Inside the Developers Studio: Travis Williams

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Hey everyone, I’m Travis Williams, I’m a senior producer for SCEA in San Diego and working on an upcoming title for the PlayStation Network called “PAIN.” In the spirit of this Q&A series, I, along with many other first party developers, were posed with the following questions from the SCEA PR team. Here are my answers…enjoy!

1. What game do you have at E3 this year?
PAIN for the PlayStation 3 PlayStation Network and it’s being released soon. I would love to give myself the “finished game” Christmas present.

2. Tell us more about your game. What’s the story?
PAIN is cool in that there is no story. I could come up with a reason why seemingly “normal” people climb inside of a huge slingshot and fling themselves into dangerous situations, but you wouldn’t buy it.

SO NO STORY FOR YOU, SORRY!

The “more” I would like to say about PAIN is that although PAIN is meant to be funny it’s really a skillful sandbox game. The challenges start off pretty easy but trust me the game gets pretty daunting at the PAINful levels. You can play for five minutes or five hours.

3. If you could sit one person in front of your game for an hour, who would it be?
I dunno. Maybe Super Dave. That dude could take a hit for real.

4. What did you do on this game that you couldn’t do on another platform?
PAIN is different in that it’s made specifically for the PlayStation Network. Before PSN, we didn’t really have a dialogue with the people who play PlayStation games. That’s changed with PS3. That means we’re looking to the PSN community to help us shape future PAIN themes. So there’s a level of interaction with the game players that we couldn’t achieve until now. We’ve got cool ideas, but I’m really looking forward to see how other people play PAIN. We are also always making launchable characters for PAIN so if you guys have some ideas for characters you wanna fling (famous or not) chime in here on the comments thread. Of course, no guarantees, but we’ll do what we can.

5. Do you have any “firsts in this game that have never been done before?
If you can find a game where you can Toss Mimes and Spank Monkeys for points that I can play then I can stop working on this one.

6. What do you think is the coolest aspect of this game?
I’d say the coolest part of PAIN is how I never get tired of playing it. I know that might sound self-serving but it’s true. I’ve made some games that I was just sick of playing near the end. I can actually sit down with Coker (the associate producer on PAIN) and play for hours. When you first start playing PAIN it’s all about the funny. Soon, it’s all about your skillz.

7. What game do you most want an hour to sit in front of yourself (besides your own)?
Killzone. I hear it looks AMAZING.

8. How many E3’s does E3 2007 mark for you?
Been to EVERY one. Man I am old.

9. Describe the pre-2007 E3 experience in five words or less.
It’s hectic, but exciting too.

10. Most overused phrase(s) or expression during E3 Season.
– Dude! Have you seen the new Metal Gear Trailer?
-Huh? I can’t hear you. (Because there are explosions in the background)
-So, what company you working for NOW?
-I’m not waiting in that line to see a demo (and then you go wait in THAT line)

11. You are asked to make suggestions for an E3 survival kit- what three
items HAVE to be included?

Breath mints – To make sure you’re fresh to def
Comfortable shoes – To make sure you’re a Gellin
A Backpack – To make sure you can carry all the schwag

12. What advice would you have for someone who has never experienced E3?
Don’t ask me for Sony Party tickets. I don’t have any!

13. Describe what you anticipate from 2007’s newly formatted E3 in five
words or less.

A lot less booth babe-age.

14. What’s your favorite part about developing games for a living?
My mother told me that my knowledge of elves and magic was would never pay off…Having the last laugh on that one makes my whole career worth while. IN YOUR FACE MAMA!!

Was that disrespectful? Sorry Mom….

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