Insomniac’s Ted Price Talks Fuse, Co-op, and New Platforms

I didn’t want to give up too easily, so I pointed out that PC and 360 have similar development environments. Price concurred, but pointed out that it’s not just the code that’s challenging. “Well, the challenge, and PC developers will tell you this, is that there are so many more configurations of CPU/GPU out there vs. XBox, which has one. You have to to test for them, you have to pick your minimum spec, and you have to make sure your game works on all of them to really deliver a solid product to your fans. So, we wanted to make sure we were kicking ass on PS3 and XBox 360 first.”

While it is disappointing for PC gamers, Price makes an excellent point., Many developers in the past few years have spoken about the difficulty of making sure that games work across a number of different configurations of machines on PC versus the ease of developing for a known set of specifications on a console.

Since they’d just made the move to 360, I thought that Price could enlighten us as to some of the difficulties of moving to another console. “So we were already on PS3, but we built a whole new engine and toolset for Fuse. An obvious challenge for us from the beginning was the different storage medium. Knowing that we’d be on DVD vs Blu-Ray meant that we had to be careful about how we laid out the disc and how much we store on the disc. There are a bunch of other technical challenges that our engine guys could tell you more about, but I wouldn’t do a good job. Today we showed the game on 360, and we generally have shown the game on 360, just to prove to people that yes, we can do this.”

Fuse is going to launch on May 28, so with the launch at hand, what’s Insomniac planning next? Price says they’re heading to some new spaces. “I have actually talked about Outernauts mobile. WE are moving into the mobile space with Outernauts Mobile, which is our Facebook free-to-play game we released last year. It’s currently on Kongregate and Facebook. For us, we believe that game can be a really fun experience for mobile players. Now, there are other things we’re doing as well, but we’re staying very quiet about that.”

Rather than spend my last few moments talking about Fuse, I really wanted to ask Price a more personal question. I’d been playing Resistance: Burning Skies on the plane to PAX East, so I wondered how it feels as a developer to have someone making a game in an IP you created. Price said it’s something they’ve adjusted to. “We’re used to it. When we moved away from Spyro in 1999-2000, we knew that other people would be making games of ideas we created, so we got used to it. With Fuse, we own that intellectual property. We don’t own the IP for Spyro, Ratchet, or Resistance. With Fuse, it’s very likely going to be us continuing to make that in the future.”

While I’m a bit disappointed to hear that Fuse won’t be on PC, hearing Price reconfirm Insomniac’s commitment to co-op was a great thing. Hopefully we’ll see Insomniac make the jump to PC in the future, but until then, I’ll probably check out Fuse on console to get my co-op fix.

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