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Insomniac speaks to PS3 Arcadians

ThreepioThreepio New Westminster, BCRegistered User regular
edited April 2007 in Games and Technology
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As promised, here's the transcript of the interview we did with Insomniac Games. They answered 10 of our questions - and I think you'll find the answers interesting. There's a lot of "no comment" action as well as "read between the lines" but I'm pleased with the answers we got.

Here we go:

PS3 Arcadians: How long will we continue to see support for Resistance through patches and new maps?

Brian Hastings, Chief Creative Officer: We don't have any end date supporting Resistance: Fall of Man. For a list of all the upcoming features, modes and maps that will be available in May, please check out this link at IGN's site: http://ps3.ign.com/articles/769/769623p1.html


PS3 Arcadians: With the successful launch of Resistance this quarter and Ratchet and Clank Future this year, are you establishing a cycle of releases? Specifically, can we look forward to a new iteration in Resistance next year and a sequel to Ratchet and Clank Future the year after that?

BH Insomniac: Insomniac does have multiple projects we’re working on simultaneously, but we can't comment on anything beyond what we've already announced. As we've been growing as a company we've gone from working solely on one game at a time to overlapping development of titles. We're continuing to grow, but we're doing it at a controlled pace so that we can make sure that each title we release is as good as it can be. We're always thinking about new project ideas and fun new things to do as a company, but we have to make sure that each new thing we do has that "Insomniac" quality and feel and that it doesn't negatively impact our other titles.


PS3 Arcadians: We've had a great free patch for Resistance. Will we continue to see free content or do you intend to move to a paid download model? Does the rumour that Epic wants to release their content for free have any impact on your decision?

BH Insomniac: Anything related to pricing of paid content is up to Sony. Our main focus is on expanding and supporting the Resistance: FOM community in every way we can. Regarding Epic, we greatly respect them as a company, but we're basing our decisions on what to do with downloadable content on our long-term design goals and on feedback from the Resistance: FOM community, and not on what other companies are doing.


PS3 Arcadians: Fans are clamouring for online co-op in Resistance. Are there any plans to add this feature?

BH Insomniac: No. We're not going to patch the Resistance: Fall of Man single-player campaign. We do listen to all the requests from our fans, though, and online co-op is one of the many features we're considering for future titles.


PS3 Arcadians: Will R&C Future feature multiplayer or are you focusing your efforts on single player? How about co-op multiplayer?

BH Insomniac: The vast majority of fan feedback we've received is that players really want a long, epic adventure with a lot of variety, so that continues to be our primary focus in Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction. At this point, I can't discuss anything more than that.


PS3 Arcadians: Everyone loves the guns in Ratchet and Clank games. Have you had anything that sounded great on paper but didn't work out when implemented? What have we lost to the cutting room floor?

BH Insomniac: We try out a lot of different ideas every game and every player seems to have a different favorite weapon. Some of the ones that have been, in my opinion, the best weapons end up going unappreciated by a lot of players. Different players have different strategies and different ways of approaching a game. Some players don't really experiment or try out different weapons and primarily just use the first weapon they get throughout the game. This was the case in Resistance: FOM as well, where some players never really tried out the alternate fire on most of the weapons, despite the major strategic advantages you could get from mastering them. Not surprisingly, the people who liked the game the most were usually the ones who did learn how to use all the different weapons, so we did our best to encourage weapon switching and alt-fire usage in the game.

One of my personal favorite weapons, dating back to R&C: Up Your Arsenal, is the Holoshield (it also appears as the Auger shield in Resistance.) It's a weapon that lets you shoot out force-field shields that block enemy shots but let your shots pass through. During play tests a lot of players didn't really like it and didn't use it, or they just didn't see why it was useful. But those players who used them got a huge strategic advantage and it changed the way they approached each battle. The "Infector" weapon (causes enemies to attack each other) is another one of my favorites that often gets underused. For the most part, when a weapon turns out to be less popular than we expected, it has been more a matter of it being too different or too hard to understand
than it not being useful.



PS3 Arcadians: How would you describe your experiences developing games for the PlayStation 3? What do you like (or dislike) about it?

BH Insomniac: It's been both challenging and rewarding for us. Doing a launch title was extremely challenging, especially since it was something we had never done before. But in the end I think it was the best thing for us as a company and gave us an earlier start in the hardware cycle than we've ever had before.

Making games in high-def has been challenging just because the expectations are so high now, but it's also been really rewarding because every day our artists, programmers and sound engineers are raising the bar in terms of what we can do with the system.

I'm especially excited by what the PS3 offers us as in terms of the hardware, OS and community support. Sony has done a lot of things differently from the PS2 that really benefit the developer, including the standard HDD, the large storage medium, the upgradeable OS and the
unified network platform. These are things that I think will have more and more benefits to games as we get further into the PS3's lifecycle.



PS3 Arcadians: Have you given any thought to developing downloadable games for the PlayStation Network?

BH Insomniac: Yes, lots of thought. It's something we'd really like to do, and it's one of the things I find most exciting about the PS3 in general. At this point we're not ready to discuss any plans for it, but I can say that it is definitely an area we want to focus on in the future.


PS3 Arcadians: What are your thoughts on PlayStation Home? How do you feel about Game 3.0? Can we look forward to user created content in Future (pun intended) Insomniac games?

BH Insomniac: As you can tell from our latest blog (click on Blarg after logging into the Insomniac Community section at www.insomniacgames.com), I'm very happy about PS3’s Home. An evolving community based in a user created world is a really great thing for console gaming. The PC gaming world has had a lot of different applications that have supported user created content, but I really like how Sony is bringing those various applications together into a cohesive whole. User created content is something we're especially keen on doing in our games, but I can't make any announcements at this point about when and how we're going to do it. It's something that takes time and experimentation to perfect, and when we do it we want to make sure it's something that's intuitive enough that a large percentage of players will fully use it. I think Media Molecule's LittleBigPlanet shows off how to do it exactly right - from the intuitive and seamless way it lets you create levels while playing them, to the system for ranking and sharing the worlds you create. That's truly the premier example of how to do user created content on a console.


PS3 Arcadians: Will we ever see another "Disruptor"?

BH Insomniac: Not unless Vivendi Universal chooses to make one, since they own the rights to the IP. It really was a fun game and I have a lot of nostalgia for it, but its story and its universe aren't what make it special to me. So, even if we owned the Disruptor IP, I'd still prefer to make an FPS in a brand new universe than make a sequel to Disruptor.


I'd like to thank Ryan Schneider, James Stevenson and Brian Hastings from Insomniac Games for taking the time to answer our questions. They're a stand up bunch of lads and we appreciate it. If you enjoyed this article, please show your support by contributing to team 54717 of Folding Arcadians and contributing to the wiki at ps3arcadians.com

I'm still not 100% confident with making posts like this, so I apologize if the above sucks. Cheers.

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Threepio on

Posts

  • MonoxideMonoxide Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited April 2007
    I'll ask it before anyone else does.

    How the hell did you get an interview with Insomniac Games so fast? PS3 Arcadians has been up for, what, 3 weeks? And it has no content except the folding stats, a few news posts, and this interview. I'm curious.

    Monoxide on
  • brynstarbrynstar Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Awesome interview Threepio, thanks once more for all your efforts!

    brynstar on
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  • MonoxideMonoxide Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited April 2007
    Wow, that's interesting. No co-op for Resistance? That's going to disappoint a lot of people, even though they were getting their hopes up in the first place.

    Monoxide on
  • Houk the NamebringerHouk the Namebringer Nipples The EchidnaRegistered User regular
    edited April 2007
    if i could work at any dev i wanted, these guys would easily be on my top 5, if not #1. not only are their games way awesome (i just got into R&C, shame on me), but their office and people are really top-notch.

    Houk the Namebringer on
  • FatBabyFatBaby Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Monoxide wrote: »
    I'll ask it before anyone else does.

    How the hell did you get an interview with Insomniac Games so fast? PS3 Arcadians has been up for, what, 3 weeks? And it has no content except the folding stats, a few news posts, and this interview. I'm curious.

    Ask? :)

    No really, I don't know... they do seem to get back to very quickly though... I remember e-mailing them a question about something and I got a reply back in like an hour. I was pretty surprised.

    Other than that, great interview! I would love to see if you could get more!

    FatBaby on
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  • Ownage JonesOwnage Jones Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Houk wrote: »
    if i could work at any dev i wanted, these guys would easily be on my top 5, if not #1. not only are their games way awesome (i just got into R&C, shame on me), but their office and people are really top-notch.

    Top of the line, first-class folk. :^:

    Ownage Jones on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    Currently playing: Infamous, Resident Evil 5
    Need to play: Shadow Complex, Uncharted 2, Ratchet and Clank: ACIT, MW2, Alpha Protocol
  • Houk the NamebringerHouk the Namebringer Nipples The EchidnaRegistered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Houk wrote: »
    if i could work at any dev i wanted, these guys would easily be on my top 5, if not #1. not only are their games way awesome (i just got into R&C, shame on me), but their office and people are really top-notch.

    Top of the line, first-class folk. :^:
    btw i always mean to ask and never remember at the right time - i know your job is involved with games/sony, but what do you do exactly? or do i not know cuz youve never said for some reason?

    anyway, i think im just gonna go ahead and get in touch with these guys tomorrow and start trolling for info on what id have to do to even be considered for an eventual hire there, or if they even have a spot for a non-technical bibliophile like myself. hmm...

    edit: another awesome thing about these guys - if you look at the credits page in their manual, you'll notice they list everyone, alphabetically, in one giant list, instead of going category by category. They obviously want everyone to feel an equal part of ownership over the finished project, and i think that is incredibly classy.

    Houk the Namebringer on
  • GilderGilder Aw snap Macaroni PartyRegistered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Houk wrote: »
    Houk wrote: »
    if i could work at any dev i wanted, these guys would easily be on my top 5, if not #1. not only are their games way awesome (i just got into R&C, shame on me), but their office and people are really top-notch.

    Top of the line, first-class folk. :^:
    btw i always mean to ask and never remember at the right time - i know your job is involved with games/sony, but what do you do exactly? or do i not know cuz youve never said for some reason?

    anyway, i think im just gonna go ahead and get in touch with these guys tomorrow and start trolling for info on what id have to do to even be considered for an eventual hire there, or if they even have a spot for a non-technical bibliophile like myself. hmm...

    Just don't mess with Ted Price's land. My mom works for the company that manages the housing neighborhood he lives in and he got all pissed off over something stupid like he got a letter for leaving his trash out :lol:. He apologized though and even sent me a free game a few months later. I should really get back in contact with him. He's a nice guy when he's not angry at you.

    Gilder on
  • Houk the NamebringerHouk the Namebringer Nipples The EchidnaRegistered User regular
    edited April 2007
    dammit! i'd heard that it's an insta-hire if you shit on his lawn. time to rethink my approach...

    Houk the Namebringer on
  • Ownage JonesOwnage Jones Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Houk wrote: »
    Houk wrote: »
    if i could work at any dev i wanted, these guys would easily be on my top 5, if not #1. not only are their games way awesome (i just got into R&C, shame on me), but their office and people are really top-notch.

    Top of the line, first-class folk. :^:
    btw i always mean to ask and never remember at the right time - i know your job is involved with games/sony, but what do you do exactly? or do i not know cuz youve never said for some reason?

    anyway, i think im just gonna go ahead and get in touch with these guys tomorrow and start trolling for info on what id have to do to even be considered for an eventual hire there, or if they even have a spot for a non-technical bibliophile like myself. hmm...

    edit: another awesome thing about these guys - if you look at the credits page in their manual, you'll notice they list everyone, alphabetically, in one giant list, instead of going category by category. They obviously want everyone to feel an equal part of ownership over the finished project, and i think that is incredibly classy.

    Heh, I've said this a lot, but I don't work for Sony. Friends in different places? Yep.

    Job description is something I'll be remaining mum on for the foreseeable future (yay for NDAs). I do a lot, not just one thing. It's good. ;-)

    I can PM you a bit of advice, though.

    Ownage Jones on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    Currently playing: Infamous, Resident Evil 5
    Need to play: Shadow Complex, Uncharted 2, Ratchet and Clank: ACIT, MW2, Alpha Protocol
  • ThreepioThreepio New Westminster, BCRegistered User regular
    edited April 2007
    How did PS3 Arcadians get the interview?

    Well, as mentioned above, I asked :) I do have some contacts through my job (I'm trying to see if someone from Sony Canada will sit down with me the next time they're in the office - and I might have the opportunity to visit the Propaganda Games studio soon) but with Insomniac it was simple - I emailed them.

    They're terribly nice people, incredibly accommodating and they seemed to appreciate that we, as their fans, are curious about their games.

    It seems like the response to this has been good, so I'm going to see who I can bother next. PM me with any suggestions :)

    Threepio on
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  • Wonder_HippieWonder_Hippie __BANNED USERS regular
    edited April 2007
    I love what he said about the unique weapons and such in R&C and Resistance. I know that I used the hell out of the infector in GC, and that it was the second weapon I got up to level 5.

    The auger, however, is a different story completely. I use almost exclusively that when I play Resistance online, and have something like 20 of those Auger Mastery badges. It's a fucking genius weapon. Just lay down two or three shields and blast through them for 1-hit kills. Fucking genius.

    Wonder_Hippie on
  • ArugulaZArugulaZ Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Kind of disappointed that you didn't have room for my question (or the questions others had asked about Spyro the Dragon), but oh well... you win some, you lose some!

    ArugulaZ on
    JR

    Same old site, great new look! Check out The Gameroom Blitz at:
    http://www.lakupo.com/grblitz
  • Ownage JonesOwnage Jones Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    This will be harder, but I suggest Naughty Dog or SCEA Santa Monica.

    Ownage Jones on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    Currently playing: Infamous, Resident Evil 5
    Need to play: Shadow Complex, Uncharted 2, Ratchet and Clank: ACIT, MW2, Alpha Protocol
  • Houk the NamebringerHouk the Namebringer Nipples The EchidnaRegistered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Heh, I've said this a lot, but I don't work for Sony. Friends in different places? Yep.

    Job description is something I'll be remaining mum on for the foreseeable future (yay for NDAs). I do a lot, not just one thing. It's good. ;-)

    I can PM you a bit of advice, though.
    You know what, I think I might've known that and was getting you and threepio mixed up. Or threepio also doesnt work 'on the inside' and im just fucking mental. thats not at all unlikely.

    Houk the Namebringer on
  • ThreepioThreepio New Westminster, BCRegistered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Heh. I work for World's Largest Retailer X in their Canadian web division.

    As a note: I submitted all of our questions - but they asked me to pick the ten I'd like answered most. Unfortunately we didn't have room for Spyro in this round. Maybe next time :)

    Edit: I've just sent an email to Naughty Dog - so we'll see how that goes.

    Threepio on
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  • fragglefartfragglefart Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Well done on the interview!

    Some good questions and some straight-up decent answers.

    Good luck on the PS3 Arcadians site too, I have much love for the 360 community over at 360 Arcadians, would be sweet for you PS3 guys to have one too, good for community multiplayer, especially if I ever end up with that shiny black box one day (pricecutplzsonykthx).

    Now go get Media Molecule - those guys look awesome.

    fragglefart on
    fragglefart.jpg
  • Unco-ordinatedUnco-ordinated NZRegistered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Now go get Media Molecule - those guys look awesome.

    I'd recommend that you download Develop magazine (it's completely free). I haven't been able to read it yet, but from what I've heard it's got a pretty good interview in it.

    Anyway, nice interview. Insomniac really seem to be trying to build up their interactivity with the online community, what with the interviews and the podcast.

    Also, I'm not sure if getting a Naughty Dog interview would be that great at this time. Me thinks it'd be better to wait until we know a bit more about Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, so the entire interview isn't just Naughty Dog dodging questions. Even more so with Sony Santa Monica.

    Unco-ordinated on
    Steam ID - LiquidSolid170 | PSN ID - LiquidSolid
  • HardtargetHardtarget There Are Four Lights VancouverRegistered User regular
    edited April 2007
    we need to have a 360arcadians vs ps3arcadians mega fight to the death!

    hmm.. this might not actually be a good idea.

    edit - good to see FS pays you enough for a PS3 threepio :)

    Hardtarget on
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  • ThreepioThreepio New Westminster, BCRegistered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Thanks for dropping by, Hardtarget. Good to see you - hope you enjoyed the interview. Yes, they apparently pay me enough to own a PS3. I might even go as far as to say that they pay me well - and for a job that's ridiculously fun, no less. Now I just need to requisition a new chair - this one doesn't slouch well.

    I'd agree that Insomniac was incredibly easy to talk to - their efforts to reach out to the community get a thumbs up from me.

    In the meantime I've also put out a few feelers to Sony Canada to see if they'd be interested in chatting. They're in the building every once in a while - hopefully we can make it work.

    Threepio on
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  • DesertChickenDesertChicken Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Thanks for the the interview, Threepio

    DesertChicken on
    PSN/XBLA/SteamID- DesertChicken
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  • Ownage JonesOwnage Jones Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Hardtarget wrote: »
    we need to have a 360arcadians vs ps3arcadians mega fight to the death!


    We'd have to pick a mutual game. I really wish UT3 was cross console play, but that's pie in the sky.

    I volunteer to hand people their ass in Street Fighter though.;-)

    Ownage Jones on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    Currently playing: Infamous, Resident Evil 5
    Need to play: Shadow Complex, Uncharted 2, Ratchet and Clank: ACIT, MW2, Alpha Protocol
  • syndalissyndalis Getting Classy On the WallRegistered User, Loves Apple Products regular
    edited April 2007
    You should all buy 360s so I can whip your ass in Drunken Poker ;)

    syndalis on
    SW-4158-3990-6116
    Let's play Mario Kart or something...
  • Houk the NamebringerHouk the Namebringer Nipples The EchidnaRegistered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Hardtarget wrote: »
    we need to have a 360arcadians vs ps3arcadians mega fight to the death!


    We'd have to pick a mutual game. I really wish UT3 was cross console play, but that's pie in the sky.

    I volunteer to hand people their ass in Street Fighter though.;-)
    i was assuming this was an actual thunderdome brawl or, barring that, larping.

    Houk the Namebringer on
  • ThreepioThreepio New Westminster, BCRegistered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Houk wrote: »
    Hardtarget wrote: »
    we need to have a 360arcadians vs ps3arcadians mega fight to the death!


    We'd have to pick a mutual game. I really wish UT3 was cross console play, but that's pie in the sky.

    I volunteer to hand people their ass in Street Fighter though.;-)
    i was assuming this was an actual thunderdome brawl or, barring that, larping.

    I've got dibs on being Skinny Kratos.

    Edit: Top'o'the'page! Hello!

    As a note: Sony Canada got back to me this morning! I'm looking to see what sort of relationship this is going to be, hopefully we can do the same thing there. Secondary note: LoL Sony is not a question.

    Threepio on
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  • darleysamdarleysam On my way to UKRegistered User regular
    edited April 2007
    one thing i'd want to know about the next R&C, will Dr Jan Itor be providing any voices?

    darleysam on
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  • jothkijothki Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Why the heck did they dodge the question about what weapons ended up being cut?

    jothki on
  • LewiePLewieP Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    jothki wrote: »
    Why the heck did they dodge the question about what weapons ended up being cut?

    they might end up in future games?

    LewieP on
  • Houk the NamebringerHouk the Namebringer Nipples The EchidnaRegistered User regular
    edited April 2007
    LewieP wrote: »
    jothki wrote: »
    Why the heck did they dodge the question about what weapons ended up being cut?

    they might end up in future games?
    they also might not want fans going 'oh man! they cut that! but thats way cooler than the shit they did put in!'

    Houk the Namebringer on
  • ThreepioThreepio New Westminster, BCRegistered User regular
    edited April 2007
    This isn't directly related, but I thought folks might find this interesting - Insomniac digitized a boy who was paralyzed in an accident and he's going to appear in R&C Future: Tools of Destruction. Sweet Tron action.

    The story can be found on Destructoid

    Threepio on
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  • CarnivoreCarnivore Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Insomniac remind me of Free Radical.

    In that their games are awesome but the people are awesome too. Bit like Bungie too, a real 'community' developer as it were.

    Carnivore on
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