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PSP Fanboy mega-interview: Secret Agent Clank

Little is known about the upcoming PSP exclusive Secret Agent Clank, briefly seen at an invite-only pre-Tokyo Game Show cocktail party. With the incredible mystery surrounding this new title, we asked our readers to come up with questions for the High Impact Games team. We're proud to present this PSP Fanboy mega-interview, which reveals the game's story, connectivity with the previous Ratchet games, and plans for a demo. Read on.

How are you going to improve on Size Matters? Are there any improvements on your previous engine or are you building a new one?
Dave Goodrich, Lead Designer:
High Impact Games has taken advantage of the Size Matters engine to give us a strong base to work from for this exciting new adventure. Secret Agent Clank has a different style than Size Matters and has expanded into new game types such as timing and stealth. Along with new gameplay modes, there is an assortment of playable characters, each with their own unique levels.

What kind of multiplayer support will there be? Will it work through Infrastructure?
Dave Goodrich, Lead Designer: Secret Agent Clank is a very story intensive game with lots of unique gameplay elements. We have decided to focus our efforts on the single player game to make a really engrossing experience for the player. There is no multiplayer planned for this installment of the game.

Will Ratchet play much of a role in the game? Possibly as the bumbling chauffeur? Or will that be Scrunch's job?
Ken Strickland, Designer: In Secret Agent Clank, Ratchet has a key role to play in both gameplay and the story, his chauffeur cameo in "Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal" notwithstanding. Ratchet is framed for a crime he didn't commit and thrown into the Galaxy's more notorious prison ... a prison filled with all of the henchmen that he's put away through his past adventures, all looking to even the score. Despite Clank's heroic efforts on his behalf, our favorite Lombax isn't the sort to sit around and wait for a resolution. Ratchet has to make sure there's someone left alive to rescue when Clank returns with the proper evidence.

Will there be any bonuses for having a Size Matters save file?
Ken Strickland, Designer: Of course! We want to reward those happy souls that have already made the leap to the Ratchet & Clank experience on the PSP, and this seemed like a fine way to do it. We're not ready to reveal the exact nature of the bonus, but this is a good time and place to remind folks not to free up that block of memory just yet.

What kind of gizmos and gadgets will Clank have at his disposal? Will they be as explosive as his furry counterparts'?
Avery Bennett, Designer:
We're pushing Clank's spy-gear arsenal to the max in Secret Agent Clank. His cuff links turn into explosive bombs he can lay as proximity mines for unsuspecting enemies. His tuxedo's bow tie can be equipped with spinning blades, then thrown like a boomerang, bouncing off foes. Clank's gear is all in the style of the high tech secret agent: futuristic gadgets that distract and confuse foes, as well as powerful weapons that assassinate troublesome enemies.

Is there any connectivity with the upcoming PS3 and PSN Ratchet games?
Jason Skiles, Lead Engine Programmer: We wanted fans of Ratchet & Clank: Tools of Destruction and Secret Agent Clank to benefit from owning both games. Players who pay close attention to both games will find some special surprises.

How does High Impact feel about working for Sony? Many smaller independent developers say that Sony makes it really easy and comfortable for them, is it the same way for High Impact?
Lesley Mathieson, Design Director:
We've had a great relationship with Sony while working on Size Matters and Secret Agent Clank! Sony's dedication to quality has given us the time and flexibility we need to turn out fun, creative products. They have been wonderful people to interact with on all stages of the games.

How does High Impact feel about working on another Ratchet & Clank title?
Adam Yeager, Lead Environment Artist: I think before we were even done making Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters, we were already coming up with ideas for another one, and hoping we'd get the chance to see them through. The franchise has a reputation for high quality, super fun games, so it's been an honor to be a part of it. Even cooler is the fact that we get to take it in a new direction and focus more on Clank. I'm sure the fans will have just as much fun playing it as we are making it!

Will there be a demo, downloadable or UMD, that you will like to work on?
Leviticus Davis, Assistant Project Manager: We have been working on a demo for Secret Agent Clank for a while now. The demo will include two, maybe three, exciting segments that will give everyone a sneak peek at what happens when Clank finally gets the chance to "shine" as the lead character.

How much help does High Impact get from Insomniac?
Alex Hampton, Gameplay Programmer: Insomniac was great to work with on the Ratchet series. Early on we received some art assets like Ratchet, Clank and Captain Qwark to aid in making a game that was true to the Ratchet and Clank universe. We are still using some of the classic models for Secret Agent Clank but, like Size Matters, everything new is still developed at High Impact. The talented people here were able to simply look back at the previous Ratchet and Clank games and make a great game for the series.

Thanks to the team at High Impact Games for taking time out of their busy schedules to talk to us.

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