Insomniac: efficiency is vital going into next-gen

By Dave Cook
15 February 2013 09:57 GMT

Fuse developer Insomniac Games created a brand-new engine for its cover-based squad shooter. It’s a move that will help the studio create assets more efficiently and quickly, something that CEO Ted Price has told us will be vital going into next-gen development.

At a recent EA showcase event, I asked Price for the studio’s decision to make a new engine for Fuse, and asked if using DICE’s Frostbite engine was ever an option, given that the game is being published by EA.

Said Price, “We are an independent company working with EA Partners, and we own the IP to Fuse – I’d say ‘fiercely independent’ as a company – as we wanted to make sure we could use our own tact for it.

“Frostbite’s a great engine, no question about it, but as a company we have placed a lot of value in developing our own tech, because it gives us more creative opportunities in terms of how we support our games. We’re not locked in to another company’s constraints.”

I then asked Price what developers now need to consider going in to next-gen to ensure they are ready for the sea change PS4 and Xbox 720 will undoubtedly bring.

“I think that what we all face in this industry – for those of us in the console business – is the need to get progressively more efficient in terms of how we build our assets and get them into the game”, he replied.

“Because that’s going to get more and more complex. The bar continues to get raised in terms of visuals, so to keep development costs reasonable you have to have better and better tools, which means a constant focus on efficiency in your pipeline.”

New generations are not easy things to predict, cautioned Price, but creating the means to be efficient can go a long way in preparing studios for the switch. Price concluded, “It’s hard to know what’s coming down the pipe.

“The more efficiently you create assets for your game and the more quickly you can iterate on gameplay, the better the final product’s going to be no matter what platform it is.”

You can check out my latest hands-on with Fuse, and more insight from Price here. It’s surprisingly better than the first time I played it.

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