InFamous development plagued by lack of direction
Posted by Nick on October 15, 2009

Earlier this spring, Sucker Puinch released their highly anticipated super hero action title, InFamous.  Shockingly enough(bad pun, I know), the game ended up being a surprise hit, and had the most successful opening of all of Sony's new IPs introduced on the PS3.  Obviously Sucker Punch took note of that as well, as recent leaks have essentially confirmed that a sequel is on the way.

However, according to Sucker Punch co-founder Chris Zimmerman, InFamous was the cause of quite a bit of concern for everyone at the studio working on the game.  When work first started on the game, development was plagued by a complete lack of direction. 

"For the first year of the project, we really didn’t have much of an idea of what kind of game we were building. We were sure about some things -- that you played as a superhero, that the game took place in a city, that it was a T-rated game -- but beyond this, we weren’t sure of much," Zimmerman explained in a recent interview with Game Developer magazine, "Our lack of focus cost us months and months of work, pursuing what ultimately turned out to be discarded ideas."

The team also struggled on transitioning art styles from the super stylistic Sly Cooper games to the gritty realism of InFamous.

""We wildly underestimated how difficult the transition would be from the bright and cheerful PlayStation 2 graphics of the Sly Cooper games to the gritty and realistic PlayStation 3 look of Infamous. In effect, we tried to take two steps at once. First, we needed to catch up with the realism in the best-looking PlayStation 2 games; second, we needed to match the even higher quality bar being set by the best teams as they moved to the next generation of hardware." , Zimmerman said, before admitting, "This was a struggle on multiple levels."

Interesting stuff to say the least.  This could possibly explain why the game was delayed from it's initial launch window in 2008 to the Spring of 2009.  It sounds like the biggest issues of developing the franchise have been tackled though, and we're eagerly anticipating the announcement of InFamous 2!

Check out the full interview in the upcoming October issue of Game Developer magazine.