Talking as part of an in-depth Gamasutra interview, Surreal studio head Alan Patmore has been discussing the Midway-owned firm's upcoming This Is Vegas, suggesting that it avoids the "breadth experience" of other sandbox games, and noting: "You don't need just to have an open world game with just one kick or one punch."
When asked about the "jack of all trades, master of none" issues when it comes to the play mechanics of open-world titles which include elements such as driving and fighting in the same game, Patmore notes:
"Well, it is challenging. Because there's basically open world games which, the way I look at it is "seeing the forest, not the tree," and then there are games, you know, very cinematic games like Gears of War, for example, where you see a very small field of view, you're seeing what the designers want to show you.
Great game experience, but they're two totally different game experiences, and I think the consumers are starting to figure that out; that the game experiences I get with GTA or Saints Row are much more of a breadth experience, and people's expectations are not going to be fighting game level of mechanics.
Now it's interesting because we've actually gone pretty deep in a lot of our mechanics -- probably deeper than other open world games -- and we did that just more to support the Vegas vibe, and, quite frankly, I think you can go deeper.
You don't need just to have an open world game with just one kick or one punch, you can have a more fun, robust combat system; especially when combat's such a pivotal part to these open world games.
So it's really just a balancing act, just like the size of the world is balancing your resources in how deep you want to go on certain mechanics, and how important those mechanics are in the open world."
You can now read the full Gamasutra feature on the subject, including lots more detail on the code sharing implemented between Midway games on the project, as well as the issues of creating a compelling sandbox title.