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Developer Diary #3: The Saboteur for PS3

Tom French's Avatar + Posted by Tom French on Nov 13, 2009 // Lead Designer, The Saboteur

Hey guys, I just got back from my little world tour (San Francisco, London, Moscow, whew!) showing off The Saboteur‘s open-world/sandbox gameplay and perks system, so I figured this might make a good topic to add to my developer diary series on The Saboteur for PS3.

The Saboteur for PS3

One of the reasons we built a scaled down version of Paris was to make sure we could create a world filled with stuff to do. Every block of Paris has content in it; in fact, it’s not just Paris but our entire world is filled with plenty of stuff. So what is all this our world is filled with? The Nazi occupation, which includes things like sniper towers, AA guns, Nazi tanks, SS generals, propaganda speakers, search lights, radar dishes, and more. These occupation targets are like a collections mechanic, but instead of passively finding these things in the world and walking over them, you’re blowing them up.

There are roughly about 1300 of these spread throughout our entire game, so you see I wasn’t kidding when I said every block has content in it. You also earn contraband for destroying these Nazi objects, which is our currency in the game because money was worthless during the war. Their destruction is persistent so taking these out in advance might actually help you with a mission in that area later on because you’re not getting attacked by a sniper anymore, for example. There’s a great risk/reward for destroying this stuff, though. If the Nazis see you, you’ll raise suspicion and someone will blow a whistle, setting off the alarms and bringing in Nazi reinforcements. So you should always make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into when deciding to destroy them, because you might get a bunch of Nazis onto your heels. You’ll then have to either escape the alarm area or cool down the alarms by using one of the game’s hiding spots like the rooftop shacks or public “pissoirs.” This is actually a good time to work on your perks.

The Saboteur for PS3

Perks are a way for the player to improve Sean’s skills. You see, Sean’s a racecar driver by trade, not a soldier, and he gets better by doing things. Blow up enough Nazi installations and Sean will plant explosives faster. Kill enough guys with a machine gun and Sean will better understand how to hold the gun, reducing the recoil when firing. Shoot five guys with a scoped rifle and the drift will be reduced, making it easier to aim with a scope. Each perk has three tiers to it. The first tier is pretty easy, but tier two and three require the player to set more micro-objectives. Take sniping for example; tier two requires fifteen head shots with a scoped rifle. But the rewards get better the higher tier the perk. Perks sometimes improve skills, unlock all new mechanics (e.g. the ability to plant explosives in a car while driving, then bail out creating a car bomb), or unlock weapons in the black market shops.

The Saboteur for PS3

The black market is the place where Sean can stock up with all kinds of gear by trading in the contraband he has earned. There’s all kinds of weapons: machine guns, rifles, sniper rifles, pistols, shotguns, explosives, etc — but it’s not just weapons. There are different upgrades to be found as well! For example, you can increase the different amounts of ammo Sean can carry or you can choose to equip the Resistance with better weapons. This is obviously useful because, like I mentioned in the previous post, the Resistance shows up in the High Will to Fight areas in the streets or at the fight-back zones. So helping them out with better equipment will actually help you in return. The black market shops also offer area maps, which will mark the locations of the occupation I mentioned above. As I mentioned earlier, there are about 1300 of these in the game, and having a map that shows you where to look will definitely help you destroy them all. These maps also mark locations of things like resistance supply crates (filled with contraband and sometimes bonus weapons), “sweet jumps”, monument postcards, and scenic spots. They’re quite helpful for those looking to earn some contraband or for those completionist types like me.

And you can do this stuff whenever you want, in or out of missions. It’s really up to you when you deal with it, but you might want to think about taking it out sooner rather than later; because it’s always there… watching and waiting.

The Saboteur for PS3

//Add Your Own

7 Comments   52 Replies

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1

+ soliderjoe on November 13th, 2009 at 3:10 pm said:

This game looks awesome and what made u decide to use strip clubs as a “safehaven” for sean?


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    + Tom French on November 13th, 2009 at 3:49 pm said:

    Hahaha. It was just something that fit into the flavor of the world we were creating.


2

+ bomba2812 on November 13th, 2009 at 3:15 pm said:

i don’t really trust pandemic after mercenaries 2 so i’ll have to see if this game really is good, and btw are there destructible environments in the saboteur ?


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    + Tom French on November 13th, 2009 at 3:51 pm said:

    Not all of the environment is destructible like Mercs. The trade off let us put more graphical fidelity in the world. We do have a lot of set piece destruction moments in the game (some buildings in there).


3

+ CrimsonFox13 on November 13th, 2009 at 3:19 pm said:

The game looks iffy. Not very atmospheric from what I’ve seen and too arcadey-looking to me. Red glowing Nazis, arcadey looking gameplay, and I’m afraid of all the 1300 targets. Anything you can say to calm my fears and maybe make me more interested?


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    + Tom French on November 13th, 2009 at 3:55 pm said:

    Hmmm, well it\’s a vague question to answer but I will say the game is a mix of some \”arcadey\” fun but with weight. If you\’ve seen videos before you were probably seeing the game played on god mode (or what we call Demo Mode so you see some blood from the health effect) which does make it look a bit more arcadey than it actually plays. If you\’re afraid of the 1300 targets, don\’t worry about them. You can focus on the story and the big missions of the game (next blog discussion) and only take out the ones you need and ignore the rest. We wanted to have a lot of fun sandbox gameplay as well as missions with a lot of variety so it could work for someone who wants to play the game either way.


4

+ KnIVesAgloRy on November 13th, 2009 at 3:27 pm said:

I don’t really see that there’s a problem in Arcadey Games or whatever that is. I seen the demo and it looks pretty good, I hope it’ll be better than Mercs, and I love stealth games. But I hope that you can destroy a large variety of things, more than Mercs


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    + Tom French on November 13th, 2009 at 4:00 pm said:

    I\’d say in our game it\’s less \”stealth\” but more sneaking. You can sneak up, break a neck, take their uniform, use it to get through a restricted area to get to your objective, but if you break your disguise you\’re not dead, your mission is not over, adapt, take cover, shoot back, it\’s up to you.

    As for the variety of the types of targets, I\’ll just give you the list of types:
    Sniper Towers/Nests
    Parked Tanks
    Propaganda Speakers
    Resitance Supply Crates
    Scenic Spots
    Post Cards
    AA Guns
    Sweet Jumps
    Searchlights
    Generals
    Radar Installments
    V1 Rockets
    Fuel Stations
    Coastal Guns


5

+ BigPoppaB on November 13th, 2009 at 3:34 pm said:

I’m basically as sold as I could be considering there will be no demo and its a new IP (so its a gamble)

Unfortunately I can’t really justify buying another game considering ive already gotten Uncharted 2, Batman, Modern Warfare 2, Fifa 10 and Assassins Creed 2 as a chrimbo gift. I will definitely keep this in mind post christmas when ive got some extra cash to spend

Hopefully the critical reception is pretty good, because thats really my only way of judging its merits considering I cant try it before i buy

Also, thanks Tom, you always respond to the user comments,,, whether good, bad or even trolling.

Good luck with your game.. it looks awesome. Had it come out in the summer I would have bought it day one


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    + Tom French on November 13th, 2009 at 4:01 pm said:

    Hehehe, yeh, times are tough economically. :) And thanks for the good word.


6

+ narwhalSTAB on November 13th, 2009 at 3:39 pm said:

Looking forward to this game. I saw some vids of what Tom French is explaining in this post. Here’s the links-

http://www.gametrailers.com/video/open-world-the-saboteur/58948

http://www.gametrailers.com/video/open-world-the-saboteur/58950

http://www.gametrailers.com/video/escalation-levels-the-saboteur/58952


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    + Tom French on November 13th, 2009 at 4:04 pm said:

    I had a blast recording these. It\’s been fun finally just talking about the pure sandbox parts of the game because before all we ever talked about were the Sean, missions, story. When I played the first GTA game, I played a handful of the story missions but realized they weren\’t \”my bag\” so I instead just would run around the world wreaking as much havoc as I possibly could and had a great time doing just that. We\’re really proud of the sandbox we made because it\’s interactive and gives you a lot of reinforcement to explore the world taking them out.


7

+ BigPoppaB on November 13th, 2009 at 3:40 pm said:

@2

Dead Space was awesome, and the developers previous game was The Simpsons.

Killzone 2 was great… and they also made Killzone 1.. which was mediocre

Batman Arkym Asylum was amazing… and their previous game was Urban Chaos (which was not that great, and pretty forgettable)

so yeah.. you cant judge a game based on the developers previous game. I think its pretty clear that A LOT of effort was put into the Saboteur, so you shouldnt dismiss it just because you didnt like Mercenaries


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    + Tom French on November 13th, 2009 at 4:07 pm said:

    It\’s tough to say because I do understand where people come from when they feel burnt by a developer. I think there are elements of Mercenaries in The Saboteur but it\’s also a very different feeling game at the same time. I will say the team at Pandemic is extremely proud of this game. I\’ve worked on some games in my past that I\’m very very proud to have on my resume but The Saboteur is now at the top of that list.


8

+ commedieu on November 13th, 2009 at 3:44 pm said:

Im honestly buying based on your beared and your beared alone. Track my psn. Day1


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    + Tom French on November 13th, 2009 at 4:07 pm said:

    Amen to that. I wish it was always that easy. :)


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    + Tom French on November 13th, 2009 at 4:07 pm said:

    Oh yeah, and thanks! :)


9

+ plaztiksyke on November 13th, 2009 at 4:11 pm said:

It does look interesting, especially if it has a really solid story and character development. Some questions:

1. What’s the target native resolution it will be rendered at? Any use of FSAA?

2. Will the audio be lossless quality? 24-bit? Games with lots of explosions, but wimpy Dolby Digital are really disappointing.

3. Are there any gay characters? NPCs or playable?

4. Are there any specific features of the PS3 and/or bluray the game will be taking advantage of?

Hopefully some of the sub-par gfx in the screenshots are fixed before release (poor texture w/no bumpmap on chimney and lack of lighting effects on distance characters, for instance).

Thanks in advance for answering questions!


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    + Tom French on November 13th, 2009 at 6:17 pm said:

    1. 720p is our native res. We use the SPUs on the PS3 to do a full screen FSAA filter.
    2. The reason most people don\’t do full 24-bit is because of the storage space on the disc (mainly an issue on DVD consoles), time to stream it in, and memory it takes to load. I\’m not sure the full technical aspects of our audio but I\’ve been playing the game on my surround sound at home and it sounds pretty damn good to me.
    3. I wouldn\’t say there are any openly gay characters in The Saboteur. There are a couple that we think might be secretly.
    4. When it was decided the game would be cross platform we decided to make sure they both ran equally as well and wouldn\’t gimp one version or the other. We talked about having 6-axis stuff in some of the mini-game things we had in the game but eventually we cut the mini-games because they just didn\’t feel right and not worth it.


10

+ BigPoppaB on November 13th, 2009 at 4:19 pm said:

can you please answer me a couple questions on the game.. since we seem to have your attention:

– is the voice actor for the main character (devlin) actually irish? Or is he american and trying an irish accent? I read an IGN preview and they said it was a really poor accent… seems fine to me

– without spoiling the story or anything… can you still play the game after completing the campaign (do all the side missions and stuff)

– how long has this game been in development?

– Is it possible to get the gamestop preorder knife through the game,, or is it preorder exclusive? (im buying it in January, so thats why i ask)

– How did you feel about release date? did you wanna put it out earlier/later or was this ideal for development?

– how is the hand to hand combat.. i dont think ive seen any videos on it.. only stealth attacks

thanks.. this game does look pretty awesome


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    + Tom French on November 13th, 2009 at 6:46 pm said:

    - SEAN\’S VOICE: You know finding the right voice for Sean was one of the hardest character choices we had to make. We wanted him to \”sound Irish\” but we didn\’t want it so thick we\’d have to subtitle him. On top of that to have his voice fit the face and personality of Sean. It\’s funny the debate on this. Some people think he sounds fine (and yes a lot of Irish people I know too) and some people freak out over it. At one point I thought that Robin Atkin Downes (who does the voice of Sean) was Irish, but I was mistaken. He\’s actually English but he\’s also been living in the states for a long time which is something we wanted to help avoid subtitling.
    – PLAY AFTER STORY: Yes. Which was important for us because there are lots of side missions and all the stuff in the sandbox the player might still want to do.
    – DEV TIME: Crazy enough, 5 years. We had a decently long pre-production phase prototyping and building tech. I was watching videos of old milestones today and it was cracking me up how far along we came from those days.
    -PREORDER: I believe it\’s a pre-order exclusive and there haven\’t been any other talks to get it any other way.
    -RELEASE DATE: It\’s interesting in some ways. We\’re still part of the holiday season in a lot of ways and that week is a huge week for people buying things like DVDs and stuff so it\’s an interesting window. There is lots of stuff surrounding it with the games hitting in the next couple weeks before us and early next year is super crowded thru March now. We originally wanted to ship St Patrick\’s Day this year but it made sense to put the extra time and polish.
    -There is a full melee system in the game. It\’s very \”brawler\” style. Jabs, punches, bar room kicks, grabs (beat on them more or toss them), and multi-directional. We wanted Sean to always have a tool no matter the situation.


11

+ poweredbyzen on November 13th, 2009 at 4:28 pm said:

i really enjoy playing games where you actually don’t have to be in the middle of everything! this reminds me of an xbox title called “thief.” sneaking around is always fun – just ask snake! i can’t wait for this one!


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    + Tom French on November 13th, 2009 at 7:51 pm said:

    I love Thief. I\’d say the reaction to getting found in Thief is much harsher than The Saboteur as far as adapting and staying alive, but similar in that there is a chance. Kinda makes me want to play that game again. It\’s been a long time.


12

+ BigPoppaB on November 13th, 2009 at 4:34 pm said:

one more question… is it possible to turn off the cross hairs reticule when not in combat?

In uncharted there’s no reticle when youre walkingaround, but when you aim down the sights it comes up.. and like wise if you shoot from the hip. I actually prefer it this way, so that there’s no reticle always in the way


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    + Tom French on November 13th, 2009 at 6:59 pm said:

    If you put your gun away the crosshair goes away.


13

+ sirgrinalot on November 13th, 2009 at 4:38 pm said:

I’ll be getting it just because it is set in WW2, it’s hard to find a good WW2 era game after call of duty 1 and 2.


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    + Tom French on November 13th, 2009 at 7:03 pm said:

    Well I hope you like our kinda twist on the WWII era. It\’s definitely not a historically accurate game but as I like to say it\’s more \”historically inspired\” :)


14

+ l0_t0 on November 13th, 2009 at 4:39 pm said:

What happen with Spanish language?
There are some information about EA puting off Spanish in the game, can you confirm or deny?


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    + Tom French on November 13th, 2009 at 7:04 pm said:

    You know I have no idea the answer to this but I will see if I can find it for you!


15

+ plaztiksyke on November 13th, 2009 at 4:41 pm said:

Oh yes, I forgot to mention how much I love a good stealth game. Thief, System Shock, Chronicles of Riddick, Prisoner of War were all really great. Being rewarded for patient stalking by overhearing conversations and getting information was a great touch in some of those games.

I also really appreciate how modern games with stealth have trophies for ‘taking people down’ or not firing a weapon. Having multiple solutions to the scenarios is great for depth and replayability.

That being said, please don’t have trophies that require multiple play-throughs in order to get the Platinum. That really bugs the crap out of me.


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    + Tom French on November 13th, 2009 at 7:11 pm said:

    I\’m almost 99.999635% positive you could get all our trophies on your first playthru. Oh, and there is a trophy in there for finishing a mission without raising the alarms. A lot of the missions would be tough, but it can be done!


16

+ WackyWeedCreed on November 13th, 2009 at 4:49 pm said:

Looks great! Can’t wait to try it!


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    + Tom French on November 13th, 2009 at 7:52 pm said:

    Me neither!


17

+ Metellica505 on November 13th, 2009 at 6:07 pm said:

Looks very good!


18

+ Bryentman on November 13th, 2009 at 6:40 pm said:

This game looks great Mr.French definitely gonna help take up my time during the holidays ive already got it preordered at my local gamestop!
If you could answer these few questions i would be very grateful-
1.Will Sean’s look change?
2.Is there a variety of weapons?
3.And last, will you be driving vehicles for a large portion of the game.
Thank you for you diary posts, i cant wait for this game!


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    + Tom French on November 13th, 2009 at 7:19 pm said:

    1. Sean\’s \”costume\” will change several points in the story for, well, story reasons. When he\’s racing he\’s got a racing outfit, after one of the races you\’ll actually be running around with it for a while. The outfit you see the most is what we call his \”saboteur outfit\” which is intended to blend in but be very practical for him to hide weapons in and carry supplies.
    2. There\’s a good variety of weapons. I\’ll have to go through them and put up the list or at least counts of the types. There are machine guns, shotguns, pistols, rifles, sniper rifles, flamethrowers, rocket launchers, grenades, and a couple different types of explosives. We also have our Terror Squad weapons (which fit into those classes, ie aren\’t shooting lazers or ghosts) but are more over the top \”prototype\” weapons. There\’s also mounted weapons like MG42s and AA guns. Also things like tanks and armored cars that can shoot (not always easy to get access too but there and possible). You can also get some perks in the game that will put weapons on Sean\’s race car the Aurora and give you the ability to make your car into a bomb by planting dynamite in it while driving. :) So yeah, some weapons to be found.
    3. You can. We have some racing in the game and some missions that require a vehicle for them or at least parts of them. To get around the world it\’s really up to you. It\’s definitely fun to grab a race car and zip around the city streets. At the same time running across the roofs leaping from building to building will make you run across more of the occupation stuff I was talking about in this blog.


19

+ hibachiZX on November 13th, 2009 at 6:42 pm said:

i was really not planning to buy this game, but you guys have been showing a ton of support for the ps3 version, unlike some people (*cough* bayonetta *cough*). plus the more screenshots i see, the more awesome it becomes. consider it bought!


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    + Tom French on November 13th, 2009 at 7:19 pm said:

    Well thanks!


20

+ Hpedni on November 13th, 2009 at 6:45 pm said:

I have no idea how you manage to answer the trolls so respectfully. If I were you I would have told so many of these people to shut up.

But yeah I’m buying your game and 10/10 beard


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    + Tom French on November 13th, 2009 at 7:21 pm said:

    Honestly, trolling people used to upset me more but I\’ve been in the industry long enough that it really doesn\’t bother me. Everybody has an opinion. I may or may not agree with it but the reality is I know what the game is like by playing it rather than speculating on it. :)


21

+ napkin on November 13th, 2009 at 6:54 pm said:

The first time I saw this game I was instantly intrigued because of the black and white art style. I want this game but I have a couple questions first.

1. How is the shooting/combat? In Fallout 3 I thought the combat was pretty bad but everything else in the game made up for it. If the shooting in Saboteur is standard-fare i’d like to know if the rest of the game can make up for it as well. If this game has similar shooting mechanics to something like Uncharted 2 then that’s fine.

2. This game reminds me of Inglourious Basterds a little. The movie is kind of another reason why I want this game, I feel like I want to be a part of this french WW2 spy underground resistance kind of thing which this game looks like it is, can you expand on that aspect a little more? Also you guys should maybe try to workout some kind of a marketing deal with the movie together since the IB Blu Ray/DVD is coming out in December as well. (Unless the game has a very different feel from the movie then I guess that wouldn’t work).

3. How big is the city would you say? and are there lots of interesting landmarks/architecture like the Eiffel tower for example?


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    + Tom French on November 13th, 2009 at 7:32 pm said:

    1. I\’m happy with how our shooting came out. It\’s similar to something like Uncharted but our cover doesn\’t require a button. You just move up to it and Sean takes the cover. It\’s also not as sticky as most cover based games, mainly because we made it dynamic we didn\’t want the player getting stuck while trying to make a big jump or something. It\’s very fluid. It does make the player have to be more \”deliberate\” with their pace rather than the sticky-ness of the cover determining that for you.
    2. I was super excited about that movie and really enjoyed it. Good, solid, harsh, fun. :) It\’s great to see a similar theme and tone in a movie to our game and it does help popularize the idea that fighting wars isn\’t always storming the beaches of Normandy. I\’d say the only difference in tone is IB is more 70\’s in tone while The Saboteur more Noir (Third Man, Sin City) and Pulp (Indiana Jones). But yeah, very similar in a lot of ways. Oh, and I think \”some other game\” has the corner on being attached to the movie. :)
    3. The total game map is about 5.5 X 5.5 km. Paris is the largest chunk of it but it does go up to La Havre and across to Germany. In Paris all the major monuments are there. Super important to making Paris feel like Paris. All of them have scenic spots on them and/or Postcards to collect in the game too. :) The countryside also filled with really cool chateaus that really exist. Of course they\’re occupied by the Nazis. :)


22

+ napkin on November 13th, 2009 at 6:56 pm said:

I also have to give a 10/10 to the beard and showing support to the PS3 community by answering questions and posting stuff like this. The fans definitely notice that kind of stuff.


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    + Tom French on November 13th, 2009 at 7:33 pm said:

    I honestly enjoy it quite a bit. When I worked at Black Isle we had our own message boards that I tried to spend some time on talking to people. It\’s great getting to interact and answer questions. After all, we do make the game for you and not us (well a little bit) :)


23

+ vanwinkle on November 13th, 2009 at 7:07 pm said:

I like that you’ve been answering questions and seem to care about the community. I didn’t fully decide if I was going to get the game (though I have thought about it), but I certainly will now. Nice dev diary, too!


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    + Tom French on November 13th, 2009 at 7:34 pm said:

    Thanks! See above. :)


24

+ soliderjoe on November 13th, 2009 at 7:10 pm said:

One last question for the gamers who have cousins or kids or just younger gamers will there be an option to block the obsenity as i have seen in the previews?


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    + Tom French on November 13th, 2009 at 7:36 pm said:

    You know, in some ways I wish we had done that but we didn\’t because the reality is there are a lot of other \”themes\” in The Saboteur though that also don\’t make it friendly for a younger audience. I have a similar dilemma with my 7 year old son who is excited to play his dad\’s game but instead he\’s just going to get to play some of the parts of it. :)


25

+ theBedBurner on November 13th, 2009 at 7:22 pm said:

I am sorry and no offense but I’m just really sick of WW2 games please someone make something original!


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    + Tom French on November 13th, 2009 at 7:44 pm said:

    No offense taken. In a way we totally agree with you and that\’s why we really changed what we felt were the trappings of your traditional WWII game; FPS, soldier, fighting in military battles, etc. There\’s similar things in there that are hard to get rid of… Nazis, guns, tanks, etc but also vintage race cars, climbing, more epic \”pulp\” style missions, and a general over the top nature. Like, I\’ve seen enough WWII movies in my life and probably don\’t need another for a long time, but I\’d be excited to watch a new Indiana Jones movie (well, maybe not after the last one) because it\’s just in that era, it\’s not a WWII movie. That\’s more how The Saboteur is. Our mantra was \”more Indiana Jones, less Saving Private Ryan\”.


26

+ lostinplainsight on November 13th, 2009 at 7:37 pm said:

hey jusyt want know if there are a bunch of hidden collectibles in the game and if so did you guys put in something to help find them all like the ping system in infamous?


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    + Tom French on November 13th, 2009 at 7:48 pm said:

    Yeah, at the black market you can buy \”maps\” with the contraband you earn that mark the locations of them on your maps (mini-map & main map). You can read a little more about it in this blog. Also the GameTrailers videos linked in question #6 shows some of that stuff.


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+ Tinaray on November 13th, 2009 at 7:38 pm said:

This game intrigues me, which is something to be said considering for the most part, I’m burned out on WW2 games. This one looks like it could add a breath of fresh air to the setting though.

I loved the original Mercenaries and despite its technical flaws, I rather enjoyed the second one as well (though no where near as much as the first). I don’t think the game needs to be polished to the level of Uncharted 2 to make me play it. Just so long as it has that right feel. Here’s to hoping.


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    + Tom French on November 13th, 2009 at 7:49 pm said:

    I hope we hit it for you too. The team is really, really proud of this game and excited to get it out for people to play. If you like it (which I hope you do) make sure you tell a friend and a friend and a friend. :)


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+ AtlasAlmighty on November 13th, 2009 at 7:51 pm said:

Will there be any multiplayer? If so would it be local or online?


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    + Tom French on November 13th, 2009 at 8:08 pm said:

    The game is single player only. I mentioned this in another reply to one of the other blogs, but we wanted to focus really on making a big story (focus tests are pointing to around 20-25 hours to finish the story) centered around our hero so multiplayer would have forced us to make a lot of compromises that would have watered down the single player game. Wow, that was an epic run on sentence. :)


29

+ AtlasAlmighty on November 13th, 2009 at 7:54 pm said:

Will this be single player only?


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    + Tom French on November 24th, 2009 at 10:26 am said:

    See #28


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+ iExile on November 13th, 2009 at 8:23 pm said:

Judging by gameplay videos, I can’t see why Uncharted/GTA fans wouldn’t enjoy this. While I agree that World War 2 settings have been done to death, Pandemic have managed to give Saboteur an interesting twist which really separates it from the likes of anything else with tons of gameplay variety. Besides, I can’t say that I’ve played an open world WW2 title this generation.

I have some questions though.

1. All of the footage I’ve seen looks great but it’s running on the 360 hardware for the most part and it really pisses me off when developers do this. Why? Because then we’re left without an idea as to how it is running on our platform. In my experience, every time this happens, we end up getting garbage ports with piss poor frame rate among other serious performance issues. Is it running smooth on PS3? Give us HD videos and shut these haters (including me) the eff up. Ha.

2. I heard that EA was cutting some upcoming projects and closing some development studios. Pandemic was mentioned in the article and I damn near flipped. Are you guys going to be okay?

3. Any sick pre-order goodies I should know about?

Thanks in advance Tom, and keep up the great beard!


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    + Tom French on November 24th, 2009 at 10:42 am said:

    1. Hehehe. I talked about this in one of the other blogs, but the fact was when we started on The Saboteur, there wasn\’t very easy to get PS3 dev kits. We got a couple which they took immediately up to the Mercs 2 team (since they had an earlier ship window than us) and they worked away on it. We decided to partner up with a group that had more PS3 dev experience than us. We merged our code bases to make sure we were all running the same game :) and went to town. After playing the 360 version for so long and finally when I went out doing press in Europe where I brought the PS3 version, I was happy to say they felt the same to me with the exception of a few controller layout changes. So to me that\’s a good thing. :)

    2) Well, yep. The Pandemic office in LA was closed (also why I haven\’t been on in a week). Some people have gone over to EALA to continue the Pandemic name and work on some stuff we were working on. I wish the best of luck to them and also the best of luck to those trying to figure out what they are going to do next (myself included). The Saboteur has gone gold (and had done so before the closure). I can say as far as The Saboteur team is concerned, we finished up with one of the best (if not the best) game that the studio ever made and I\’m very proud to have had my hands in it.

    3) There is a pre-order promo going on that unlocks an in-game knife that allows for a particularly brutal stealth kill.


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+ Axecution on November 13th, 2009 at 8:34 pm said:

Holy crap@the comment replies.

Congratulations! You guys will be my first multi platform game since Guitar Hero World Tour came out. >.>

Game looks epic.


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    + Tom French on November 24th, 2009 at 10:43 am said:

    Wow, that\’s pretty incredible to have ignored so many games. :)


32

+ Tinaray on November 13th, 2009 at 8:49 pm said:

Mr. French, you’re awesome. It’s nice to see a developer interacting this much with consumers that aren’t necessarily Neo Gaffs. My hat’s off to you.


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    + Tom French on November 24th, 2009 at 10:44 am said:

    Thanks! I care a lot about this game and will do anything I can to tell the world that. I\’ve even considered standing on street corners with signs the day it ships. Although I should shut up before that gives someone an idea. :)


33

+ tosun01 on November 13th, 2009 at 9:01 pm said:

Man, you’ve managed to anwser almost every question. Impressive. Never seen it before. The guys from Ninja Gaiden avoided every question about blood and gore :P

I’ve got to say first I liked the looks of the game very much, but a trailer released on PS store some time ago made my hype go down a little bit. Could be something with the music on the trailer.
But reading everything here today caught my interest again.
Seems a pretty good game. I hope Ps3 version looks equal or better than other version though.


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    + Tom French on November 24th, 2009 at 10:47 am said:

    Check out our latest trailer (\’Just Getting Started\’) that\’s up there. I think that\’s one of the best representations of the game. The other one (at least the one I think you\’re talking about) had the Flogging Molly song which I loved because it captured a bit of the tone of Sean, but the latest captures what I think is the mood of the game.


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+ Guts05 on November 13th, 2009 at 9:20 pm said:

Just wanted to thank you for answering peoples questions, the community really does notice, alot of the devs dont do this or ignore most of them.


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    + Tom French on November 24th, 2009 at 10:47 am said:

    Like I said before, I love getting to interact with the community. It was something I got to do more back in my Black Isle days and wished we did more of.


35

+ gws89 on November 13th, 2009 at 9:46 pm said:

Will this game cover put on the new ps3 logo?


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    + Tom French on November 24th, 2009 at 10:48 am said:

    I have no idea to be honest. :)


36

+ afdgsfdgnb on November 13th, 2009 at 11:35 pm said:

I’ve got my eye on this game.

As long as there isn’t a ton of DLC at release, which renders the game incomplete, you’ll have my interest.


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    + Tom French on November 24th, 2009 at 10:49 am said:

    I think you\’ll be fine. Honestly, there\’s a ton of content already on the disc some people may never need any DLC for it. :)


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+ lostinplainsight on November 14th, 2009 at 12:47 am said:

thank you for answering my question Odin and I applaud you and your mighty beard. All hail Tom French All Hail the Beard!


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    + Tom French on November 24th, 2009 at 10:49 am said:

    Hehehe, thanks! Did I mention our engine for The Saboteur was called Odin?


38

+ RavageHeitaro on November 14th, 2009 at 4:49 am said:

Wow, i’m really impressed by your efforts Tom. You answered nearly all the questions and didn’t shy away from the negative ones either.And we get honest and informative answers too. Wish all devs interact with their fanbase this way ;)

For this month,i’ve already bought Uncharted2, R&C:ACIT, DragonAge and preordered GOW:Collections, however that is no reason for me to miss out on this great looking and innovative game. Beats buying another COD game that plays exactly like the one i’ve played in 2007.

Day one for me and i hope you guys achieve the sales you deserve :D


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    + Tom French on November 24th, 2009 at 10:51 am said:

    Yeah! Lots of games right now. I\’m just getting some time to finally catch up, I mean seriously, I\’m just getting to play Batman (I know terrible!). I hope you get a chance to play The Saboteur. I think it slays.


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+ anubiz03 on November 14th, 2009 at 5:10 am said:

I must say, this game looks so awesome. I’m definitely getting it as soon as it’s released. I was disappointed by “some other sandbox game” dealing with the criminal underground back in 2008, but this looks like it’ll be great.

One question: Is there any dlc planned, for any format of this game? Doesn’t matter much, but would be nice to know :)


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    + Tom French on November 24th, 2009 at 10:52 am said:

    You know, there haven\’t been any announcements as far as DLC goes for The Saboteur. I\’m not sure what is going to happen now that it\’s moving over to EALA. Keep your eyes out though…


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+ Gunwing on November 14th, 2009 at 6:29 am said:

Nice too see third party developers finally getting a hang of the PS3 as a platform. I hope this means PS3 titles will start to come out on top like the PS2 system did over the PSone back in the day. For a while both systems looked the same.

All it takes is a bit more time, and effort some developers would just rather port instead of making sure it all works right out of the box like you guys. KUDOS!


41

+ Eatbanana on November 14th, 2009 at 7:42 am said:

Will there be Downloadable Content? :D.


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    + Tom French on November 24th, 2009 at 10:55 am said:

    See #39


42

+ shadowkiller11 on November 14th, 2009 at 9:37 am said:

What about marketting for the game? will there be any commercials on TV? as EA is superb in terms of marketting. Good stuff try to pre-order for knife


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    + Tom French on November 24th, 2009 at 10:57 am said:

    I hope so. I\’m not too sure what EA marketing has in store for it. I think the cinematic nature of the game really lends itself to cool commercials/trailers (Hint, hint, download our latest trailer). We\’ll see. :)


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+ ericlempel on November 14th, 2009 at 10:54 am said:

awesome


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    + Tom French on November 24th, 2009 at 10:58 am said:

    Thanks I like to think so! I\’m really impressed with the sandbox we built. I know 1300 might blow some peoples minds but I should have mentioned that in some spots you end up fighting/destroying multiple because they\’re all in the same area so it\’s not as overwhelming as it may seem! Plus the maps help. :)


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+ Senjutsu_Dav on November 14th, 2009 at 10:56 am said:

Looking very nice!! I’ll surely buy this game! I love the theme! =D


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    + Tom French on November 24th, 2009 at 10:58 am said:

    Please do! We worked hard on it and still love it.


45

+ shakedown1986 on November 14th, 2009 at 10:56 am said:

Very cool!


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    + Tom French on November 24th, 2009 at 10:59 am said:

    Agreed! ;)


46

+ bolbgt on November 14th, 2009 at 10:59 am said:

When’s this coming out?


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    + Tom French on November 24th, 2009 at 10:59 am said:

    Dec 8th in the US and I Dec 4th in the UK (and I believe the rest of Europe).


47

+ lyfestory on November 14th, 2009 at 4:50 pm said:

well, it definitely looks and sounds pretty cool to me.. Pandemic has done a pretty good job with past games, so, im sure theyre going to come out with a good showing.. i just hope the game sells well enough… It’s a shame when we see new IPs go down the tubes because no one buys them… i understand that money is tight and ya gotta be more selective in game buying, but ya gotta show developers some love when they try something new… Sequels are just so tired…
Im hoping this one does well enough to show people that new IPs can and should be invested in…


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    + Tom French on November 24th, 2009 at 11:06 am said:

    While I\’m a sucker for sequels of the games I love, without having those new IPs to fall in love with, I\’d be sad. I hope people fall in love with The Saboteur as much as the team did so there someday, someday can be a sequel and our boy Sean can have some more adventures.


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+ plaztiksyke on November 14th, 2009 at 6:22 pm said:

Thanks so much for being responsive and answering our questions in detail. This kind of community interaction gives me more faith in this developer. I’ll definitely try the game out at my earliest convenience.

Any comments on the poor textures/lack of bump maps on the chimney and the beuys? It’s weird to see that kind of oversight in heavily FSAA’d marketing screenshots :)


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    + Tom French on November 24th, 2009 at 11:08 am said:

    It\’s always tough to tell what a game looks like running from a screenshot. I\’m not sure how much more texture love the things like the chimneys got post those screenshots (and I think some of them were older) but the reality is they are a very small detail in a huge world packed with a lot of detail everywhere.


49

+ Erniejpan on November 15th, 2009 at 1:52 am said:

Nice!!!


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    + Tom French on November 24th, 2009 at 11:09 am said:

    Yes it is! :)


50

+ NYGTASD on November 15th, 2009 at 7:45 am said:

i was never really interested in this game but now it looks and sounds really good glad its a ps3 exclusive :)


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    + Tom French on November 24th, 2009 at 11:08 am said:

    Well not an exclusive, but we did put love into making the PS3 run on par with the other versions.


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