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The Resurgence Of Choplifter, An inXile Entertainment Interview

June 1, 2011 - Thanks to the advancements in technology and the growing desire to replay titles from yester-years, franchise reboots have always been a popular mainstay within the video game industry. And the latest franchise to get a reboot is the classic Choplifter title, which made its debut back in 1982 on the Apple II computers. Over the course of 8 years, the title has been released on 12 different platforms before disappearing into obscurity. Now some 29 years later, inXile Entertainment has decided to pick up the IP and bring back the classic title for a modern audience, which results in Choplifter HD; due for release later this year.

We got a chance to sit down with Brian Fargo, president of inXile Entertainment to find out more about the company and their desire to reboot the Choplifter franchise.

1.) Revitalizing a longstanding IP has always brought about complications. How does Choplifter HD revitalizes the IP, while at the same time stand on its own among a sea of aerial combat titles out now?

Given the many years that have passed since the last Choplifter released, inXile is in an excellent position both creatively and technologically to do something really fresh with the franchise in Choplifter HD and that's just what we're doing. Tons of missions, multiple helicopters, a balance of reality and fantasy elements all come together to make a really unique and fun gameplay experience.

2.) This is kind of obvious judging by the title's name. With Choplifter being recreated in HD, will the game support 1080p resolution or be limited to 720p?

Choplifter HD will support 1080p.

3.) Was there any thought to include 3D support in Choplifter HD?

The engine is fully 3D and we utilize it with subtle camera movements. That said, we felt it is important to both keep the feel of the original by being primarily side-scroller, as well as keep the controls and game play something you can immediately pick up and play. So we stayed away from full 3D helicopter movement.

4.) How does inXile Entertainment determine which projects to take on? It seems the company dabbles in a little bit of everything?

First and foremost, we want to be genuinely excited about whatever project we are working on. As an indie studio, digital projects like Choplifter HD that we are self-publishing tend to be the most fun. We get to take all of our experience designing and building games and create the games our way.

5.) Are there any plans for additional Choplifter titles beyond the HD remake of the original Apple II title?

You never know but our focus right now is making Choplifter HD the best it can be.

6.) Considering multiplayer is commonplace this generation, are there any plans on including online/offline co-op or multiplayer modes?

We have given various multi-player options a lot of consideration but are not confirming anything specific at this time. A deep and totally entertaining single-player experience is our priority right now.

7.) What motivates the staff over at inXile Entertainment to do what they do day in and out? With a lot of companies out there that create similar experience, what keeps you guys motivated?

We love games. It is that simple. Some of us have been in the business more than 30 years and just can't imagine doing anything else. We believe Choplifter HD will truly demonstrate what the inXile team is capable of in the digital space and how different we are from other development shops out there.

8.) Are there any plans on including the original Choplifter title alongside the release of the HD remake?

We have had that question a few times. It's a fun idea but we aren't confirming anything at this time.

9.) What made you decide to revitalize the Choplifter IP now and in this generation?

The basic Choplifter gameplay mechanic is timeless. Rescuing people and blowing stuff up is just fun. It is also very accessible. To us, those are the first few ingredients of the perfect recipe for a digital gaming experience.

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