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Playing for time

Interview: Free Radical's Dave Doak sets his sights on PC

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The cost of doing bespoke extra PC stuff may just not justify the cost. For multi-platform stuff, generally, the PC stuff is a smaller part of the cake.

When we're working for PC, we do tend to use controllers for input, but when we go into testing we have people play all the way through with mouse and keyboard. The one thing I would say about any kind of shooting stuff is that we tend to favour, because of our background, the more loose run-and- gun feel rather than picking people off with headshots from miles away.

Give us that indulgence, as I like that kind of gameplay. When I've gone to play things like Counter-Strike, I'm not so much into hiding behind things forever. I like it feeling a bit more arcadey.

Which I've always liked about your games. What I find ironic though is that you guys pretty much popularised all that sort of stuff with Goldeneye. Headshots, sneaky play, sniper rifles... it's as if you invented prog rock, then went on to be a punk band.

Doak: Goldeneye has a very interesting pace to it. If you watch the NPCs, their animation system is quite slow... if you're shooting at the NPCs, you can headshot them all the time... but they move so slowly compared to what you see now, and you can see when they're going between animations.

If you watch someone play it, you'll notice there's a lot of 1-2 seconds where you can see someone is changing their action, and you know there's a half-second to shoot someone. So you either do so, or get out of the way. It wasn't anything particularly designed into it, but ended up being there.

But in Timesplitters, the NPCs are able to basically fire all the time. There's a lot more firing going on, but in some ways firing is a lot cheaper, so you can be hit much more. I agree, we've done less of the stealthy stuff, while Goldeneye was set up to foster that.

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