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

Tagg9

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Feb 11, 2010
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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.
 

Zeranium

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Apr 17, 2012
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Tch, damn it.
Well, that's a shame but I'll still try to keep an open mind for the game itself.... the hype has significantly dropped, of course.
 

Zomba13

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Sep 27, 2009
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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

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Aug 17, 2006
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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.
 

Averon

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Aug 27, 2008
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Not surprised. The re-naming and re-imaging of the game reeked of focus group testing.
 

Ridley327

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Feb 7, 2005
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Why would they test a T-M rated game with 12 year old children?
As much as the ESRB doesn't want to admit it, that's pretty much who these games are for.

I've yet to see a game that's been improved by focus groups.
 

Squire

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Feb 6, 2011
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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!
 

Chuck Norris

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Feb 13, 2006
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Insomniac strike me as a company who lost their vision a long time ago, now they are just industry plodders
 

Pooya

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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.
 

Eusis

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Apr 15, 2011
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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.
 

GDGF

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Jun 6, 2004
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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

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Apr 14, 2009
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Is having any modicum of self-respect something they don't allow for participants of focus groups?
 

jstevenson

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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.
 

rdrr gnr

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Aug 18, 2010
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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.
That seems somewhat less appealing than the E3 style -- which seems ideal.
 

thetrin

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Sep 14, 2005
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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.
 

Kurod

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Jan 10, 2010
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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.

Well, now I'm REALLY mad.
 

Nimajneb

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Feb 22, 2011
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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.
 

Squire

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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.
 
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.