First-person shooters were what got founder Ted Price into the business of making games.
The first game Insomniac Games made was shooter Disruptor for the Playstation.
“We were working with Universal Interactive Studios,” he said. “What we did was our own grassroots marketing when it came out. We had a poster and a T-shirt. They said ‘Think Fast, Shoot Fast, Kick arse.’
Price started up his company to make shooters because that was the sort of game he loved to play.
“I want to make something like Doom and I had no problem plagiarizing Doom,” he said.
When the chance to make a shooter for the Playstation 3 came along from Sony, who knew they needed a hardcore game for the launch of their new console, Price jumped at it.
“It was fun to go bak to that excitement” he said. “Breaking out of that Ratchet mindset.”
But breaking free of the series, after five games and seven years, was harder than expected, Price said.
“The first iterations looked nothing like Resistance,” he said. “They were a little cartoony, it was half between mature and half teen.”
Still the basic premise was there, a game set on an alternative 1950’s Earth dealing with an alien invasion. That was the anchor.
Resistance finally came together and found its own passionate following. Now working on the third game in the series, Price says the company is learning to listen to those gamers.
Resistance 3 brings with it a lot of the things that fans of the original title thought was missing from Resistance 2, he said.
“I know when we released Resistance 2 we changed up a lot of stuff that fans weren’t happy with,” he said. “We’ve brought back a lot of that in a game that’s far superior.
“Our goal has been to make a game where it feels really good to shoot Chimera.”
While Insomniac has always been very open to using the latest console technology in their games, Price still won’t talk about the possibility of Move controls in Resistance 3.
I talk him through my own experiences playing Killzone 3. In many ways, playing with the Move felt like a better experience to me, I tell him.
He seems genuinely interested.
“Move is a great technology,” he says, “But I’m not going to say anything about” it’s possible use in Resistance 3.
While Insomniac isn’t working on the upcoming Resistance game for Sony’s NGP portable, Price says that they’re “always available” to xxx who is making the game.
“Our expertise is on the traditional consoles,” he says. “I personally think it’s important to take what you’re good at and do the best possible job.”
The goal is to keep these portable Resistance titles, like Resistance Retribution before it, separate but connected.
“Fans who play the NGP version will feel like it’s part of the Resistance franchise,” he said.
As Insomniac makes the leap from essentially single-platform development to games made for two consoles, there are some things to keep in mind, Price says.
“We know about the technological challenges,” he said. “The Playstation 3 versus any other platform, the PS3 is on Blu-Ray. Any other platform has half of the storage space, so we need to be careful about how we’re laying it out.”
Price says the studio is very excited about supporting Sony fans, but they’re also looking forward to taking their name to an entirely new audience.
“The Xbox 360 community is thriving,” he said. “I understand the (negative) reaction some PS3 gamers have had completely. When you’re a fan of a franchise or developer or platform change can be scary.
The bigger concern that gamers seem to have about the leap to multiplatform, Price said, was that Insomniac may not be prepared for it.
“The worry most people had was that because we were going multiplatform with a franchise we wouldn’t deliver the same level of polish with that game,” he said.
Price says that the team has always been cross-platform gamers and that has really helped.
Very little is known about the game Insomniac will make for the Xbox 360 and PS3 other than that it is part of a new universe and that Electronic Arts will be publishing it.
Price only tells me that the coming game will be something different for the studio a chance for them to branch out.
“What is great about being an independent developer is that we make the calls on what we create,” he said. ” We aren’t a racing studio, shooter studio, platform studio. We just make the games we like.
“We’ve never been afraid of branching out.”