Sunset Overdrive Was Originally a Lot Like Fortnite | Gaming News
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“It just didn’t work… until we started making cars bouncy.”
Tech’s Ryan McCaffrey sat down with Insomniac CEO Ted Price for this month’s episode of Tech Unfiltered (see below) and talked about the origins of the popular Xbox One exclusive.
“Our first prototypes were, actually, you building a fort with friends, fighting off hordes of [mutants]” Price said, “So, very similar to a very popular game today, which we all sort of chuckle about, but the game did morph along the way to something that was more of a story-driven, open world game.”
There are still vestiges of that early iteration of the game, which players can experience in Sunset Overdrive’s base defense encounters. Price went on to explain other early ideas, which included experiments with cover-based combat and more, and how the team stumbled upon the magic combination which makes Sunset Overdrive so unique.
“We were trying to determine if it would be possible to grind and have fun shooting the enemies. Because, it sounds easy, right? But when you’re moving, and you’re not actually pushing forward on the joystick, you’re actually moving at a consistent pace and turning, your aim gets really screwed up” Price said, “so, how do you actually track something that’s also moving at the same time? So we would have the OD’d… the mutants in the game… start to flood into this junkyard, and it was impossible, it just didn’t work… until we started making cars bouncy.”
According to Price, bouncy cars were just the beginning, “Then we started increasing the magnetism of the wire so that when you fell off, you could easily get back on them. Then we started increasing the auto-targeting to some ridiculous degree so that when you actually, sort of aimed at a mutant, you would actually hit them. But it didn’t feel like we were doing too much of the work for you.”
“So it was sort of that magic combination of all those different levers we were moving that suddenly clicked, one day,” Price continued, “and that was the light bulb moment for most of us, when we realized, ‘OK, we’ve got something unique here.’”
For more Tech Unfiltered, be sure to check out last month’s episode with EA Sports’ boss Cam Weber, and look through the full list of every episode of Tech Unfiltered for more interviews with some of the games industry’s “best, brightest, most fascinating minds.”
Brian Barnett is an Tech freelance writer. You can get your fix of Brian on Twitter @Ribnax or on The Platformers (video game podcast) or Hooray For Anime! (anime watch-along podcast)