Interview

Gears of War 3 Interview (Xbox360)

Sometimes hype has a way of going out of control, but if there was a game that could handle it, it would be Gears of War 3. Strategy Informer was lucky enough to sit down with Gears Executive Producer Rod Fergusson and talk to him about Carmine, Betas, Gears and everything in between. Here's what he had to say:

Strategy Informer: I think the one thing everyone really wants to know is... what's going to happen to Clayton Carmine?

Rod Fergusson: What's going to happen? That's a good question. What could happen to Clayton? I don't know, you'll have to play the game to find out. But we were happy to raise $150,000 for charity in the process of trying to determine that.

Strategy Informer: Was it close? Obviously you won't be revealing the sales stats but was it a close call between which side won?

Rod Fergusson: Not really.

Strategy Informer: If this this is the final game in the current story arc for Gears, then what about the fourth Carmine Brother?
 

Rod Fergusson: *chuckles* What about the fourth... who's to say, I mean we're only up to A-D on Carmines right now, there could be up to 22 more I guess! But no, this is one of those things were we try to run a bit looser with our canon so that we can explore it in different ways and we don't tie ourselves in too early and stop us from innovating, but this has been a fun story, and I just love getting all the emails about "don't be so mean to mama Carmine and her children!".

Strategy Informer: You've put a lot of 'new' stuff into Gears 3, especially in multiplayer where you've at least tried to change up the modes, mix things up a bit... how important was it to keep the multiplayer element as fresh as possible going into the third game?

Rod Fergusson: Very important. We've put a lot of working into making the multiplayer a very balanced portion of the game so that it holds up with the campaign. Say people come for the campaign, but stay for the multiplayer, if you want to have that longer tale you need to have a multiplayer that will last a long time and not sell back their game. We've put in a lot of effort and we hope people see that in the beta.

Strategy Informer: Epic have recently been showing off some stuff to highlight the next evolution of the Unreal engine, do you think Gears 3 will be the last Epic game to use Unreal 3 then?

Rod Fergusson: You never know. You never know how technology and hardware and everything will play out, and we're putting a lot into Gears to make it the best it could possibly be and pushing it as far as we can push it. I mean I'd love to take all these facets and make a Gears game with that technology but that's going to be next gen.
 
Strategy Informer: You've mentioned before how game companies simply can't have technical betas anymore, they have to be more polished and pretty much a demo, for all intensive purposes - why do you think that is?

Rod Fergusson: For me I think it has to do with people moving from PC to consoles, in PC days people were used to swapping out video cards, putting in their own memory, formatting your own harddrive... you were kind of your own tech support so the idea of having an unfinished product to play with and be involved with it was exciting. But when you move to the black box of the console it was sealed, and if you opened it you voided the warranty and so it was much more hands-off. The idea of a console beta that's an unfinished product is really foreign to that audience and so their expectation is that this is representative of the quality of the game and I have to judge it on this. It's really hard to do betas then because you have to make it so polished and so far along that it's hard to get the feedback you want.

Strategy Informer: In terms of the story, everything seems pretty desperate at the moment. The COG government has collapsed, the Locust are having a civil war... do you worry that you've written yourself into a hole?

Rod Fergusson: No pun intended for the Locusts, of course. No I mean the thing is this is the story, and a part of it is a fight for survival and we've been working up from Gears 1, which was a battle to deploy the resonator, to Gears 2 which was trying to end the war, and now we've got Gears 3 is the planetary survival. Imulsion is tearing the planet apart from the inside out, society has collapsed, the military has disbanded... the stakes are much higher but also the story is more personal, it's about this more trusted relationship between the squad. They're not together because they've been deployed, they're together because they're a family of trusted, almost like a brothers to the end kind of thing. But yeah it's increasing the scale, increasing the personal nature of it but I feel there's still lots to tell 0 the future of what Sera will become, but also what Sera was which we haven't explored yet.

Strategy Informer: You've brought Karen Travis on board to actually write the script for Gears 3. If you use her past work with the Star Wars franchise as an example, this is kind of like her writing the next Star Wars film instead of another Expanded Universe novel. I guess you must have been impressed with her work so far?

Rod Fergusson: Well I mean Karen is so great, she knows the IP inside and out and comes out with such a great depth, and she has a lot of military background, and she brings some credibility to some of the things we wanted to do with the game, and she's able to think about things from all the right perspectives and how soldiers would realistically react in these situations. It's been great, she's done a really great job of picking up Game Writing quickly and I think this is one of our more richer stories. And it's interesting because Gears is seen as such a male game and yet two out of the three writers have been female.
 
Strategy Informer: Is this a 'special' game for you guys or is this just another game in the franchise?

Rod Fergusson: Oh it's very special, it's the culmination of the past six years of work, we've been treating it as going out with a bang, putting the cherry on top on a Sunday... If you look at how rich this product is going to be with campaign, horde, beast, competitive multiplayer... this is going to be the best Gears game we've ever made.

There you have it. It's interesting reading Fergusson's thoughts on the decline of the technical beta, as that's a sentiment we've heard from other developers too recently. Gears 3 is shaping up to be one epic game indeed, don't forget to check out our hands on preview!

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Comments

By stuntkid (SI Elite) on Mar 23, 2011
stuntkid
nom nom nom. can't wait!!
By Zvezdalina (SI Veteran Member) on Apr 10, 2011
Zvezdalina
It surely sounds great, BUT I would like to see the PC Editions of these games.