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Insomniac Dev asks for GAF feedback

Mike Acton

Member
Oct 17, 2007
9
0
0
Hi!

My name is Mike Acton and I'm the Engine Director at Insomniac Games. I haven't posted here much on GAF, but I'm an avid lurker (Don't hold that against me!)

I hope that by now you've seen what we've been doing on the PS3 and have enjoyed at some of our PS3 games (maybe all?) - Resistance, Ratchet and Clank Future, Quest for Booty, and Resistance 2.

Then you know where we've been. What I'd like to talk about in this thread is where we're going. On our engine team (which we call "Tech" internally), we definitely know where *we* want to go, but hopefully you all know by now that Insomniac is all about making games that people want to play. And listening to our community.

So I want to hear from you too. What do you think we could do to make our stuff an even better experience for you, personally. What have you liked? Where do you think we got it right? And yes, where do you think we got it wrong? I'm a little biased - I'd like to mostly talk tech and art - but I'm sure I won't be the only one watching this thread with interest.

You and I both know we can't be all things to all people - so no promises. But your opinion counts and I want to hear it.

So let 'er rip. And ask questions - I'll do my best to answer whatever I can.

Mike.
 

Vinterbird

Member
Nov 17, 2006
8,146
0
0
Work on better animations and facial textures. It annoyed me a lot in Resistance 2, where the people didn't look all that great. Also more stuff in the areas you visit. Everything was empty and bland. And some physics in the next Insomniac title.
 

neight

Banned
Dec 30, 2007
2,979
0
0
Vinterbird said:
Work on better animations and facial textures. It annoyed me a lot in Resistance 2, where the people didn't look all that great. Also more stuff in the areas you visit. Everything was empty and bland. And some physics in the next Insomniac title.
I don't know about Resistance but the animations in the Ratchet & Clank games are the best I've seen in games. Playing some other games seem stilted by comparison.
 

Rhindle

Member
Jun 8, 2004
5,299
1
0
Are we talking about more Ratchet and Resistance games, or are we talking about new franchises?

Because, to be honest, I'm not interested in more Ratchet and Resistance games, at least in the near future.
 

le.phat

Member
Dec 26, 2006
4,868
2
0
gaf is awesome today!
Hello Mike, you are awesome too :D
Insomniac is awesome! Havn't played R2 yet, but i own the rest of your games. guess what ? they are awesome!

Always love to see your games in action. You guys keep hitting strides with your inhouse technology, each and every generation. No questions, just chiming in to personally thank you all for your hard work. thanks!
 

Fersis

It is illegal to Tag Fish in Tag Fishing Sanctuaries by law 38.36 of the GAF Wildlife Act
Apr 21, 2008
27,396
0
0
Argentina
I have R1,Ratchet and Clank:Future and R2 (I love R2).
But i would love to see you guys making a brand new IP, (For PS3 please).
Its time to you guys make something new, maybe an RPG ?maybe a survival horror ?
Im 100% sure that im gonna buy it. :D

Also : I love the R&D section of your website :D
 

TheExodu5

Banned
Nov 27, 2007
38,093
3
0
Ottawa, Canada
diffusionx said:
R&C Future - 60fps. Very very very right.

I'll agree with this one. Also, R&C has some of the best IQ I've ever seen in a console game. For some reason, Resistance 2 didn't have the same graphical appeal...maybe because the more complex environments didn't lend well to aliasing.

For a future Resistance, if you keep the approach Resistance 2 has to online coop, I'd say you should make the stages and leveling curve even steeper. Make it so that to play the final coop stages, you really need to have gotten quite a few levels to have proper stats and equipment. Although I do like to level in R2 coop, I don't really feel the progression, since I can manage to make it through the harder coop stages even on a really low level character. I don't know how others would feel about this though...there are a lot of gamers out there who want it all from the get-go.

chaostrophy said:
Make a game with no guns whatsoever.

Insomniac really needs to give this one a go. I have faith in them.
 

Musashi Wins!

FLAWLESS VICTOLY!
Jun 7, 2004
14,625
1
0
I feel like you guys are pressured to do too much, too soon. But that given that model, you do it probably better than anyone else. It's just...maybe a little more baking time and I feel like your games would be more amazing.

I don't like telling developers they're not doing something right when they have a good plan in the marketplace, I just feel like Insomniac is pushing their IPs a little fast because you have the skill to do so.
 

Keyser Soze

Member
Jun 8, 2004
51,966
5
1,450
37
Ireland
Don't have all the enimies shoot at just me in the next resistance, and try and bring back real campaign coop for at least two players. Everything else is super dooley.

If you can answer, i would like to know why did you choose to remove campaign coop from R2 anyway?
 

SolidSnakex

Member
Jun 7, 2004
85,483
5
0
HamPster PamPster said:
SPYRO 2 AND 3 ON PSN NOW

I don't care who is doing what to Spyro these days... I want SPYRO 2 AND 3 ON PSN NOW

Spyro 1 is up... WHY NOT 2 AND 3 ????

Is that really up to them? Doesn't Universal own the rights to those games?
 

Diseased Yak

Member
Jun 17, 2005
4,033
6
1,485
I felt that RC:F was pretty much awesome. I loved the graphics, loved the humor (the punching glove coming out of the dashboard to knock out Clank was my fav), but I also felt that it was a little light in the "new gameplay mechanic" department. Basically, it felt like all other R&C games but with a high gloss of awesome graphics. In the next iteration, I'd love to see more gameplay mechanics introduced. I admit, I don't know what that could be, and the create-a-cube gun was a step in the right direction, but I think it needed more.

Also I would LOVE to see more Quest For Booty-type releases. Hell, I'd love for you guys to just do a PSN-only release that was a new franchise. I'd love to see your take on a 2D platformer, or even a puzzle game.

I haven't played R2 yet, it's on my backlog pile, but I loved R1. It was fantastic for a launch title and really impressed me that it got way better the further you went in the game. It started out looking just a bit better than Call of Duty 2, but ended up looking WAY better.

In short, you are one of my favorite devs, keep up the good work.
 

Vinterbird

Member
Nov 17, 2006
8,146
0
0
neight said:
I don't know about Resistance but the animations in the Ratchet & Clank games are the best I've seen in games. Playing some other games seem stilted by comparison.

Ratchet is great with animations, but still in Ratchet, some of it comes off as a rehash of the PS2 stuff. It felt a bit sitff. But a lot of the stuff in R2 is not that great, and felt extremely out of place to me. Fellow soldiers just seem odd when they interact with people and the enviroment.
 

Fersis

It is illegal to Tag Fish in Tag Fishing Sanctuaries by law 38.36 of the GAF Wildlife Act
Apr 21, 2008
27,396
0
0
Argentina
gamerecks said:
Hugging sim
mhmhmh Hugging who ?
Ted?
:lol

EDIT: Maybe doing PSN games shortens the development so you can take more risks.
EDIT2: Where is 'my' JStevenson i miss him? ;_;
 

djblackice

Member
Jun 4, 2007
1,814
0
895
Mike Acton said:
Hi!

My name is Mike Acton and I'm the Engine Director at Insomniac Games. I haven't posted here much on GAF, but I'm an avid lurker (Don't hold that against me!)

I hope that by now you've seen what we've been doing on the PS3 and have enjoyed at some of our PS3 games (maybe all?) - Resistance, Ratchet and Clank Future, Quest for Booty, and Resistance 2.

Then you know where we've been. What I'd like to talk about in this thread is where we're going. On our engine team (which we call "Tech" internally), we definitely know where *we* want to go, but hopefully you all know by now that Insomniac is all about making games that people want to play. And listening to our community.

So I want to hear from you too. What do you think we could do to make our stuff an even better experience for you, personally. What have you liked? Where do you think we got it right? And yes, where do you think we got it wrong? I'm a little biased - I'd like to mostly talk tech and art - but I'm sure I won't be the only one watching this thread with interest.

You and I both know we can't be all things to all people - so no promises. But your opinion counts and I want to hear it.

So let 'er rip. And ask questions - I'll do my best to answer whatever I can.

Mike.


I liked the boss sequences in Resistance 2, however I think if you guys took a look at the way Ninja Theory paced and sequenced their final boss fight against
Bohan
, then there could be some room for improvement. To be honest, I liked the last boss fight against
the Angel
in Resistance 1 more than the boss fight against
Daedalus
. The pacing seemed better in the first as well as the between the overall levels.

You guys do a good job at creating these epic set pieces but the continuity just seemed a little less prevalent in R2 than what I had thought would be there based on my experience in R1.

As to trophies, PLEASE do not make another 10,000 kills trophies, PLEASE. I work 50-60 hours a week and I really want to Platinum this game (only trophy I have left), but to have to grind immensely for this trophy with time I don't have makes it frustrating. I know you probably made it for the hardcore, but maybe next time it could be 5,000? (haha). And this is coming from someone who isn't playing online just for the trophy, but for the love of the co-op mode and competitive matchmaking system. However, it really just is a minor annoyance.

I love your products and games and look forward to more. Hopefully my suggestions are of some use. Thanks again for listening.
 

Crisis

Banned
Feb 12, 2006
7,860
1
0
As a guy who owns all of your PS3 efforts I'd just like to say that I really enjoyed all of them. I've played them from beginning to end and online for quite a while where it applies. Personally I think that you guys might want to take a break from Ratchet and Clank for a while. I'm sure there's work going on for the next iteration right now but after that one maybe stay away from it for a few years. It feels like it's getting a little stale after four games on PS2 one on PSP and soon to be three games on PS3. It's not that I don't like them because they're very good but it feels like you guys are just kind of pushing it through for the sake of pushing it through at this point.
 

Dante

Member
Jun 10, 2004
14,003
0
0
San Fran
Overall I'd say think outside the box more. I loved R&CF, and QFB, but at times they felt "by the numbers" Look at things like Mario Galaxy, and LBP and how they turned the genre on it's head and innovated. Don't copy that stuff, but take a similar approach in terms of trying some ideas that have never been done before. R2 I think was an example of trying to implement ideas from other games, and almost losing it's own identity in the process, case in point being the awesome weapon wheel from the first.

Hope I'm not coming off as negative, I really am a big fan of Insomniac, and I'll be there day 1 regardless :)
 

Dachande

Member
Jun 24, 2005
3,333
0
0
UK
I'd like to see what you do with a mature third person action game.

You have good a long string of third person successes with Rachet, and already building on "mature" experiences with Resistance. I'd be interested in seeing what you do with different styles in those genres.

So perhaps a more cartoony, less-serious first person game, but personally I'm interested in your take on a "mature" (not the ideal word, but you know what I mean) third person affair.

Perhaps the market's cornered a little bit by studios like Naughty Dog at the moment, so maybe a Rachety first-person would be a more lucrative angle. I wouldn't say no to either!
 
Jul 4, 2008
20,819
0
0
California
Rhindle said:
Are we talking about more Ratchet and Resistance games, or are we talking about new franchises?

Because, to be honest, I'm not interested in more Ratchet and Resistance games, at least in the near future.

Agreed. Let's see a fresh non-fps new IP

Also, please add trophy support to Resistance 1 please PLEASE!
 
Dec 3, 2008
11,555
0
1,015
The Narrative in Resistance 2...I do have a few questions.

The non game material (Project Abraham etc) that worked as a buffer for the overall plot of the Resistance world was amazing. What happened with the narrative in the game? Characters with set personalities were obviously present but characterization was flat. Hale, for as much as he grew as both a solider and a human, was frightfully generic. The same goes for Daedalus. He was given such a fantastic role, a nearly omnipresent antagonist, but in the end was underplayed as a villain. He needed a more active part, his presence needed to be felt more then it was.

The game was good, don't get me wrong. The tech was impressive and I felt the art direction was absolutely beautiful. The one area I felt was a bit underplayed was the bio-machine aspect of the Chimera. In R1, part of what made the Chimera so terrifying was the fusion of the organic and mechanical. At the same time, the technology they had in R2 was absolutely terrifying and the sense of the overwhelming, in the art direction, was fantastic!
 

Future

Member
Aug 5, 2004
9,452
151
1,305
I'd like to see a new franchise. While I liked Resistance 1, I didnt like the sequel much at all. Single Player content felt too scripted/trial and error and the multiplayer, while pretty good, didnt pull me away from the competition. Further, I grew to dislike Hale and didnt care about my comrades or about what was going on in the story. I liked Ratchet Future, but the concept is a little tired to me now. I mean I like blowing stuff up, but I dont feel the need to pay $60 to do it again. I wouldnt mind new downloadable entries for cheaper though

I'd like to see another adventure-esque type game with the humor and production values you guys do so well. A new franchise would allow you to escape the blowing stuff up angle and try something different
 

matmanx1

Member
Apr 30, 2008
7,133
0
0
Ga
Well, I mentioned this in the postmortem thread for R&C but I'd like to see the intensity and scale of R&C Future "upped" for the next iterations. I enjoyed both Tools of Destruction and Quest for Booty but in both cases I just wanted more game. Quest for Booty did have a better difficulty level and some more intense firefights but lacked Tools of Destruction's multiple weapon upgrade paths and character development due to its length.

I think if you combined the intensity of Quest for Booty (and the better mix of platforming with shooting) with the progression of Tools of Destruction and the scale of at least the Dinosaur level (awesome, btw) and then just gave us more of everything I'd be pretty close to gamer bliss.
 
Jan 27, 2007
1,596
0
0
I'd just say be more consistent. Like in resistance 2 some parts look amazing but then there are these little areas that look like they were just thrown in. ALL areas of the level need the same amount of attention to detail.

And the boss fights were great!. MOREEEEEE
 

konrad77

Member
Apr 6, 2007
325
7
1,250
sweden
Tech wise:
Better textures (probably more DOF to hide low res textures).
Ambient Occlusion/Contact shadows would do great in a Insomniac game.
Animations (more fluid, maybe something like they got in Uncharted, Adaptive animation System?)

Some of the artwork for Ratchet and Clank Future just looked fabulous but implemented in the game engine they looked like they lacked in details.
Ratchet and Clank needs more platforming, maybe even some exploration.

PSN: Cpt. Quark - mini game.

I love your games, but sometimes they feel rushed where some levels are really polished and others looks like meh.
 

SSM25

Member
Apr 22, 2007
1,818
0
0
by any means don't go multiplatform!!...don't become a generic developer please!!

Resistance 3 for PS4 launch (fall 2010?) and a new ratchet next year.
 

Fersis

It is illegal to Tag Fish in Tag Fishing Sanctuaries by law 38.36 of the GAF Wildlife Act
Apr 21, 2008
27,396
0
0
Argentina
Future said:
I'd like to see a new franchise. While I liked Resistance 1, I didnt like the sequel much at all. Single Player content felt too scripted/trial and error and the multiplayer, while pretty good, didnt pull me away from the competition. I liked Ratchet Future, but the concept is a little tired to me now. I mean I like blowing stuff up, but I dont feel the need to pay $60 to do it again. I wouldnt mind new downloadable entries for cheaper though

I'd like to see another adventure-esque type game with the humor and production values you guys do so well. A new franchise would allow you to escape the blowing stuff up angle and try something different

Exactly what im saying, a new IP which can be a episodic series trough the PSN instead of blurays.

Or a wrestling game, i dream to some day help to develop the best wrestling game ever. :lol
 

Dachande

Member
Jun 24, 2005
3,333
0
0
UK
Also, I want to see experiments in the kind of procedural animation and behaviourial-driven animation such as Natural Motion's foray into the tech. IMO animation hasn't had the same rate of progression in ratio to the available technology as other game components (visual grunt, sound, etc), and I'm pretty firm in my belief that it's the next big leap to made after physics.
 

BarrenMind

Member
Dec 8, 2008
1,292
0
0
I'd love for the next Ratchet & Clank Future game to have customizable arenas.

I'd like to be able to set my own challenges with a scaled rewards system. If I feel like I can handle a 30 round match without getting hurt and using only one weapon, I'd like to see how I fare, and get a huge payout if I'm successful.

The arena is one of my favorite staples of the series and I'd like to see them stick around, and I feel this would be a welcome improvement.

EDIT: Also, of course, there can never be enough Qwark.