Dishonored has sort of rattled up to the pointy end of my most anticipated games of the year, without me really being aware of it. This interview affirms that interest. Speaking to Games Industry Internation, Arkane's lead designer Harvey Smith discussed what he expects from Dishonored, and his own idea of what a first person game should be.
"Raphael Colantonio is my co-creative director on this project," began Harvey. "He and I came together four years ago and we both have this strong philosophy around these first-person action games. They are not first-person shooters; they are first-person games with depth. First-person action games are very immersive; they are from your perspective and they mix simulation, stealth and storytelling.
"It is all about player freedom. We never want to make a game that is a linear canyon where you start here in this canyon, you can't go left or right. You see lots of pretty scenery, but you always arrive at the end. We never want to make that game. We want to make a game where you can go behind the building, go on the roof, swim in the river and come in through the sewer drain and come up with a fish."
While Smith wasn't dismissive of more scripted, linear games like Uncharted or Call of Duty, it's not the kind of game he, or his team, seem interested in making.
"Specifically, we like games that are authored in such a way that they are systems," said Harvey. "They aren't just a shooting gallery with scripted pop-ups for the player. So that made it all easy to come together. That's really our goal with Dishonored; to empower the player so the player can play creatively. It requires more on the part of the player; these games don't play themselves."
It's a really fascinating interview, well worth reading the entire thing.
Arkane's Harvey Smith on Dishonored and Empowering Players [Games Industry International]