We got Mike Glosecki chatting about pretty much everything related to C&C IV.

Article about Postal III by Evoker writer from previous owner Universal Game Database

The dark comedic Postal has become one of the most controversial franchises in the whole history of video game industry. This is the only game in which, the player can use cats as silencers for shotguns, and has the ability to urinate on bystanders to make them vomit in disgust. Postal II is only the second game (after Manhunt), which is banned from OFLC (the classification agency of New Zeland). And now, the Postal Dude is back for a third part of his game.
So, we have Steve Wik, Lead Design/Creative Director of Running with Scissors and Andrew Belkin, Lead Producer of Akella to answer for their crimes… or all questions that we have prepared for Postal III.

UGDB.com: What happens to the legendary Postal Dude this time? Is Postal III a sequel to Postal II: Apocalypse Weekend in terms of story?

Steve Wik:
Yes. Postal III picks up after the catastrophic events of Apocalypse Weekend. The Dude and Champ roll into a new town appropriately named Catharsis. Due to the global economic meltdown, he can’t afford a tank of gas to get out of this shitty place and has to try and find a job…

Andrew Belkin: The Dude finally tries to get a job! He tries to be a “better guy” now.

UGDB: In the first Postal, there was no plot line, and the main purpose was to kill a certain percentage of armed NPCs on the map to reach the next level. In Postal II, the each level represented a different day of the week and the purpose of the game was to finish all of the tasks throughout that week. How will the main story develop in Postal III and what’s going to be the base mechanic of the game?

In Postal III we are trying to put more focus onto the main character (Dude) and his story, meaning, the player will see sort of more “coherent” cinematographic storyline (whole bunch of cut-scenes in the game). The Dude starts “from scratch” in the new town of Catharsis (he’s a complete alien there), he’s trying to meet ends as a “normal guy”, but that doesn’t mean the town is normal enough to help him with that. Game’s storyline is pretty linear (to achieve that cinematic feel), however it still has some room for deviations, and side stories, depending on how violently you play the game.

SW: The player gets to decide if he gets tangled up in the schemes of Mayor Chomo and Uncle Dave (who miraculously survived the ATF assault on his compound in Postal II) or if he goes on the path of righteousness and joins the police force.

UGDB: In the previous game, the player was able to accomplish the daily tasks in any order. The game also included additional hidden quests, which were activated on a certain day if The Postal Dude performed a certain action. That said, are we going to see such thing in Postal III and can you point some of the most hilarious tasks (we know that we are going to face lots of them) that we should accomplish?

This time around we’re going for a more focused design so there isn’t much general freedom to decide what order things happen in. But to make up for it, the choices we DO let you make actually change the story and open up entirely new missions, as mentioned above.

But it’s not as simple as making one choice, if you misbehave you can get thrown off the police force and find yourself back in your old shitty life again. But it may be possible to redeem yourself if you try hard enough…

AB: One of the pitfalls of Postal II was that very little percent of gamers actually found those hidden paths (even within the fans community). This time we’d love to hint them in a more “blatant” way so to say. Anyway, we are to hit console audience this time! :)

UGDB: In the previous titles of the series the players were able to accomplish all of their tasks without causing any controversial trouble. Is it going to be possible to finish Postal III without using any excessive means? Just like a “normal” third person shooter game, you know?

“Normal” third-person shooter involves shooting people (or aliens, zombies, whatever) anyway. In Postal III, you can complete the game without killing anyone at all. This is challenging, yes, (but you know, being a good guy nowadays is challenging anyway), but this path has lots of benefits and extended storyline as compensation.

UGDB: What can you tell us about the new city in which Postal III will take place - Catharsis City. Is it bigger than Paradise City? What can you tell us about the level of interactivity there?

It is bigger and it is more interactive in terms of what you can do with its inhabitants. If you are asking about “Can I destroy everything I see in the city?” – better play the new Red Faction game.

SW: Catharsis is a bit more urban than Paradise and a lot more detailed and features some neat environments such as the mountainous Ecotologist compound (more on them in the future answer), the Gay Rodeo grounds (a.k.a. Barebacker Rodeo Grounds) and Uncle Dave’s DaveLand amusement park, which is sort of a pseudo-religious monument to his own ego.

UGDB: The first Postal used an isometric perspective; the second was a FPS; this one is entirely third person. Is there any hidden logic behind this evolution?

Unlike most developers, we don’t like to make the same game over and over. Plus, we thought it would be cool to actually see the Dude’s insane antics this time. But you never know what we’ll do in the future. I kind of like the idea of doing a Bionic Commando: Rearmed style remake of Postal I…

AB: The only logic I see is that all games of a series tried to deliver best experience with technology they possessed. But this time (as also said above) we are trying to deliver more of a focus onto main character, his personality, past and future actions. And this is where third person view is best possible.

UGDB: What kind of douchebags is the The Postal Dude going to face this time? Can we expect some “unusual” creatures (aliens, for example) or boss characters? After all in Postal II: Apocalypse Weekend we saw zombies and even one boss monster.

Well, since we’re banking on Postal III to be our first console release on Xbox 360 and Playstation 3, we wanted to get back to a more “classic” Postal theme for all the new players. So no zombies or monsters this time, but we do have deranged cosmetics lab monkeys, the Dervish attack cats are back, for example.

As for douchebags, there are many! For example, the Ecotologists debut in Postal III. They are a zesty blend of PETA and Scientology led by a guy suspiciously reminiscent of Al Gore. Krotchy and roving gangs of vicious Hockey Moms stir up plenty of trouble and then there’s always Al Qaeda…

AB: And a gay cowboy riding a berserk rhino!

UGDB: What kind of new weapons there are going to be in the game this time around, and which of the old ones will make a return? In addition, don’t you think that BadgerSaw is little bit overpowered? Can you tell us more about your favorite weapon?

Well, the BadgerSaw is only overpowered against unarmed cowering bystanders. Against armed SWAT or Al Qaeda, not so much. My favorite weapon, as always, is the boomerang machete. Ricochet de-limbification! Muahahahaha…

AB: Shovel is back, as well as machete does. And the gas can is there. But funny, as per now, all in our office prefers good M60 machine gun!

UGDB: Can you add something about “the other” type of weapons – the usual stuff - cat silencers, dogs, catnips, dog cookies, and the mighty kick? Are we going to see those again or maybe a bunch of completely new freaky ones?

All the above (probably only dog cookies are out replaced with a laser pen) are already in. As per new… Well, how about the bee hive, ah? Just imagine for a second, what one’s sick mind can do with a bee hive? And you know, we are actually discovering an opportunity to use crippled limbs as a non-lethal weapon, btw.

SW: No kicking in third person, but we’ve added the ability for the Dude to collect a controllable helper monkey that he rescues from the cosmetics lab…

UGDB: The Postal series has always been highly criticized for the excessive amount of violence and the odd sense of humor. Can you guarantee that we will see these things again in Postal III?

To be completely honest, I’ve seen a bunch of already released games that have way more realistic and expressive violence then Postal III. However, this is fortunately not the field where we want a competition to happen this time. We would like to see Postal III as a social satire action first, and this is where I bet we have something new to tell the audience.

UGDB: In the “A Week in Paradise” modification (officially released as part of the Fudge Pack) we saw hardcore, uncensored pornography… Should we expect more hardcore action in Postal III?

Well, we prefer going in a more satire way with any sexual content, so to say… Like, one of the first locations to encounter in the game is a Porn Emporium, where Dude gets his first job as jizz mapper and then is being attacked by a pack of soccer moms… You will see, we love all that hardcore stuff, but prefer less blatant ways of expressing ourselves.

UGDB: You have encountered many issues because of the nature of the Postal games. What was the biggest problem that you have fought during those years? Can you point some of the greatest challenges and painful restrictions (like the Postal II ban in Australia and New Zealand)?

Well, it was kind of weird and amusing when we had to cut all the female moans and screams out of Postal I for release in Britain due to sensitivity surrounding the tragic death of Princess Diana. Interestingly, we had problems with the pissing in Postal II in America. It seems that some consider it a “sex act”. It’s ironic because the only reason we put it in the game was to provide a method of putting yourself out when you caught on fire! LOL! We were so naive…

UGDB: Set us right if we are wrong, but isn’t this the first time when RWS is working with another development studio? What led to the partnership with the Russian studio Akella, and what exactly is their part in the development of Postal III?

We’ve digged a trans-Atlantic tunnel from Stoley distillery straight to Tucson, so that our American comrades had constant creativity fuel supply.

SW: Postal has done surprisingly well in Russia. Akella has been our publisher in Russia for years, and they really wanted a sequel, so we teamed up with them to produce it. Basically we’re designing and they’re implementing and also mailing us all new wives. ;)

UGDB: Let’s be honest - the Postal games were never received well by the critics. We must all agree with them – lots of the low scores were based on the technical problems that the games had. Is Postal III going to be more polished in a technical stand point or you rather polish the girls that we saw in the trailers?

Akella will be polishing the game while we polish the girls. It’s win-win! But let’s also be honest, most of the low scores we got were from douchebags who didn’t bother to actually play the game and see everything we did. When a review starts out with “This is a shallow game about shooting people in the face and I got bored in ten minutes” then you know they’ve missed the point.

UGDB: In one of the pre-beta gameplay videos we saw something that resembles a cover system, is that still in the game, and if the answer is “Yes”, what can you tell us about it?

Yes, this is a cover system, which is now a core element of battle gameplay. The Dude (as well as his foes) can use stuff around for cover. And odds are, it can literally be anything, from coach or lamp post… to a soccer mom or any douchebag around. This is what we call a “human shield” feature.

SW: I really, REALLY hate “stand and deliver/circle strafe” style gameplay.

UGDB: Multiplayer, co-op, online features… Is there any chance to see something like that in Postal III?

Postal II had some really inventive multiplayer game modes. The good news is that with Source engine at our disposal we can implement not only some “postal classics” but go even further with sick multiplayer mayhem. So yes, “there will be blood” in Postal III.

UGDB: We already know that Herr Uwe Boll will make an appearance in Postal III. Can we expect some other celebrity appearances? What about Vince Desi or maybe Gary Coleman making a return?

Yes, there will be other celebrity appearances, stay tuned for future announcements! Gary may show up on a milk carton with a “have you seen me” caption. Unfortunately he doesn’t really talk to us any more. And after everything we did for his career! Tiny ingrate…

AB: It has almost turned into an ongoing joke, but, the truth is, we are still working on signing some Russian weirdo for the game. Fingers crossed!

UGDB: And since we’ve mentioned Uwe Boll, what do you think about his Postal movie adaptation? In addition to that, do you like Herr Boll as a person and as a director?

I actually like Uwe a lot as a human being; he’s a really swell guy. The movie, while not stellar, definitely turned out better than it could have. Dunno how much of that is directly relatable to our incessant personal flame-throwing of the early scripts…

UGDB: And now for something completely different – a question from our readers: Have you had any personality issues or problems in your childhood? How does that affect the games you are making currently?

I had a set of plastic soldiers that I really loved to dismember in different ways, like binding one upon a petard or shooting arms and legs with my air gun. I don’t know if it’s a personality issue, but I do love dismemberment feature in games and you’ll surely get one in Postal III.

SW: No, surprisingly I grew up in a TV sitcom fantasy land where nothing bad ever happens. Loving, non-abusive parents, happy pets, no drug-dealing uncles or pedophilic priests to speak of. I have no sense of reality whatsoever. But you have to remember that Postal is intended as darkly comedic social commentary. We’re holding up a dirty mirror and reflecting the shittiest aspects of human society. The game doesn’t reflect US, it reflects THEM. Whatever that means…

UGDB: This time Postal is coming out not only for PC but for Xbox 360 too… How did you manage to get Microsoft’s approval? Does that mean that you’ve reduced the level of strong content in the game? Is the Xbox 360 version softer than the one for PC?

We’ve taken them to the whore-house and made 360 blow lines on the table, and that’s it! :)
But seriously, what does strong content mean first? We are making “M” not “AO” game and intend to keep it that way, which perfectly goes along with console vendor’s policy. As long as you are not “AO” – you are good to go. So, no, there’s not gonna be any content differences between platform versions. We just don’t cross that “thin line” further then it needs to.

SW: Actually, we haven’t started the Microsoft approval process yet. But I’d seriously doubt we’d have to change very much, after all, Postal II was rated “M”, the same as GTA.

UGDB: Do you have any plans for the future after Postal III ships? Do you plan on releasing DLC, or you will continue to be supporters of the expansion business model?

We want to do both DLC and expansions. There will be a lot of things we can bring to add value to Postal III when it ships!

UGDB: Do you have plans for a new IP that is completely different form the Postal series – how about a tween game with fluffy white rabbits and playful kittens?

Great idea! We’ve already got a small zoo in Postal III – cats, badgers, monkeys, pigeons, rhino… So, rabbits will fit perfectly for the new zoophile game. Will start pre-production right away!

SW: Oh, yes, we always have ideas for non-Postal related game concepts! :)