In 2005, Namco Bandai formally announced Warhammer: Mark of Chaos, a new PC real-time strategy game set in the renowned Warhammer fantasy world. Developed by Black Hole Entertainment, a subsidiary of Cinergi Interactive, Warhammer: Mark of Chaos is poised to recreate the popular miniatures war game, complete with its massive sense of scale, when it ships later this year. In this latest interview, we had the opportunity to speak with Chris Wren, the game’s senior producer at Namco Bandai, to get a little more insight into the game.In my geekier days, I was the proud owner of several Warhammer and Warhammer 40K armies in various stages of assembly. Truth be told, I still occasionally yearn for those days of sculpey and flock, exacto knives and acrylic paints – to say nothing of actually playing the tabletop games. However, time has a way of shoving favorite pastime into the background, and as such, my infatuation with Games Workshop’s many miniatures games set both in the far flung future and distant past have been reduced to a cardboard box in the shed, marked in bold black lettering ‘Until We Meet Again’.
Thankfully, however, there are alternative ways to satisfy my need to roll the dice, and take up weapons to turn back the tide of chaos (or Empire, given my mood). Video games have long since proven to be a viable alternative to the tabletop game, from early releases such as Gremlin Games’ Space Crusade for the Amiga in 1992 and Mindscape’s Shadow of the Horned Rat three years later, to even more recent efforts such as THQ and Relic’s fantastic Dawn of War.
And the list continues to grow. In 2005, Namco Bandai formally announced Warhammer: Mark of Chaos, a new PC real-time strategy game set in the renowned Warhammer fantasy world. Developed by Black Hole Entertainment, a subsidiary of Cinergi Interactive, Warhammer: Mark of Chaos is poised to recreate the popular miniatures war game, complete with its massive sense of scale, when it ships later this year. Recently, we had the opportunity to speak with Chris Wren, the game’s senior producer at Namco Bandai, to get a little more insight into the game.
Hello Chris, and thanks for taking the time to speak with us regarding Warhammer: Mark of Chaos. Could you please describe what your role has been on this project? Before we get too deep into Mark of Chaos, could you talk a bit about other projects have you worked on in the past, and how has working on Warhammer differed from your previous experiences?
I oversee the entire project — sometimes this involves giving daily feedback on builds and submitting designs, other times it is tracking bugs or working with marketing assets and online efforts. In short, I do a little of everything.
I started in the industry about 12 years ago at Microprose, my first title was Falcon 4.0, which was an F-16 flight sim simulating a modern war on Korean peninsula. I was a lead artist back then, doing a lot of production responsibilities as well as art. I did some special effects work on a Star Trek RTS there as well, Birth of the Federation, and was working on a sequel to Falcon 4.0 when Microprose finally shut it doors. My next stop was Maxis; I was a producer on many Sims games including Sims: Hot Date, Sims: Vacation, Sims: Unleashed, Sims Online, Sims Bustin’ Out, and the Urbz before I left to help start up the PC division at Namco Bandai Games.
But are you a fan of Warhammer? Or, I guess more accurately, were you a fan of the tabletop game prior to your work on Mark of Chaos?
I played for a while in high school, it was my secret geeky thing to do besides playing video games at the arcade every conceivable moment. I had a Chaos Army, mostly Khorne, although a couple undivideds in the mix (need them for the magic). By the time I got to college, I stopped playing Warhammer altogether; just didn’t have the time for it, and to date, I have no idea what ever happened to my Chaos army.
Since we started working on Warhammer: Mark of Chaos, the musk of chaos is in the air again…our team has spent a lot of time getting back into the hobby, attending tournaments and painting new armies to get familiar with it all again. We spent a lot of time at the Games Workshop store nearby to prepare for this title and get up to speed on all the A