Conviction started out much different than final product, says producer

By Stephany Nunneley, Saturday, 10 April 2010 23:30 GMT

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Splinter Cell: Conviction’s creative director Maxime Beland has revealed that the original idea of the game was lot different than it turned out.

Speaking with GamePro, Beland said that originally, the team wanted to make an “anti” Splinter Cell game.

“When I got here there was a creative director on the team already,” Beland explained. “The original idea for Conviction was to make the anti-Splinter Cell game. It was super interesting, and there was a lot of Bourne Identity influence to it, but the project was taking an awful lot of risks. Taking a known franchise that has some set core values and some set expectations, and saying that you’re going to do a complete one-eighty on it is very, very risky.

“If you’re doing a Splinter Cell game, you have to build on the core values. Stealth wasn’t there, it was now stealth in the crowd where Sam would try to blend in with lots of non-player characters that were walking through the environment. It was kind of like the stuff in Assassin’s Creed.

“The cool gadgets weren’t there either. It was all improvised gadgets and using things you found in the environment as weapons and tools. Even the goggles were gone. The whole theme of light and shadow wasn’t there, either. How do you make a Splinter Cell game without light and shadow?”

Beland then went on to explain how the crowd works in the game, when compared to Assassin’s Creed II.

“When it comes to the crowd stuff, the beauty of Assassin’s Creed is that you’re in the Animus,” Beland said. “When you fuck up, it resets.

“It’s okay to have moments where the crowd runs away because you’re in the Animus, and you can explain why it gets reset. The suspension of disbelief is not broken in Assassin’s Creed because you know you’re in a simulator. Game design-wise you can justify one hell of a lot with it.

“When you’re making a Splinter Cell game though, one of your core values is realism. If you’re in a park and you blow up a propane tank on a hotdog stand and the crowd runs away, you just can’t expect that everyone will come back a minute later. In real life, you know what would happen in a situation like that. People might die, others would run away, and the cops would come and close down the area. The world wouldn’t be able to reset for gameplay reasons.”

There’s loads more through the link up top too, and it’s a rather good read, so give yourself some time with it.

Splinter Cell: Conviction is out next week on Xbox 360, and PC in June and was influenced by Max Payne and Uncharted, for starters.

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