July 28, 2013

Eric Osborne talks Destiny and how players can stop to smell the roses

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 MMORG has done a sweet interview with Eric Osborne AKA Urk from Bungie. They talk about the nature of Destiny being an open world and how players might be able to 'stop and smell the roses'. Here's some quick cuts from the interview:

MMORPG: Destiny has a huge open world to rove about. How important is it to put players in that sandbox and allow them to change things over time? It’s not really worth it if things always stay the same, right?

Eric Osborne: With Destiny, we want to deliver everything that players expect from the very best action games, and some of those elements demand to be rooted in a familiar foundation. We’ll deliver a wonderful, cinematic story with a memorable cast of characters for players who love great narrative to immerse themselves in. But, yeah, we’re going to weave it into a large, living world with destinations worthy of exploration that can grow and change over time.

We can add to Destiny’s dynamic nature with content like ongoing story chapters, but we can and will also focus on activities in much the same way we always had in Halo’s competitive multiplayer. The big difference, of course, is that we can deliver that promise for every type of player, no matter what mood they’re in, extending that sense of newness across story, cooperative and competitive multiplayer, character progression, customization, and rewards, and even the world itself. Once again, it’s a super lofty goal we’ve set out to achieve, but one that we believe is the natural progression of the genre.



MMORPG: We saw plenty of combat in the demo set against an amazing landscape of Old Russia. Will there be aspects of the game that allow players to explore and view the world you built? Instead of just having to battle all the time? Stop and smell the roses, as it were?

Eric Osborne: Behind closed doors with the press, one of the first things we did was head left off the beaten path, up and over the rusted line of derelict cars, to take in a picturesque view of a small lake and surrounding brush and stone and trees. We did that for a couple of reasons. First, we wanted to stop and show off more details of our new graphics technology: water with real-time reflections on the surface, caustics, and deformation; blades of grass that blow in the wind, and bend beneath player footfalls; player gear, customization, and cloth simulation to name a few.

Second, because we wanted to demonstrate a very important principle of our world-building approach. We want the destinations in Destiny to feel like places you visit. As the intensity of action ebbs and flows – and it will – we want them to draw players in with mysteries to solve and rewards to earn for exploration and inquisitiveness. That reward might be a treasure chest, a spectacular vista, or a small piece of deep story told through the environment.

There will be roses, just not where you might expect them.



MMORPG: At one point in the presentation the screen changed to a third person view, albeit briefly. Is that something we can expect to see in the game more often? Can we choose to be in third-person, or is it only during the “space magic” skill uses and other cinematic parts?

Eric Osborne: The majority of combat happens in first-person. Destiny is a great first-person shooter, but we are certainly taking a lot of the things that sing for us from the RPG genre, like character creation and personalization. We believe players are really going to enjoy the deep customization offered in Destiny, so we do want to provide a lot of opportunities for people to see and show off their builds.

In the demo, that happened primarily when players used some of the more powerful abilities, like the Warlock’s Nova Bomb, which breaks the camera out for a dramatic third-person view. We’re also building fully third-person social spaces, like the Tower, that we haven’t dug too deeply into just yet – places for commerce and camaraderie that provide players the perfect opportunity to put on their finest armor and gear, and strut.

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The Tower - I wonder if that was inspired by Steven King's Dark Tower series in any way. If you've read any of the books from that series you'll know they capture similar genres and themes such as magic and gunslingers like Destiny.

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