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Del Toro: Game design like playing chess 20 moves ahead

Thursday, 17th November 2011 23:55 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Noted director and inSANE creator Guillermo del Toro has described gaming as a strategic dance with the “asshole” gamer.

“When we’re designing inSANE, we developed a character that is not in the game, but is the type of gamer,” del Toro said in the second part of the Irrational Interview podcast.

“And I say, ‘what would the asshole do?’ When we finish something that looks really neat and clean and we’ve packed it up, I go ‘Okay. We say they go from A to B to C and they exit through the doors. What if I’m the asshole? I sabotage that.’”

Del Toro said game designers have to plan thoroughly to account for asshole gamers, likening the lack of control to writing a comic – the reader sets the pace.

“It becomes an improv, it becomes a mixture between an improv and a chess game that you’re playing 20 moves ahead of your opponent, before your opponent even shows up for the game,” he said.

The director was quite emphatic that although he is learning on the job, he is heavily involved in inSANE’s development.

“We’ve been working for nine months, and I’ve been really working on it, I don’t fucking put my name on it and expect to see the game finished,” he exclaimed.

“We roll our fucking sleeves, we’re working on the design, the colour palette, developing the story, every single beat, the game dynamics.”

Despite the headaches of the new medium, del Toro is enthusiastic about working in games.

“I find it fascinating, revitalising as a narrator, and I always think it may be worse or better, but how great it is for me as a narrator to be immersed in this fantastic brave new world,” he said.

“Video games are in their infancy and they already have produced masterpieces I think – and Bioshock being one of them.”

Hit the link above to hear the whole interview; Levine and del Toro discuss their mutual dislike of cutscenes, film to game adaptations, the influence of games on other media, the effect of passion on your work, and much more. It’s full of swears, but really worth a listen.

InSANE is expected in 2013 at the earliest, and del Toro has said it is “really, really nasty“.

Thanks, Eurogamer.

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