Dishonored's lead level designer labels PS4's 8GB RAM "a joy"
"The main problem was memory."
When Sony stepped out in New York with the surprise revelation that PlayStation 4 had a whopping 8GB of very fast GDDR5, there were few people more pleased than Dishonored's lead level designer Christophe Carrier.
"We need memory, you know?" he shrugged, smiling knowingly at colleague Dinga Bakaba after winning Best Game at the BAFTA Game Awards on Tuesday night.
"As a level designer we are struggling against memory every day. We cut things, we remove things, we strip things, we split the levels, we remove NPCs from levels because there's not enough memory.
"So knowing that memory is something that is going to be improved in the next generation of consoles: to us, it's a joy. It's something that we were waiting for.
"We were PC gamers at the beginning. We love PC games, and we had to make games on consoles. But the main problem was memory. The processors are good, but the memory, for our games, is the most important. So it's great."
Bakaba, Dishonored game designer and associate producer, said Arkane was "pretty impressed" by the Gaikai-powered social features of the PlayStation 4 as well. PS4 lets you capture and share gameplay videos very easily, and allows you to spectate while friends play, too. "We are looking forward at how we can integrate all those things into our [next] game," he said.
But what game is that?
Dishonored, now a BAFTA Best Game winner, both scored well and sold well. It was vindication for the new IP and publisher Bethesda acknowledged "we clearly have a new franchise".
But the future of Dishonored was something Christophe Carrier couldn't elaborate on. "We are not allowed to talk about the future for this IP right now," he said.
"The main problem was memory. The processors are good, but the memory, for our games, is the most important."Christophe Carrier
The prospect of Dishonored 2 on newer, more powerful consoles is mouth watering, given the beautiful results Arkane achieved on PS3 and Xbox 360. But a sequel may not necessarily be what Arkane works on next.
A new generation affords the perfect opportunity to embark on a new IP, not that this stopped Dishonored from making its mark. But there's also the newly announced Thief 4 to keep in mind - a new game in the series that heavily inspired Dishonored.
Dishonored put Arkane on the map. Whatever its next game turns out to be I hope the weight of expectation that stardom brings doesn't squash the studio's quirky spirit. I admire that arty je ne sais quoi, that Frenchness. "Ha ha ha!" responded Carrier. "We can't hide it, sorry!
"We will try to stick to our culture, we will try to stick to our values, creating a fairly small team compared to the others in the industry, and keep all our values around fashion, game design, art," he said.
"That's the future of Arkane. We make games because we like games; we want to make games we want to play. We will always do that. We're not going to change our philosophy or the way we make games. I'm not saying we're going to - we're not going to make the same game over and over, but we're going to stick to our passion. That's something that kept us going so. I think that's our strength."