1. What game do you have at E3 this year?
I’m working with two games at E3 this year: SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Confrontation for PLAYSTATION 3, and SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Tactical Strike for PSP. For the purpose of answering these questions, I’ll focus mostly on our PS3 version of SOCOM.
2. What did you do on this game that you couldn’t do on another platform?
SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Confrontation makes full use of the HDD in the PlayStation 3. One of the often overlooked advantages of the PS3 compared to competing platforms is that it contains a 2.5” serial ATA hard drive which allows us to use the Hard Disc Drive for extremely fast data access. Since we can count on the hard drive to be in every PS3 console, SOCOM Confrontation uses a very aggressive data streaming system which in turn allows for much greater detail in the game environments. For this reason alone, the level of detail which you will see in the environments and characters in SOCOM Confrontation is not possible on any other game console.
Take a quick look at the screenshots below for an early look at what we are able to achieve using the hard drive in the PS3. This is still pre-alpha and the quality will continue to improve as we get further into development.
3. What do you think is the coolest aspect of this game?
The environments are the real star in SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Confrontation. We are focusing a lot of effort on creating intricate and highly detailed urban environments. The amount of detail in the environment will help you to easily distinguish where you are in the level and the intricacy means that you are going to discover new areas and snipe points long after you thought you had the environment memorized.
The characters are also looking really good.
At the top of the post is an in-game screenshot of our Heavy Commando model. The skin shaders, cloth shaders, normal maps, and highly detailed textures allow us to have extremely realistic characters in the game. Again, this is a work in progress.
4. If you could sit one person in front of your game for an hour, who would it be?
N’Gai Croal. He’s been a long time player of the SOCOM franchise and I would really like to discuss what he thinks about this game. It doesn’t hurt that he is also one of the best journalists writing about video games and also writes for Newsweek.
5. What game do you most want an hour to sit in front of yourself (besides your own)?
Metal Gear Solid 4. I’m very curious how the game plays compared to the videos that have been shown so far.
6. How many E3’s does E3 2007 mark for you?
All 12 of them. I’ve been to every E3 including the first one in 1995.
7. Describe the pre-2007 E3 experience in five words or less.
Very stressful, little sleep…
8. Most over used phrase or expression during E3 season.
“Game of the show.” The press are so busy each trying to be the first to declare the game of the show that they ignore most of the games shown at E3 including some really good ones. Also, half the time they declare a game which is shown as video only as “Game of the Show.” A note to the press, a game by definition is interactive and so a video is not a game and cannot be game of the show.
9. You are asked to make suggestions for an E3 survival kit- what three items HAVE to be included?
Aspirin, water and a GPS unit to navigate LA.
10. Describe what you anticipate from 2007’s newly formatted E3 in five words or less.
One word, fiefdoms.
11. What’s your favorite part about developing games for a living?
My favorite part about developing games is that moment of relief and excitement when I finally see things working in the game as we meant them to be. Most people don’t realize this, but it can take more than a year of hard work and planning (some times several years) before the game is up and running as you envisioned. That whole time you are hoping that things are going to work as planned and that you are going to have a great game but you never know until that moment. It is extremely exciting when it does work and you realize you have something special.