Q&ERA: Insomniac Games discusses Resistance, Ratchet and Clank, Sunset Overdrive, Spyro and more!

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This Q&ERA was organized by Emily.

Q&ERA
offers an opportunity for our community to learn more about the gaming industry from those that are part of it. This involves batches of questions, submitted by users and then selected by staff, which will then be given to industry members to answer. Our intent is to bridge the divide between the gaming community and the gaming industry. We want to encourage engagement between those who talk about games and those who make them. (Note: Questions will be curated as interviewees won't have time to answer every single one. Also, there may be certain topics that interviewees are not able or allowed to comment on.)

Introducing our guests: Insomniac Games
, the developer behind Ratchet & Clank, Resistance, and Sunset Overdrive.

Community Director - James Stevenson
CEO / Founder - Ted Price
Chief People Officer - Carrie Dieterle
Chief Technology Officer - Shaun McCabe
Lead Character Artist - Gavin Goulden
Creative Director (Resistance 3) - Marcus Smith



About the Company:

In 1994, Insomniac Games was founded by Ted Price in Burbank, California. The company is responsible for critically acclaimed titles such as Ratchet & Clank, Sunset Overdrive, Resistance, Spyro the Dragon, and Song of the Deep. Insomniac is currently working on "Spider-Man" exclusively for PlayStation 4. As an independent company, Insomniac has released titles for all four PlayStation home consoles, as well as Xbox 360 and Xbox One. In 2015, IGN named Insomniac the 20th best video game developer of all time. In 2017, Fortune listed Insomniac as one of the best workplaces among small/medium organizations.

List of Games:

Disruptor - 1996 (PlayStation 1)
Spyro the Dragon - 1998 (PlayStation 1)
Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage! - 1999 (PlayStation 1)
Spyro: Year of the Dragon - 2000 (PlayStation 1)

Ratchet & Clank
- 2002 (PlayStation 2)
Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando - 2003 (PlayStation 2)
Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal - 2004 (PlayStation 2)
Ratchet: Deadlocked - 2005 (PlayStation 2)

Resistance: Fall of Man
- 2006 (PlayStation 3)
Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction - 2007 (PlayStation 3)
Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest for Booty - 2008 (PlayStation 3)
Resistance 2 - 2008 (PlayStation 3)
Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time - 2009 (PlayStation 3)
Resistance 3 - 2009 (PlayStation 3)
Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One - 2011 (PlayStation 3)
Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault
- 2012 (PlayStation 3, PS Vita)

Outernauts
(iOS) - 2012
Fuse - 2013 (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3)
Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus
- 2013 (PlayStation 3)
Sunset Overdrive
- 2014 (Xbox One)
Slow Down, Bull
- 2015 (PC)
Fruit Fusion - 2015 (iOS, Android)
Bad Dinos - 2015 (iOS, Android)
Digit & Dash - 2015 (iOS)

Ratchet & Clank
- 2016 (PlayStation 4)
Song of the Deep - 2016 (PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One)
Edge of Nowhere - 2016 (Oculus Rift)
The Unspoken - 2016 (Oculus Rift)
Feral Rites - 2016 (Oculus Rift)
Spider-Man
- 2018 (PlayStation 4)
 
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Question #1 – Member: Son of Liberty

“I hear a lot about the stressful work environments in the video game industry. However, I noticed that Insomniac Games is rated by Fortune for being one of the best places to work at in the industry. How does the studio maintain that workplace atmosphere and has it made a noticeable impact on the overall quality of each production?”


Carrie Dieterle, Chief People Officer:
We all understand the passion and the creative process of game development and the demands that it can put on us, especially when a game is getting ready to be released. I don’t think anyone joins this industry expecting it to be a typical 9-5 job. That being said, there are many things that Insomniacs and the studio leadership team does to ensure that we are creating a workplace where everyone has an opportunity to thrive and we can improve the process of how we make games each and every time we go into development. Our transparency within the studio goes a long way to help everyone understand where we are at every stage of production. This also helps everyone understand what our milestones are, what the feedback is from the publisher and what is working and not working in the game. By being transparent, individuals can better assess their workload and work with others to balance demands.

Insomniac Games has always been an employee-centric studio where we believe in the wellbeing of our employees. Whether it is making sure that we have a variety of resources on site to help reduce stress like meditation or yoga or online tools to help manage outside responsibilities, or simply encouraging everyone to take the time to refuel their bodies and their minds and not work for the sake of work. Focusing on our employees enables everyone to put in the time when necessary to create unforgettable games that have a positive impact on peoples’ lives. We wouldn’t be able to do that if we weren’t continually focused on delivering a positive experience for our employees.

James Stevenson, Community Director: Just to add on – this is something I think is a tone and culture that’s set at leadership level here from the very top all the way through the leads of various teams. I think we have an amazing workplace and culture here. If you’ve read Jason Schreier’s book, "Blood Sweat and Pixels", you know how incredibly difficult making video games is. We deal with those same challenges. But we’re actively trying to be a place where you can work on AAA games while also having a work/life balance, and that’s something worth celebrating.

 
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Question #2 – Member: Dabi3 and Filipus

Filipus asks: “What is the process of a game being greenlit for development at Insomniac Games? Do publishers normally approach you guys or do you normally approach publishers with game ideas?”

Dabi3 asks similar question: “What is the process that the studio goes through when figuring out what to work on next? Is it a pitching process similar to what Guerilla Games used to formulate the initial idea for Horizon or something else? How do you determine what genres or themes to tackle?

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Ted Price, Founder and CEO:
We usually approach publishers with game ideas. The exception to that rule has been Spider-Man. Sony approached us with an incredible opportunity to work with their team and with Marvel. It was an amazing opportunity we couldn’t refuse.

We do a lot of internal brainstorming before we approach publishers. Usually we will narrow things down to one or two game concepts about which we’re passionate. That process can be quick or it can take over a year. It just depends on the concept. Sometimes we’ll bring back a concept we were passionate about at one point but didn’t end up pitching in its original form. That’s how The Unspoken came about.
 
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Question #3 – Member: Tambini

“How does the studio feel about focus testing nowadays and does it agree that it may have listened to the wrong feedback that influenced titles like Resistance 2 and Fuse?

James Stevenson, Community Director: I think this is a little misconstrued. It’s wasn’t really a focus testing thing that lead to specific decisions in either of those cases. Usability testing, playtesting and even focus testing have their place, and data can be a useful tool. We’re always trying to make the best decision for the game and the studio. But it’s how that information is internalized and applied or even ignored – that’s what matters. Over time we’ve learned how to become better at curating and interpreting outside information. And the more seasoned you become, the more you trust your own instincts and experience to guide you. I think we will always try to stick to our vision – and I think that’s reflected in all of our recent titles like Sunset Overdrive, Ratchet & Clank, Song of the Deep, our VR Titles, and of course, the upcoming Marvel’s Spider-Man.
 
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Question #4 – Member: Clive

“How do you handle the positive and negative feedback from reviews and the community – and sales reception for that matter – after a game launches?”

James Stevenson, Community Director: I can only speak for myself, but I read and absorb a lot of it, and also hear everything via our social media channels. I tell people to take some of it with a grain of salt, even in something beloved and well-reviewed, you end up with a higher percentage of negative comments than what actually exists (people love to complain). I get why people in social and community roles in the gaming industry get burnt out, because it’s a lot.

My goal is always to try and take emotion out of it, advocate internally for players (both things they love and things they don’t like). I do get a lot of satisfaction from hearing from fans that are happy or love the game, but also helping out fans that are stuck or dealing with a bug or issue. It’s only really hard when people are genuinely disappointed and you can’t fix it.

In terms of sales, there are so many factors. It’s elating when they are super high (like Ratchet & Clank 2016 being the fastest selling Ratchet game of all time), and a drag if they come in below expectations. I think I usually am just trying to understand what we might’ve done better.
 
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Question #5 – Member: F-Pina

“Besides using your own engine for your games, what other tools are you currently using in game production? For coding, art, 3D modeling, animation and such.”

Shaun McCabe, Chief Technology Officer and Gavin Goulden, Lead Character Artist:

For coding we use C++, Javascript and Python. For modeling we use Maya, Max, and Modo which all need to go into Maya as the final product for rigging and animation. Generally, we try to keep our pipeline program agnostic so that the artist can use what they feel most comfortable with. In the end, since all of our tools are Maya based (communication with the engine) - that is the final spot where we do clean up and hand off to other departments.

In addition, we use ZBrush and Marvelous Designer for creating high resolution assets, and Substance Painter for creating in game textures and materials.
 
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Question #6 – Member: Ghost305

“About a decade ago, Insomniac announced they’d be moving away from 60fps games, to very mixed reception. Since then, however, Insomniac’s had the opportunity to work on quite a few high framerate titles on Oculus Rift. Out of curiosity, has Insomniac’s stance on framerate changed at all since then?”

James Stevenson, Community Director:

People like to bring this one up a lot, especially on Era. I would hesitate at projecting something we said 10 years ago until today. I think at the time what we said was true and we had data suggesting it. That said, to us, it’s ultimately about making the game the best it can be. For high-end VR on PC that’s prioritizing framerate. In terms of consoles, I think we always try to find the best performance blend, between resolution, what we’re actually drawing in the game (geo, effects, post, etc), and framerate, that suits the game. And even if we decide 30FPS is the optimal or only route available to the game, we work really hard to ensure it’s basically locked at that framerate and that drops are very rare occurrences – something I think both Ratchet & Clank and Sunset Overdrive reflect.
 
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Question #7 – Member: Segafreak

“How have the budgets grown since the PS2 and PS3 days, and at what point you do you break even? Do you have a ballpark figure on how much a large open world game like Sunset Overdrive or Spider-Man costs versus a linear title like Ratchet & Clank? I understand if you can’t give exact numbers, but I’d appreciate some rough approximations. Thanks. :)”

James Stevenson, Community Director: We don’t really disclose budget or break-even information. You’re right though, the larger the team and the longer the development time, the more it costs and the more copies you have to sell. You’ve seen this fact sort of reverberate through all the AAA games out there these days. It’s also more time consuming when you’re making a first-game or a new IP, like Sunset Overdrive, versus making something we’re very familiar with, like Ratchet & Clank.
 
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Question #8 – Member: fireflame

"Some developers have stated that narrative games are becoming harder to make because of increasing costs. Do you believe there is still a future for single-player focused games with a strong story?"

James Stevenson, Community Director: As someone who loves narrative-driven story-based games like Uncharted, Horizon: Zero Dawn, Tomb Raider, and Fallout, I certainly think there is still a market and future for them. As long as people like me are out there and buying and playing them, they won’t go away. That isn’t to say that times don’t adapt – games that are more open-world, or feature non-linear elements have done great things in giving players a play-ground alongside the strong narrative.
 
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Question #9 – Member: DarkDetective

“With many AAA publishers having made a shift to a service format, I assume it’s becoming harder for work-for-hire studios like Insomniac (and especially of Insomniac’s size) to get deals for new titles. How do you see the future for such studios? What do you think would be a good way for such studios to adopt to the new age of AAA gaming?”

Ted Price, Founder and CEO: I wouldn’t consider Insomniac work-for-hire. To me that implies publishers are coming to us saying “make this” and we dutifully go about following a design. That’s not what we do. We’re passionate about creating new worlds, new stories, new characters – or in the case of Spider-Man creating a brand new take on an existing character.

But if you’re implying that the barriers to entry for creating AAA games are increasing – you’re right. Making large games gets more expensive every year. I think that’s driven by player demand. As a result publishers are making fewer big bets. And, to reference your question, everyone is thinking a lot harder about games as a service. That term means different things to different people. The key is that with development costs continuing to rise it’s harder to be profitable. Thus everyone is looking for ways to increase revenue while giving players more of what they love.
 
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Question #10 – Member: maestrillo and Camel

Maestrillo asks: “In this generation, we can see that most of the big AAA developers can only make 2 games at max. How can you make so many games in such a short period of time?”

Camel asks: "How many major titles can Insomniac work on at once?"

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James Stevenson, Community Director: We pride ourselves on being really efficient and scrappy. I think a lot of it too comes from strong leadership at the studio, and well-laid plans for how to best use the talent here. We had a really busy year in 2016, launching 5 games (Ratchet & Clank, Song of the Deep, Edge of Nowhere, Feral Rites, and The Unspoken). On the other hand – it’s also really fun right now to have something that a large majority of our devs are focused on in terms of Marvel’s Spider-Man.
 
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Question #11 – Member: CelicaCrazed

"Sunset Overdrive is, in my opinion, one of the best new IP’s of this gen. What was it like working with Microsoft after being so long with Sony? How much did Insomniac retaining the rights to the IP factor into it being Xbox One exclusive?"

James Stevenson, Community Director: I personally really enjoyed working with Microsoft Game Studios. Josh Kerwin is one of my favorite people on the planet and Blizzard is lucky to have him now – but overall the marketing and PR teams there were full of great people. They really believed in the vision of Sunset Overdrive and put an enormous amount of effort behind it. We had a giant Fizzie Blimp at E3 that insulted passersby. We blew the blimp up! We had this crazy commercial on the Warner Brothers Lot and have a huge SEXBURGER sign in the office now and a great t-shirt collection.

Sony is an awesome partner too of course, with long-time partners there like Shawn Layden, Connie Booth, Grady Hunt, Mark Cerny, Jennifer Clark, Alyssa Casella, Jennifer Hallett, David Bull, Sid Shuman, and many more. We have very long-standing friendships and relationships with folks at PlayStation, and it’s a pleasure working with them on Ratchet & Clank and now Marvel’s Spider-Man. Can’t wait to show everyone everything we’ve been working on.

And in terms of us retaining the IP: that was just a requirement of any partner we teamed up with to bring Sunset Overdrive to life.
 
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Question #12 – Member: Shpeshal Ed

“Can we pretty, pretty please get an Xbox One X enhancement patch for Sunset Overdrive? A game that gorgeous deserves to be played in the best possible way!”

James Stevenson, Community Director: Realistically it’s not in the cards at this point. Our engine code is several years developed from Sunset Overdrive, and to re-open that project and try to piece it in there, on a new piece of hardware, plus all of the testing and resources going into it, isn’t something we’re able to do in house. Right now everyone here is focused on Marvel’s Spider-Man.
 
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Question #13 – Member: Trago

“What kind of ideas does the team have for Sunset Overdrive 2 if you had the opportunity to develop it?”

James Stevenson: Lots.
 
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Question #14 – Member: AuthenticM

“Have there been any talks with Sony regarding a Definitive Collection for the Resistance series?”


James Stevenson, Community Director:


Nothing I’m aware of – as many of you know we don’t usually do any ports in-house, so if that was going to happen, it’d be up to PlayStation, but we’d love to see it. We hear from folks all the time who want to play those games again.
 
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Question #15 – Member: Jersey_Tom

“How much pressure, if any, was Insomniac under to create a “Halo-Killer”? Resistance: FOM was released two years after Halo 2 and Sony had limited success with their other exclusive FPS, Killzone. Resistance was viewed by some at the time as the first true attempt to compete in the FPS-genre due to the inclusion of online multiplayer and some limited competitive support. Did SCEA make it a point to Insomniac that they were hoping to draw some attention away from Halo?”

James Stevenson, Community Director:

Honestly, I don’t think it was any effort to draw attention away from Halo, we really admired (and still do!) the Halo series. Insomniac’s first ever game, Disruptor, was an FPS, and the genre had a soft spot in our hearts. I think there had been a desire after making three Ratchet & Clank games in 3 years to do something new. At the time at Insomniac, you’d see people doing LAN parties and playing Battlefield 1942 and other games for hours on end. We had a codified Frag Friday where people played games for hours at the end of the work week against each other. It just felt natural to make our own FPS at that point, and we were fortunate enough to be able to finish the game in time for the PS3’s Launch.
 
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Question #16 – Unclebenny

“Resistance 3 is a fantastic and underappreciated game, at least in my limited view. It was also a fairly major tonal shift from the previous games. What spurred Insomniac to move away from the army versus army bombast and into a more focused story?"

Marcus Smith, Creative Director on Resistance 3:

In the early phases of R3 pre-production, Jon Paquette (writer), Drew Murray (Lead Designer), and I were doing a lot of soul-searching and had decided that we wanted to make this a much more personal story, one that focused on humanity and its last stand against overwhelming force. We wanted there to be a progression from organized to dis-organized, entropy under pressure. Around that time, my wife was pregnant and I was pretty frightened by the prospects of becoming a father, thinking about the world with fresh eyes. The combination led us to where we ended-up, something that shows different ways that humanity survives and resists.

James Stevenson, Community Director:

Also – if you check out our twitch.tv/insomniacgames --- we have an entire playthrough of the game with Marcus and other Insomniacs (broken into several parts) – that has tons of amazing director commentary on the game.
 
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Question #17 – Members: Transistor and Dancrane212

Transistor asks: “Is there any future for the Resistance series?”
Dancrane212 asks: “If I remember right, you’ve previously hinted on other forums about attending a meeting of some sort for what would have been “Resistance 4”. Statue of limits up on that yet?"

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James Stevenson, Community Director:

We don’t have any plans for more Resistance at this time, but we always say: never say never. It’s also worth noting that PlayStation owns that IP.

And to Dancrane212, man, I don’t remember teasing any R4 stuff. And I don’t know what a Statue of Limits is. ;) But if you’re asking about the Statute of Limitations on it: In response to question 16, I mentioned Marcus’s playthrough of R3 on our Twitch stream – we talked a little bit about the ending slates. We definitely changed that late. Anytime you’re making a game, I think some part of you is considering ideas for a potential sequel and where you might go from there. That said, much like our list of Ratchet & Clank weapons we never have used, other unused ideas we like to hang onto cause you never know when they may fit a project!
 
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Question #18 – Member: TheSpaceBetween

“I’ve always felt that many Insomniac games feel somewhat Nintendo-like, only with an obvious Western flavor. From Spyro and Ratchet & Clank to Sunset Overdrive, I feel there is overlap in the philosophy in how you guys and gals approach making games: An emphasis on fun, creating colorful worlds and characters, accessibility while still having great depth, being very gameplay focused, etc.

What are your current thoughts on Nintendo and the Switch? Have Insomniac ever been interested in collaborating on a project with Nintendo, whether it be working on one of their IP or creating a new one?”

James Stevenson, Community Director:

I personally love my Switch, and have probably put as much time on it over the last year as I have my PS4 or Xbox One. When I flew back from Paris Games Week, I plugged in and played Mario Odyssey for 11 hours straight, and I logged like 130 hours in Zelda with all 120 shrines and all the DLC. It’s also killer for me to play Indies on it, with great games like Steamworld Dig 2 and Celeste.

No plans at this time for anything, but it is a cool platform and as someone who travels a lot, I’m really happy to see it doing well.
 
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Question #19 – Member: Auros01

“What is the story behind the titles of the Ratchet & Clank games, i.e. the innuendo? Examples: Going Commando, Up Your Arsenal, etc.”

Ted Price, Founder and CEO: The Ratchet series has always presented humor on a couple of different levels. While the humor is generally family friendly and very accessible, we also tend to include some more sophisticated satire. The idea is that while younger players love the more overt, often physical shenanigans, older players can find amusement in our subtle jabs at cultural tropes. Admittedly “Going Commando” and “Up Your Arsenal” are not particularly subtle as titles. However the double-entendres fit in with the kind of dual-level humor I’m talking about.

As far as how we came up with those titles, we asked everyone in the company to submit ideas for game titles. Those two won.
 
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Question #20 – Member: Silky

“Regarding Insomniac’s film debut: Has Ratchet and Clank’s theatrical appearance taught your team anything significant about storytelling?”

James Stevenson, Community Director: I think it taught us that movies are really hard to make! We sort of knew this already, because we were working to get a Ratchet & Clank movie made for almost a decade. That said, we wouldn’t change a thing because Ratchet & Clank (2016) worked out amazingly well, and even has been free on #PSPlus for several weeks now (through end of March). If you haven’t checked it out, I do recommend it!
 
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Question #21 – Member: A Wild Ambulance Appears and Print_Dog

A Wild Ambulance Appears asks: “It seems like one of your trademarks – at least in regards to Ratchet & Clank and Sunset Overdrive – is to use weapons that are very creative and non-traditional. How does the team come up with ideas for these crazy guns?”

Print_Dog asks: “When designing weapons in games like Ratchet and Clank, Resistance, and Fuse – where the weapons often have lots of variety – do the initial concepts take game design into account? Or are they fit into the game afterwards?”

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James Stevenson, Community Director: One of the great things about Insomniac is the collaborative culture we have here. Ideas come from everywhere, artists, animators, QA, and even non-development teams like finance! For Ratchet, we have a huge amount of weapon ideas from making games over the years. Weapons like the Groovitron or Pixelizer were first imagined years before they actually made it into a game, due to technical reasons.

Brian Allgeier gave a great PAX Prime talk a number of years ago about how for Ratchet we relied on finding weapons that were tactical, humorous, and had spectacle. Every Ratchet weapon has 2 of the 3, and the most memorable ones have all 3 aspects. I think it’s just in our DNA to try and give players a bunch of choices in how to approach situations, with a weapon wheel, and different toolsets to tackle each scenario you run into.

In terms of Print_Dog’s question, a lot of seeing how things fit is just prototyping them in a graybox form and seeing how they fit in the game. We try a lot of things out to see what works and what doesn’t.
 
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Question #22 – Member: Fady

“Insomniac’s VR games have been very well received and are a rare example in the VR industry given that they are high quality “AA-AAA” single player games. My question is, any chance of expanding your released VR titles to other VR platforms like PSVR and Vive?”

James Stevenson, Community Director: No plans at this time, while we own all of the IPs for our three VR franchises -- Edge of Nowhere, Feral Rites, and The Unspoken -- each of those games will remain exclusive to the Oculus storefront.
 
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Question #23 – Member: TeamLeftMatch

“To go back to the Spyro games on the PS1 - what were the team’s biggest challenges when creating Insomniac’s first ever 3D platformer?”

Ted Price, Founder and CEO:

I think our biggest challenge was learning how to design a platformer during production. We had come off of a first-person shooter (Disruptor) and none of us had any experience designing platformers. But since most of us had grown up playing platformers, I think we had absorbed a lot of crucial design lessons without realizing it. Still, at the time we spent a ridiculous amount of time analyzing other recent platformers like Mario 64. By reverse engineering Mario and a few other games early in production, I think we were able to avoid some big mistakes.

 
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Question #24 -- Member: RuleNumber6

“What are Insomniac’s thoughts on the Spyro franchise returning this generation in either the form of a remaster (original trilogy) or new installment?”

James Stevenson, Community Director:

While we weren’t involved in the development, Toys for Bob met with some members of the original Spyro the Dragon dev team here to discuss the franchise’s heritage and share their concepts. We’re really excited to play it and check it out. Personally, I think it’ll be a lot of fun to livestream the game on our Insomniac Live stream show and get those original dev team members in to play it.
 
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Question #25 – Members: VeePs and Waddle Dee

Veeps asks: "In the past, it seemed like Naughty Dog and Insomniac shared a special relationship by sharing technology and ideas. Does Insomniac still have a special relationship with Naughty Dog today?"

Waddle Dee asks:
“Has the friendly rivalry with Naughty Dog that was so infamous during the PS1-PS2 era become a thing of the past?”

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James Stevenson, Community Director: I think that relationship still exists, especially since we work closely with Sony. It’s not quite the same when you don’t work next-door to each other (and realistically, Burbank and Santa Monica are essentially different countries when it comes to LA’s Traffic). That said, I know at various points we share best practices with each other, when it comes to tech or animation or mocap. Arne Meyer and I have been friends for a very long time, since we were road buddies on (I think) ACIT and Uncharted 2 and basically hung out for a month straight in different cities. We always chat about community and marketing stuff – and their team just came up for lunch recently to meet with our team, and it’s always great to talk to other people who go through the same challenges and work stuff that you do.
 
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Question #26 – Member: LordofPwn

The trailer for Overstrike is still one of my favorite video game trailers of all time. After seeing the success of a game like Overwatch, does the team have any desire to revisit the original look and tone, or is there any regret changing the tone so drastically? In a broader question, what did Insomniac learn from their experience working on Fuse and how has it helped with developing newer projects?”

James Stevenson, Community Director: I don’t know if we’d ever go revisit Overstrike at this point, and as you mention, Overwatch feels like a very similar tone so we’d be kinda late to the party. In terms of learnings, I kinda touched on this earlier, but I think we were reminded that we need to stick to our vision for our games. Sunset Overdrive is a great example of that.
 
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Nov 20, 2017
114
#28
Question #27 – Member: Hardvlade

“Song of the Deep was an amazing game! Will we see more of Merryn/Song of the Deep at some point in the future? Or is that done?”

James Stevenson, Community Director: Never say never, but there are no plans for more Merryn at the moment. We had an awesome partnership with GameTrust on that game, and really enjoyed finally making a Metroidvania style game. Merryn holds a dear place in our hearts, and her statue in the studio still makes me jump occasionally when it’s randomly moved to a new location.

 
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Q&ERA

Q&ERA

Official Questions and Answers
Verified
Nov 20, 2017
114
#29
Question #28 – Members: 8byte and sabrina

8byte asks: “As a community manager, what has been your favorite event or production that you’ve been a part of? (Community Days, Full Moon Podcast, Twitch Streaming, etc).
Sabrina asks: “Hi James. I miss the Full Moon show podcast. I really do. Is that ever coming back?”

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James Stevenson, Community Director: Oh man, I just love interacting with everyone all the time. I’ve been at Insomniac for nearly 12 years and have gone from an assistant to Community Director. Some highlights included the create-a-weapon contest for Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time, our 3rd Community Day at the Egyptian Theatre with All 4 One and Resistance 3, the Full Moon Show, our new Twitch show. E3 last year was pretty incredible. I’ve had a blast on every project we’ve worked on.

And in terms of the Full Moon Show returning, I’ve started thinking about it more. I don’t know if I’d do the same show now. But we have a dedicated recording space, and I think we could make it with way less effort from me (I used to edit every show in pro-tools and taught myself pro-tools to make the Full Moon Show and it was way overkill). I guess I just want to figure out what angle is interesting, I don’t want to do that show again where we just talk in vague terms about what we are working on.

In some ways, the Twitch show does some of the things I wanted, in terms of giving the community a way to talk to us directly and meet developers around the studio – but maybe there’s a show that does that in more of an audio form, without us playing a new videogame. And maybe we still record it live for audience interaction?

We’ll see, but I do get asked that a fair amount so I guess people want it. :)
 
Oct 24, 2017
867
#30
That concludes our Q&ERA.

ResetEra would like to thank everyone at Insomniac Games for taking time out of their busy schedules to answer our community's questions. And more specifically, we would like to thank James Stevenson, Ted Price, Carrie Dieterle, Marcus Smith, Shaun McCabe, and Gavin Goulden.

Our admin team would also like to thank everyone who submitted questions. If your questions weren't selected for whatever reason, there will be plenty more Q&A sessions in the near future.
 
Jan 16, 2018
2,649
#32
I love everything these guys do, it's hardly surprising they are focusing only on Spiderman atm, but I would love for them to try out new smaller IPs like Song of the Deep, sad there are no plans for it apparently... but hey, can't complain. Spiderman looks perfect
 
Oct 25, 2017
5,559
San Francisco
#34
I know this went up early a couple days ago, but still great to see.

Also is there a reason why the Spider-Man game has to officially be called "Marvel's Spider-Man" aside from it probably being a call from Marvel?
 
Oct 25, 2017
6,589
Speed Force
#37
That was a nice read! Good stuff, especially from the very chatty jstevenson.

I like how Spider-Man questions were off limits but it still got mentioned every second answer. Guess it's hard to think about much else if you're them right now!
 

Zips

Member
Oct 25, 2017
714
#38
Very timely Q&A here with the new Spider-Man info and the remastered Spyro games announcement (even if they aren't the dev on the remasters). Good stuff so far!
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,843
Switzerland
#43
A play-through with commentary of them playing through the Spyro trilogy-remaster would be really cool.

I bet working on the Spiderman project is really difficult but it's great to see how far they've come and working on such a huge IP.
 
Oct 28, 2017
7,615
#44
This was a great read. Honestly wish there were more questions an answers!

jstevenson

Side note, as much as I enjoyed Sunset Overdrive, Spider-Man (sequel) and the rest of the Marvel universe are still ripe for more of Insomniac's magic!
 

Sangetsu-II

Banned
Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,376
#46
I should have probably asked Insomniac what is the purpose of retaining the rights to an IP if you are contractually obligated to let the game you created remain exclusive to the platform. i.e their VR Games being exclusive to Oculus Rift and Sunset Overdrive exclusive to XB1.

Other than that great read and thanks :)
 
Oct 25, 2017
7,393
#47
Hey my question got asked :)! Thank you Reset Era team and Insomniac!

Really looking forward to Spider-man!
 

Deleted member 11995

User requested account closure
Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,386
Scotland
#48
It's disappointing to get confirmation that there will be no X enhancements for Sunset Overdrive :-(

I understand though. It's a bit of work for not much return, and of course Spider-Man is obviously an all hands on deck situation. Looking forward to playing it later this year!

(But then maybe they'll patch Sunset Overdrive once Spider-Man is out?)
 
Oct 29, 2017
417
#50
Thanks for this, it was a great read. I’ll just let go my dreams of a Sunset Overdrive patch. Thanks for pointing out the Resistance 3 play through, I should check that out