Climax confiesa a los revogamers las intimidades de su sobrecogedor proyecto.
7. Who's in charge of the plot and that awesome "Grand Finale"? Please, no spoilers here, but is he nominated for an Oscar? Do you see getting to the end as a necessary step for people to really enjoy the experience and consider replaying the game again and again? We really liked the constantly-changing pace of the game. How and why did you define it?
I was the game's writer and designer, so from day 1 the game was designed around the story, and vice versa. In fact, there is no real distinction between "story" and "game" -- it's an 'experience', all working to the same end. As a team, as a company, we feel very strongly that core values of story telling apply to games, but that there are new and unique ways of telling these stories that are only possible with games. Shattered Memories is an exercise in following that vision. A story that only works as an interactive experience.
A major goal throughout was that "the player has to make it to the end", otherwise all of our efforts are in vain. Much of our "streamlining" was to try and ensure as many people as possible saw the whole experience. And yes, like any rich work, it supports and benefits from replay. We all like to watch our favourite movies again and again. This is partly why we didn't aim for a very long game -- too long and the story would be diluted and people would find replay a chore.
Though I am still waiting to hear about the Oscar... a golden statue from revogamers would suffice, in the meantime?
8. How do you feel about the game's success until now? Was it better received in the US than expected? We're pushing its innovative experience in Spain, and Konami recently said it's their most important SH entry... do you see it difficult for this to be a big hit in Europe? What's the key to success?
We were blown away by the response from players and fans -- they really enjoyed the game in the ways that we'd hoped. I've seen a lot of people who responded very emotionally to the game -- crying; people who finished playing the game and went out and made changes to their lives as a response to the game's exploration of its themes and the way it does so in such an involving, personal and emotional way. That's what you dream of when you embark on a project like this.
We've had some amazing reviews, people have really bought into our vision of what a horror game could be, how a game can tell a story. Our hopes for Europe are high -- this kind of game has a real place in the heart of European gamers -- gamers who traditionally have loved "adventure" style games and look for strong characters, situations and stories from their gaming experience. Don't let us down!
9. Did you have to discard any gameplay element? Are you keeping discarded ideas for future games? Do you have the rights for the variable environment system? Could we find it in future Climax games?
A lot of ideas were discussed, iterated on and sometimes discarded during development -- especially in the early exploratory stages. One interesting example is weapons -- originally, we had infrequent weapons that Harry could find in the Nightmares and use as a 'weapon of last resort' -- knives, etc. However, players were so hard-wired in to how to play a horror game that they invariably went "on the attack" as soon as they got one of these weapons. It muddied the waters of the nightmare gameplay -- distracted from the simple message of: "Run! Escape!" that we wanted to convey. So they were replaced with the flare -- a far more defensive item without any real direct attacking feature.
10. Now you're experts on the Wii. How do you compare this to Overlord Dark Legend? Which milestones do you think you've reached with the platform and your gameplay? Which graphical aspect of Wii's Shattered Memories are you proudest of? Which new Wii challenges would you take from now on (control methods, graphics improvement, gameplay ideas...)? Do you see the Wii Vitality Sensor as a future enhancement for the horror genre?
The team who worked on Overlord did a great job of taking a game that had already established its credentials on the HD systems and providing an experience that not only matched that graphically -- in SD -- but enhanced the controls with the use of the Wiimote. Because Shattered Memories didn't have such a direct comparison, we were a bit more 'out on a limb' -- we had not real benchmarks, so we just pushed for the best we could do. The lighting effects, the various complex shaders and the sheer quality of the characters and their animation were aspects that we didn't need to deliver on, but we felt compelled to push for the highest quality. Any future Wii projects will only continue to build further on the work we have done so far.
The Vitality sensor sounds like a fun item -- it sounds like Nintendo are going to push it as a relaxation aid, so it would be fun to flip that and us it to unsettle and disturb the users!