The folks behind Sony's Lair and before that the Star Wars Rogue Squadron games on GameCube believe their current Wii project will "blow you away." They also may look at adjusting Lair's controls, Factor 5 president Julian Eggebrecht said.
Posted by James Brightman on Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Factor 5 Aiming to Max Out Wii Graphics
While the Wii can't really compare to the powerful Xbox 360 and PS3 in terms of visuals, the system can produce a pretty picture when pushed the right way. Factor 5, developer of the much maligned PS3 game Lair, is hoping to push the Wii very hard. Considering that the Wii has been called a "souped up GameCube" by a number of developers in the past, and Factor 5 has experience in making great-looking GameCube games like those in the Star Wars Rogue Squadron series, Nintendo's new console shouldn't pose a huge challenge to the studio.
Speaking to IGN, Factor 5 president Julian Eggebrecht talked a bit about his company's current Wii project. Clearly confident in his studio's ability, he said of Factor 5's Wii engine, "...it does everything that the PS3 did and then some, quite frankly."
"We want to push the hardware. I think for us it's relatively easy for us to push the hardware. It inherently comes. But a lot of it is about exploiting the uniqueness of the Wii. I mean, on the graphical side, we're going to try and do everything to outdo everything else on the platform, the same as we did for the Star Wars games back on the GameCube," he noted. "But one of our main focuses is the innovation around the controls. Everybody is always talking about the motion control, but I think people are overplaying that a bit. I really, really love the pointing aspect of the remote. Although we're going to use everything for what we have in development, I think the pointing stuff is probably the biggest innovation which we're working on right now."
One of the biggest criticisms levied against Lair on the PS3 was its use of motion controls with the Sixaxis. Perhaps on the Wii, however, where motion controls are often a natural part of developing for the system, the design will come easier.
Later in the interview Eggebrecht once again boasted about his project but wouldn't give away any details: "Whatever we're working on will at least blow you away in a lot of the technical aspects. We're really trying to do everything to squeeze the maximum out of the machine. I'm also hoping we're going to pay respect to what the console is all about, which is the innovation in terms of controls, in terms of accessibility, new experiences, things like that. We're really, really trying hard. I hope it's going to pay off. In terms of what we're working on; is it for third-party publishers, is it for a Nintendo first-party, what title is it? I won't give you a clue."
He also detailed Factor 5's move away from Nintendo while they kept the Wii project (at the time Revolution) under wraps. He said that his studio needed money and had to move on, so that's why they signed with Sony for the PS3. But there wasn't any bad blood, and the same goes for Sony now, after Lair. Eggebrecht commented, "We never, ever had any bad break up [with Nintendo], or anything like that. Which is also the case with Sony, by the way. We love the guys at Sony. So if we have another game which we want to work on with them, we would love to and I don't see any reason why not. Things there are a little overhyped on the Internet where people basically think that we all spit into each others' faces, which isn't the case at all."
[UPDATE] On a side note, Eggebrecht (in a separate IGN article) also hinted that Factor 5 may be looking at introducing a more typical control scheme for Lair for those gamers that just couldn't adapt to the Sixaxis controls. Whether that would happen through a downloadable patch or a new game altogether is not clear, but Eggebrecht regrets not offering more control options.
"If we find a chance in the future that would bring Lair to the audience which didn't get any access, that would be fantastic," he said. "I can't say anything quite yet, but there might be something in the works there. We might have a chance yet to bring those back to the table and hopefully, if that should happen, they would give the game a second chance Nevertheless, we definitely took a long look at the results and learned a couple of lessons. If you're on a platform where this whole motion control is something new and not being pitched as the main feature of the platform, you should probably give the choice between having different control schemes, there is absolutely no doubt about it."