Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Zipper and over-the-shoulder view, and why they're wrong

In the last episode of the Zipline Podcast, creative director Ed Byrne stated why they've chosen to go with an OTS view as opposed to the classic centered third-person view from previous SOCOM games.

"[OTS view] is for both [Move & Dual Shock controllers]. So we tried to make sure that there is as little difference as possible between playing with the Dual-Shock and the Move in terms of the camera position, that sort of thing. We had to move the camera out a little bit for the Move, um, we had to push it back and raise it a little bit higher. So when you see footage from GDC you're seeing a slightly different camera angle then you'll see at E3. But for the most part the over-the-shoulder aspect is on both.

I know thats a contentious issue with some of
the fans, um, but it's just one of those things that we sort of, uh, we saw that start in the FTB series and it was one of those things that when we're doing usability tests, and we're doing surveys and talking to gamers out there it seemed like that was becoming a more contemporary camera position, you know it allowed the character to be a little bit bigger on screen and to get out of the central area. For multiplayer we've taken a step back from that a little bit so we are considering a lot of things."

My one problem with this isn't that they are using the OTS view, but that Ed Byrne makes it sound as though they chose that view because of surveys and tests as opposed to having a fundamental gameplay reason for choosing it. Yes, he states that it makes the character larger on screen, but doesn't state why he thinks that is important for this game.

If I were to give any advice to the team at Zipper it would be to make the game that THEY want to make. Sure, read the boards and take us and other opinions into consideration, but ultimately don't let outside forces make the decisions. It's why their reasoning for using OTS view got me so mad.

The one glimmer of hope is that it sounds like the team is keeping it open-ended for multiplayer, and haven't yet made a final decision on what they want to do.

No comments: