Rockstar's Wasserman: Ignore 'Next-Gen', Make Great Art

As part of an in-depth Gamasutra interview posted today, Rockstar San Diego exec Alan Wasserman (Midnight Club series) discusses the state of the game biz,
As part of an in-depth Gamasutra interview posted today, Rockstar San Diego exec Alan Wasserman (Midnight Club series) has been discussing the state of game development, commenting that he "absolutely hates" the phrase next-gen as a "manufactured marketing term" - and that developers should create their own "special recipe". Talking in the first of a series of articles making up a San Diego Studio Tour, Wasserman, who is director of product development at Rockstar San Diego, commented when asked what the phrase 'next-gen' means to him: "I absolutely hate the term, because it's a manufactured marketing term. To me, next-gen is any combination of thousands of things that developers pull out of their bag of tricks and mix and match things together to create their own special recipe. If it's done well, it's a masterpiece, and that experience is a next-gen experience." He continued: "It's like I'm baking a cake. I have flour, butter, eggs, and chocolate, but how I use those ingredients and how I combine them will determine whether I give you a next-gen cake, as opposed to something you'd get at Starbucks." The director of Rockstar San Diego, whose team most recently completed Rockstar Table Tennis, and is now working on Midnight Club: Los Angeles to debut in 2008 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, also discussed creating open-world type games for the current hardware generation: "Whether it's a lamppost falling in a better way or breaking into more pieces because that's the way it would react, or getting pedestrians to scatter correctly, or damage on a car -- these are just layers upon layers of making the world more cohesive and filled." Wasserman concluded: "Every time they give us new hardware, we are going to break it. We will take it to the limits, break it solidly, then back off in the minimal amount that we have to, to make our game fit. On that basis alone, we're never going to be done enhancing the experience. But the [current hardware allows us to say], "What new thing can we add to it beyond just adding more of the same?" That's the challenge." The full Gamasutra interview with Wasserman is now available, including a plethora of other topics such as the benefits of the company's mystique, open-world game design, and Rockstar's future.

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