Hallo daar beste Insiders,
Bij deze een interview met het dev team van Red Steel 2. Wilde dit even met jullie delen :
â€¢ Why did you not continue the game where the Red Steel ended?
Well, it was certainly a tough call. The fans and the team had a lot of affection for the setting and characters of the first Red Steel, and it was certainly tempting to pick up where the first game left off.
However, as we developed our gameplay and art style for Red Steel 2, it became clear that what we were doing would work much better in a new setting: a setting that was built around this new type of combat we had built, and a setting that better fit what we wanted to do with the game visually.
So, we took a good hard look at what was really cool about the first Red Steel (guided by a mix of our own gaming tastes and our quite passionate feedback from the fanbase). From this, it became clear that the strong Asian-style setting and the mix of modern action gun combat plus katana-based sword fighting is something that resonates with a lot of people, us included, but that there was room to take the franchise in a new direction while still keeping that â€œRed Steelâ€ core.
So, we started there. Then, we began to build what would become an entirely new world, story, characters, and visual style around those core concepts. What you see is the result.
â€¢ Why keeping the name Red Steel, since the game seems totally different from the first?
The answer to the first question (above) deals with some of the reasons for this, but let me add a little bit more detail here.
We want this game to be great. Towards that end, we spent a lot of time, effort, blood, sweat, and tears, really digging down into what worked and what didnâ€™t in the first game. This is often a difficult process for game developers: examining your own work is challenging, but itâ€™s really necessary to make the best possible title.
So, we felt that, at its heart, â€œRed Steelâ€ was all about two main ideas: physically-immersive first-person combat with a sword and a gun, and a modern â€œEast crashes into Westâ€ style of setting. We figured that if the new setting and characters were cool enough, while still retaining the core ideas, players would embrace them.
â€¢ Is Red Steel exclusively a Wii brand, or do you consider releasing it on other platform in case of big commercial success?
Red Steel 2 is Wii exclusive, and WiiMotion Plus exclusive. The core gameplay of intense, 1st-person swordplay simply doesnâ€™t function the way we want it to without the WiiMote. This means that even if the game turns out to be the best-selling game on the Wii, the core experience would be lost if we ported it to another system without the abilities of the WiiMotion Plus.
â€¢ How come there is no blood in the game?
We get asked this a lot. In fact, we asked ourselves this question at least a thousand times before we made the final call. Iâ€™m going to hit a few major semi-philosophical points (very briefly, I swear) to give you some background, and then give you the direct skinny.
First of all, letâ€™s be clear: blood, decapitation, dismemberment, etc, is clearly a big part of the swordfighting fantasy. Plenty of games have done it, many quite well. However, itâ€™s not the entire fantasy. Itâ€™s not even really most of it. Swordfighting for me is all about power, skill, and movement â€“ not necessarily gore.
Second: a lot of people out there have very strong opinions about this topic. We knew that blood (or the lack thereof) would be a make-or-break issue for many players â€“ the debates around violence in games (pro- and con-) can get pretty extreme. Even so, our team isnâ€™t focused on those kinds of issues, really. Instead, weâ€™re trying to make something entertaining, something truly fun to play, a game where you play a real hero, a badass with a sword and a gun.
Third: itâ€™s a lot harder for me to believe that the guy that Iâ€™m playing is a true hero when he slices his enemies up for fun before killing them.
So, now the actual answer: building our game with realistic violence in it would, for many players, interfere with just having a good time with a sword and gun. And, thatâ€™s sort of the whole point of all the work weâ€™ve been doing.
Blood and gore just isnâ€™t what this game is about, and we want to be true to the game we are making. That wonâ€™t necessarily make everyone happy, but we believe that at the end of the day, if you like the idea of swordfighting, weâ€™ll have a game that is worth your time.
â€¢ Are you intenting to make the Red Steel franchise as big as Rayman, Splinter Cell or Assassinâ€™s Creed?
We intend to make the Red Steel franchise bigger than PokÃ©mon.
But not really.
Honestly, I would love nothing more than if everyone with a Wii bought and played our game, and then went out and convinced all their friends who didnâ€™t have Wiis yet to buy one and do the same thing.
The team and the company, of course, are determined to give players something great. At the end of the day, though, the fact is that how big the Red Steel franchise becomes really depends on how much you guys like the game when you finally get your hands on it. Weâ€™re going to do everything we can to make that be â€œa lotâ€.
â€¢ Does RS2 use the quantum3 engine for graphics?
Red Steel 2 uses an in-house engine called Lyn. It suits our gameplay and our development style very well, and lets us take advantage of the efforts made (and being made) by other teams inside Ubisoft that are using the same tech. Quantum3 does look like a pretty cool engine, though.
â€¢ What is more important to the dev team: smoother controls or better graphics/art style?
This is less a question of what is more important to the team than it is a question of what is important to the game. A first-person game with quick, exciting melee-attacks and precise shooting gameplay simply must run at 60fps, and thatâ€™s what we have. Thus, every decision we make is colored by the requirement to keep the gameplay smooth and responsive.
But, of course, we all also want the game to look spectacular. Paradoxically, by having agreement about the 60fps principle from the beginning has liberated the art team: it has allowed them to focus 100% of their effort on getting the absolute most they can out of that 1/60th of a second, instead of looking for other compromises. As a result, Stephane Bachelet and his team have developed a look that is exciting, suits our gameplay, runs very well on the Wii.
So, to the team, both are important. But we all know that for a first-person action title, gameplay comes first.
â€¢ Where did you get the inspiration for the art style from?
From Stephane Bachelet, Artistic Director
Our look is what we think of as a â€œgame lookâ€ â€“ it looks like a game. Weâ€™re not trying to make a movie game, or a simulation, or anything like that. We want every piece of what we give the player to be focused on having fun fighting with a sword and a gun. Of course, the limited resources on the Wii were a factor for us, but our main focus was finding a look that fit our game feel and setting, that really excites us (and then, hopefully, our players).
Additionally, we wanted our look to give our designers the best tools to make the game really fun â€“ and for melee combat that means strong feedback, big effects… we didnâ€™t want the look and the gameplay to fight with each other. We wanted a look that made the game design better, and a design that made the look better.
We think weâ€™ve found what we were looking for with what weâ€™re currently calling a â€œgraphic novelâ€ approach. Our references are very diverse (Frank Miller, Bill Sienkiewicz for Elektra Assassin, Akira, Gunm…). Weâ€™ve pulled out some of the details from the world, but left it a grungy, dirty place: a look with strong contrasts but with a good dose of reality underneath. We donâ€™t want to over-spend on details that donâ€™t make the game better, but we still want the world to seem real.
Itâ€™s a difficult balance to strike, and we will no doubt be working on it until the day we ship, but weâ€™re pretty excited about it.
â€¢ What is a hard decision to change the artistic direction for RS2?
From Stephane Bachelet, Artistic Director
We started with our gameplay: the sword and the gun. Everything comes from that, really. We asked ourselves, with these weapons, where do we want to be?
The katana itself made the first part of our answer simple: Asia will always be one pillar of any Red Steel experience. So, we asked ourselves: if the â€œnatural homeâ€ of our sword is the Far East, what is the â€œnatural homeâ€ of our gun?
We could have gotten into a chicken-and-egg problem here - because, of course, we can choose what gun the player uses. But, for us, the classic .45 caliber revolver is such a great weapon that this part was easy, too. Whatâ€™s the â€œnatural homeâ€ of the revolver? The Far West â€“ specifically places like what you find in the films of Sergio Leone (A Fistful of Dollars, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, etcâ€¦). So, our setting: Far East meets Far West, in a modern time. The more we worked with these ideas, the cooler we felt it wasâ€¦ and here we are.
â€¢ How does RS2 handle loading? (The first one had lengthy loadings)
One of the advantages of using the Lyn engine is that there is support in there for a certain amount of data streaming. We are using this to our advantage to create much larger spaces than the Wii could normally support. We still load from time to time for specific transitions (and these load times are quite manageable), but we intend for the majority of the experience to be largely load-free.
Of course, this means a certain amount of â€˜portalingâ€™ of the environment, but we think thatâ€™s a pretty fair trade.
â€¢ When you kill an enemy, he disappears very fast unlike in RS1, is it to give an arcade feeling to the game?
Well, letâ€™s first say that the enemy death effects that youâ€™ve seen so far arenâ€™t final, and so what you see in the final version may very well change some. Weâ€™re big fans of polish and details, and that sort of thing will certainly get a second, third, and fourth look before we press the discs.
That said, itâ€™s certainly safe to say that the core gameplay experience in Red Steel 2 has taken some of its influence from arcade-style aesthetics. Weâ€™re striving to create a fun, fast-paced, legibile, and exciting game: thatâ€™s something we have in common with many traditional more â€˜arcadeyâ€™ games, so itâ€™s only natural that you would see similarities there.
â€¢ At the beginning of the game when youâ€™re being dragged, do you have any control of how you move or is it completely controlled by the game?
During that intro, the player can use the cursor to look around. Of course, youâ€™re being dragged along behind a motorcycle through the desert, so you canâ€™t actually turn around, but you can shift your focus towards things you are interested in (as they hurtle by).
As Iâ€™m sure you have realized, the whole point of this sequence is of course to just toss the player right into the fire. We believe that without some kind of interaction, this sequence would be just watching a movieâ€¦ and this is a game, see. So, we put in the extra 10 million man-hours required to make it interactive.
Hereâ€™s a secret, though: part of the hidden design goal of that sequence is also to give the player something cool to see while they are (unconsciously, perhaps) experimenting with their interface and beginning to gain comfort with pointing and turning, so that by the time they are standing in front of the fire, they already have some basic familiarity with the way our controls work.
â€¢ Will there be other similar sequences?
We love making these â€“ as long as they are amazingly cool, weâ€™ll put as many of them in the game as we can manage to build. Try and stop us!
â€¢ In the E3 video interview when Jason talks about the difficulty settings he says that beating the game on Ninja difficulty is going to be an achievement, does that mean that there's going to be an achievement system like on the Xbox or is it just unlocking something in-game?
Well, in that specific case, I was using the word â€œachievementâ€ in its literal sense of â€œhaving done something incredibly challengingâ€. I was trying to convey the idea that I want give players who can beat this game on the hardest setting a sense of real accomplishment, both in the sense of gaming and in the sense of physical motion and dexterity. Being able to swing a sword around with skill and accuracy is something a lot of people think is pretty cool, and I want our best players to have something to be proud of.
As far as an actual system of achievement goes, we like the concept of rewarding the player for pushing themselves to attain difficult goals, so you never know what you might see. Stay tuned for more info on that.