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 1UP: Sony's Newest God of War Director Speaks

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kingkenny76
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PostSubject: 1UP: Sony's Newest God of War Director Speaks   Fri Feb 13, 2009 11:10 am

To date, every God of War game has been in the hands of a different director. Earlier this week, we spoke to the first three of them and looked back at the games they made. But now it's time to look forward and talk with God of War 3's Stig Asmussen. Much like Cory Barlog before him, Asmussen rose from inside the team at Sony Santa Monica, previously working as lead artist on God of War 2.

Now, Asmussen's in charge of the overall vision for the series, and, if our first look at God of War 3 earlier this week is any indication, doing excellent work thus far.

1UP: Obvious question first. In keeping with the tradition of David Jaffe and Cory Barlog, are you going to be starting a blog?

Stig Asmussen: I don't plan on it. I've never done that kind of stuff before. It's not really my style, but I wouldn't completely rule it out. Somebody might make me do it down the line... To be honest with you, I spend 100% of my time at work, and not to say blogging isn't a part of that -- that's a big part of the promotion of the game, it does a lot to help be involved with the fans, and I totally respect it -- but when I'm at work I'm working on the content. That's what I'm best at.

1UP: In the press release that announced your role in December, the text mentioned specifically that God of War 3 is a single-player only game. So with the job listing that leaked out about your team hiring an online gameplay programmer, what does that mean in this context?

SA: First of all, let me just make it clear: God of War 3 is a solo game. We're interested in some online features -- we're kind of dabbling in that right now -- but this is the way the game's meant to be played. Co-op could be kind of cool, but we want to deliver a certain type of product and that doesn't really make sense to us. But with that, there's a lot of online features that don't necessarily require deathmatch or co-op that we could incorporate into the game, and also our studio's not just God of War. We just released Flower, and there are multiple things going on in the studio, so...

1UP: But that ad did have the God of War graphic on it.
"Co-op could be kind of cool, but we want to deliver a certain type of product and that doesn't really make sense to us."

SA: [Laughs] Yeah... Well, you know, you gotta find a way to sell the people to come to the studio. But, like I said, if we need a leaderboard in our game, we need an online programmer for that.

1UP: For something like Challenge of the Gods?

SA: Well, I'm not going to respond "yes" or "no" to that... we're exploring different ideas.

1UP: I don't think you can talk much about future plans, but is your role specific to God of War 3, or are you kind of the overseer of all things God of War at this point?

SA: I'm overseeing all things God of War.

1UP: So if there's ever another mobile game or another PSP game...

SA: I would be involved in that.

1UP: Going off today's presentation, what's the one detail that you really like and appreciate that you don't think is as obvious to everybody else?

SA: Well, everybody's asking a lot of questions about the Titans and that's really cool. I think that a lot of people have been intrigued by the level of detail and the gore and everything like that -- just the fact that there are a lot of gameplay moments in there. But the point that I really think is important, and is maybe kind of falling through the cracks right now is that this Icarus Ascent thing [where Kratos uses the Icarus Wings to fly vertically in certain areas] is really cool. It's amazing how quickly we were able to put that together, and it's leveraging a lot of the stuff we did with the Pegasus in God of War 2.

1UP: Are those segments optional or will everyone go through them the same way?

SA: God of War, traditionally, has been a very linear game, and that's done for a very specific reason: You can direct, moment to moment, exactly what's happening in the game. You can see the results of that, and we're following that same operation right now in this game. If you experience something, expect your friend to experience the same thing. But within the experience -- we talked about the combat today, and how there's a lot of options with the combat now -- you could fight completely differently than me, and you could change on the fly how you were fighting. It really evolves.

1UP: I was talking to David Jaffe a week or two ago for a retrospective interview, and he was saying that he thought it would be interesting -- if he were to go back to God of War 1 -- to maybe offer alternate routes. Not a ton, but maybe two different ways to get around a certain area.
"See I view God of War 1 as a cult movie, and God of War 2 as your big Hollywood blockbuster -- I think God of War 3 is somewhere in between."

SA: Ah, kind of like Gears of War 2 where you can go this direction or that direction. Yeah, that's definitely interesting, and I think, as a pie in the sky idea, it's a fantastic idea. But the reality is the resources that go into making an offshoot are taken away from something else that you really want to make sure is hit the right way. And that's why when you start to get practical with it, that kind of stuff is hard to do, because, at the end of the day, you're designing something that potentially somebody might miss, and that's taking something away from the project.

1UP: I view God of War 1 as more of the story game and God of War 2 as more of the action game, in very broad terms. How do you think God of War 3 fits in there?

SA: See I view God of War 1 as a cult movie, and God of War 2 as your big Hollywood blockbuster -- I think God of War 3 is somewhere in between. God of War 1 had very good pacing in that it had small moments and then it had big moments and then it had small moments again that allowed you to catch your breath. God of War 2 was just like bigger, and bigger, and bigger, and bigger. I think we're going to figure out a way to grab the things that worked best from those two games, in terms of pacing, mood, atmosphere, and everything, and deliver something that's equally enjoyable.

1UP: For the series as a whole, what do you think have been the strongest and weakest aspects of God of War to date?

SA: The strongest aspect of God of War to date, I think, would be the way that Kratos controls. Just in general terms, the way he feels and the way that he's incredibly accessible to anybody, and the character itself -- I mean in general, the strongest thing about God of War is Kratos. He's a character that people can relate to, for better or for worse, or they want to be able to relate to.

The weakest thing I would say is there have been situations where we've been close to shipping the game, and we've put some puzzles in... and I actually worked on the Hades level in God of War 1...

1UP: Are you taking the blame for that?

SA: No, I'm not taking the blame. I worked my ass off on that.

1UP: I thought people made a bigger deal out of that then they should have.
"They might complain about it, but if Hades wasn't in God of War 1, people would really miss it."

SA: I think they did too. I can get through it without dying. The column isn't really that hard if you just take your time.

1UP: I actually thought that balancing on the beams was harder.

SA: The rolling beams were harder, right. When people are being impatient, the columns are hard. But that's an example of something that we really needed to get in the game. It was on the chopping block and it was like, "How can we cut this? It's such an integral part of the story -- how do you make up for that? You need to have that moment when you're down there." And it could have been great. It's just that we were facing either, "You cut it, or you put something in that isn't 100% bulletproof as far as design goes." It just didn't get as much time as the rest of the levels did. So the weakest part is, sometimes, we've had to make sacrifices and say, "We're going to have to put something in that doesn't meet our standard of quality, but on the opposite end if we don't put it in, people are going to miss it." They might complain about it, but if Hades wasn't in God of War 1, people would really miss it. A lot of times people just complained about some of the platforming, [which ties into] the things that were happening in Hades, and I respect that, but the bottom line is if the game was all combat and no platforming, it wouldn't be the same game.

1UP: What do you think is the main difference in the series, from your perspective, versus Barlog and Jaffe?

SA: I think Jaffe is constantly thinking of feelings he had from old games or from movies, and trying to figure out a way to make that emotional feeling work in the game -- no matter what he's working on. I think that Cory is like, "Think big, then go bigger." They're both really good qualities.

1UP: How do you fit into that?

SA: Hmm... I'm still trying to figure that out.

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PostSubject: Re: 1UP: Sony's Newest God of War Director Speaks   Fri Feb 13, 2009 11:11 am

did u write all of it?!
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PostSubject: Re: 1UP: Sony's Newest God of War Director Speaks   Fri Feb 13, 2009 12:09 pm

soul_eater93 wrote:
did u write all of it?!


lol! No m8 it's from 1UP Very Happy

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