During a Dragon Con panel Friday, Dishonored developers Ricardo Bare and Seth Shain from Arkane Studios joined former Epic Games President Mike Capps, Saints Row IV Creative Director Steve Jaros and Obsidian Entertainment’s Chris Avellone to discuss designing “awesome games.” The five sounded off on the PS4 and Xbox One game development during the discussion with the Arkane developers saying that graphics are no longer the end all and be all for video games.
While Avellone jokingly said, “You will never rip me away from my PC,” both Jaros and Capps expressed disappointment with Microsoft’s decision to roll back the initial DRM and sharing plans for the Xbox One. Jaros in particular wanted to find out where the plans were headed because it was so different. However, Capps expressed concern about the current console economic model.
“It’s scary to look at what is going on in the ecosystem,” Capps said as he pointed out that it’s tough for the game’s made for $5 million to stand out among $60 games made for $80 million.
“Some of the things that Microsoft was going to try, while very unpopular obviously on the internet, nobody hits up Steam for not letting you resell your codes that you buy on Steam,” he added before bringing up the digital transition of the music industry.
Speaking directly to the power improvements for the next-gen consoles, Jaros said that the upgrade in the memory from the current 512MB on both the PS3 and Xbox 360 to 8 GB. Saints Row IV ran out of memory for audio streaming in the game, for example. The extra memory in the PS4 and Xbox One will allow Volition to create even better open worlds.
Arkane’s Shain said that the added memory is going to be huge as well. “It means we can have higher density interactivity in spaces. So more physics objects, usable objects, prop objects, more NPCs, more AI. Those are really expensive, every one of those, computationally to have on screen.
“The new platforms are going to allow us to have richer experiences,” he said.
“My hope is that in five years we don’t look back and say, ‘Wow we got even closer to Hollywood. Look how much more like movies we are,’” Bare added. “Instead, I hope we really double down on interactivity because that’s why we game.”
Shain then chimed in by saying that “graphics don’t need to get that much better. What we need instead is more interactivity.”
“Fidelity is no longer the holy grail. It’s more about choices,” he concluded.
Dragon Con is taking place in downtown Atlanta during the weekend of August 30, 2013. Mike Capps introduced a “game track” to the biggest multi-genre convention in the south east.
You can follow Scott via Facebook, Twitter, RSS feed or email alerts for all the latest game news and deals as well as the weekly Furious Fourcast podcast/videocast. All game news on Examiner can be followed at the Game On Facebook page and Twitter feed.