Crispy Gamer

The Too Human Side of Denis Dyack, Part Three

We tracked down Silicon Knights President Denis Dyack post-GDC to get details about the development of Too Human and more; read on for the conclusion of our interview, or start from the beginning and read Part One and Part Two.

Crispy Gamer: As we discussed before, you were a second party of Nintendo; now you?re with Microsoft -- is Silicon Knights as a company happy with its relationship with Microsoft?

Denis Dyack: Yes, absolutely. Just to be clear to everyone out there, because I think it gets misconstrued, we?re not a second party to Microsoft. We?re not exclusive to Microsoft. We have a relationship with Sega, and we have other things in gestation right now. Microsoft has been great, and I look forward to seeing people?s reactions to our collaboration on this project. I think we?ve created something pretty unique here -- something of which Microsoft and Silicon Knights can be proud.

Crispy Gamer: Obviously the Xbox 360 is doing quite well as a platform, but what do you think of the PlayStation 3?

Dyack: I think it?s really picking up momentum, and it?s probably going to get a strong establishment in parts of Europe. I think the whole market right now is really, really difficult to quantize with regard to who is doing what and where. The Wii is continuing to sell really well -- but the number of games and attach rates? Microsoft and the Xbox 360 have the best attach rates; that means a lot to third parties. Sony, I think, is getting fantastic momentum right now, and I think it was desperately needed. I have no idea where it?s going to play out or how it?s going to be. The brand name of Sony is very, very strong. Nintendo is coming out of the gate better than anyone had anticipated and still selling like wildfire. I think we have a very interesting console race, and I try to stay pretty much as neutral as possible on these things; I think they all have their advantages and disadvantages.

Crispy Gamer: Considering your work with the GameCube, what do you think of the Wii? Is this a platform for which you'd like to develop sometime?

Dyack: I think we?d like to develop for any platform that makes sense. Nintendo and where they?ve gone with the platform, I think, certainly surprised a lot of people. I think they?ve done very well, and I?m really happy that that?s the case. They?re really trying to do some things that are new and I think it?s a great system. If the opportunity is right, would we develop for it? For sure, we wouldn?t even hesitate. When you?re a developer, it?s a matter of opportunity and timing, and that?s really what it comes down to. A lot of people out there think you pick and choose what exactly you want to do -- and to some extent the more established you are, the more you can do that, somewhat. By and large there?s still a pretty big random factor involved when you?re doing stuff, but yeah, sure, it?s a great platform -- why not?

Crispy Gamer: There?s this other project you?re working on with Sega. It?s been very super-secret. Are we going to find out more about this project later this year?

Dyack: Possibly. Probably. We?re not sure yet. We?ll announce it when it?s the right time.

Crispy Gamer: Silicon Knights fans have a place in their hearts for Eternal Darkness. Nintendo owns Eternal Darkness and everything having to do with it -- that?s correct, right?

Dyack: I can?t answer that question. With all that kind of stuff -- relationships with Nintendo -- it?s better not to talk about things that are in the future. I have never answered those questions in the past. Nintendo and Silicon Knights have agreed to not answer those questions.

Crispy Gamer: Well, this is a hypothetical question, but obviously fans of Eternal Darkness would like to see another one -- is that a world that you would like to revisit someday?

Dyack: Oh, no question! Definitely. I think it would be a disservice to gamers not to do another Eternal Darkness.

Crispy Gamer: Konami has announced Metal Gear would be shipping in a few months. With your work on Metal Gear, what are your thoughts about what you?ve seen so far with Metal Gear Solid 4?

Dyack: I can?t wait for it! I think it?s going to be awesome! I think Kojima-san and the crew always do a great job, and it was a great experience working with those guys. They?re awesome and everyone knows that they?re awesome. I think it?s going to be a great success for them and I can?t wait to play it, personally.

Crispy Gamer: You?ve done action games before; you?ve done the stealth thing with Metal Gear, which was phenomenal; and now you?re blending a very deep RPG experience with an action game. Are there any genres that you, as a company, haven?t explored yet in which you?d like to test the waters?

Dyack: Absolutely. You?ve hit on something that is really an internal mantra that we don?t talk about too much. Silicon Knights is very wary of what some developers call the curse of success -- where you have a hit title and you have to keep making the sequels and that?s all you do. We want to be known for doing content-driven games -- and I think we are, now -- but in many, many different genres. I would say we have only tapped into a few genres; there are many more that we would like to explore. I?m not going to say exactly what they are, but I will say that the next announcements you see from Silicon Knights and our future games are not going to be similar to what we?ve done in the past. If people think they are, then they?re making the same mistakes that they made with, say, Eternal Darkness when they thought it was another Resident Evil, or that they are making with Too Human in thinking it?s another action game.

We?re going to be mixing it up quite a bit. As the director of Too Human and the leader of Silicon Knights, I want to make sure that we don?t remain stagnant. I want to touch upon genres that the industry hasn?t even touched on yet, but I always want to make sure it?s heavily content-based, because that?s the future. You?ll see us go into directions like that, so when we do announce the Sega project, it will be very different -- when we announce other projects, they?ll be different. We?ll continue down that avenue and we?ll want to mix it up every time. We think that it?s really important for our industry to evolve, and hopefully we can take baby steps in that regard.