Interviews

From Dust: 'PSN and Xbox Live have allowed us to do something creative'

Ubisoft on how the industry's changed for better...

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You took a long time away from development didn't you Eric? Why did you decide to do something now? Did digital distribution allow you to do something you couldn't before?

Eric Chahi: There were several factors; the first one, in 1998 after Heart of Darkness took six years - and six years on one game is too much - I just wanted to spend maybe one or two years... I'm interested in things other than computer games so I wanted to do some things like painting and photography.

So during these two years I saw the industry, like I said before, and didn't feel any opportunity but I had some ideas and in 2004 the industry was changing slightly.

But it was mainly because I had a new idea and I was able to make it real.

Cliff Bleszinski said at GDC that there are two types of game now: big AAA games and indie games and there's no room for anything in between. What are your thoughts on that?

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Eric Chahi: Probably, yes there is high budget and low budget. But on the other hand we can see that on the XBLA and PSN the production quality is increasing right now if you compare the games on the XBLA from a few years ago to today. I don't know how it will evolve; maybe we will have bigger budgets for original games, but I don't think it's a goal.

The less it costs the better it is because the less it costs the more creative freedom we have. It's true that there are more creative things on the low budget side than on the AAA side. If you have a graph of creativity it will be lower on the AAA and higher and on the lower [budget] because creativity is not linked to the development cost.

Do you have any ideas for From Dust after it's released? DLC perhaps?

Eric Chahi: No not for the moment, it's not planned. Maybe, but it's not planned because we're focusing on this core experience and right now we will see if this game is successful or not.

People are starting to talk about the next-gen consoles. For the big games people are looking for better graphics, more power. What kind of things do developers making smaller games want to see from the next consoles?

Eric Chahi: If it is easier to programme and to create, it's cool. And if it brings a new way to create then it's cool.

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