I want to talk to you about design touchstones. It's usually Japanese games, and classic games, which you refer to.
I'm totally comfortable with that conversation, but it's just funny, because you don't see as much leading coming from Japan these days -- at least not in the general consensus.
DM: I see that, and I think that's actually true, and you certainly see even some of the more outspoken Japanese developers echoing that sentiment. But then I play Super Mario Galaxy or Super Mario Galaxy 2 -- or I haven't played the new Zelda yet but from everything I've seen...
While they're still similar formulas that they're playing with... Like, man, Super Mario Galaxy 1 and 2 blew me away! There are some unbelievably amazing designs in those games that are just stomping what we're doing here in America, from a design standpoint.
I think the more Western culture stuff -- we are definitely way far ahead of Japan when it comes to storytelling, I think. Creating an emotive experience. We've done a good job of blockbuster-izing videogames, I think. But as far as just beautiful, elegant design, where controls just feel tight, and it feels like an extension of you, we're not there yet. And I'm trying to make our games be like that. It's a rare American game that I play where I feel like the controls are nearly as tight as some of the stuff Nintendo does.
I don't know, what do you think? I mean, can you think of one?
I think it's a different aesthetic.
DM: It's a different aesthetic. It is, yeah.
And I think that if you start to think of gameplay as an aesthetic -- not just visuals as an aesthetic or storytelling as an aesthetic -- it's a different aesthetic. And I think that I agree with you in broad strokes. If you look at what a game like Skyrim, or something, is trying to portray, it's just not even the same kind of thing, from a gameplay perspective. More open-ended, more about systems design than about that moment-to-moment.
DM: Yeah, exactly, and that is awesome. That's what I'm saying. I mean, if you look at some of the stuff Skyrim is pulling off, it's flabbergastingly amazing. I guess to me, my problem is that I want it all. I want that big, open-ended Skyrim game with the tightness of a Zelda or a Mario, you know? I want it to be that, but also when I swing the sword it just feels smooth, and feels like I hit that guy, and it connected.
And maybe this is too much. I totally get why that's hard to do. I'm playing through Uncharted 3 right now and there's stuff in Uncharted that I am like, "Oh my gosh!" Naughty Dog, and Amy [Hennig], and those guys, they're at least five years ahead of the rest of us from a narrative, storytelling kind of standpoint. At least. And I get because that was so much the focus, that maybe when I'm playing with the gunplay, or going into cover, that's not going to be as tight and polished as in Gears 3. But I wish it was. I wish I could have it all. I want it all, but…
Yeah, I know what you mean.
DM: You know? But yeah, there's a lot of cool stuff happening in games right now. But it's a rare game, at least I haven't quite played the game yet, that brings all of those things I want into one experience.