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gamescom: inFAMOUS 2 Interview

James Gallagher's Avatar + Posted by James Gallagher on Aug 20, 2010 // Blog Manager, SCEE

After the SCEE gamescom press conference, we had an event where press and developers could mingle, overindulge and try out the latest PlayStation games. I got talking to Bruce Oberg, co-founder of Sucker Punch Productions and development lead in inFAMOUS 2; without further ado, here’s what we said.

James Gallagher: From what I’ve seen, you seem to have been working particularly hard on the game’s graphics. Has this been an area in which you’ve placed special focus?

Bruce Oberg, Co-Founder, Sucker Punch Productions: We’ve tried to leave no stone unturned in just about every facet of the game and the graphics have been helped by us having another year of learning about PlayStation 3 under our belt. We’re able to use more of the cell processors now than we finished the first inFAMOUS, so we can have more characters on-screen, more complicated shaders, and much greater layering.

inFAMOUS 2 gamescom pics

It basically means we’re able to up the amplitude when it comes to graphics and the number of breakable objects you see on the screen. The characters, in particular, look a lot better as we have learned things like light scattering under the skin that makes a big difference. We’re also using motion capture for the first time to create animations, which gives movement a more powerful, visceral look. It’s all looking great!

JG:How much collaboration has there been with studios such as Naughty Dog and Insomniac Games on this project?

BO: We’ve always felt like a little brother to those guys that you mentioned; they’re down in California so we don’t see each other all of the time, but we’ll occasionally give them a call if we’re having trouble with this or that, because they’re super smart.

We’re completely humbled to be mentioned in the same sentence as either of those teams.

JG: Morality was at the heart of inFAMOUS and I’ve always thought that the Holy Grail for those kinds of games is to nail the grey shades of personality in-between. Would you agree?

BO: Morality was never our starting point with inFAMOUS; it was ‘what would you do if you do if you were suddenly given superpowers’ and I think that karmic choice is a big part of that. What would you do? It’s not natural to give someone this power and then expect them to be a hero.

People responded really well to the choices we gave them, and we’re going to be doing more of that in inFAMOUS 2, but I think we’re going to make the choices even stronger, taking you either further in the good or evil directions. We want it to be clear to people what kind of choice they’re making.

inFAMOUS 2 gamescom pics inFAMOUS 2 gamescom pics

JG: What are the storytelling challenges in that kind of forking narrative?

BO: It’s incredibly challenging. You think of the story as a tree that ends up with so many branches that it becomes a daunting task creating all of that content. In inFAMOUS there were essentially two endings that you could see and we might broaden that a little bit, but the real emphasis is on making sure that the way the game plays changing after you make certain choices.

JG: What inspired the new setting of New Marais?

BO: First of all we wanted somewhere that would offer more variation than a regular city. New Marais has echoes of New Orleans and other Southern cities, but there’s also a bit of Atlanta in there. We wanted a warmer, wetter climate with all these different districts like a modern area, a French quarter, a swamp and all these different shapes of the gritty world. It gives us a far more varied ‘jungle gym’ to explore.

inFAMOUS 2 gamescom pics inFAMOUS 2 gamescom pics

JG: What are the new powers like?

BO: We showed the Ionic Vortex at E3, which is tornado made out of static electricity that just wreaks havoc. You have to remember that Cole is not a beginner anymore like he was at the beginning of inFAMOUS. He has a lot of powers already, so we’re giving him even more, but also a greater sense of limitation in that he has to consider the damage he’s going to cause to the city by using the really big powers.

JG: For people like me that have played a LOT of inFAMOUS, what’s going to surprise us in the sequel?

BO: I think that the sheer amount of extra content in there and the scale of the new powers is really going to blow a lot of people’s minds.

//Add Your Own

54 Comments

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1

+ Korbei83 on August 20th, 2010 at 8:11 am said:

Welcome back ugly Cole.

You’re ugly.. but you’re Cole.


2

+ Marioface5 on August 20th, 2010 at 8:15 am said:

At first I was really unsure about InFamous 2, but I told myself “Don’t worry, this is Suckerpunch. They know what they’re doing”. I was completely right about that, and I am more excited than ever to get this game now. :D


3

+ zlihunger on August 20th, 2010 at 8:16 am said:

great!


4

+ jtobias17 on August 20th, 2010 at 8:23 am said:

Awesome manly Cole is back, you can’t have those awesome powers and be a pansy.


5

+ CDubyahS on August 20th, 2010 at 8:24 am said:

cant wait ionic tornado kick ass


6

+ valley428 on August 20th, 2010 at 8:28 am said:

Looks great!


7

+ megamanxzero35 on August 20th, 2010 at 8:31 am said:

So flippin’ excited about this game.


8

+ FORMIK on August 20th, 2010 at 8:34 am said:

I’m looking forward to the new game, and I want to hear more about the scale and extra content for the sequel.

Some things I like about the Cole character:
He looks like he could be willing to help out, or be up to no good.
The color scheme.
Glad to see the original Cole.

If Sucker Punch wants to use their improved hair graphics capabilities, then just keep the same Cole but let his hair grow out some. Not too much, just as if he hadn’t shaved it in a month.


9

+ MassaBR on August 20th, 2010 at 8:45 am said:

“I think we’re going to make the choices even stronger, taking you either further in the good or evil directions. We want it to be clear to people what kind of choice they’re making. ”

How can you make it even more clear than inFamous… “do you take all this food for yourself and let people starve or not?” ;)

I was kind of hoping the game would go in the opposite direction (grey area with the choices), but still it’s looking pretty good.


10

+ jacob-813 on August 20th, 2010 at 8:51 am said:

Cool


11

+ SpiritThief on August 20th, 2010 at 8:55 am said:

I’m glad to see the real Cole again. Anyone know if his deep raspy voice has return as well?


12

+ nYcFrEeWiLL82 on August 20th, 2010 at 8:55 am said:

inFAMOUS2..KZ3..LBP2..MotorStorm:A..TWISTED METAL.RESISTANCE 3…SOCOM 4..GT5..and the MOVE…PS3 XCLUSIVITY IS THE BEST REASON TO BE A SONYFANBOY! or MAN ..in my case :p This game would “SHOCK” everyone if it had MULTIPLAYER :p


13

+ hehe1 on August 20th, 2010 at 8:59 am said:

I loved the choices in the first game they were really EPIC and sometimes could get u emotional :P thats what made it one of my most favorite games of all time :D

The Story is the best part of this game :)


14

+ footballrule on August 20th, 2010 at 9:16 am said:

Thanks for giving us the original Cole back. COuld you guys kinda mix it up though? Start Cole off with short hair in the beginning of the game, and by the ending, he should have the hair shown in the first InFamous 2 images. Make his hair grow throughout the game.


15

+ BlooodyCow on August 20th, 2010 at 9:27 am said:

A lot of people on the blog knows how much I love inFAMOUS. In fact, it was my Game of the Year last year and inFAMOUS 2 was my E3 game of show. I love everything I seen so far of inFAMOUS 2 except the crowd. I think you guys need to work on the crowd AI because it need some work. Why are people standing around while Cole and a enemy is fight in around them. Make it so the run away if Cole is fight or using his powers.


16

+ Biggz124 on August 20th, 2010 at 9:27 am said:

Give us New cole back!! or atleast make cole customizable, like Niko in GTA. Old new cole sounds like a wuss.


17

+ alok893 on August 20th, 2010 at 9:32 am said:

Please Mr.James Gallagher can you please tell Mr.Bruce Oberg, Co-Founder, Sucker Punch Productions to NOT TO CHANGE THE VOICE FOR COLE.COLE’S VOICE IS THROUGH WHICH THE STORY WAS TOLD IN INFAMOUS.
I AM A FAN OF INFAMOUS BECAUSE OF THE STORY AND HOW WILL I FEEL WHEN THE MAIN HERO”S VOICE IS CHANGED IN INFAMOUS 2.
Please Mr.Bruce Oberg do not change anything because the all these media websites say so.Fans are the 1st priority!


18

+ javier_riquelme on August 20th, 2010 at 9:36 am said:

Offtopic but…
WHAT HAVE TO SAY SONY ABOUT PS JAILBREAK??

What are you doing to protect all us, legit Users, from this thing?


19

+ Onvertic on August 20th, 2010 at 9:37 am said:

Hope they add some skinslike the new old Cole to play.


20

+ dusek on August 20th, 2010 at 9:41 am said:

It would be cool and more challenging if you added rain, you would have to take shelter or maybe make something that protects you from the water. I mean how can he use ice? Isn’t it frozen water?!?

water+electricity=something bad


21

+ SpiritThief on August 20th, 2010 at 9:47 am said:

@dusek

but what if he is removing the energy from the water? Thus freezing it.

;)


22

+ terranwolf on August 20th, 2010 at 9:56 am said:

I spot a sly cooper logo on Cole’s pack! :)


23

+ StrykerIsland on August 20th, 2010 at 9:57 am said:

Game looks great, will buy. Are you ditching the moral compass for the sequel? It was kind of pointless in the original, so I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing it disappear.


24

+ StrykerIsland on August 20th, 2010 at 9:57 am said:

Oh, and I LOVE the clean HUD we’re seeing in all these videos and screens. Hope the final game remains like that.


25

+ nino1911 on August 20th, 2010 at 10:00 am said:

one of my most anticipated games of 2011


26

+ BigBoss712 on August 20th, 2010 at 10:14 am said:

Liking the new old Cole.


27

+ solid-snake5010 on August 20th, 2010 at 10:29 am said:

IDK how it will come out i am excited for infamous 2


28

+ digitalman123 on August 20th, 2010 at 10:54 am said:

Awesome! Should pre-order that soon…


29

+ Alex_Assassin_08 on August 20th, 2010 at 11:00 am said:

Christ, I’m so exited for this game. Is gonna be phenomenal :) why not just have the various different versions of Cole as alternate skins, let the player decide? :)

And I agree, imagine the shock if they announced multiplayer! :D


30

+ bob52 on August 20th, 2010 at 11:03 am said:

Is the voice actor back for Cole as well or is it the new guy. The new guy was fine just seemed a bit too easy going. After the ending of the first game not sure thats the kind of attitude someone would have.


31

+ ADR143 on August 20th, 2010 at 11:09 am said:

diggin new cole’s look!


32

+ Mosh_Pit on August 20th, 2010 at 11:09 am said:

Bring back Cole.


33

+ VixDiesel on August 20th, 2010 at 11:18 am said:

Now if only Cole’s voice would go back to being Cole instead of a Nathan Drake wannabe.

So happy about his looks though. He looks so much better now.


34

+ that-acmilan-guy on August 20th, 2010 at 11:29 am said:

not to be rude, but the morality choices of infamous 1 was [DELETED].


35

+ DTXSFC on August 20th, 2010 at 11:46 am said:

So many good games dropping next year including this one added to my list.


36

+ mrdeadhead on August 20th, 2010 at 12:06 pm said:

“he has to consider the damage he’s going to cause to the city by using the really big powers”

not if i’m playing…
property damage! hell yea!


37

+ Jeigh on August 20th, 2010 at 12:20 pm said:

@ mrdeadhead

I was thinking pretty much the same thing. XD

I’m REALLY loving what I’m reading here. The “jungle gym” approach to area layout, the expansion of morality, the consideration of how much is “too much.” It really sounds like this time around, they’re really taking inFamous to a whole new level in terms of intellectual/philosophical depth.


38

+ twistedfloyd on August 20th, 2010 at 12:30 pm said:

Sounds awesome. You guys are doing a great job with this game, I loved the first one, and this looks like it’s going to blow the first inFamous out of the water! And thank you for listening to us about Cole! Glad he’s back to resembling his former self.

Thank you for the great work! I can’t wait to get this!


39

+ Faenix1 on August 20th, 2010 at 12:30 pm said:

Ah, cole.. there you are. Where have you been hiding, young man?

Really cant wait for this. ><


40

+ Jeigh on August 20th, 2010 at 12:35 pm said:

By the way, humility is a good quality- a virtue really- and I respect this guy’s liberal use of it, but I definitely think they’ve risen to the level of Insomniac and Naughty Dog. They’ve just each got their own strengths- Insomniac has insane release-date-pacing, Naughty Dog has unbelievable technical control, and Sucker Punch has a true talent for open-world gameplay (Sly 3 factored in as well)- plus, Sly and Cole really have very special feels to them- Ninja-esque, y’know?


41

+ mexicasian50 on August 20th, 2010 at 12:37 pm said:

James, did either of you mention the character design for the “new Cole”? Because I was very curious that, for someone like me, I would want to play as “old Cole”, from back in E3 and before the change.


42

+ solsamurai on August 20th, 2010 at 12:54 pm said:

Glad to see the old Cole back.


43

+ plaztiksyke on August 20th, 2010 at 1:44 pm said:

will the original game be receiving a patch that gives it some of the new graphics engine features?

will the new game import your save game from the original?


44

+ GAM3R_16 on August 20th, 2010 at 2:16 pm said:

I didn’t really care about new Cole, I actually liked his dark hair better but whatever the game is still gonna be AWESOME! welcome new old cole


45

+ wolfzero1 on August 20th, 2010 at 4:12 pm said:

great interview.


46

+ evilgopher on August 20th, 2010 at 4:12 pm said:

I always thought that the moral choices in the first were too black and white. It always felt like ‘Save a kitten Or burn down an orphanage’ to me. I savor the gray moral areas in games, they allow me to play according to my mood without adversely affecting the personality the character, and it makes the character seem more like a real person.

I’m still going to buy it regardless, the first game had me in it’s thrall for weeks.


47

+ Berae on August 20th, 2010 at 8:19 pm said:

I just cant wait for this game!


48

+ DNAgent on August 20th, 2010 at 9:01 pm said:

As the others have said, bring back the old voice actor. The new voice actor is terrible. I’ll break it down on why it would be bad to keep the new voice actor.

New voice actor + New Cole (before the change) = Good because it fits with the way he looks

New voice actor + Old Cole look (after the change) = Bad because his voice doesn’t go with his look nor how the Old Cole would sound or act.

The first choice is the lesser of 2 evils but he would be best to get the old voice actor back otherwise it will just be a mixed mess of the game suffering from an identity crisis. Honestly, if the new voice actor is kept then I will be skipping cutscenes (if for some reason I can’t skip them then I will watch a bit of TV or ignore it until it’s done and get back to the gameplay).


49

+ Argetlam350 on August 20th, 2010 at 9:52 pm said:

Yes good to see old Cole is back. I just disliked his new face. It felt like it was to much of a new character rather then one we all ready had met. The clothes I didn’t mind so much. Hey people have different looks every day. Now if only they could get Cole’s voice back to what it should be. Ohw ell tothat though. I wll be getting this game for sure.


50

+ DarkOne_PR on August 21st, 2010 at 1:50 am said:

PLS Give Him His Jacket back! And thanks A lOT! For making the old Cole.


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