A Global Phenomenon: Andersson and Judd on Capcom/GRIN's Bionic Commando
December 5, 2008 Page 4 of 5
This is your first console game, so do you see the PC as being a really important platform for this title for you? Or even in the future?
UA: No. I see this more as a console title than anything else. Of course, we've got PC sensibilities, so it's not going to be the average port. We want to make it proper.
It depends on the project we're working on. If it was first-person, I would say something completely different. I think the market and the interest for third-person is lower, but at the same time, the PC version is still fun to play. We've got that playfulness and open-ended stuff going down, so it's still going to be interesting for PC players to pick up.
BJ: From Capcom's perspective, one of the biggest advantages of working with GRIN is that they do have a lot of PC experience. Whereas if you look at the titles we've put out on the PC in the past, they haven't necessarily been optimized at the PC level that they should have been, I think.
So we're trying to also create a pipeline between some of the big PC graphics board makers, CPU makers, etcetera, so we can start focusing on the PC market as well. So this is going to be a good step for us in that direction.
Lost Planet came to Steam, and I think it did pretty all right. I don't know for certain.
Can you say that?
BJ: I didn't say anything. It's the wind! Ask Takeuchi-san about it.
Okay. I will someday. (laughter) Unless I don't.
BJ: Guess you better not forget...
Actually, I would be surprised if it did well, but I thought maybe it did better than I had anticipated.
BJ: People can think a lot of things. (laughter)
UA: Cool game, though. I liked it. It had a lot of cool, different stuff in it.
Did you guys get any design input from Capcom of Japan?
UA: More advice, I would say, and more of having people play the game to their vantage point of if it's too hard, or too complex, or too western.
So we tried to hit somewhere where it feels very Capcom-y, and try to get the lowest denominator up, so everybody can play the game, but you can still go pretty far and deep into it.
But we have had a lot of freedom during this project, so that's been great. I don't think that it would be possible otherwise. If we didn't have that freedom making the swing mechanic and the type of setting, it would be just too scary for everyone involved. So that's been great.
What did you think about the process of taking this franchise? The last original installment -- there's some remakes and things -- came out in 1988, and obviously, you guys had to update it and change the characters a bit. Initially, people were freaked out about that, but from a creative standpoint, what did you think about updating the franchise? Was it satisfying?
UA: It was fantastic. It's always fantastic. I think developers in general have a misconception of working with [established] IP. It's like, "Oh, it's terrible! We don't get creative freedom!" and blah blah blah.
And in the end... you always get the freedom to do stuff. It just depends on what level, and what you're focusing on.
We don't necessarily focus on only creating new shit. We try to make good shit instead. So we focus on the gameplay. What's fun to do on [external] IPs, especially stuff like Bionic Commando, is that you get a certain rule set that you have to keep to, and that is very creatively challenging.
So instead of saying, "Oh, we can come up with anything. Okay, Let's do a shooter!" (sarcastically) Oh, that's interesting. That puts you in a certain area, where you have to start using the old noggin. It's more interesting, to me.
BJ: I think that since it's been 20 years and there's never been a 3D version of it, there's still plenty of room to be creative. If you were doing a new Street Fighter game or if you were doing a new Final Fantasy game, what you have to make and what direction you have to go in is already pretty much set.
You can tweak that to a certain degree. But in general, you know it's got to have these characters and they've got to have these moves, so you can't really be creative with that. With BC, it's been so long since it's been gone that it's practically creating an original game, in some ways.
If you have the right vision, you can take a series and radically alter it, like with Resident Evil 4.
BJ: And Metroid Prime.
UA: Good examples.
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