Even though I’ve been creating games for over 20 years, I still find myself fascinated with blogs/forums/messageboards; areas where the people from the public air their views on the game I’m working on. From people who dote over the game, to the ones that completely trash it…and all colours in-between, there’s useful information to gleam from their comments.
I guess one problem we’ve had through the development of Darksiders is getting people to understand what it is. Early on, and even up to quite recently, we’ve released a lot of action/combat videos. Due to this fact, the public are judging the game based on other action heavy games. If combat was our main goal, then this is justified, but we’re attempting so much more than just focused action.
If high octane action all the time is what you want, then people may be disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, there are some incredibly intense sequences in Darksiders, but there’s also plenty of puzzle solving, adventuring and traversal to be done too. We wanted players to feel stripped of their powers, to be vulnerable, but then slowly unfold the world around them as their abilities begin to flourish and their own skill levels increase.
The best analogy, gameplay-wise I could give for Darksiders would be; a mature Zelda (more action with some blood). To some, this may not seem that interesting, but to me, and other people at Vigil, it’s an awesome goal to attempt to achieve.
In less than 2 months you’ll also be able to let us know if you thought we achieved that goal. I think we did, but I’m not the people out there talking about it, who’ll be buying it and who in turn shape a future with or without a sequel or two.
Being in a new company with a new IP is like going into battle with a new set of troops in a fresh conflict. You may lose a few along the way, you have to think on your feet as you come up against unexpected odds and events…but when you regroup and are ready to go once more into the breach, you’re better equipped, your strengths are refined and you all go into it with an invigorated knowledge that can only be for a greater good.