Kamidogu: What does your role of Associate Producer entail in the development of Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe?
Hector Sanchez: Being the Associate Producer on the Mortal Kombat team is a great honour, and carries quite a bit of responsibility. I’m in a support role, meaning my first priority is always to do what is needed by Ed and Hans, firstly. After that, my responsibilities kind of sway all over the place. I’m in charge of co-ordinating content approvals with our product development counterparts at Warner Bros. and DC. My favourite part of the job is the day to day interaction with the team, learning from them and helping them in anyway I can, whether it be as a sounding board for art direction ideas, or being tasked to research technical compliance issues with Sony and Microsoft. I’m getting to see all the little details that go into making a successful and fun game, and I’m having a blast.
Plus, I get to share these experiences with the fans through the podcast and through interviews and demos for the press and for fansites like this one. For someone who grew up playing Mortal Kombat in the arcades, it really is a dream job, and I’m very fortunate to be here and on the team.
Kamidogu: Which other Mortal Kombat titles have you worked on in the past?
HS: I began work at Midway as a gameplay tester on 2006’s Mortal Kombat: Unchained, which was developed for the PSP. That was a real accomplishment as it was one of the first fighters to run at 60 frames per second on a handheld system. At the same time, I was also helping out in testing Mortal Kombat: Armageddon for PS2 and Xbox.
In 2007, I became the Quality Assurance Project Lead for the Wii version of Mortal Kombat: Armageddon.
Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe is the first game where I have had a Production role, and it has been an absolutely killer experience!
Kamidogu: What can fans expect come November in regards to alternate costumes? Will we see significant transformations, or attire with slight modifications to the original?
HS: We will have alternate palettes in the spirit of old MK games to differentiate between similar kombatants.
Kamidogu: A number of fans were elated to see John Tobias return for the production of the Kollector’s Edition comic book. Will we see him perhaps return for future Mortal Kombat projects in a more prominent role?
HS: Being able to work with John Tobias was an awesome experience. It was a real pleasure to have him around the office a few times and to interview him for the MKast. John was someone I looked up to as a kid, as we came from the same neighbourhood and went to the same high school. So to have it come full circle, I couldn’t have been more honoured to be a part of it.
I know John has quite a few projects he is working on in his solo career right now, and I really can’t comment on what the future holds for any of the forthcoming MK games. But speaking strictly as a fan, I would love to see him around again.
Kamidogu: Up until now nothing has really been revealed in regards to the game’s story other than the mention of a cataclysmic event that forces both worlds to collide. Without giving too much away, could you perhaps elaborate on this a little more?
HS: The story is something that needs to be experienced by the player when they open up the disc on November 16th. We have released an awesome Story Mode trailer on WorldsCollide.com that gives you just a glimpse of some of the story elements, but even that only barely scratches the surface.
Kamidogu: With a limited number of spots to fill, many popular characters had to be omitted from the final roster. If there were a few more positions available, who would you like to see included?
HS: From the MK side, I really would have liked to see either one of the cyborgs or Nightwolf. I really would have been curious as to how we would have been able to evolve their move sets on this next generation of consoles.
From the DC side, I was a huge fan of Lobo. I think his personality and look are a perfect fit in the MK universe.
Kamidogu: What can we expect to see in terms of unlockable content? Will the game hold an extras menu of some sort that will perhaps house endings already viewed, or any form of additional material?
HS: Without giving too much away, I can definitely say that there will be added value in completing BOTH sides of Story Mode.
We will also be having an endings viewer that will allow players to replay the endings once they have completed the arcade ladder for their preferred kombatants. We also created a character viewer that will allow players full 360 degree access to their characters as well as each characters bio.
Kamidogu: The screenshot released on Ed Boon’s personal web site featuring Quan Chi has confirmed that non-playable characters will make cameo appearances in Story Mode. Will we see many of these, and if so can we expect them from both universes?
HS: Again, I don’t want to give anything specific away (what’s the fun in that?) but I can tell you that there are cameos on both sides. I just won’t tell you who.
Kamidogu: Probably one of the hottest topics of conversation right now is in regards to the prospect of downloadable content. If the team decides to go ahead with the idea, can we expect characters and arenas to be released one by one, or in small packs?
HS: Rest assured, we are exploring every option available as far as DLC goes. I can tell you that the market demand will dictate exactly how we go about this, if and when we decide to go forward with DLC.
Kamidogu: Which kombatant from the DC Universe has been the hardest to develop, in terms of incorporating them into the Mortal Kombat universe and creating finishing moves for given DC Comics’ limitations?
HS: I think Batman was the most challenging, as he is a very visible character right now, probably the most valuable character in the DC Universe because of the exposure he has received with the movie franchise being reborn recently. There are so many variations of his persona to draw from, it was a balancing act to make sure we didn’t take him too far down the dark, Frank Miller-type character type and have him out of place with where everyone else is positioned personality-wise in this interpretation of the DC Universe.
Kamidogu: In view of the momentum the game will receive from both Mortal Kombat and DC Comics fans, are there any plans to release merchandise such as clothing or action figures?
HS: We do have some promotional shirts that are tied in to some pre-sell programs for the game, for sure. As far as other ideas, I can’t really comment on those as they are more a Marketing and Business Development area of expertise.
Kamidogu: Is this game purely about the conflict between the Mortal Kombat and DC Universes, or will we see unlikely alliances made between fighters from both sides?
HS: I think that by the end of playing through both sides of Story Mode, you will see things on screen that you probably never would have expected.
Kamidogu: Finally, we have seen pictures of Dark Kahn, who is currently thought to be the culmination of both Shao Kahn and Darkseid. If this is in fact the case, whose side will he be on, or is he on his own?
HS: Hmmm, well, have you ever known of any despot that was a team player?