Interviews// Epic's VP, Mark Rein, Part 2

Posted 11 Jul 2010 08:00 by
Gears of War 3
Gears of War 3
SPOnG: Maybe I missed this somewhere, but will there be a Horde versus Beast mode? Will you be able to turn that into a competitive mode?

Mark Rein: That's a good question. To be honest, I don't know.


Mark Rein: (Laughs) They don't let us play at all this early in development.

SPOnG: Really?

Mark Rein: (Grins) Yeah. You'd be surprised. You know, there's still quite a bit of time left to go on this game. It's... what month is it now?

Gears of War 3
Gears of War 3
SPOnG: June. No, is it June or July?

Mark Rein: It's June. It's the last day of June. There's still more than six months of development left.

SPOnG: Still, seems a bit harsh that they don't let you in there...

Mark Rein: As the polish comes in, they let us play. They're playing it, the team's playing the game every day, right? But in terms of the executive crew at Epic, they tell us when things are ready for us to see. They've done pretty well so we trust their judgement.

SPOnG: So, Gears 3 is going to be the last of this story. Is there going to be more Gears stuff that focuses around other characters?

Mark Rein: I don't know.

SPOnG: You've got women that are playable. Is that to entice the ever-growing female demographic?

Mark Rein: I think it's just because it was time. (Laughs). And the story - I don't want to give away the story, but there are some story reasons for it.

SPOnG: With a massive franchise like Gears, what do you think about when you approach a sequel and think 'how are we going to make this better than the last one'? There's been a bit of an emphasis on story, so can you fall back on that to some degree?

Mark Rein: I think that's a good question for Cliff (Bleszinski) and Rod (Fergusson) who are the two guys that are really at the helm of it. The whole team gets involved with these things, but it's really Cliff and Rod's baby and they guide it. But my opinion, from what I see on the outside, is that you just set a bar for yourself each time and you want to get over it.

You wanna do a better game than you did before. You want to advance the story, obviously. If you look at the build notes for the Unreal Development Kit you'll get a hint of how much new technology we add to the engine every single month. It's staggering. I think this is something people don't realise, how we keep up. We're constantly improving it, making it better, and one of the reasons we do that is to make our games better, to meet these higher bars that we continually set for ourselves.

So, I think it's the same with the story. There's an overall arc to the story, but do they want to do a better job telling it each time? Absolutely. I think the first time you do a game, it's hard to get a really concise story together, and you just get better at telling that story. You realise, it's like a movie script, what scenes are really essential to telling that story, and I think we get better and better. I thought that the Gears 2 story was more coherent, flowed better and I think you'll find Gears 3 an evolutionary step there as well.

So, I think it's really just setting out to improve on it every single time is really important. That's what these guys are definitely doing. How their process works, I can't tell you. But that's how it looks to me. We're definitely doing a better job each time.
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