Arkane not interested in limiting player choice in Dishonored

By Brenna Hillier
19 July 2011 07:13 GMT

Arkane Studios is drawing on its love of RPG elements and emergent gameplay for Dishonored.

“Dishonored is a game where the core stealth combat gameplay is complimented by all these powers that you have, and they layer together really well,” co-director Harvey Smith told GameInformer.

“It is one of our principal beliefs that you shouldn’t protect the player too much from seeing something awkward. Instead, it’s better to empower the player to do these things in a general purpose kind of way.

“Not at the right moment or in a particular scripted encounter, and so we don’t pre-plan some of the things that are the most fun in our games.”

Arkane’s fun-factor – the effects of player choice and customisation on gameplay – is something the studio is careful to nurture through its studio culture.

“We try to go out of our way to only hire people who understand and love the kind of games that we make,” Smith said.

“We aren’t just a game studio, we’re like very much focused on these immersive first person action games that have RPG features built into them.

“And by recruiting those kinds of people, and sharing that passion for those games, a lot of things immediately become easy, even across language barriers. Because you can point to something in Bioshock, or something in Far Cry 2, or something older in Underworld or System Shock. They love them for the same reasons and that immediately creates a bridge.”

RPG elements are becoming more prevalent through traditional vanilla genres, but Arkane doesn’t feel threatened by this trend.

“Hopefully people just keep on deepening the mechanics that are in those games,” Smith said.

“I think a synthesis is the ultimate experience for of us.”

Dishonored is due next year on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

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