Electronic Arts has released a new video showcasing the Brooklyn neighborhood in its game adaptation of the classic Godfather story. The game, launching on 21 March 2006, will have a significant part of its storyline take place in Brooklyn and to mark the occasion of the release of the video, MegaGames brings you a Brooklyn Q&A with Steven Smith, World Designer for the game.
What makes Brooklyn a unique neighborhood in The Godfather?
Brooklyn is a neighborhood located along the riverfront between two of New York City's main bridges, the Brooklyn and the Manhattan. Both bridges serve as two key life lines connecting Brooklyn to the rest of New York City. Most of the Brooklyn businesses are located in this core area, which reflects a rather grungy working class neighborhood with warehouses, industrial buildings, dock sides, town house walk ups and Federal housing estates. Near the end of the Brooklyn Bridge is the Brooklyn City/Borough Hall, the civic area and an upscale pocket neighborhood reflecting Brooklyn Heights.
How is Brooklyn 'planned' differently than the others?
Brooklyn in the Godfather game world context is a very stylized version of the actual neighborhood. The main area we wanted to focus upon is the industrial waterfront area. Thus the character of the river front area is emphasized for Brooklyn with attention to the Vinegar Hill and the Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass (or DUMBO as it is known) regions. The outer areas of Brooklyn are Brooklyn Heights, the Borough Hall, and a Federal Housing Estate near the old navy yard.
What key movie and game locales are found in Brooklyn?
One of the key movie moments takes place in Brooklyn. You'll have to dispose of a certain traitor to the family. In terms of general game play, Brooklyn is the neighborhood belonging to the Tattaglias, and with this family as an early adversary the player will get quite familiar with Brooklyn in the course of the game.
The Tattaglia Family was known a bunch of sleazy pimps and drug pushers. Do certain parts of Brooklyn reflect that?
We had this idea very much in mind when developing the Brooklyn neighborhood. We wanted this neighborhood to project a grungy and industrial décor, and so we opted to emphasize the water front region as the setting for the neighborhood core. In the context of fifty years ago, areas such as the Brooklyn water front were not desirable places to visit due to the heavy commercial activity of loading and unloading of goods and produce. Such areas are off the main the path and not inviting to the general public. Thus it's an ideal setting for illegal activities.
What is your favorite location in Brooklyn and why?
In Brooklyn there are two areas I like. One area is around the Brooklyn Borough Hall. This building projects a grand civic appearance and has attached to it a modest city park. It's inside that park that the player can meet up with black market sellers. The challenge however is that there are enemy gun men who like to wait in ambush in the park. The player can get a pretty good if not vicious shoot out going in this area, and it's not guaranteed that you will make it out in one piece. The other area I like is centered around the enemy warehouse in the waterfront region. I feel that this area really reflects the Brooklyn waterfront region of the late 1940's, with the Manhattan Bridge visible behind it to one side and a huge power plant building looming in the background. And as is the case with all enemy warehouses, it's a location for a guaranteed and ruthless fire fight.