What do you think is the importance of storytelling and writing in games? People were citing Rockstar as a good example of generally doing it right.
AW: Depending on the game you're making, it's either going to shift a balance so that the game hinges upon the character and the story to pull you through, or it's just going to be a really great enhancement. A great game with a not-so-great story can still be a great game, but a great story with no game is never going to be a game.
But the reality is that we don't deal in absolutes. It's one more of those ingredients that's going to make the experience feel more complete. For games that are more character or story-based, there's definitely more of a need to deliver the same level of quality [in story as in gameplay].
How do you think it is that Rockstar's managed to do a better job of [making games consistent on all levels] than other companies?
AW: Probably never being happy with our own games. We're constantly like, "How do we make it better?" It's also because we're making games that we want to make, and we believe that we're part of the audience that we're developing for.
When you're meeting your own expectations of what you want to play and are representative of your audience, it's so much easier to not fail. It's very hard to succeed, but it's easier to not fail when you're actually trying to make something for yourself.
How do you see Rockstar San Diego growing over the next few years?
AW: I don't think it's about numbers. I don't think that if we add 20,000 square feet to our space or 30 more people, we'll magically become better. I think the goal is to not get so big that we're spending so much time thinking about how to survive. I see us becoming more and more influential and able to push the limits of what we're doing further, but I don't necessarily think that means more people or a bigger size.
Is there anything else you'd like to get across about you guys and what you're doing here?
AW: I wish I knew the best way to be able to quantify what we are, who we are, and how we do things, so that people would want to be part of what we do, based upon what we really are. Like trying to define next-gen, trying to define what we are [is difficult].
We're this amazing blend of a thousand spices that all happen to work together extremely well, but it's impossible to describe the flavor without actually experiencing it. I love when we bring new guys in. Their dream is to come in here, and we don't disappoint. That's a really satisfying thing.