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Watch Dogs Director: "Build Games Around Ideas Not Tech"

Matt Gardner
Development, Jonathan Morin, PS4, Ubisoft, Ubisoft Montreal, Watch Dogs, Xbox One

Watch Dogs Director: "Build Games Around Ideas Not Tech"

With Watch Dogs being one of a handful of games looking to bridge the gap between current-gen and next-gen consoles, we asked creative director Jonathan Morin if this dual-focus had impacted the development of the game at all.

His response was a relatively simple negative. Why? Well, he said that it was because the release window for next-gen had been up in the air when development began on Watch Dogs, and that the team were already looking to push the limits of current-gen when the PS4 and Xbone were finally revealed.

"[Developing for current and next-gen] affects us technically -- we need more programmers, more resources etc. -- but from a creative standpoint it's pretty much the same," said Morin, speaking with Dealspwn at EGX a couple of weeks ago.

"When you make a game you should be making that game based on an idea, not based on a tech. You shouldn't cannibalise what you're trying to achieve just because the PS4 or the Xbox One shows up. The one thing that we had going for us is that we did start Watch Dogs with the intent to push video games, to consider what we believe video games could become, because we didn't know if next-gen would tie in with [our schedule] or not; so it gave us an edge, from that standpoint at least, to be ready for it.

"So when we finally got the machines and saw them, it was really a case of pushing for graphics and pushing for density, stuff like that; but we didn't start doing feature-creep that could have changed up the experience. That would have been dangerous, in my opinion; we would have ended up splitting our attention between two games, and that could have hurt the experience in the end."

Morin said he was pleased to see next-gen consoles essential built upon high-end PC architecture, suggesting that ease of access and could only benefit developers, and made the point that now developers can start out on PC before dynamically adjusting a uniform game to suit all of the relevant platforms.

"We started out on a high-end PC," he said when I asked what the lead development platform for Watch Dogs had been, "but I think that the leading platforms are definitely the next-gen consoles, that's where we're putting all of the efforts; but, afterwards, what's good about it is that we can dynamically adjust on all of the other platforms. So as long as we're having the same game, everything should be fine."

Our full interview with Jonathan will go live later today!

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