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Inside the Developers Studio: Brian Allgeier

Brian Allgeier's Avatar + Posted by Brian Allgeier on Jul 02, 2007 // Creative Director, Insomniac Games

Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction

1. What game do you have at E3 this year?
RATCHET AND CLANK FUTURE: TOOLS OF DESTRUCTION

2. Describe it in five words or less.
A Spectacularific Galactic Sci-Fi Adventure!

3.When is it being released?
[Channeling best "movie guy" voice] … Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction will be available worldwide and exclusively on PlayStation 3 this fall.

4. Tell us more about your game. What’s the story?
Ratchet and Clank are joyriding in their favorite city, Metropolis, when an imperial armada suddenly attacks. They discover that the invasion was orchestrated by one Emperor Tachyon who has a deep hatred towards Ratchet. Confronted by a past that he never knew he had, Ratchet and his buddy Clank set out on an adventure to get some answers and defeat the Emperor. We’ve never explored Ratchet’s history in past games and decided to begin the “Future” series by delving into the mystery of his existence. Clank also has his own major discovery when he learns that he has supernatural abilities – turns out he’s a robot with a mystical side! All of this takes place during their journey through a fascinating new galaxy where they encounter exotic alien worlds and creatures.

5. What did you do on this game that you couldn’t do on another platform?
As you can imagine, we get asked this question frequently because of the massive buzz about the console wars. Obviously, each console has its own unique strengths that would require us to approach our game development process a little differently. But Insomniac has developed exclusively for Sony and PlayStation consoles for more than 10 years now. We’ve done so because we have great relationships with the people there and because we believe in the hardware’s capabilities. To be honest, we don’t concern ourselves with what or how we could develop on other consoles since we’re happy working with Sony.

6. Do you have any “firsts” in this game that have never been done before?
Outside of breakdancing mutant alien centipedes, hip-hop bouncing Morph-O-Ray penguins and pelvic-thrusting mech bounty hunters controlled by fish heads, not so much. Seriously though, what Ratchet & Clank Future: ToD does offer is a tightly integrated, massive, epic, varied, and humorous adventure that should hopefully feel like a true evolution of the Ratchet & Clank franchise.

7. What do you think is the coolest aspect of this game?
That’s a tough question! I’m torn between the humor, the visual spectacle and the gameplay variety. The visual spectacle is the one thing that I think people will notice immediately. We’ve been able to create some very detailed and beautiful worlds that Ratchet and Clank visit and I think players will have a real sense of wonder when they explore them. The vibrant colors, expansive views, expressive characters, and massive explosions enhance every aspect of the game and create a rather engaging experience.

8. Describe one of the boss fights in the game?
One of our intense boss battles features a giant construction mech controlled by furry Kerchu aliens. The mech chases Ratchet along a transportation rail and smashes out pieces of it with its giant wrecking ball arms. Ratchet must jump the gaps and dodge missiles while racing down a twisty rail. All of this is viewed from multiple camera angles. Ratchet travels upside down and must fight the giant mech while hanging high above the arena floor using his gravity boots. The mech swings his heavy wrecking balls to pulverize the upper level of the arena, forcing Ratchet to drop down and fight the boss on the ground. While he’s on the lower level, the boss will unleash his wrecking ball attack, fire streams of rockets, and dump Kerchu creatures that can roll around in shielded exoskeletons. It’s fun to see all of the furry Kerchu creatures moving around while they operate this massive machine. You can strategically choose if you want to be on the upper section of the arena where the boss has fewer attacks, or on the lower section where the boss has more attacks and there’s more room to maneuver. Having an intense boss battle that takes place across a large section of the level and offers this degree of strategy is something that we’ve never done before in the Ratchet & Clank franchise.

9. If you could sit one person in front of your game for an hour, who would it be?
Nikola Tesla. I think he’d get a kick out of what we’ve done with electricity.

10. What game do you most want an hour to sit in front of yourself (besides your own)?
Little Big Planet – And I’m not saying that because it’s a PS3 game! From what I’ve seen, it looks like a heck of a lot of fun to build co-op levels and run through them with your friends. I want to build a Gauntlet of Doom with flamethrowers, monkeys and spinning blades!

11. How many E3’s does E3 2007 mark for you?
That would be…um…12. Man I’m getting old. Yep…sonny, I remember back in day when videogames were made up of just a few sprites and some decent color cycling…

12. Describe the pre-2007 E3 experience in five words or less.
Manic Rubber Sasquatch Love Thingy!

13. Most over used phrase or expression during E3 season.
“NEXT-GEN!” – And sadly, I use it all the time. I’m looking forward to when things become “Now-Gen” and I can drop the expression!

14. You are asked to make suggestions for an E3 survival kit- what three items HAVE to be included?
Past E3’s: Ear plugs, booth babe blinders and a tazor

15. What advice would you have for someone who has never experienced E3?
Don’t feel ashamed to cry. You can work through it. Time heals and eventually the pain will go away.

16. Describe what you anticipate from 2007’s newly formatted E3 in five words or less.
Sensible Pliable Sasquach Fun Thingy?

17. What’s your favorite part about developing games for a living?
My favorite part is when pieces of the game come together and create something more amazing than what was imagined. There are a lot of talented people at Insomniac and seeing the results of their combined forces is incredible. For example, our lead character artist came up with an enemy character that is a robotic suit controlled by an alien fish-like creature in a bubble. That was pretty funny in and of itself. The animators then took that insane character design and made some hilarious hip thrusting animations for when he dances to the Groovitron (a combat device that make enemies dance). Watching him dance made us all crack up. Finally, one of our programmers made the fish pop out of the suits when the enemy is killed and flop around. And of course, those fish also dance. Witnessing a scene of dancing robotic troopers and flopping fish under a disco ball against a beautiful city backdrop is an unforgettable moment. It’s great when that kind of chemistry comes together and magic happens.

//Add Your Own

125 Comments

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1

+ Kratos_ate_Snake on July 2nd, 2007 at 2:21 pm said:

Ratchet FTW!


2

+ Holy_Diver on July 2nd, 2007 at 2:23 pm said:

Insomniac FTW


3

+ SuMizzle on July 2nd, 2007 at 2:26 pm said:

Gotta buy it. When the games do arrive for the PS3, I wonder what else people will [DELETED] about…


4

+ Mattjk on July 2nd, 2007 at 2:27 pm said:

Awesome! I cant wait for this game! looks amazing so far.


5

+ HanSolo on July 2nd, 2007 at 2:27 pm said:

when will ea learn to develop a game that looks and moves/plays that good?? in what year???


6

+ Joe on July 2nd, 2007 at 2:28 pm said:

Sounds good I can’t wait until E3.

Also any chance of downloadable stuff like extra levels or a patch for online play. I know in some of the past games there was some multi player levels. So if a patch would allow multi player I think that would be cool.

Other then that RC look great.


7

+ SILV3R_ on July 2nd, 2007 at 2:30 pm said:

If you have this game for demo at E3-07, when will it be for PSN?

1 week after E3-07?


8

+ BazC on July 2nd, 2007 at 2:32 pm said:

There is nothing better than the Groovitron


9

+ hezz on July 2nd, 2007 at 2:36 pm said:

Can’t wait for E3!


10

+ TristanMike on July 2nd, 2007 at 2:37 pm said:

Hahahaa, Great article guys. And despite what you say, the pain of never seeing an E3 never goes away…they just keep happening every year ! Just when I’m starting to get over it, BANG ! Another E3 and I remember I won’t be attending…see, the pain just keeps coming back…have fun at E3….jerks :P

Keep up the fantastic work over at Insomniac ladies and gents. Bang up work :D


11

+ TheDevilsJoker on July 2nd, 2007 at 2:38 pm said:

Yea PSN demo of this game would go down a treat, you had a demo for Resistance After all.


12

+ nmc75 on July 2nd, 2007 at 2:44 pm said:

Tremendous props to Insomniac for both Resistance and Ratchet and Clank: TOD. How in the world does your company release 2 “next-gen” PS3 games within 2 years when it’s taking others that much time to even release one?? You guys rock.


13

+ stennex on July 2nd, 2007 at 2:46 pm said:

Thank you insomniac for staying with Sony so far RFOM is a spetacular game and i betting RATCHET AND CLANK FUTURE: TOOLS OF DESTRUCTION will be just as good or even more spectacular and compelling. You guys are one my favourite developers. With the kind of negative press that Sony has been getting, you guys really prove that with less complaints and more ingenious thinking, games like the two you have for PS3 can be acheived. Insomniac makes American developers look good and give me hope someday to become one as well. Thank you for supporting Sony and the PS3 the right way.


14

+ jagged_edges on July 2nd, 2007 at 2:46 pm said:

great interview


15

+ GFXology.com on July 2nd, 2007 at 2:48 pm said:

@SILV3R_

It would be nice to have a demo on PSN of all demos at E3, since its private, that would be amazing.


16

+ MarkyMark PS3 on July 2nd, 2007 at 2:50 pm said:

Simply can’t wait for this game, looks fun!


17

+ Jeigh on July 2nd, 2007 at 2:56 pm said:

I’ve always loved the humor used in this series! And the addition of even more story sounds great! Love your work, guys!


18

+ limitt_45 on July 2nd, 2007 at 2:57 pm said:

this is one of the most anticipated games of the year for me. cant wait to see it at e3.


19

+ RushBD on July 2nd, 2007 at 2:57 pm said:

R&C ftw

Insomniac is the best


20

+ Dno on July 2nd, 2007 at 3:04 pm said:

Nice


21

+ RushBD on July 2nd, 2007 at 3:08 pm said:

Check out that screenshot people!! it’s 1080p and has got no single jaggies!!! i wonder if it’s ingame or retouched.


22

+ kodoque on July 2nd, 2007 at 3:09 pm said:

cool, can’t wait for this game! we need a new Jak game too.


23

+ OrganicShadow on July 2nd, 2007 at 3:09 pm said:

Love #17. That’s what gaming is all about. The convergence of all these different elements. It becomes more than just entertainment, it becomes a living breathing worth you can interact with, even though all it is is animations, polygons, sounds, and shaded pixels on a screen.

Magical.


24

+ Nebo on July 2nd, 2007 at 3:14 pm said:

Haha, love the post. From the little preview i have seen, this game looks very fun and humorous.


25

+ jaydogg691 on July 2nd, 2007 at 3:18 pm said:

This is a question I got to know, Will there be any Multiplayer in this game like past R&C games? I know you guys are focusing on the Single Player aspect, but I would also like to have a Multiplayer aspect to play once I finish the Single Player.


26

+ GFXology.com on July 2nd, 2007 at 3:18 pm said:

Next post – Killzone 2? Pleasssssseeee.


27

+ chase on July 2nd, 2007 at 3:30 pm said:

great interview i buy all yall games because yall stuck with sony and didnt run 2 microsoft burnoutbox360


28

+ Kaze88 on July 2nd, 2007 at 3:30 pm said:

Im not really a fan of these kinds of games but graphically that looks way beyond better than i would have expected O.o Niceeeee!


29

+ natureman3 on July 2nd, 2007 at 3:35 pm said:

R&C is ra,ked 1st in my ps3 games wanted list.

It looks absolutely gorgeous, there are no othere words for it and massive too.

Ratchet FTW!!!


30

+ fireras on July 2nd, 2007 at 3:37 pm said:

What can I say about Insomniac/RoC:ToD….Awesome!!!

I can’t say there are any question I have to ask about RoC…I know it will be awesome….Oh, oh, does the mootator come back for another run? How about those star ship shoot outs? Can you guys please get together with Naughty Dog and get Jak & Ratchet in the same game? Oh and make sure Clank & Daxter get their thing on too?

Maybe we could unlock Daxter as a playable character? How about just anything bringing some characters over? Even maybe a spoof showing a billboard with Jak & Daxter starring in a movie, or a most wanted poster?

By the way, good job Brian….oh and before I go…what can you tell us about Insomniac’s PSN title?


31

+ Stoffinator on July 2nd, 2007 at 3:40 pm said:

Your guys games always impress. Can’t wait to see the new build at E3. I hope there is a PSN demo coming soon? ;-)

*Hint hint


32

+ lostboy85 on July 2nd, 2007 at 3:43 pm said:

Great interview!
i love bouncing penguins, this game is going to be so much fun.


33

+ BulletToothTony on July 2nd, 2007 at 3:46 pm said:

amazing picture… WOW.. i can’t believe how good it looks.. and for games that look like this is why i bought a ps3..


34

+ kanish89 on July 2nd, 2007 at 3:46 pm said:

You guys are the best! Cant wait for R&C:ToD. Btw, groovitron is so funny and amazing! I saw your onstage demonstration at sony gamers day and the game is gorgeous. keep up the awesome work guyz. hope there’s a demo on PSN!


35

+ SPARDA on July 2nd, 2007 at 3:48 pm said:

I will be picking up your game on day one.
Insomniac is the reason I bought a PS3 on Launch day.

Keep up the great work.

Thanks for the blog

SPARDA


36

+ jlocker on July 2nd, 2007 at 3:48 pm said:

I love how the company says the PS3 is cool and a good system, they must really know how to program in the PS3 environment, good programmers! You see other companies say oh the PS3 is harder to program in! Get you Cell programming manuals out, do your homework and use all the great functions the machine has to offer it looks like Insomniac games can do it so can you!


37

+ turstkill on July 2nd, 2007 at 3:50 pm said:

Loved your answer to #12: “Manic Rubber Sasquatch Love Thingy!” Hilarious. I’ll buy a game made by someone with a mind like that! BTW, never played a ratchet game to date… looking forward to my first experience being with the PS3!! Woohoo!


38

+ Herby on July 2nd, 2007 at 3:50 pm said:

Already giving us the High-Res screenshots. You guys are awesome. And also past blog post screenshots too.

I love the interview. And yet another game I can’t wait for. This is going to be the best R&C ever and the one we have always dreamed about.


39

+ aguba on July 2nd, 2007 at 4:00 pm said:

Penguins!

“…hip-hop bouncing Morph-O-Ray penguins…”


40

+ Jenic on July 2nd, 2007 at 4:02 pm said:

I heart Insomniac!


41

+ NewYork214 on July 2nd, 2007 at 4:05 pm said:

cant wait for this game. hopefully resistance 2 comes out fall 08. i cant wait for that game


42

+ XxBigP123xX on July 2nd, 2007 at 4:05 pm said:

DEAR SONY,

YOUR PSP IS USELESS WITHOUT Dark_Alex’s OE FIRMWARE. OPEN TO PUBLIC DEVELOPMENT MY ASS. YOU CAN STICK YOUR PSPS UP YOUR ASS.

FROM, XXBIGP123XX


43

+ XxBigP123xX on July 2nd, 2007 at 4:06 pm said:

DEAR SONY,

YOUR PSP IS USELESS WITHOUT Dark_Alex’s OE FIRMWARE. OPEN TO PUBLIC DEVELOPMENT MY ASS. YOU CAN STICK YOUR PSPS UP YOUR ASS.

FROM, XXBIGP123XX


44

+ Grym on July 2nd, 2007 at 4:07 pm said:

You guys at Insomniac have to learn 3rd parties one or two things about PS3 programming. :)

Awesome work with Resistance: FoM and this one.
I would have hoped for some kind of co-op in this one though.


45

+ Silver R. Wolfe on July 2nd, 2007 at 4:09 pm said:

I cant wait for this game. FFXIII, MGS4 and R&CF:TOD are all games that I can’t miss out on even if it means I have to cave into a $500 – $600 purchase.

This is the greatest 3D platforming franchise out there and it’s full of great wit and humour that’s uniquely R&C. Kudos to you at Insomniac.


46

+ PS3_is_cool on July 2nd, 2007 at 4:09 pm said:

I hope next week Sony release tons of content during E3, including Ratchet&Clank: ToD.


47

+ Globox82 on July 2nd, 2007 at 2:24 pm said:

WOW what a nice interview. Can’t wait for this.


48

+ MasterCharged on July 2nd, 2007 at 2:32 pm said:

Insomniac is the best company in the world


49

+ omegasyde on July 2nd, 2007 at 2:35 pm said:

Game sounds great.

With the quality of RFOM, I am sure this title will hit pimp status.


50

+ PBJ on July 2nd, 2007 at 2:36 pm said:

This game loos great – this will no doubt be an addition to my PS3 games – thanks Insomiac – great work and happy sales – would love a demo


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