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Wywiad XCN: Burnout Crash! (j.ang.)
Autor: Marcin Pawłowski   

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 Na pytania odpowiada: Richard Franke (Creative Director, Criterion Games)

This is a first for Criterion right? A fully downloadable title with no boxed product. How has that been – any unique challenges? Would you do it again?

This is Criterion’s first download only title, and yes this did present some unique challenges, though of course it also has its benefits in a lot of ways. Personally I think download only products will become more and more the norm in the future so we’ll undoubtedly be doing more of them!

It’s also a first for the Burnout series. Were there any compromises you had to make to fit the change in platform? Has it allowed you to explore things you couldn’t before?

Clearly as the project was a lot smaller in scope we had to prioritise differently. We decided that we would exploit the fact that we were a small team by keeping the graphics relatively simple so that we could focus on iterating the gameplay for as much of the development cycle as possible, and we feel that this approach really paid off.

The top-down view is one obvious change, and it’s something that harks back to an older, simpler time in the history of gaming. Do you feel that this new entry into the series is less complex than its predecessors? If so, what are the positive effects of that?

Crash was always very accessible, which is why it was one of our fans most popular aspects of Burnout. This game was designed from the outset to be simple to get into, but with a lot of depth which would play out as the player became accustomed to the gameplay. Simple controls (left stick plus one button) and apparently simple gameplay (hit the traffic and blow it up) but with a lot more depth in the scoring than in any previous incarnation of Burnout.

Is it fair to say that the Crash Mode from Burnout 3 was the primary inspiration for this title? What lessons did you take from that?

Crash in Burnout 3 was awesome, as were all the other incarnations, but they were all side dishes to the main course of racing, and as such never really had the opportunity to be really worked into and deepened like a full product is. We definitely wanted to take the colourful vibe and simplicity from Crash in B3, plus the whole physicality of Crashbreaker and Aftertouch. This time however we took a lot of influence from Pinball, as a lesson in how to make a simple physical game into a deep and meaningful experience and added that to the pot. The result is something that feels like Crash Mode, but has a lot more layers.

How do you feel about the overall evolution of the series? Is this seen as something that sits alongside the retail games or is it the next generation?

Burnout CRASH! Is a spin off from the series not a direct sequel.  Whilst Criterion is still about making the huge blockbuster games, we also love having the ability and opportunity to experiment and try out different ideas.

Tell us about Kinect! We heard there were some gesture controls…

Working on this was a blast, it really is a pleasure to come in to work every day. We started by creating a long list of possible gestures which we whittled down to 6 that played the best and were the funniest to watch.  That is what Kinect is all about for us, watching people make a fool of themselves then getting up to have a go yourself.  Kinect play is so intuitive and easy to understand and our moves seem to make perfect sense, meaning you can get anyone to join in.  My personal favorites are “Lay an Egg” where you literally have to make like a chicken and lay an egg and “Fireball”… who wouldn’t want the power to throw fireball’s around!!?!

One of the original Project Natal demos was a playable version of Burnout Paradise. Is this the culmination of that work? Was any of that useful in the making of this?

Actually Microsoft were responsible for that demo! Though we were party to it from an early stage and were really excited by that. It was a long time before the development hardware was available but it definitely woke us up to the possibilities of the device!


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