Eurogamer: What portion of the game's budget went on Serkis and Garland?
Tameem Antoniades: When you've got names that come on that above-the-line cost as we call it, we go to the publisher and it's up to them whether they think it's worthwhile or not.
Eurogamer: But what percentage - did you go out on a limb and bet everything on them?
Tameem Antoniades: No, no I don't think so. Our attitude is to do the best we can. Lindsay Shaw the actress: she's never worked, she's 19, she isn't famous, but she was really good when we did the casting - she was just an amazingly good actress. Names won't necessarily sell more units. It might help with publicity but it's not like movies where you hang the movie on a name.
Eurogamer: What was it like having Andy and Alex working together - did they clash heads?
Tameem Antoniades: Yeah, but it was a healthy clash. I'd say it was more exploratory. The dialogue is the framework in which the character emerges, so it was more a discussion about who that character is and how he's going to emerge, and once we'd done a few scenes, Andy was quite complimentary. He said, "It works really well off the page - the scenes work really well." Alex has got that art down to a tee in terms of allowing the actors to fill in the gaps.
Eurogamer: It sounds like you've put a lot of effort into Enslaved's video - all 80 minutes of it. But games last for several hours. Heavenly Sword's gameplay fell short, to be frank - is the same happening here?
Tameem Antoniades: No, not at all.
The game is much more varied, it's much more fun. It's easily the best game we've done by a long way. There isn't going to be any problems with that aspect. The storytelling... Our objective was to break away from cut-scenes telling the story as much as possible, so a lot of the story happens in voice-over. We got the actors back in, we wrote a full VO script, Alex would look at the whole game and write scripts as we were playing it and the actors would go over the game and ADR [Automated Dialogue Replacement] over the game footage. It never feels like there's a story in the cut-scene and then there's a big void of gameplay where there's nothing happening, which Heavenly Sword could be accused of doing.
Eurogamer: On stage, you showed a video comparison of Andy Serkis in real-life and his character Monkey in game. You were drawing attention to the face and how the animation was captured, yet there appeared to be a marked difference between the two. Having spent so much time and expense securing Serkis, why doesn't the engine appear to match up?
Tameem Antoniades: No, no, it can, and actually what you saw was from a couple of months ago, and we're continuing to refine those moments. It's down to the artists on his face to nail it.
Eurogamer: Are you going to be working with Andy Serkis on your next game?
Tameem Antoniades: I don't know, actually. I don't know. We haven't really talked about it, to be honest. But he's definitely someone I would love to work with again.
Eurogamer: Is he a personal friend now?
Tameem Antoniades: Yeah, well we've been working together for like four years, maybe five, and we spend a lot of time together: six weeks in New Zealand, four weeks in LA. He's a great guy and I really like him and consider him a friend.
I was actually invited to be an extra in Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll.
Eurogamer: There have been numerous games recently that focused on film-style storytelling: Heavy Rain, Uncharted 2. But it's wasted on gamers, isn't it? They want Halo and Call of Duty.
Tameem Antoniades: Just look at the music industry. Most music is utter, utter trash.
Eurogamer: Are you calling Call of Duty "utter trash"?
Tameem Antoniades: No, no I'm not! But a lot of music is not stuff you or I would probably want to listen to. The musicians that define the music industry, the people like Tom Waits, Muse, they're the landmarks. The most we can wish for is to have, at some level, the game remembered, because games are so disposable; after a few weeks on sale they disappear. The only way you can achieve any level of staying power is to affect people. With a lot of games, people won't remember them a couple of months after playing them, and that's a damn shame. You don't want to spend years working on a game for it to be forgotten and traded in for an equally similar game, so we have to make our games different.