Interviews// inFAMOUS 2: Sucker Punch's Brian Fleming

Posted 4 May 2011 12:30 by
inFAMOUS stands today as one of the great underrated classics of this current generation - fantastically creative in its comic book style design, and addictively engaging with its open world superhero gameplay.

Indeed, the game is a darling to critics and fans alike, but as one of Sony?s big first-party exclusives it appeared to get lost in the ocean of rival blockbuster brands from Microsoft and even fellow SCE developers.

Sucker Punch is an incredibly humble studio, however, and has worked its tail off to ensure that it gets its message across with inFAMOUS 2 - a sequel that not only goes bigger, better and badder but also takes the daunting step of fostering an entire community building user-generated content.

After having much fun with Cole?s new melee weapon and powers, I sat down to chat with Brian Fleming, one of the founders of Sucker Punch and the producer of inFAMOUS 2. Read on to learn more about the challenges in establishing user-generated content, why the studio feels inFAMOUS 1 wasn?t that good and what a fake Kevin Butler TV advert has to do with all of this.

SPOnG: We?ve seen new melee attacks, we?ve seen gigantic beasts that can topple skyscrapers and we?ve seen a story that aims to branch off much more than it did in the previous game. What?s your statement of intent with inFAMOUS 2?

Brian Fleming: What we?re showcasing with all of these things is the increase in scale that we?re shooting for in this game. The huge beast you mentioned, that we announced a while back - that guy?s only kind of a medium scale enemy.

He?s maybe a storey and a half tall? but you?ll fight enemies of increasing size, all the way up to the Behemoth. Colossal beasts which are bigger than the surrounding buildings - we have these Godzilla-style moments where the Behemoth is smashing through the city and chasing you.

We wanted to have big, freely moving enemies moving around the city, because it?s a great way to match Cole?s ever-increasing power set.

SPOnG: It must be a challenge to increase the scope of the open world along with the bosses and everything else. How much pressure are you putting on the PS3?s processing power to achieve all this?

Brian Fleming: Well, it?s all dramatically improved. We knew we wanted to do this, with this kind of scale of enemies, from the first month of development. So two years ago, we knew we wanted to do this, and there was a lot of engineering effort put into the path system that helped them decide where to move so it understood the scale of the creatures. A small creature could squeeze through this gap, but a big one can?t.

And then all the performance required to do all the destruction and make it look good whilst still staying in frame? the special effects had to get better and the AI scales had to get better. So that?s a lot of pressure put on the engineering staff, and they?ve done a really good job. They?ve made us all look smart (smiles).
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