Another World creator speaks

Eric Chahi on his cult classic action-adventure, new game and the development of the videogame scene

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Eric Chahi: The internet, because it allows developers to communicate between themselves and it connects players. Because it is a way of distribution, increasing the commercial lifetime of game. Because it allows small developers freedom of creation, and to self-publish their game without being spoiled by marketing rules or editorial pressure.

In the continuation of this, consoles are now for the first time open to independent game developers. That is a very cool thing. How would we have heard and played Fašade without the internet, or Bridge Builder or Darwinia? It seems I get obsessed by indies... But it has been the root of many things in the industry.

On the flip-side of that coin, what's your least favourite thing?

Eric Chahi: On the other hand the internet is so saturated by useless information. I mean over-information. It is sometimes so redundant and repetitive that a lot of energy is lost just finding good information in this swamped sea of data. Well, it is not truly about gaming, but it is the flip-side of the internet...

In your opinion, will innovation in videogames now be 100 percent hardware-led, or do you still believe there are innovations to be made at the game design level?

Eric Chahi: Innovation is always possible even without new hardware. Just freeze hardware evolution for ten years, and we will be forced to find new concepts. Often constrain forces imagination.

Who in the games development industry comes closest to sharing your vision for videogames?

Eric Chahi: Keita Takahashi [creator of Katamari Damacy - Ed] because he is an artist that is not game self-centered. I mean, he is not only interested by games, his inspiration does not come only from game culture but from anywhere. He has a true vision, he doesn't care about marketing.

You recently revealed you're conducting preliminary work on a strategy game. What's influencing the design of that title?

Eric Chahi: I can't tell you anything, the clues would be too high, because it is very conceptual. But mainly donuts, universe, spice and teleportation!!

When can we expect to hear more on that game?

Eric Chahi: It is really too soon to talk about it. I will talk about it when it will be in production, ideally not sooner than a year before it will be released. I remember how negative it has been to announce Heart of Darkness very early. Add to this I don't have a publisher yet. So, it would not be reasonable to talk even if I'm very excited about all these ideas.

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