Resistance: Burning Skies Interview

Resistance: Burning Skies seems to be shaping up to be THE shooter for the PS VITA, developed by Nihilistic software, the game seemingly gives an experience just as good as consoles. The Developers also had a chance to sit down for an interview.

Robert Huebner, president of Nihilistic Software, and SCEA's Frank Simon are spear-heading the game's development. After recently getting a chance to play the game, they sat down for a chat to talk a bit about Burning Skies. 

Right off the bat, Rob Huebner revealed something pretty fascinating to me about Burning Skies' early development. "We started before there was [Vita] hardware," he told me. This forced the studio to get creative. What they ended up doing was taking a DualShock and rigging it to run as a "franken-controller" handheld. Heubner expounded, "one of our engineers took a DualShock controller, ripped out some of the buttons, and then he bonded the thing to a PSP screen." The result was "a rerouted monstrosity" that output to a specialized video screen running off of a PlayStation 3. 

But how did Nihilistic work with Resistance's original development house Insomniac? After all, some game-makers are stingy with how they do things, although Insomniac is notoriously open (what with their GDC panels and all). "They were willing to share their deepest, darkest" secrets says Huebner. "They gave us what we would consider the crown jewels of their technology for making really cool first-person shooters." The studio even gave Nihilistic a bunch of info about the Resistance universe that haven't even been revealed yet. Huebner noted that they "have secrets that we have to keep."

Authenticity is going to be essential to any addition to the Resistance series. Frank Simon points out that Insomniac believes in the "three pillars" of a true Resistance game - characters, Chimera, and alternate history. And by placing Burning Skies into the Resistance timeline in between Resistance 2 and Resistance 3, Nihilistic is set to take advantage of that alternate history, writing a bit of their own into the series' lore. "Didn't somebody say what the heck happened here?" Simon asked in jest in regard to the lead-up to Resistance 2. It's that story of what happened in the first days of the Chimeran assault on the United States that the studio intends on telling.

 Huebner enthuses, "It's like a really good disaster movie or a really good zombie movie. Everything's peaceful and life is normal and then suddenly twenty-four hours later, it's completely different." The studio wanted to capture that still-unseen "tipping point" that leads to the fray featured in Resistance 2. With the help of William C. Dietz, the writer of the Resistance novels, Nihilistic hopes to expand on the series' story without tripping-up on existing lore that could muddle Resistance's all-important continuity.

In Burning Skies, a new character Tom Riley is introduced. But unlike previous leading men Nathan Hale and Joseph Capelli, he's not a soldier, but rather a New York City Firefighter. "You need somebody who's willing to run into a burning building," says Simon. Nihilistic's intent is to give gamers a "ground-eye view" of the events as they happen. Huebner adds, "It's not about how we're going to win the war. It's about how I'm going to save my own skin, how I'm going to save my family." Burning Skies is aiming to be a much more visceral and realistic take on what Resistance has been doing since 2006.

 Simon talks about how the plan to use labeled icons for grenade-throwing and melee-attacking caught the eye of Shuhei Yoshida himself, the president of Sony's World Wide Studios. Since Vita lacks R2 and L2 buttons, as well as clickable analog sticks that give them L3 and R3 functionality, you're likely to see more of that moving forward. Huebner adds, "We basically moved from a mentality of we're losing buttons to we have an infinite number of buttons right here. Put them where you want, make them the size you want."

At the end of the day, Nihilistic wants to create a game that intrigues Resistance fans and newbies to the series alike. "We definitely canvassed a lot of opinions to figure out which weapons to bring back… we wanted to make sure we didn't miss out on a fan favorite weapon or a producer favorite weapon or an Insomniac favorite weapon," Huebner said. But Frank Simon explained that this game is aimed to make everyone happy, not just Resistance fans. "If you pick up Burning Skies and it feels like a Resistance game to you from the get-go, that's a win, right?" Simon opined. But he continued, asking "wouldn't it be cool if we can get people excited on the Vita and say Resistance: Burning Skies is really exciting and it's totally accessible for me, but there's a deeper history here for Resistance, so I need to go check out Fall of Man, Resistance 2 and Resistance 3?"

I ended my time with Rob Huebner and Frank Simon by asking about Burning Skies' multiplayer options and Near functionality. They weren't willing to talk about either, promising many more reveals in the future. But Huebner in particular said something that stuck with me, something that makes me want to play Burning Skies more than ever. "Our goal is to get a little bit more of a feel of 1950's," he said, "a Norman Rockwell kind of vibe just in time for us to really smash it."

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Article courtesy of IGN:

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