Gaming is a powerful medium and you can see that in Dishonored’s artistry and sense of place. If you consider a game to be a blank canvas, do you feel the corridor approach is a waste of that potential?
Yeah I mean we don’t necessarily try to give a message so much, but I definitely want to engage the player’s emotion and let them express themselves. It’s more about the player than us really, and I think players recognise that. I’ve heard a few players say that of our previous game, like ‘to me it felt real, like a place with identification. A very real place.’
That was a really nice feeling that they said that, because it wasn’t a corridor where everything feels fake and you never look behind or explore, or you just keep on moving forward and everyone’s faking it. Those games are a show, you know, but occasionally I like that.
Dishonored does have a sense of place though, like the big environments of our day – City 17 Rapture, and so on. That must have been a difficult feeling to establish. Was the world always the same as it exists now.
No, it was very iterative. The infrastructure and the initial map of the world was done very quickly, and then one the map was done they cut it up so they knew that mission two is here, mission three is there.
Viktor Antonov and the art director were methodical about these things and very structured. But yeah it took forever – mostly the style during pre-production – but even as the game was being made we kept on adding and adding and refining. So yeah, it’s been a long and complex process.