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Obviously the mechanics are completely different, but what you just said, structurally, almost reminds me of Portal.
NC: Yeah. We've taken inspirations from certain games, but again, we try to be very unique, and we try to really keep Mirror's Edge as Mirror's Edge. People have compared it to Assassin's Creed, but we were well into development before that game came out.
So I think that's the thing: that we try to create a unique style, and something very different, so while there may be elements that make you think, "Well, that was cool," we've really tried to blaze the trail.
I'm interested in the idea of games that are not explicitly combat-oriented, but are still first person. How much did you have to tweak mechanics to ensure they were still fun without relying on guns and things that people are going to expect?
NC: The core mechanics are fairly straightforward; it was then building out the levels, so that the levels had variety in them. You know, the other thing, without going into details about this, but the replayability aspects of the game, that was really important, and we've done a lot of stuff there to really want to come back and play the levels again.
That was really important to us, that you come back and play; find out the best routes and you will be rewarded for that. So there's variety in the levels -- combat is still a part of the game, but it's just not all of it.
But we'll also reward you for not actually engaging an enemy; there's actually an achievement in the game, to finish it without engaging in combat. And I think that's a cool, different take on a first person game.
I imagine that with a first person perspective, it would be much easier to say, "Well, we can have the character do this crazy move," since you don't need to worry about the character animation as much as you would in third-person -- but on the other hand, you have to worry about it being disorienting. Did you find that you had to whittle down the elements until you got to the ones that were really key?
NC: Yeah, totally. And that was in that white box process, getting the basics. And it's really... It's keeping everything simple. I think a lot of games will put in just amazing moves for the sake of it; for us it's just keeping it simple.
It's a simple jump, it's context sensitive, so it's really easy to pick up, but it's the combinations that you use them in, it's the way that you use them, it's the way that you interact with them in the environment and in the levels, that makes them so important.
You haven't got seven hundred different moves to do, you've just got the basic controls, and it's how you use them. The only limit to this game is your imagination and this girl.