Q&As// Geoff Thomas: Scarface On Nintendo Wii

In a lot of ways game development is just now coming into its own

Posted 11 May 2007 17:00 by
SPOnG: What improvements besides the altered control scheme have you guys made to the game for the Wii?

Geoff Thomas: We basically rewrote the graphics engine to get every last drop out of the Wii hardware. As a result the Wii edition of Scarface outperforms the PS2 and Xbox versions of the game.


SPOnG: Like many third-party titles, Scarface is a port of a game from last generation hardware with Wii controls implemented. What was the reason for taking this direction?

Geoff Thomas: We’ve been working on the Wii edition of Scarface since the PS2 and Xbox versions shipped. The dev team is made up entirely of people who worked on those versions, so there’s a lot of passion and expertise going into the game. The reason for creating a Wii edition was a simple one… the Wii gives us an entirely new and fresh way to experience the game! The more we looked into it the more excited we all got about what we could do with the Wii, and thanks to this we feel the Wii edition is the definitive Scarface: The World Is Yours experience.


SPOnG: Games with mature themes such as violence are traditionally not associated with Nintendo consoles on a third-party basis. How does it feel to be helping the Wii reach a broader audience in this respect?

Geoff Thomas: It’s great, and what’s more Nintendo is just as excited as we are about it. We haven’t removed a single swear word or blood spray from the game so Wii owners will get a Scarface experience every bit as gory, intense, and mature as other versions of the game.


SPOnG: Do you feel there is the possibility of working on more Wii titles in the future?

Geoff Thomas: Unfortunately we can’t talk about any specific plans at this time, but we are big fans of the Wii here at Radical.

SPOnG: What has it been like to work with top Hollywood studios and companies to try and create as authentic a ‘sequel’ as you can get? We can imagine they were extremely helpful.


Geoff Thomas: Scarface is a franchise that’s near and dear to many people’s hearts, and nowhere did we see this more than in working with celebrity talent. People were literally coming out of the woodwork when they heard there was a chance to be a part of Scarface: The World Is Yours. In fact we have over 50 celebrity voice actors in the game.


SPOnG: A decade ago the movie industry was considered much more advanced than video games development. Do you feel the games industry is in a growing position to overtake Hollywood?

Geoff Thomas: Well from a financial point of view both industries are much closer in commercial success than they were 10 years ago. Whether or not the game industry will overtake the film industry as the main form of popular entertainment is anyone’s guess, but I think either way we are in a very exciting time for game development.

In a lot of ways game development is just now coming into its own as an established art form and entertainment medium… what I mean by that is that the ground rules for story-telling, interweaving gameplay and story, and the gestalt of the game experience (i.e. how the game is more as a whole than the sum of its parts) is coming out of a formative phase. The medium is maturing, and being a part of that is an amazing opportunity for gamers and developers alike.


SPOnG: What have been the best or worst points of working on Scarface throughout its entire development? Any interesting stories you can share?

Geoff Thomas: So much of what makes Scarface fun on the Wii is how we can interact with the world in new ways. So it’s no surprise that we spent the majority of our time on making the controls feel as fun, intuitive, and responsive as we could. I think this encapsulates the most challenging as well as rewarding points of development, because while getting the controls to a place where they’re just amazing was a heck of a challenge, it was a hugely rewarding experience when we finally had them nailed down and performing as beautifully as we wanted them to.


SPOnG: What games other than your own projects are you looking forward to this year?

Geoff Thomas: That’s a long list! But the games that immediately come to mind are Super Mario Galaxy, Halo 3, Phantom Hourglass, and Lord of the Rings Online.

SPOnG: Big thanks for your time Geoff. Scarface: The World Is Yours should be pistol-whipping the Wii when it arrives later this Summer.
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Comments

actionmonkey 14 May 2007 11:37
1/6
I read this interview somewhere before a couple of weeks ago.

Tim Smith 14 May 2007 11:46
2/6
actionmonkey wrote:
I read this interview somewhere before a couple of weeks ago.


In the unlikely event that you did, where did you read it and when?

I say "unlikely event" when I mean, of course, "impossibility" - but I'm in a charitable mood.
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Svend Joscelyne 14 May 2007 11:52
3/6
Q&A's with developers are not uncommon on other gaming sites, but seeings as I wrote and posed the questions, I doubt you'll have seen this anywhere else lest you have access to a time machine.
Joji 14 May 2007 15:15
4/6
Yeah this sounds really good, don't have my Wii yet but this'll go on the old wanted list.
OptimusP 14 May 2007 17:57
5/6
He probably just answered very the same like in other Q&A's, can't blame him offcourse. Game sounds good though, especially the chainsaw action? Would buy it just for that.
OptimusP 14 May 2007 18:00
6/6
He probably just answered very the same like in other Q&A's, can't blame him offcourse. Game sounds good though, especially the chainsaw action? Would buy it just for that.
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