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Interviews

Mafia 2

2K devs on cinematic narratives and new technology

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AC: I have to disagree I like the idea of 3D tech for games, anything that increases your immersion is a bonus. Better graphics have made games seem more believable, more immersive. 3D just breaks down the barrier of the screen between the gamer and the game world. The better the 3D technology becomes the more that is the case.

JK: I would compare it to audio basically. If you remember times when we had just monoscopic audio, then we had stereo, now we can have surround and it's nicer. It's nice if you hear some voices from the back, from the foreground, so this is how, visually 3D will affect that experience.

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Nintendo really wanted Saints Row on the 3DS as a mature title. Mafia 2 is a mature title that seems like it would do just as well on the 3DS, did they approach you at all?

AC: I don't think so, I've got no idea. It's not something we've considered, we've been so focused on Mafia 2 on 360, PC and PS3, we haven't thought about different skews. I'm not sure from a business perspective maybe the marketing guys have been involved with this but I doubt it.

Is the 3DS something you'd be interested in developing for? Something similar to this maybe?

AC: Sure in the future maybe. There's all sorts of possibilities for what we can do after Mafia 2, it's good now because the projects wrapped, we can think about all sorts of things. We're back to square one in terms of what comes next.

JK: I think we are more interested in breaking some boundaries in terms of gameplay and narration rather than technologically. I think with our talent of art we are good at what we do with the stuff that's available. Our artists and engineers will definitely be pushing for any improvement in this area so basically it's open.

Could 3D Mafia come to Xbox as well? Microsoft don't seem to be pushing 3D very hard.

AC:Impossible to speculate, this is Microsoft's affair really. Everybody's getting involved in their own sort of new technologies right now, Microsoft's really into Kinect, which is a cool thing, and breaking down these 2D barriers that we've traditionally had in different ways. Who knows what they're going to do in the future?

JK: I would say that this is a very technological and political question that we are not able to answer.

You mention things like Kinect, with this kind of game do you think it's possible to bring in these new kinds of technologies or do the games have to be much simpler?

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AC: I saw there was a comment recently, the Mass Effect guys, Bioware were talking about looking at Kinect or motion technologies for their next Mass Effect or similar. Yes, is the answer, gesture based reactions and things like this could certainly be a part of narrative experiences for sure. What we see right now is what I would class as non-sophisticated gameplay like basic gameplay, gesture gameplay, fun mini-games that we know are linked to the motion stuff but there's no reason for it not to appear in games like Mafia 2 in the future. There isn't, it's just finding the new language to communicate these things. Heavy Rain's a good example of something that could translate very well into gesture based gameplay.

JK: We are basically exploring all these new possibilities but for us what's really important is how the player connects to the game, the type of controller or the way he will connect is irrelevant almost, the most important thing is that he will not notice the interface. There should be nothing that he should have to perceive with his senses during the enjoying of the game. So, whatever that may be, we are open to using it.

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