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Yahoo! Video Games: You mentioned that one of the biggest pitfalls in making a "beat-'em-up" is repetition. How does 300: March to Glory avoid that pitfall?

Jeff Nachbaur: Good games are about engaging the player with meaningful choices. Most beat 'em ups feel repetitive because the combat system is overly simplified or superfluous to your combat goals. For instance, many games will tell you that you have combos and then allow you dispatch most foes by just pushing a single button.

We make combos necessary. We make sure that you need to accomplish something specific. Enemies have conditions to beat and we give you the tools to do it. Then, the player needs to make choices on whom to attack first, what they want to do to the enemy, and then, pile on some other choices regarding health management and your rage. So, very quickly, you find that all your choices are meaningful. If you make the wrong one, you can very easily fail.

This requires the player to constantly think and consider what choice is the best choice and this engages the player. He is no longer thinking about "how many more enemies until this level is over" but more about the moment to moment decision he must make and that really is the key. If the gameplay requires the player to be smart about his choices, the feeling of repetition quickly dissipates. You're too busy taking care of business to get bored.

YVG: How much of a stand-alone game is 300: March to Glory, as opposed to a game designed to appeal to fans of the movie?

JN: It's definitely a stand-alone game. It has to stand on its own merits. We designed it so that if you never saw the movie or read the graphic novel, you'd be just fine. But, we also provide a storyline that complements both. We also provide some extras for the movie trailers, film stills, and a four part interview with Frank Miller. But we're definitely a game that stands on its own.

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