inFamous developer interview

inFamous developer interview

14th May 2009 - Sony have interviewed the developer of the highly anticipated game inFamous. Read the full interview below.

"We’re super proud of the results," says Bruce Oberg, Sucker Punch Co-founder and Programming Lead for epic action adventure, inFamous. Find out why...

How difficult was it to get the original idea of inFamous off the ground and into development?

We hit the ground running. The initial concept was "what would it really be like to get super powers and become a hero (or anti-hero)?" That drove our initial pitch and our initial gameplay experiments. We quickly found that electrical powers were super fun and crazy beautiful. After that, we had a ton of development work to do, both building a streaming world and creating a climbable city.

What film and comic book influences have played a part in the creation of inFamous?

We're huge film and comic book fans. We hoped to echo some of the feelings from films like Batman Begins and District B13. And in the graphic novel space, there are a ton of books that we love... DMZ, The Dark Knight Returns, Channel Zero and Shooting War all flavoured our thinking when making inFamous.

What are the most important elements to portray in the open world of inFamous?

Empire City is an urban climbing playground in inFamous. Nearly everything in the city can be scaled and traversed by Cole. Learning the city's ins and outs is super fun and helps a ton in many of the missions and challenges.

Also, everything in Empire City reacts to the choices the player makes. Suppose you destroy a guy's car in a battle with some enemies. He's going to remember that and he might not help you later on when you need it.

What new elements does inFamous bring to the open world action adventure genre?

The urban climbing in inFamous is spectacular. You can go anywhere you can see, and there are no loading screens. It's truly an open world sandbox.

On top of this open world, we've built a series of story missions that unfold to reveal how and why Cole got his powers, and who's behind the gangs that have taken over the city. Add in over a 100 side missions, and you end up with a huge variety of things to do and places to explore.

What features and ideas did you have for the game that had to be changed or removed in the end?

In one of our focus tests, a player suggested that it would be fun to grind on the rails of the elevated trains. This turned out to be super fun and fit in with Cole's electricity powers, so we added it to the game during the final month of development!

What were the most challenging aspects of inFamous?

We had a ton of challenges in making inFamous. We'd never made a streaming, open world before. We'd never done realistic rendering before. We hadn't written anything for PLAYSTATION 3. It was a ton of work, but we're super proud of the results. Our team worked very hard for three and half years and you can really see it in the game.

What kind of gameplay experience would you like the players to come away with when playing the game?

We want players to feel what it would be like to be an everyday person who gained super powers. Would you use them to help people? Or for your own personal gain? Those choices, and how they would unfold in a distressed urban environment, are what we want players to experience. Cole's electrical powers are crazy cool and how he uses them feeds directly into the gameplay.

All your actions feed into Cole's good or evil karma, and your karmic state in turn changes how the game plays and how the world reacts to you. If you have good karma, citizens might help you out. If you're evil, they'll probably run away screaming.

What are you most proud of in inFamous?

I'm very proud of how fun the game is. With too many games, you can see the nugget of a good idea that turns out not being very fun. Our team was able to really make the entire inFamous experience fun from beginning to end. It's harder to make things fun that you'd think, and our people really nailed it this time.