I was surprisingly pleased with Electronic Arts's take on The Godfather, so now that a sequel is on the way I find myself wondering how the development team plans to top their previous effort. The new game is headed for the Microsoft Xbox 360, Sony PlayStation 3, and PC (no Nintendo Wii version? How will I gleefully choke the life out of my enemies?). Executive producer Hunter Smith explains the process of deciding which aspects the world of The Godfather need some special attention.
When I think about games I focus on two things - what is the fantasy I'm after, and what is the actual game I'm playing. What are the tools, short and long term goals, mechanics, cycles and pathways to success, to the end game that are designed and built into the fabric of a game experience. It seems obvious, but often in our industry, we get stuck at the first section so we can market the product and then reuse old tools to try and make it a game without often thinking about how the experience needs to have both questions answered. For me to want to play, I need t he same motivation I get from playing anything - whether it's Freecell, a video game, sports - what are my goals, what are my tools , and how do I win ? When we applied this thinking to doing a sequel to The Godfather I , it helped us focus beyond the property to the essence of the world behind it, to look for that something that we thought we could turn into a compelling game.
The game is currently set for release in February 2009. Y'know, I really need to go back to the first game and finishing clearing it out. I left behind a few loose ends that need to be tied up (if you know what I mean). Now, where did I leave my
piano wire Wii remote?