Yesterday we asked whether you had any questions for Just Cause 2 game director Magnus Nedfors. It turns out you did, so we asked them, and with the game out today it seems logical to present you the answers. Nedfors talks about fans nearly making him cry, downloadable content, patches and just about everything else you lot could think up to quiz him about. Don't forget Eurogamer's Just Cause 2 review while you're at it.
Eurogamer: Hello Magnus and welcome to our reader interview! Let's get straight to the point. Fresh191 asks whether he should pick up the Xbox 360 version of the PS3 game?
Magnus Nedfors: Well, er, that's a tough question! I don't know what platforms he owns! I'm a PS3 fanboy and the game plays really well on PS3. It's a matter of personal taste more than anything else - the game is equal on all three platforms.
Eurogamer: One thing that's different between the two, as shikz pointed out, is that PS3 owners can capture and upload to YouTube. Xbox 360 can't. Will they ever?
Magnus Nedfors: That's a question you need to ask Microsoft. It's a feature that Sony helped us out on. That's why we have it only on PS3.
Eurogamer: CaptainFantasm loved the "Lost" Easter egg and wondered what made you guys do it?
Magnus Nedfors: Ha ha. In a world as big as Just Cause 2's, it's always fun to put some small surprises in there, both for ourselves as developers and to you doing a thorough job exploring. You should have some fun stuff to find that's not in the guide books.
Eurogamer: TheBlackBandit wants to know whether you intended the game to be as silly as it is.
Magnus Nedfors: Ha! If you mean silly in a good way, then yes! We don't take ourselves or our game too seriously. We want to have a wicked sense of fun and underlying humour or satire. We don't shy away from crazy things that can happen in the game. It's definitely intended, and I'm pleased how it turned out - even when it's over the top.
Eurogamer: TheBlackBandit also wonders how much room you intentionally put aside for people to mess around outside of the main missions, and whether you expected so many to be possible?
Magnus Nedfors: That was one of the goals - that we wanted to be true to sandbox games. Our hope has been that players would do things we haven't thought of. What I've seen on YouTube now I've not seen anyone do in the studio, so the tools and world are working in a good way. Creating possibilities for players was certainly an intention of ours.
Eurogamer: Another chap, DarthOps, was concerned about running out of ammo a lot during the demo...
Magnus Nedfors: We tried to adjust the amount of ammo in different ways like using difficulty levels. I think of them as play styles. If you play on hardcore, then the more important each bullet becomes. If you're a run-and-gun guy and prefer not to use the various other options then you should pick an easier mode. You can also buy more ammunition from the Black Market.
Eurogamer: Apolloscollapse believes games are a common scapegoat for all that is wrong with the world. Are you worried about offending anyone with the stereotypes evident in Just Cause 2?
Magnus Nedfors: We're not afraid. It comes back to the silliness - we don't take anything very seriously, and if somebody's offended then I'm sorry, it's not our intention. It is stereotyped, I can agree with that, but we don't have any political agenda going on.
Eurogamer: Glaeken, obviously impressed with the Just Cause 2 engine, wants to know if you've considered licensing your technology out?
Magnus Nedfors: The easy answer is no - we're not licensing it to anyone else. It's part of our advantage in the games industry that we have a very powerful engine, and we want to use it by ourselves. If we wanted to make a game engine and sell it, we'd need the whole company to change its business model. Our business model is to make games.
Eurogamer: The next person, Madafunkola, would love to wreck Panau with his friends. Will there be any DLC to allow co-op destruction? He'd pay for some of that "tomfoolery", apparently.
Magnus Nedfors: There is no current plan for DLC allowing co-op gameplay. I'm sorry. We opted from the beginning to make a single-player game. Adding multiplayer would have meant limits on what we could achieve.
I personally - not the company - think single-player games are great fun and there is an audience for that. A game can be good without multiplayer support.
Somewhere in the future it would be really fun to do a Just Cause multiplayer game, and we've had lots of good ideas for it.
Eurogamer: For the moment there's no focus on co-op, then - and it sounds like Just Cause 2 isn't ever likely to get it?
Magnus Nedfors: Yeah, I would say this as well.
Eurogamer: Unsurprisingly there are a lot of questions about DLC. SubaruGaz asks whether having such a large body of water means we'll get underwater missions, perhaps on submarines?
Magnus Nedfors: Ha ha. I'm really, really sorry when I hear you say there's so many questions about DLC, because I have a small restriction on me that I can't reveal anything about what's planned. I'm really sorry to say this because I've understood from other interviews that people are really interested and want more, but unfortunately you have to turn to Square Enix and ask them.
Eurogamer: I've been told before that there are plans for DLC.
Magnus Nedfors: Yeah - I can say that much without them coming after me! The game supports DLC, the engine.
Eurogamer: There's a fellow by the name of dsmx who's keen to find out whether there will be mod tools ever released for PC.
Magnus Nedfors: The same as licensing out our engine: no, we don't have plans for that as a company. It might happen in the future but again, it's unlikely.
Eurogamer: Shotdown85 wants a patch for the PS3 and 360 versions of the game to stop non-violent people disappearing. What's going on, Magnus?
Magnus Nedfors: I personally am not on top of the bug database, but I know that we are working on them. I can't answer about that specific problem. I can say that non-violent people are handled in different ways. Sounds like a bug to me, so sorry about that. I know that we are working on patches.
Eurogamer: Bloobat wants to know when those patches will arrive, and whether you will ever allow users to alter how long bodies linger for? He's also after a free-look camera.
Magnus Nedfors: I severely doubt there'll be a setting for how long bodies stay in the world. It affects so much - memory, CPU, engine bits. We can't have too many bodies lying around. Free-look camera: I know we've discussed the possibility for it, but there isn't one now and I don't think there's any plans for one either.
Eurogamer: Is it more acceptable for an openworld game to launch with bugs?
Magnus Nedfors: Oh, hard question. A game-breaking bug is never acceptable. But a C-bug as we call them, an annoyance - perhaps somewhere in the world there's a tree growing through a house - personally I find that fine. Unless it's a tree in every house. Or unless there is a tree in one of the key locations where a mission takes place. Minor bugs I accept more in an openworld game compared to a super-linear game where the developer knows that every player will pass through a certain section. In that kind of game you need everything perfect.
Eurogamer: Bloobat also wonders whether the developers are willing to listen to the community's ideas and desires for DLC?
Magnus Nedfors: Absolutely! We are following discussions on major forums, primarily the official forums but also Eurogamer and the big sites. This is really important for us. I read as often as I can, a few times a week. It's our responsibility as a developer to read what our audience think!
Eurogamer: By the way, do you have any figures for the demo you released recently?
Magnus Nedfors: I haven't got the latest ones. I heard it broke two million downloads a while ago. I don't know how many we are today, but I'm really happy - that's quite a lot! Lots of people are playing and - reading the forums - seem to like it. I'm proud of our baby.
Eurogamer: Is retail Just Cause 2 different code from the demo?
Magnus Nedfors: There are a few bugs that are fixed in the final game but apparent in the demo. Otherwise, when it comes to feature-set and so on, the demo has a taste of everything. We discussed just giving a mission, but that wouldn't really represent the game.
Eurogamer: Slipstream played the demo and thinks Just Cause 2 is a fantastic game. However, he had a gripe about not being able to move over or on to waist-high objects, or grab ledges within jumping distance, while in an intense gun fight. Is this intended?
Magnus Nedfors: It's very much intended to be that way. I'm sorry for him, but we have one of the biggest portfolios of moves for a character in any game. We opted out of having those mentioned features, and of course we have the grappling hook, and we want players to use that and enjoy that as much as possible. The grappling hook is key!
Eurogamer: Skurmedel also wonders what you think about people bypassing the time-limit on the demo?
Magnus Nedfors: Oh wow, that's a tough question. Personally I'm excited about stuff like that going on, because it shows me there's a very big interest in the product. As long as they are creative when it comes to doing fun stuff, well, let them - let them have fun with the game in their way.
Obviously since my livelihood depends on making games, so when hackers break the game and give it away free I'm definitely against that and will do everything I can to stop that. If people don't buy our game, we don't get any money and we can't feed our families and then we can't do any more games. That side of 'hacking' I'm totally against.
The other side I have had many good laughs about when I have seen what people have done. I'm impressed by some of them! There are really good programmers out there!
Eurogamer: What's the most proud moment for a game developer?
Magnus Nedfors: Personally, the game awards don't mean much to me. Reading stuff on forums from users... We had a mail here from a person who said, "You have shown me that gaming can be fun again." When I read that, that's my proudest moment. It sounds a bit silly but that's true actually. If there was an Oscar for games and I won that, then that would probably beat it.
Eurogamer: Have fans or critics ever moved you to tears?
Magnus Nedfors: Oh! Er. No! He he.
Eurogamer: What are you guys doing to celebrate the release?
Magnus Nedfors: Well we're having a party tonight [yesterday] for the games people of Sweden and friends and family. That will be very nice. On the other side, we don't have time to take a lifelong or year-long vacation. Even though it is personally my favourite job, it is still a job, a business, and we are working on future projects.
Eurogamer: Looking ahead, we have some very exciting advancements coming in gaming in Microsoft's Project Natal and Sony's Move controller. What are your thoughts on those?
Magnus Nedfors: It's tough. The ideas are nice, I like them. But they won't be totally successful until they are... well, I wouldn't say free to the user, but when the console is shipping with those types of controls, then they can become a big thing. While they are still an extra for people, then they will be just a toy, to be mean about them.
Magnus Nedfors is game director on Just Cause 2, which launches for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 today. Thanks to Eurogamer readers for their questions!