from the IMF headquarters that can be unlocked and placed in the player’s customizable safe house.
How did you work with the filmmakers on this game?
We worked very closely with the filmmakers (Bad Robot and Paramount Pictures) to create something that isn’t just inspired from the films, but an integrated piece of the franchise. We designed the gameplay and cinematics and they were crucial to integrating the core themes into fun, social gameplay.
Has this game been designed to be beaten or will new content just feed into it over time?
Mission: Impossible is an online game that is connected to our servers. We’ve already started adding new items, missions and locations and have a roll out plan that continues well after the launch of Ghost Protocol and into 2012. Our approach with all our games is to create a framework, then work with our players to deliver the content they like. Every day you play you’ll get an update from your agent and your team, every week there will be new locales, gadgets and missions. Over time we have campaigns of contained story arches that we’ll be adding. The intrigue never stops.
What type of replay value has been built into it?
There is a lot of content at launch to discover, with more being added frequently. There are also gameplay mechanisms to encourage players to go back and revisit locations to master them. We’ve hidden rare weapons and items in each locale to find and use to fight other players in rogue battles. Players can also use items to outfit the ultimate safe house. We also have a calendar of ongoing community contests and events.