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Dennis Dyack Interview

Interview: Silicon Knights boss on Too Human

There's been a lot of controversy surrounding Dennis Dyack, Silicon Knights and Too Human, which launches on 360 at the end of the month. First of all the developer publicly dragged the Unreal Engine 3 through the mud and is still locked in a bitter lawsuit with Epic Games.

So, ten years. How does it feel to finally get Too Human out the door?

Dyack: It feels great. It's been a long process but we're really pleased with the results. It's something we're really proud of. We think it's our best game to date and we hope that gamers will think the same.


The demo's been breaking download records on Xbox Live. That's a good sign.

Dyack: It's been awesome. We've had over a million downloads now and by and large the reception's been extremely positive - way more positive than negative, which is all you can ask for.

Too Human's pretty innovative from both the control scheme, the camera scheme and then on top of that the real fusion of action and RPG. It's just really different and we believe in it. You can't watch a video and try to understand it, you can't listen to what other people say - you've just got to try it yourself.

Seeing the reaction of people who played the demo, having people say 'I played the demo for 30 hours', that's just been awe-inspiring for us. Hopefully that'll translate into sales.

Talking of sales... after the mammoth development effort, the engine trouble, are you going to get the kind of sales that'll make it all worthwhile?

Dyack: I don't know the history of all games development obviously and I hesitate to say that we've had it harder than everyone, but I think that it's fair to say that Too Human's faced more obstacles than most.

We had to re-write the engine... it's something we didn't want to do, it's something we're pretty unhappy with actually. But you know what, at the end of the day the end results speak for themselves and through the sheer determination of the team we feel that we've overcome all these obstacles.

And the plan is still there for a trilogy?

Dyack: Oh yeah. That's the plan.

Then would it be fair to say that overcoming all those problems with the first game is something that you hope will be worth it in the long run?

Dyack: Well certainly that's always the idea with a trilogy. You do a lot of research and development on the first one, you establish your beachhead and then you work up from there.

I think that's what Too Human is going to accomplish. It's a very different game, I think it's a kind of game you won't find on another console, it's unique to the 360 and it's not a shooter - it's an action role-playing game that really stands out from everything that I've seen before.


When it comes to making the second and third games it certainly won't be as difficult as the first one because the technology's now stable. We're going to be able to not only iterate but innovate, and take it to new levels now that we understand the game that we've made. It's pretty exciting.

Are you happy with the engine you've created now? Are you going to use it again?

Dyack: Oh yeah. For sure, we'll be using it in everything we do. It's very powerful and it allows us to do things that we couldn't possibly have done before. In Too Human for example framerate is very important, we need a steady framerate to be able to get some of the kinetic action elements. If we didn't go down the route we did we would've had five enemies on screen, the response would be really slow... so we're happy with what we did.

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