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Interview with Mark Cerny on platinum trophies, arcade and favourite trophies

cormack12

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Source: https://www.gameinformer.com/2021/0...-on-his-fascination-with-playstation-trophies
More questions at link above


Cerny, 56, has picked up 33 Platinum Trophies on PlayStation 4. A few of these Platinums are gimmies that are automatically unlocked by finishing a game, but most took considerable time, effort, and skill. He’s currently pursuing Platinum number 34 in the brutally difficult Cuphead. Cerny believes his completionist approach stems from a similar drive he had in the 1980s when he was trying to get high scores in arcade games.

“In some ways, I feel like I’m learning what the developer values most in the game that they created,” Cerny told me in a video call from his home office, which is peppered with eye-opening game memorabilia, including a Marvel’s Spider-Man poster signed by various Insomniac Games developers.


Game Informer: Take me back to your early days of gaming. You told me you played a lot of Defender.
Mark Cerny: I was a huge arcade player, starting with Space Invaders. I cut my teeth on that and Asteroids and a couple of more games. I never really got into Centipede, but I was crazy in love with Missile Command and Defender. Pretty much my spare time in late high school and college was in the arcades playing these games. Part of [the allure] was the controls. It wasn’t like the Atari 2600, where you had one button. You had a dial for Missile Command, Defender had its seven buttons and joystick, and Robotron had two joysticks. I loved that.

They were really hard games. When we look at Cuphead today, we say, “Oh my god, I played that first run-and-gun level and must have died 50 times.” That’s only replicating the typical arcade difficulty back in the 1980s. With arcade games, you had to kill the player in three minutes as a design rule. We got test data on a game that was four-and-a-half minutes, and clearly, that game was never going to succeed because it wasn’t killing the player fast enough.


Talk to me about your history with Trophies. When did you develop a desire to go for the Platinum?
On PlayStation 3, I didn’t get any Trophies. I did most of my playing then prior to launch on my dev kit, so I don’t have much of a visible history on PlayStation 3. When I got PlayStation 4 and was on social networks, I thought it would be fun to expose everything I was doing to players.

For me, the way it started was Resogun, which is basically Defender. That’s where I started getting into the Trophies. I was like, “I might be able to get the Platinum.” I was in the top 10 on the international leaderboards for some of the categories. I got confidence from that.

The other thing, the number-two guy on [PlayStation] hardware is a guy at Naughty Dog, and we got into a competition. He had eight Platinum Trophies, and I had six. I’m still losing seven years later, but I’m still proud of where I’m at with 33 Platinums. He’s at 40 something. We still give each other crap about it. He got a Platinum in Job Simulator. Now how hard is that? [laughs] In his defense, he wasn’t even going for it – it just popped up – so he says.


What about Knack 1 and 2? These are two games you helped create.
These are worth pointing out. I play my own games to get the Platinum because I want to know what the experience is like. For Knack, it was not very enjoyable getting the Platinum. It pops out randomly. The time commitment isn’t bad, but the random nature of things makes it just brutal. We fixed that for Knack II.


You are in an elite crew as one of the people to get the Platinum Trophy in Invisible, Inc. Only .1 percent of players have gotten it. How many players is that?
I don’t think we display anything lower than .1 percent. It has to be less than 100 people. It took me months to get that, and part of that is I don’t have much time in a day to play. Maybe 30 minutes. And then there are the weekends.


Where are you at in it?
I’ve beaten it, but now I have to do it on the expert difficulty. Because I don’t know if I’ll be able to do it or not, I’m starting on the toughest bosses – the ones people say they gave up on. If I can get through the toughest five, then I’ll know I can do everything else. I’ve taken down one of the top five. I just finished it this past weekend.
 

Eliciel

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I only want to hear the name Cerny in combination with technolgy and Zen3-Zem4, ML/DLSS, 4K, 3D Sound!

Anywho....great interview!
 
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ANIMAL1975

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I'm getting real old, i don't like trophies, i think they belong to competition games only. I miss the days of walking through a game and only caring about enjoying it, or surviving the present situation, or solving that current puzzle,and ultimately achieve the end of the game _ its completion!... Not this crap of having to repeat 3 times the same scenario and kill i guy with a banana, then with a grenade and stealth through it.
Again: i love trophies in games like cod and Killzone and neverwinter _ competition.
 
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Gaelyon

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i'm old, though a bit younger than Cerny, and only got 2 platinums, including Astro's one. I can see why some are so dedicated to get those plats but it feel a waste of time to me, time and energy better used to play new games.

However kudos to Mark Cerny, 33 plats for a veteran like him shows how competitive he has remained.
Also i liked so much Defender back in the days, and then Resogun :messenger_smiling_with_eyes:
 

sublimit

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I don't believe it. Just like i don't believe people like Spencer or Yoshida are actually the people behind their accounts who play all those games in the way they try to make it look like. Yes they play games but definitely not all of them and definitely not hunting achievements and trophies.

It's just PR to make fanboys say "Oh wow dude is like a real gamer like me!!"
 
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Skifi28

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I don't believe it. Just like i don't believe people like Spencer or Yoshida are actually the people behind their accounts who play all those games in the way they try to make it look like. Yes they play games but definitely not all of them and definitely not hunting achievements and trophies.
It's not like you need to be a rocket scientist to get a few trophies. I don't see why somebody that makes games/ gaming hardware can't be a gamer too. Far more likely than going through all the trouble of hiring somebody just to get you trophies. Cenry isn't even a PR person.
 
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bender

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I don't believe it. Just like i don't believe people like Spencer or Yoshida are actually the people behind their accounts who play all those games in the way they try to make it look like. Yes they play games but definitely not all of them and definitely not hunting achievements and trophies.

It's just PR to make fanboys say "Oh wow dude is like a real gamer like me!!"

 
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Moonjt9

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I don't believe it. Just like i don't believe people like Spencer or Yoshida are actually the people behind their accounts who play all those games in the way they try to make it look like. Yes they play games but definitely not all of them and definitely not hunting achievements and trophies.

It's just PR to make fanboys say "Oh wow dude is like a real gamer like me!!"

So you’re telling me a guy who has been playing video games since nearly their inception and has been involved with them passionately to the point of designing, making, programming, and then enjoyed it so much that he designed the machines that play those games, doesn’t actually play the games he says and isn’t good enough or have enough time for platinum trophies?

Well ok then.
 
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Sorcerer

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Missle Command had a trackball, not a dial, he could not have loved it that much lol. Thinking of Tempest perhaps???
 
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I don't believe it. Just like i don't believe people like Spencer or Yoshida are actually the people behind their accounts who play all those games in the way they try to make it look like. Yes they play games but definitely not all of them and definitely not hunting achievements and trophies.

It's just PR to make fanboys say "Oh wow dude is like a real gamer like me!!"
I don't believe you are a real human being writing this post. I think you are a bot, a clever one, but you just are a machine without a conscience and without a heart.

See how that was easy?
 

tillbot8

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God damn top tens in Resogun? The difficulty arc in that game is insane, I love playing it but struggle at master in every level except the first. Im crap I know, but that is still mighty impressive
 
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Panajev2001a

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I don't believe it. Just like i don't believe people like Spencer or Yoshida are actually the people behind their accounts who play all those games in the way they try to make it look like. Yes they play games but definitely not all of them and definitely not hunting achievements and trophies.

It's just PR to make fanboys say "Oh wow dude is like a real gamer like me!!"

Must be sad to be THIS jaded... sure, given his background it is likely that he does not play many games.
Morgan Freeman Good Luck GIF
 

Kdad

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Missle Command had a trackball, not a dial, he could not have loved it that much lol. Thinking of Tempest perhaps???
Same game designer and same year...so perhaps? Also, did 2600 version use the dial controller (i know you could get a track ball controller seperately)?
 
Mar 8, 2015
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I don't believe it. Just like i don't believe people like Spencer or Yoshida are actually the people behind their accounts who play all those games in the way they try to make it look like. Yes they play games but definitely not all of them and definitely not hunting achievements and trophies.

It's just PR to make fanboys say "Oh wow dude is like a real gamer like me!!"
Imagine if you(a person who browses a video game forum and plays video games) worked your ass off to get to the same position because of your love of video games, and someone had the audacity to call your gaming skills "PR" and say the same thing about you.



I'm getting real old, i don't like trophies, i think they belong to competition games only. I miss the days of walking through a game and only caring about enjoying it, or surviving the present situation, or solving that current puzzle,and ultimately achieve the end of the game _ its completion!... Not this crap of having to repeat 3 times the same scenario and kill i guy with a banana, then with a grenade and stealth through it.
Again: i love trophies in games like cod and Killzone and neverwinter _ competition.
When playing single player turn them off. When playing multiplayer turn them back on.
 

SSfox

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I feel like Mark doesn't want to talk more than he already talked during the PS5 first presentation, and now will simply let the games do the talk. I respect that. Usually the ones who talk the most are the weakest.
 

Sorcerer

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Same game designer and same year...so perhaps? Also, did 2600 version use the dial controller (i know you could get a track ball controller seperately)?
I'm pretty sure the 2600 version used the standard controller. I think all your ammo was shot from one base to compensate for one controller button.
 

Shadowstar39

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I'm getting real old, i don't like trophies, i think they belong to competition games only. I miss the days of walking through a game and only caring about enjoying it, or surviving the present situation, or solving that current puzzle,and ultimately achieve the end of the game _ its completion!... Not this crap of having to repeat 3 times the same scenario and kill i guy with a banana, then with a grenade and stealth through it.
Again: i love trophies in games like cod and Killzone and neverwinter _ competition.
I am the opposite of this. I can't stand multiplayer trophies. I don't get much game time due to real life. Yet I have to compete with people that only play said game for 10+ hours a day. Also most of these games servers go away making it impossible to play or get the trophies. I may not have time to play and may throw something on from a year or two before, nope can't do it. Hell if i could i'd play unreal tournament and quake 3 again, if they were live and populated.

Its even worse for single player games that have a mp mode and the platinum is tied to 2 mp trophies that they stick in there to get you to play their crappy multiplayer.
Also in multiplayer you are competing with others and there is already leaderboards and medals. No trophies are needed for multiplayer.

Single player games is where trophies are best. Just because they exist doesn't mean you have to go for them, unless you have to have that platinum. No one is forcing you to play again in stealth mode. It is nice its there though, as it gives incentive to do it. One of the things i hate about my ps4 being broken is the lack of trophies on switch, and steam achievements don't feel as meaningful, don't know why but they feel like after thought compared to playstation trophies, imo.
 

SSfox

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I don't care about trophies much, i was about them when they came out at first. Sometimes it's fun, for example i got platinium for first Uncharted and Dead Space games for example, and i would actually have replay those games even without trophies, so the trophies were cool bonus.

But then i found myself doing things and force myself to replay games just for the sake of getting platinium, and that wasn't that fun, i played Bioshock i like it a lot in the first run, but i wasn't necessarily about replaying it, it's not a fun game to replay imo, but i replay it in hardest difficulty which unlocked bunch of trophies since the game had many difficulty modes, it was satisfying to see bunch of trophies unlock at once but i didn't play the run for fun. So since i don't do trophies unless i'm actually enjoying the game and i would have still kept playing the game even without trophies, there are a lot of games that i kept playing hundreds or thousands hours after the platine, like Bayonetta, God Of War, Tekken 7, SFV or MK11 for some examples. So playing a game just for the sake of trophy that's a no no thanks.
 

Sorcerer

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Same game designer and same year...so perhaps? Also, did 2600 version use the dial controller (i know you could get a track ball controller seperately)?
Whats odd is that Mark Cerny created Marble Madness for arcades, which used a trackball, you would think a trackball would stick in his mind lol!!!
 
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Thief1987

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He get platinum in cuphead in october last year, and in this interview he is only working on it. How long did they sit on this before publish?