And we have a winner for one of the best questions I’ve gotten so far! (seriously)
Ok, let me think…
There may be some rambling in there, so be warned.
Also, I think some of my emotions got mixed up with the answers. Yikes.
Here are two:
1- “Making games is not a democracy and that’s a good thing.”
It’s not something I’ve discovered on this game, but it’s the first time it’s been so important to my work.
A lot of people were wondering if we were reading the forums while making the game. Well… yes we were. For a while at least.
We saw the rants about regen health, cover, the fact that we would f**k this up, that we knew nothing, that none of the original members were on the team so the project was doomed, you know… the good stuff to really cheer us on.
We read it all and lived with it for years. It was hard. Especially because we couldn’t defend ourselves at that point.
It was also the first time, in 11 years as a designer, that I was faced with so much anger and derision.
But what kept us going was our belief that any good piece of entertainment has to come from somebody; there has to be a soul at the point of origin, somebody with drive and passion willing to inject some of his or herself into the game.
Making it our ‘own’ was the only way we felt we’d be able to live up to the franchise. There was no point in trying to replicate the first game. We aimed to be faithful to the original game’s essence, but not necessarily its mechanics. We kept what we liked and changed what we didn’t. Sorry if we angered you, but making these decisions was our job.
Are we sorry we didn’t listen to everyone? No, because that would’ve made a terrible game.
You can’t design by committee. You need a leader with a vision.
Ours was JF.
And you may disagree if you want, but I don’t believe he’s lead us astray.
Far from it.
Good job boss. :)
2- “It’s the people, stupid.”
And by this I’m not only referring to the people making the game, I’m also including you, the players.
First, you need the right dev people in the right places. And on this we were fortunate. We had a lot of great people.
Secondly, never forget who you’re working for. That’s where YOU come in.
In all honesty, the decisions we made, we made them thinking of you; whether it was a popular decision or not.
We did not add regen health, the cover system or 3rd person to piss you guys off.
We did it in an attempt to make the game more enjoyable, more immersive and less frustrating.
I admit that it’s hard to see all the trade-offs that go on behind the scenes. Days, weeks and months agonizing about how such and such will be perceived, how it’ll work, how much it adds to the overall experience.
And when you’re designing a game of this scope, you just cannot cater to everybody’s whims or desires. You have to go for what will be relevant to most people.
In the end, we did not design this game for the consoles or the PC. We did not design it for hardcore gamers, nor for casuals. And no, it wasn’t designed specifically for DX fans.
We designed it for humans to enjoy. whatever their classification.
You may call it dumbing down or consolization.
I call it good game design and I’m not ashamed. (yeah me!)
Well, guess I had something to get off my chest…
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