PlayStation 4 creator conversation: Killzone: Shadow Fall
posted on 05.30.13 at 10:09 AM EDT by (@salromano)
Guerrilla Games discusses PlayStation 4 launch title.

In the latest ‘Conversations with Creators’ PlayStation 4 video series, Killzone: Shadow Fall executive producer Angie Smets, director Steven ter Heide, and technical director Michiel van der Leeuw discuss the console’s ability to let them make a Killzone like none before it, and how they want to make you forget you’re playing a game.

Killzone: Shadow Fall is due out for PlayStation 4 this holiday.

Thanks, PlayStation Blog.

  • bloodiOS

    Can’t wait to see what they can accomplish with the next installment of the series. Here’s hoping that next time, we’ll get to play a tragic story from a the perspective of a Helghast protagonist.

  • $18114340

    They’re trying to get as much hype as possible on the basis of the technical prowess of the engine. Not a bad strategy considering how it worked for Killzone 2 and the PS3. Very interesting how far Guerrilla has come since the first Killzone, which was frankly a pretty mediocre game with bad technical performance.

    As for the Vita game, Killzone is going to be the Vita’s big break in the west, or their last chance. If Sony doesn’t align their marketing around it then the Vita’s image of being a dead-end console for half-hearted ports by lazy western developers is going to be impossible to shed. If anything, Sony’s ongoing focus on courting mobile and indie developers show that they’ve finally realized that trying to bill their portable systems as “the lesser Playstations” is a terrible idea and probably the wrong thing to focus on as the systems’ primary selling point, just like it was a bad idea for the PSP. What really carried that console? Japanese-developed system exclusives, rather than western ports cranked out by no-name studios in half a year. Having a Vita-exclusive Killzone game with this long of a development time is going to really work in Sony’s favor if the game is good, but it remains to be seen whether Guerrilla Cambridge can come onto their own.

    Sony should take advantage of Killzone’s now strong brand to further push the Vita if anything, but it’s understandable that the PS4 is the highest priority.

    • Kurisu Makise

      Uh…I hate to say this but your assessment of PS Vita and PSP is entirely off. Sony’s never tried to bill their handhelds as “lesser” PlayStations. It’s always been about making handheld gaming more than just quick levels in a platformer or simple sprite based RPGs. They wanted to show you can get the full console game experience on the go. It was a bit rough with PSP but the big sellers were always those games. Grand Theft Auto Liberty City Stories, Vice City Stories, God of War: Chains of Olympus and Ghost of Sparta, heck even Gran Turismo.

      Compare those titles to say…Metal Gear Solid Peacewalker, a Japanese developed exclusive which…barely sold anything (respectable showing in Japan though, thanks to Monster Hunter cross-marketing). Even Birth by Sleep, a great title still didn’t push nearly as hard as when the western devs were out in full force early on for PSP. So I don’t believe the Japanese developed system exclusives argument, period. The best selling Japanese-developed exclusive was Gran Turismo worldwide and Monster Hunter for Japan only.

      The real reason for courting indies, is because it takes a lot to secure those console like AAA games, especially for western devs where handheld is seen as a lesser scene vs Consoles. However for indies, that distinction doesn’t matter at all. Now you can get great experiences which often favour traditional handheld aesthetics (short bursts/pick-up and play) AND deeper experiences, without having to pay for the marketing campaign of 1 game.

      The real issue with Killzone Shadowfall vs Killzone Mercenary is the release windows. If Mercenary was summer and Shadowfall was holidays, that’d be okay or if Shadowfall was say Feb/March and Mercenary remains in its late summer/early fall window, then it’ll be fine. I have no doubt that Cambridge can pull this game off as they’ve been working on the franchise for awhile now in conjunction with original Guerrilla. It just needs a smart advertising campaign that’ll supplement both titles.

      • $18114340

        I don’t mean to say that Sony is intentionally selling their portables short, but that it’s a natural consequence of their marketing. Selling Vitas and PSPs as “leser Playstations” was not a deliberate message but a side-effect. I just feel as if the message that you can have a home console experience with a handheld is misguided. Many previously PSP-exclusive titles got PS2/PS3 ports anyway, and this is a practice that has continued with companies like Capcom porting Revelations to home consoles. Logically, you are never going to get the same performance out of a portable console, and trying to cram as much cutting-edge technology into a handheld as Sony does results in some unfortunate repercussions that are common to both the PSP and the Vita.

        Namely, the first generation PSP and the Vita are huge and bulky in comparison to other portables, the battery life is abysmal, and while the build quality is premium so is the cost not only to adopt but to maintain. For example, if you plan on downloading games, you’ll need storage space, and what better way to get storage space than Sony’s overpriced, proprietary memory format? At least you could put a Memory Stick into a camera. You can’t really say the same about Vita memory cards. I think people will universally agree that was a bad idea.

        The point that I was trying to make was that this idea of big games selling in large numbers defining the system is a mistake, in my opinion. Having a few titles sell in volume is not as healthy for the system as having a diverse gamut of properties competing with each other. Pity Sony’s focus always seems to be the former, but to their credit they own a variety of IP themselves, and then again this problem isn’t really their fault in the first place.

        Peace Walker may not have sold well, but it definitely gave the PSP a particular image. That image was not dissimilar to the image given by titles such as Grand Turismo, but even if Peace Walker didn’t perform well in terms of sales it and games like it arguably gave more visibility and appeal to the PSP than games by other third parties.

        This isn’t to slight Sony for their first and second-party contributions, on the contrary; Sony’s own efforts on their handheld systems are definitely admirable. It’s to say that the western image of the Vita suffers for the same reasons that the western image of the PSP suffered. Namely, there aren’t enough system-defining games for it being developed by western studios that aren’t Sony. The reason why the PSP was successful in Japan wasn’t because it had a lot of big sellers, but because it had a lot of games that appealed to a variety of audiences. By comparison, the western demographic was virtually non-existent by the last third of the console’s life cycle and most larger publishers had flat-out abandoned it in contrast to their continuing support for Japanese audiences.

        I do agree with you when you say that Shadowfall and Mercenary complement each other. Given that the markets for both games are overlapping yet distinct, there’s room for both of them to exist without cannibalizing the other. The problem is, nobody outside of Sony and indies is really supporting western Vita games. It’s a problem much like the one the 3DS faced earlier on, and the Wii U is facing now, the main difference being that Nintendo tries to project a friendly, accessible image whereas Sony’s appeal to consumers is almost the complete opposite in tone.

        • Kurisu Makise

          Excellent post sir, so I’ll dive right in:

          “Having a few titles sell in volume is not as healthy for the system as having a diverse gamut of properties competing with each other.”

          I’ve actually preached (lol, expressed) this sentiment when Vita was doing worse off than it is now. I’ve seen the proposal on other sites too. It’s the idea of “Few Million sellers” vs “no million sellers but many titles selling healthy/moderately”. It’s why when people wonder why Sony didn’t pay a boat load of money for Monster Hunter, that’s because it boils down to royalty from 1 developer, vs royalty from several. I’ll take 3,4,5 games to expand the genre and give healthy competition/options vs MH anyday myself. It’s like paying for only Dragon Quest and not having anything else.

          Problem comes in when say Sony pays for the kingpin and some other devs see the market on the system and decide to develop anyway. In that situation, it was probably worth it to spend on the one title but that’s a gamble. It’s just as easy to say, avoid the kingpin’s platform due to the competition and develop on the competitor. Thus, this problem isn’t black and white.

          “The problem is, nobody outside of Sony and indies is really supporting western Vita games. It’s a problem much like the one the 3DS faced earlier on, and the Wii U is facing now”

          I would argue that 3DS still isn’t quite out of the woods yet regarding western games but seeing Adventure Time and Lego do well, certainly helps. Cultivating buyers to purchase western software on these platforms is a big tackle for both Nintendo and Sony. They also need western developers to actually develop content to begin with and I believe that’s why Sony had to preach that message of “Console experience” on the go. It’s not so much the hardware power (though yes that held back a lot of games in the past) but more the mentality that handheld games were “lesser” than console experiences. That has to change specifically first and foremost, then we can bring more game opportunities that you might traditionally see on a console, even if it doesn’t have the same budget.

    • Elvick

      Yeah, it’s not like any western developed game sold over a million at all… oh wait. (GTA comes to mind)

      And, indie games on Vita is no different than indie games on PS3 or PS4. Are they ‘lesser’ consoles because of it? lolno. So why does it make Vita a “lesser” PlayStation exactly?

      Smaller downloadable titles fill out the void at retail. Which there always is, no matter how much your system sells. *points to every summer*

  • Chaos Raiden

    Hope there will be more and more great PS4 exclusives, such as a new Uncharted game, new IP from Sony Santa Monica Studio, new Tales game, and many more.

    • bloodiOS

      Three games for each IP per generation, that’s how Naughty Dogs been working so far I would think that they’ll start fresh with a new IP this time around, too. As a matter of fact, I sincerely hope they do.

  • Locksus

    I think the game would look even better without the excessive use of bloom. I’m not really a fan of the effect.
    I want to see more of this, though.

    • $18114340

      The industry has had this sort-of obsession with HDR as long as it’s been feasible to do it. I agree that it can be excessive sometimes but it helps make the game look flashy in commercials. In practice, when the game is running at a full framerate (hopefully higher than 40fps) and you’re taking in visual cues as a player rather than intricate details, it’s not as easy to get distracted by in my experience.

      • Locksus

        Yeah, you’ve got a point there. It’s not an ugly effect in itself, but when it’s excessively used, I don’t really dig it.

  • Raiu

    If it really is easy to develop, I would love to try it as a developer…