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Brian Mitsoda Interview

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Brian Mitsoda Interview

Interview - posted by VentilatorOfDoom on Fri 21 October 2011, 18:30:30

Tags: Brian Mitsoda; DoubleBear Productions

DoubleBear's Brian Mitsoda gets interviewed by Grupo97. Topics include Bloodlines, Dead State and gaming in general.

In past decades, particularly in the late 90's and early 2000, creativity was the main factor for many video games, whereas in the current decade that creativity seems to be aimed only by certain independent studies. Do you agree?

Yes and no. I love a lot of games from that time period, and there were a ton of unique titles coming out at that time. But, of course, we only remember the best games and even some of those don’t hold up that well when we play them now. As for creativity, there’s no shortage of it out there – developers have tons of good ideas and you can see that in the explosion of indie titles – but the costs have escalated to unheard of amounts and the money is always going to bet on the safe projects. I guess as a side effect, the mass market has put pressure on developers to make the controls and interface as intuitive as possible, which has led to less frustrating games with good ideas buried under horrible control schemes, and as a result, there are more people playing games. Some of those gamers get bored of the mainstream offerings and move on to check out smaller projects, which is great for the indie community and creates a consumer base for more unconventional games. In turn, a lot of the success of those smaller projects will occasionally ripple into the mainstream development community.
Vampire Bloodlines was not released in optimal conditions and that affected the sales. You once said a member of Activision was constantly in the studio supervising everything, as the launching date approached. Too many pressures?

Well, some of that was due to deadlines, and a lot of it was the team’s own devotion to putting out the best possible game they could in the time remaining. That turned into a lot of late nights on our own time to try and make the game better. In the end, there was only so much we could do or were allowed to do and it was taken out of our hands. Would more time have helped? Yeah, most developers will always want more time to polish their games and Bloodlines needed some more time. We were also released against multiple big name sequels (Half-Life 2, Halo 2, Metal Gear Solid 3) and that kind of hurt our initial sales too, so holding the title to a less crowded release window would have helped too. I have no idea what the sales figures are now, but I’m betting that Bloodlines has beat sales expectations over time.
Thanks to Santiago.

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