Bit-tech: Obviously, like you said, you have to make trade-offs when making games. But, if you had a free license to make whatever you wanted, to spend as much as much money and take as long as you liked, what kind of game would you make?
It would be called Hookers & Blow.
Cue laughter from everyone, including the PR woman seated in the background.
No, that’s the DICE summit. Honestly, my buddies always joke about a game called Strip, Strip, Baby. It’s basically like Dance, Dance, Revolution with a pole.
And then there was the other one which was Dead or Alive: Extreme Pillow Fighter, where instead of beach volleyball it’s cute girls with pillows, fighting. But, no, it would be Jazz Jackrabbit 3, because in my heart of hearts I’m a furry...nah just kidding. I would love to do Jazz 3 someday but, [whispering] I don’t think it’s gonna happen.
Bit-tech: Are there any games you wish you’d made, or been involved in making?
I love Bioshock.
Bit-tech: You love Bioshock; you wish you’d made that?
The thing is...I’m a big fan of the passive storytelling. Where the player, you know, he can get as much story as he wants, he can pick up the log book or not, it’s always up to him, which is cool stuff. I found the underwater setting to be very compelling, the audio work was phenomenal, the writing was excellent and the game was very well paced.
I’ve played a lot of games over the last year and a lot of them felt kind of like work, but Bioshock to me, at the end of the day when I was done working on Gears PC and I came home, I was thoroughly looking forward to firing that game up and exploring the universe and finding out a little bit more about what happened in the world of Rapture. I wish a lot more games were able to capture that lightening in a bottle.
Bit-tech: You touched on something there about how some games feel like work, do you find that because you design games, because you know the ins and outs of how to make a game, that you don’t enjoy games as much because you’re analysing them?
The problem with life is experience, there’s a reason why they say ignorance is bliss because once you’re able to play a truly great game like Bioshock or Resident Evil 4, all other games just don’t feel as good anymore. It’s the same thing with being able to eat at a really cool restaurant, or travelling around the world and suddenly shopping at the Old Navy in the mini-mall doesn’t seem as fun as it use to be when you were sixteen. That’s life in general, right?
I got into the games industry because I loved games, and I'm realising that I’m staying in the industry because, I think, there’s a lot of mistakes that we as designers and developers make, and I wanna make sure that we make games that live up to what I think a great game is. You know...checkpoints for example.
The player shouldn’t have to worry about saving his game all the time, the game should just automatically checkpoint on a regular basis and it should be somewhat forgiving with those, but also challenging – there’s a fine line there. Everyone always talks about innovation in the business, but we as designers have yet to master our basic toolset to make something that’s compelling consistently on a regular basis.