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The Unreal Man: Mark Rein Speaks
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The Unreal Man: Mark Rein Speaks

November 28, 2007 Article Start Previous Page 8 of 8

BS: Have you had to do anything specific for Sixaxis motion control on the PS3?

MR: That's pretty safe and easy to do. On Unreal Tournament 3, we have two primary uses for the Sixaxis. One of them is to control the hoverboard. It actually works surprisingly well once you get used to it. The other is for the control of the Redeemer rockets, which you fly in 3D space. You bank and curve, and again, that's another pretty good use for it. We didn't make it part of the regular controls for running and shooting and things like that, because it just didn't make sense.

BS: Do you have the rumble built-in already?

MR: You know, I do not know the answer. I played a build of the game with rumble support in it, but I have no idea if the shipping version of the game has it in it or not. If it's not in there now, it will be in a future patch. We have have come out and said that we'll support it, and we have it working. I don't know if they felt that it was developed far enough to commit the shipping version or not. In fact, I was going to ask the programmer that question just yesterday, and I never got around to asking.

CN: The DualShock 3 doesn't ship in North America until next year, anyway, so it's not like...

MR: Yeah. It's the same thing with the Home support. You know us -- we support our games for a long time, so I'm sure these are things we will add.

BS: You're supporting these mods for however long, so I'm guessing you'll be supporting the game.

CN: Speaking of Home, have you talked to Sony about any of the limitations of your stuff in Home, or are you theorizing that Home stuff will be coming down the road because Home's going to be big?

MR: We're planning that you'll be able to get a party together in Home and then file into the game from an Unreal space. Home's pretty cool, so we're planning to do that. That'll make it easy for... what I like about that is that you'll be able to form without us having to build a party system. It won't be as detailed as a real party system, but the idea is that we could all meet up in a room and go together in the game.

I think it's really smart that eventually if everybody does that, each company doesn't have to develop its own way to all meet up somewhere and all go into a game. I think that's a very smart way to do it, and I kind of wish Xbox 360 would do that, and I'm hoping that they will at some point. In other words, all these games have these different systems for getting together and then traveling into the games together or playing as teams or whatever. I expect that to be a dashboard functionality at some point in the future for the Xbox 360, and I think Sony's already thinking that way with Home.

BS: That's interesting, because in a way, the 360 has a slightly more streamlined process in at least finding and meeting your friends and that sort of thing. But I guess it's true that within each game, you have...

MR: Well, Halo's got a completely custom system for that. It's not something to do with Xbox Live. It's their own system for that. That will be a great feature to have on the service. That's the kind of thing that down the road if they want to attract a lot more subscribers to Games for Windows Live -- again, that's the kind of service that people pay money for. They are paying money for it on Xbox Live, and they could pay money for it on Windows. That's the job of the operating system company, which in the Xbox 360's case is Microsoft. I think to build those things is the kind of stuff to make it easy for games to provide that functionality.

BS: Some of the PS3 stuff seems more bolted-on, earlier on. It's funny, it sounds like it's going to be more streamlined than it is now.

MR: I think it's pretty smart what they're doing with Home -- the idea that you can go into Home and get a group of guys together and saddle into the game. I think that's smart, and I think more and more companies making games for the PlayStation 3 Network will adopt that, because it's hard and painful and difficult to write, and why [do it] if the operating system is going to group these eight people together or however many people it is and just give them to you, why not just take it? That's a good thing.

That's how things have worked on the PC for a long time. Years ago, there were things like GameSpy and Xfire, and they all worked that way. Group a bunch of people and send them all to the same server. It makes your life easier as a developer, not having to build that functionality, and it takes a console to make that level of functionality the way Xbox Live has done things more consistently across multiple games.

BS: I didn't really realize, I guess, that Sony was actually building that capability in.

MR: It's one of the great features of Home.

CN: I think what's great about Home is the physical metaphor of "Everyone come to my room and we'll all go play what we want to play," whereas with Xbox, you're juggling between chatting with people in and out of games and dropping in and out.

BS: They're trying to do this virtual world, too.

MR: I don't know that one is all that much better than the other. That remains to be seen.

CN: That remains to be seen, but for me personally, I feel like that's a useful thing to me.

MR: I think they're both going to have their place. It'll be great to sit back as a spectator of the consoles and watch what people do. I think the future's pretty bright. It's great that the consoles are embracing networking and online and this whole idea of having groups together with voice chat and things like that. It's nice, because with those systems you get to put your disc in and you play.

On the PC, we're used to having Ventrilo and TeamSpeak and all these different methodologies of people doing things. We've always built our own in Unreal Tournament. When you press the B key, you just talk.

But at the same point in time, it's nice to have these kinds of standards, and have games operate the same way so that game design is constant on gameplay and ideas and designs, instead of "How do we implement a party system? How do we implement multiplayer chatting? How do we implement teams and clans? How do we do this and that?" It's great that there's going to be unified interfaces for those kinds of things, because it means that gamers will benefit from them.

Article Start Previous Page 8 of 8

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