Dishonored - Interview Roundup
Next to the reviews of Dishonored that will show up in large quantities over the next days there are also several interviews that are popping up.
Pure Sophistry talked with Harvey Smith on art, gaming and Dishonored:
Where do you see dishonoured in the spectrum of games? Where does it land? Between the art house games that deal with that specific niche or to the more high end, big budget games if you will?
That’s a really interesting question because dishonoured is definitely a kick ass action game were you play a supernatural assassin in a dark world where you can stop time, possess people, cut throats, shatter doors you’re that character, but at the same time at Arkane we truly are into doing more. It’s not a linear game its not scripted, it’s a bunch of systems working, you can play the game about an assassin were you can avoid killing anyone, when we tell someone about that they always ask “really? Even the main target?” Yes, even the main target. We set out as a goal, we settled on it about half way through the game to track how violent the player was being, and then stabilize or destabilize the world depending on that. And so you can wreck everything and kill anyone you encounter, or you can avoid killing innocents, or anyone. And then you end up with a world where the government a little more stable and things are a bit nicer. And that’s one part of it. It’s ambitious because it tries to have a foot in both camps.
Forbes chatted with Harvey Smith and Raphael Colantonio:
What are the difficulty options for the game? Will it be one size fits all, or will there be a difficulty setting option? How does the game’s difficulty compare to other stealth games?
We’ve included four difficulty modes, but that only scratches the surface in terms of options.
This is a game about assassin, designed around allowing people to approach the experience with different play-styles, stealth or straight up combat, moral outlooks, which powers you choose to acquire and upgrade, which of the many pathways you take through a mission, how much you explore (vs bee-lining through the game), etc. Different players will have different experiences, and we hope they’ll compare notes.
Some of the most tense, dramatic moments happen on high difficulty, playing according to some of the self-imposed goals like “ghosting” the game, or never being seen. We compare to other stealth games in an interesting way, because we never force stealth and players don’t “fail” when the alarms go off; after you get busted, Dishonored gets fun in a different way.
The Gamers Hub talke to Raphael Colantonio and Harvey Smith:
TGH: How do you go about building a world as large as Dunwall, and then allowing players to approach each situation as they see fit?
Harvey and Raf: The short answer is that we plan for this and encourage it, and when possible we “let the systems work it out.”
The longer answer: The level designers and architects set up their mission objectives, enemy patrols and environments with ideas for the two or three most likely ways for players to complete the mission. We do this by matching player tools and archetypical play styles with mission elements: we always make sure that the stealthy player can hide, that the tricky player can hack, unlock or bribe, that the direct player can fight, etc. Plus each area will end up with a few more ideas contributed over time, as people on the team consider the situation. But much of the magic happens courtesy of the simulation: our systems interact in cohesive ways and we try not to script interactions. The assassination target is always in the world, for instance, instead of being spawned under set story conditions. When things work according to general purpose rules, it allows players many more permutations of interaction, to approach each situation as they see fit. As long as the objective is complete, we don’t care how the player did it. Sometimes we’re surprised by how creative players can be during moments of tension, trying to achieve their objectives. Sometimes they short-cut some content, but that’s cool… power to the player.
And an older one at Sci-Fi London, talking to Sebastian Mitton:
Some members of the development team worked on 'Deus Ex' - did they bring a flavour of that game to Dishonored or was the intention always to create something completely new?
Some coworkers worked on Deus Ex as game-designers and level designers. It has indirectly impacted the art, as their demand was in the vein of the Deus Ex design style. So yes, we share the same philosophy, but art-wise Dishonored is a fresh new experience in a world built from scratch.
Platform: PC, Xbox 360, PS3