Rayman 3  Logo
Welcome to Rayman 3
German - English - French

Rayman 3 - Table of Contents:
Home - History - Game - Worlds - Rayman - Friends - Enemies - Graphic - Help - Links - Interviews

Rayman 3 - Interviews with developers

Ahmed Boukhelifa, Chef de Projet
Interview with Michel Ancel, creator of Rayman, and
Ahmed Boukhelifa, Rayman 3 Project Manager
Michel Ancel
Ahmed Boukhelifa
Michel Ancel

Interview with Michel Ancel and Ahmed Boukhelifa

To Michel - As the creator of the Rayman series, why are you no longer involved in the development of the game? What was your role in the creation of Rayman 3 ?

During Rayman 1 and 2, I had the opportunity to share creative visions with a lot of talented people. Céline Tellier, for one, who's now DA on Rayman 3, started out in charge of the background and environment graphics. We had a lot of fun coming up with the unique visuals that went on to become signatures of the Rayman universe. Then there was Michael Janod, a game designer on Rayman 2. He was the guy who came up with the famous "leg missile." He's now Lead Game Designer for Rayman 3. These people and others had so many great ideas, so I felt really confident they could carry forward the vision that made Rayman games so unique.

As for me, after Rayman 2, I was ready to explore new emotions, worlds, characters, and gameplay that didn't exactly fit into the Rayman universe. Though it was hard to leave the awesome Rayman team, I decided to start a new project with a woman as the central character.

So, my role on Rayman 3 was mostly assisting the team here and there, like with Rayman's new look. Then every so often we'd brainstorm ideas for the characters and the world - that sort of thing. Other than that, I was just going full throttle on my new project.

To Ahmed : What was your role in the creation of Rayman 3 ?

I was the Project Manager, which basically means I oversee the operations and manage the 50 members of the development team. As Michel mentioned, many people on the team had worked on previous Rayman projects, so they had a lot of whacked-out ideas. That was one of my first and favorite roles - to stimulate their imaginations. It worked out great because we have every possible personality you could imagine - everything from the comedic to the outright bizarre. I feel the key to making a great Rayman game would be to cultivate this range of imagination to create a visually dynamic universe.

To Ahmed: What's the basic story behind Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc?

It all begins with the red lums, which are these tiny creatures of positive energy. One day, a single red lum beholds something so terrible it grows black with fear and evil. This transformed Dark Lum spreads the evil to other red lums, forming an army of cloaked soldiers called Hoodlums. Soon Rayman and Globox discover the Hoodlum's plan, which is to taint the Heart of the World. Unexpectedly, Globox saves the day by swallowing the Chief of the dark lums… This accident provokes a strange addiction to plum juice… On his journey, Rayman must travel to unknown lands forgotten by time, survive cunning creature awaiting him at every turn, throughout a strange and fantastic land. But, this time, to save the world he'll have to take care of Globox's health first!

This may seem pretty straightforward, but the story unfolds in a very unpredictable and fresh way. Unlike other platformers, Rayman 3 really draws from its epic storyline and bizarre humor. That's all I can say without spoiling the plot!

To Ahmed : The teaser video we've seen had a lot of strange hooded creatures. Who are they and how does Rayman fit into this?

These are the Hoodlums - Dark Lums equipped in their combat suits. In the game, they captured big, woolly creatures and knit their outfits from them. The Hoodlums are an army, organized into various posts that specialize in a specific area. Rayman has to contend with all sorts of these Hoodlums, and will never know who he'll face next. It might a sniper - like the one you saw in the video - who could take Rayman out from long range, or it might be a grenadier, who's armed with his own explosive concoction of plum juice based bombs.

Hoodlums are really skilled at holing up in places and setting ambushes for Rayman. You might be cruising along through a mysterious temple and get caught by surprise, or even get attacked from the sky. We built each Hoodlum's AI to think independently, so even when the Hoodlums are attacking in an organized group, they'll still act for themselves and be pretty tough to predict. I think this will be quite a challenge for the player…

The Hoodlums are pretty fanatic about stopping Rayman at all costs, but are also kind of comedic in their own right. Sometimes they get a little too excited about being evil and bumble around a bit, especially if they get separated from their leader.

To Ahmed: What other kinds of creatures do you come across in the game?

The world of Rayman 3 is bursting at the seams with crazy creatures. Rayman's best friend, Globox, will naturally be there and have an important role in the game. Then there's Murphy and the musical Teensies. These Teensies have appeared in previous Rayman games and will have a much bigger role in this adventure

Naturally, Hoodlums aren't the only enemies to watch out for. There's an egomaniacal hunter and vicious swamp witch that are out to put the big hurt on Rayman and Globox, to name a couple. Character Designer Stéphane Zinetti had a blast brewing up scads of wild characters, so many that we wound up having to take away his sketching tools. He came up with so many character ideas, which was great, but poor Rayman was getting edged out of the picture.

To Ahmed :Can you give us an idea of some of the locations featured in Rayman 3?

We wanted to delve into the dark, unexplored realms of Rayman's world. So we came up with a bunch of visually complex settings that vary greatly from one area to the next. The game starts out at night in a forest filled with these giant, luminescent mushrooms that sparkle in the dark. And by the end of his quest, Rayman will have traveled through some crazy stuff - shimmering temples, barren lands with bones shooting out of burning sands, dark deadlands full of forgotten stone gods, and a Hoodlum factory powered by strange machines. Those are just a few places Rayman will have to get through. We wanted to get away from the same old desert, beach and mountain that we've seen in platformers so many times before.

To Ahmed : You stress the combats when talking about rayman 3. What's new here?

There is now more power for the player and more enemies acting together. The idea is that the player has to face multiple enemies at the same time, and from different elevations. You've got an array of abilities and powers at your disposal, but you have to use them strategically to find the best way to take out specific kinds of enemies.

To Ahmed: It appears that Rayman has a new look. Why did you make this change, and how did you arrive at it?

The look of the original Rayman was created to fit within a 2D world - pretty basic and modular. Then as the power of consoles increased around the time of Rayman 2, we adapted that to 3D. Now, with the flexibility of next-gen consoles, we have the possibility to add more polygons, more detail and in the end, more personality.

Instead of working from an existing model, we modeled the new Rayman completely from scratch. We used more polygons for special parts like the face and the hands, to allow Rayman to have a much wider range of facial animations and expressions.

Another new thing we explored was the SFX and super powers. It gave us the opportunity to give Rayman all kinds of dramatic expressions and play up his cartoonish edge. It's cool to see Rayman burst into a wild animation while he's using his new superpowers.

To Michel : What do you think of Rayman's « new look » ?

I love it. I like his new cartoon feeling, and how it gets back to the show-off "I don't take myself seriously" feel he had in Rayman 1. I think we forgot that a little with Rayman 2 while we focused ourselves more on developing the universe.

To Ahmed: What kind of new audience are you trying to attract with this latest Rayman game?

We think the game will offer plenty of new things to current Rayman fans, but will also appeal to anyone who likes to play at a frantic pace, in dynamic, action-packed scenarios filled with off-the-wall comedy.

To Ahmed: What was the biggest challenge for the Rayman 3 team?

One of the challenges was working with an existing character. To keep the essence of the original while giving it a freshness that doesn't betray the long-time fans of the Rayman series. Some people have been waiting for this game for a long time, and are looking to play something completely new and incredible. Fortunately, Rayman's universe is already so rich with craziness that new and fun ideas emerged naturally. I guess the real challenge was deciding which ones to choose!

To Ahmed : Where is the game developed and on which platform?

The game is currently being developed on PC, PS2 & Xbox in Montreuil by a team of over 50 people. The GameCube version will be developed in Shanghai by He Jun Xian's team (19 people). There is also a GBA version developed in Montreal by Bertrand Helias's team (10 people). The game will be launched in November 2002.

To Ahmed: What are you most excited about in Rayman 3 at this stage of development?

I'm probably most excited about all the surprises we've created in the game. Everyone on the team can't wait to see how players will react when they discover them.

SOURCE: Ubisoft

Michel Ancel

Michel Ancel Michel Ancel (born 1972 in Monaco) is a French computer game
designer known for his work for Ubisoft.
More about Michel Ancel (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

External link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michel_Ancel
Michel Ancel

Home - History - Game - Worlds - Rayman - Friends - Enemies - Graphic - Help - Links - Interviews

Rayman Fanpage Startseite    SpacerRaymanSpacerRayman 3 LogoRayman

Startseite Rayman-Fanpage

Mobile Rayman Fanpage für Pocket PC's

page update 30.11.2007
The logo and character of Rayman are trademarks of Ubisoft Entertainment.
Mail an/to: Rayman-Fanpage - Impressum - Sitemap - Rayman-Fanpage Copyright © Matthias Franke 2000-2007

page top

MF LogolightSD Logo