Kotaku ran a wonderful interview with Brenda and John Romero today. The married couple, who are both incredibly accomplished developers in their own right, discussed how they’ve had to develop a thick skin while working in the games industry (Brenda describes her husband as the “Teflon king” at one point), and how important passion is when it comes to making games. It’s a fantastic interview by Mike Diver, and the whole thing is worth a read.
The interview eventually led to the pair of developers talking about how it’s noticeable when a game has been developed with love. Here’s what Brenda Romero had to say about The Last Guardian, a game she highlighted for being a passion project:
“You know, The Last Guardian took a lot of shit for two reasons, because it had a Japanese control scheme, and your sense of agency while you were on your giant pet dog-like thing, was not… Well, the controls were not that good. But I felt that was kind of beautiful. It was beautiful that I was arguing with this creature. “Will you just f**king…” uh… For me, that was part of my experience, and I loved the game. Other people are like, “Well, excuse me, when I press Y or whatever I’d like to jump onto its back.” Well, why don’t you try getting on a giant f**king dog and see how that works out for you.”
I believe that Mrs. Romero summed up the controls perfectly. Sure, getting Trico to react how you wanted to was often a test of patience, but it was also incredibly charming. It felt as if Team ICO had developed an actual animal, and not just a tool that responds to the player’s command. That’s a true accomplishment in my book, and far outweighs any momentary frustrations I had while playing.
The Last Guardian is available now.