I’m also seeing people doing more context sensitive type stuff. Like in Gears of War, for instance, they have the context sensitive cover button, so it’s like you dash into cover. You hit one button to do a whole bunch of stuff. Then there's BlackSite, which Harvey Smith is doing, and he has context sensitive team mechanics. Since you have a sight on your gun, it’s first person, you press the “team” button, and it’s like okay, they go over there, or if you hit a door, it says “open that door”, or if there’s an enemy, they attack the enemy…
JR: Well absolutely. Simplifying for the end user is great. But that can get complicated too. When you’re slightly off the targeting, and you end up shooting someone in the shoulder, you know what I mean.
On the programming side?
JR: Not on the programming side so much as it can get complicated for the user if the same button does different things unexpectedly, I guess.
There's another silly thing I wanted to talk you about - your cancelled Metallica game some.
JR: Okay (laughs). We pitched a Metallica game that went straight to their management. I don’t know if they actually ever spoke to Metallica itself, but we definitely got to their real management, you know, the people who needed to do it, we got to with it.
And you had some design documents, right?
JR: At some point. I don’t have them anymore.
What was it going to be like, though? Gameplay-wise?
JR: That was before we started thinking 3D. So it was going to be more 3D/2D. It was going to be more like Nights, or the Crash levels that were sidescrolling. You were going to play as any one of the four band members at that time. And all of the levels were going to be based on their songs.
Was Cliff still alive?
JR: Cliff was not alive, no. It would’ve be Jason Newsted, would’ve been the bassist, I guess. So it would’ve been a sidescroller, and I hope it wouldn’t have ended up like a Shaq-Fu or something, where it had great potential and fell on its face, but… That was the idea we had. We were young, and naïve, and I loved Metallica, and still love Metallica. But yeah.
Well it was a great idea… with the song titles as basis for levels.
JR: Right. For Whom the Bell Tolls would’ve been in a bell tower, and The Thing That Should Not Be was the final boss.
Right, yeah. And as I mentioned, you really should have Dave Mustaine as some kind of renegade character in that.
JR: Exactly, he’d be the secret unlockable character that runs twice as fast.
Yes, because he was always on speed.
JR: Yes, exactly.
And in the end, he gets religion. I don’t know if you know he did that.
JR: I did. I knew that.
And then he stopped making good music. Oh well. It happens!
JR: No comment on his music, but, it is too bad.
Yeah it’s a shame. Is there anything else you want to mention about Iron and the Maiden?
JR: No. I just had a great amount of fun doing this. It’s been really rewarding for me. And uh, I think, people who even if they don’t pick up comic books: this is not your average superhero kind of comic book, and they ought to take a look at it. And they can go to http://www.ironandthemaiden.com/ for a lot of preview material and the like.