Game design has become a very complex, massive production cycle for a lot of artists and designers. Well, Ted Price, the head honcho over at Insomniac Games, the renown studio behind PS3 exclusives like Resistance: Fall of Man and Ratchet & Clank, as well as the upcoming Fuse, let loose some tidbits about resource management and being frugal with development funds for next-gen.
GameIndustry.biz picked up some nice quotes from an interview Ted Price had with VG 24/7, where he states that...
“Frostbite’s a great engine, no question about it, but as a company we have placed a lot of value in developing our own tech, because it gives us more creative opportunities in terms of how we support our games. We’re not locked in to another company’s constraints.”
That's a great response to the age-old question about whether or not game development will get more expensive heading into next-gen. Price does make a good point about the tools, though, especially considering that the one thing that can make or break a budget for a game is the toolset.
A lot of indie devs have taken a liking to procedural content creation tools, which has allowed a lot of smaller studios to create games with huge ideas, such as Overgrowth, Starbound and StarForge. The old way of doing things is using a lot of pre-baked, hand-made assets that can both cost a fortune and require a lot of man power.
Some game engines have taken an alternative route in allowing the micromanagement of assets via an asset store along with aggregating assets with a cash shop. Basically, any and everyone can create assets and then submit them to the store to enable other developers to have access to the content. This method of asset efficiency has been used for things like Mixamo and the Unity Engine, and is even being employed by inXile Entertainment for Wasteland 2, where the community is able to get in on the game design action.
Hopefully Insomniac Games has their pipeline figured out for next-gen, as a few studios seem to be lost amongst the herd in terms of where they fit. Obviously CD Projekt RED and Avalanche Studios know exactly where they're headed and how to get there. Let's hope Insomniac can make the transition into next-gen – following the release of Fuse – with grace and ease.