Fan Q&A with Game Director Steven ter Heide


Last week we asked our followers on Facebook and Twitter if they had any questions for Game Director Steven ter Heide regarding the Killzone Shadow Fall demo shown at E3. Boy, did they ever! From the hundreds of questions that poured in we submitted the five most interesting ones to Mr. Ter Heide – and here are his replies.

Rurico Martinez asks: What is the biggest change in this Killzone game that it makes it feel different from the other ones?

 

“Obviously, we are keeping what is great about Killzone - we have a unique universe, iconic enemies and some great features like the hit-responses, first person cover and the melee system. But we’re also building on that, expanding and polishing those systems with things like drop-down melees and combo melee attacks. More importantly though, we’re adding many more player abilities and providing larger, more open arenas for you to play in and find your own unique solutions to problems.

 

The OWL attack drone is a prime example of this: its combat abilities allow you to fight on your terms and decide how the battle plays out. We want to encourage that kind of thoughtful and dynamic play-style, to create moments you will want to share. It is not just about outgunning your enemy – it’s about outmaneuvering and outsmarting them as well. Killzone Shadow Fall is a shooter that requires both skills and brains.”

 

Dominik Asch asks: How much do we learn of Helghast society?

 

“For this game we’ve created a highly detailed world that is both futuristic and believable. The new, more thoughtful gameplay style will afford you more opportunities to take in the rich history and backstory of its people.

 

The game starts out on the now divided world of Vekta, with only a wall separating the Helghast and the Vektans. The deep-rooted hate and distrust between the two factions has built up and the world is on the brink of war. Your missions will take you across the wall, where you will get a first-hand look at how Helghast society lives and works. Again, we’ve put a lot of effort into creating this world – we’ve looked at the people, the infrastructure, the brands, the culture and news reporting that form part of a living and breathing futuristic world.”

 

@PsVitaLifeStyle asks: Will the guns and characters have the same weight and feel like Killzone 3?

 

“The feel of the weapons is hugely important to us. We have always gone for a way to connect the player to the game-world. This should never feel cumbersome or frustrating, but be responsive and allow for fluid gameplay that has a believable weight to it. This weight is created through realistic animations and should not be a result of input lag, which is something which gets often confused.”

 

@StevenNoble asks: Can you customize control layout? I struggled when moving between Killzone, Battlefield and Call of Duty.

 

“We are ensuring that the default setting feels intuitive and covers the important gameplay mechanics that we have in Killzone Shadow Fall. It always takes experimentation and lots of testing to get this right, and we realize that even then it’s probably not the best layout for everyone. So we will provide options to change the layout. The new controller feels different in a couple of important areas, and we are taking advantage of the new features and feel. But if, for example, you don’t like to fire using the new outward curved triggers, you can change that.”

 

@BossDooley asks: You always pushed the PlayStation 3 with AI and Graphics, how has the PlayStation 4 opened up building on these mechanics?

 

“As a developer it is great to get new tools to play with, because overall it allows us to create richer experiences. Obviously there are always choices to make on issues like design and production values, but the boundaries of what we're able to do have been extended. The PlayStation 4 allows us to add more things and take them a step further. We can, for example, invest in more realistic animations, larger scale, better visual FX and more characters, and reach a higher quality on all of them.

 

At the same time, we’re pleased that the PlayStation 4 isn’t just about more power – it’s also about new control methods and features and services that encourage a different kind of interaction with the game and the people around you. In that regard we’re also very excited about Killzone Shadow Fall’s multiplayer mode, but more on that later...”

Thanks, Steven, and thanks to everyone who sent in their questions! We may do something like this again in the very near future, so be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

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