Q- Was AOD planned as a trilogy or episodic game? Did you have more themes, plotlines and issues to explore?

A- The original vision was a trilogy of games. However, despite what anybody else says or has said, on or off the record, there never was any second or third part of the planned trilogy of games completed, because I never wrote them. I am not so unprofessional that I would set off in some direction where I didn’t know the final outcome or would find myself painted into a corner wondering, ‘What the hell next!’ so I had very clear ideas and directions planned for the subsequent games but these never progressed further than notes and sketched outlines.

There was a monumental amount of work to do on Angel Of Darkness itself and I simply didn’t have the time to be committing episodes II and III to paper; also, what I was writing for this first game had to be protected at every stage from the mangling that the games industry can dish out to a concept. We would have to wait and see how AOD worked out before Kurtis was allowed to wield his Chirugai again. Never happened, of course. Games development is a runaway monster capable of derailing itself at any stage if not properly managed.

Incidentally, the title Angel Of Darkness was foisted on us by the Eidos marketing division despite the whole company having contributed suggestions early in the ideas pooling stages. Some of them were tongue in cheek, as you’d expect, but some would have served beautifully – however the decision was taken out of the team’s hands. We dealt with it and moved on. There was a lot to be getting on with.

Did I have more plotlines and themes to explore that never got used? I’m aware now that there has been massive speculation from fans on where the Lara-Kurtis dynamic might have gone. I know what I would have liked to see happen and would have been intrigued to explore the mutual pushme-pullyou once they got past the pigtail-pulling, shin-kicking foreplay. That would have been fun! Yeah, sure, I had a lot of thoughts, as did other team members at the time. I’d constructed some really far out scenarios, locations and challenges Lara would have been magnificent in. Kurtis too. There was so much planned for Kurtis, so many game play abilities that he was never given because of time strictures. He boasted a highly detailed back story and a number of possible game scenarios sketched out which, I think, would have made him a fantastic solo lead. Subsequently I’ve seen at least one other game using hero skills similar to those we had planned for Kurtis and they work really well. Opportunity lost. Shame.

It’s useful for me to remember that I had a blast on AOD (for the first eighteen months anyway) and although what eventually emerged was a rather curtailed and mangled version of the story originally envisioned there is much in the game to admire. Many people contributed their all to the final product and much fine work was done. My personal area was storyline, dialogue and keeping track of all the permutations and changes that the game play demanded. I was not responsible for puzzles, although I contributed many of the thematic elements that went into them. When the talented and excellent Rich Morton joined the project he immediately began devising the brain bruisers that were still the trademark of the Lara franchise. As with every element of the complex process other highly experienced colleagues contributed to all aspects of the game’s structure. In that first year it still felt like a team project. Everyone was a little daunted at the sheer scope of what we had undertaken but hopes were bright and untarnished – until certain limitations in the team management process began to dominate.