Insomniac: Overstrike focus groups thought the old art style was for kids

#1
Thanks to the recent IGN article, we have a better idea of why they changed the game from their original vision:

According to the game’s visionary, Brian Allgeier, Overstrike began when “a lot of people were itching to work on more cooperative multiplayer games. Even though we’ve done a ton of multiplayer modes in the past for Resistance and the Ratchet series, this was an opportunity for us to really delve deeply into a co-op experience campaign.” And the spirit of Fuse remains the same as Overstrike’s, even though other parts of the game have since changed completely.

“The game started out with a much more stylized and campy direction. We were actually going for something on the level of Ratchet & Clank, except with humans,” Allgeier said. “Maybe it was going to appeal to gamers who, we thought at the time, might be in their late teens. The industry’s changed quite a bit… We would focus test the game in front of a lot of gamers, and get their opinion. These are people that regularly play PlayStation 3 and Xbox games. We started to discover that everyone thought this was a game for their younger brother. We would hear this from 12-year-olds. So we decided that we needed to make a game that had an older appeal.”

Allgeier later said that “that’s kind of the reason for the delay. It’s like moving the herd of elephants, or turning the ship. Just turning a massive ship into a different direction and charting a new course.”

Naturally, the simple act of working on Xbox 360 has created technical challenges for the likes of Al Hastings to overcome, since as much as a guru as he is, he’d never worked on anything but PlayStation since graduating from Princeton. “Honestly, I feel like having learned the 360 has helped me put the PS3 in perspective. I see [PS3] now like everyone else saw it from the beginning. A simultaneously very cool and very frustrating machine. It has an immense amount of power, it’s just immensely hard to unlock.”
http://ca.ign.com/articles/2012/09/28/always-independent-the-story-of-insomniac-games

Actually, if I'm remembering my timing right as well as the context of this portion of the interview, Brian is referring to the style PRIOR to the E3 Overstike trailer, that style was never shown.
 
#4
“The game started out with a much more stylized and campy direction. We were actually going for something on the level of Ratchet & Clank, except with humans,”
That was exactly the impression I got.

And exactly what I wanted. : (
 
#13
You know, I heard Borderlands 2 is doing pretty well...

I don't mind them adding "mature" themes, but I still think a unique art style is a cool and attractive thing.
 

Data West

coaches in the WNBA
#14
So now it's a game for 14 year olds. Mission Accomplished.
14 year olds that will be buying Call of Duty and Gears of War instead of your game. Good choice, guys.

Lose the people who were originally interested while trying to appeal to the people who only care about the big titles.
 
#15
Ok, FUCK 'Fuse' and FUCK focus groups. I was hyped for Overstrike (first Insomniac game I've actually looked forward to) but when it got redone into Fuse I was 'meh' but willing to give it a shot because it could still be fun but not anymore. Giving in to focus groups of kids who thought the game was too kiddy is bullshit.
 

jstevenson

Sailor Stevenson
#22
Actually, if I'm remembering my timing right as well as the context of this portion of the interview, Brian is referring to the style PRIOR to the E3 Overstike trailer, that style was never shown.
 
#26
This boils down to the continued false perception games are for kids/teenagers, only. We poke fun, but Sony's "17-32" obsession? More accurate than most!
 
#29
Instead of focus groups Insomniac should have looked at Borderlands (another 4-coop game!) that switched art-style from realistic to what we have now and it worked wonders for them, or Team Fortress 2. both huge games and definitely not for 12yo. Real world examples are far more relevant to decision making imo.
 
#32
I really wish focus groups were used more for pointing out really dumb things and less curbstomping individuality and creativity in projects. Nevermind the glaring example of TEAM FORTRESS 2.
 
#33
Actually, if I'm remembering my timing right as well as the context of this portion of the interview, Brian is referring to the style PRIOR to the E3 Overstike trailer, that style was never shown.
Then what's their reasoning for changing it from the second iteration everyone saw at E3?
 

cuyahoga

Dudebro, My Shit is Fucked Up So I Got to Shoot/Slice You II: It's Straight-Up Dawg Time
#36
Is having any modicum of self-respect something they don't allow for participants of focus groups?
 

jstevenson

Sailor Stevenson
#38
Then what's their reasoning for changing it from the second iteration everyone saw at E3?
Ted has already gone over that. It's discussed in the previous thread. But I think saying focus groups led to the change between Overstrike and Fuse would be inaccurate.

Game has evolved a ton during its development, as all of our new IPs do.
 

thetrin

Hail, peons, for I have come as ambassador from the great and bountiful Blueberry Butt Explosion
#40
If there's one thing I've learned, it's that focus groups are a great way to kill something original. Focus groups are awful. Every time I've seen candid video of a focus group, the people involved have given the worst opinions imaginable. But, I suppose they represent the general public, so that shouldn't be too surprising.
 
#44
Maybe they should stop filling their focus groups with 12 year old boys. Better yet, ditch focus groups all together. Every time there's a story about video game focus groups, it seems like they're just making the game worse. Just let the creative people be creative.
 
#45
Instead of focus groups Insomniac should have looked at Borderlands (another 4-coop game!) that switched art-style from realistic to what we have now and it worked wonders for them, or Team Fortress 2. both huge games and definitely not for 12yo. Real world examples are far more relevant to decision making imo.
People need to stop mentioning TF2. It's a niche PC game. Fuse is looking for mainstream console success. The requirements and standards are different. TF2 is great, but it is in no way s fair comparison.
 
#47
Actually, if I'm remembering my timing right as well as the context of this portion of the interview, Brian is referring to the style PRIOR to the E3 Overstike trailer, that style was never shown.
I'll add this to the OP, though if you're right, you might want to contact IGN since there's no actual context suggesting this in the article and most people will assume he means the E3 one.