“The first thing we do is always pay attention to forums and Twitter and social networking, that’s a good temperature check,” Cliff Bleszinski told GameSpot in a Q&A session.
“The second thing we use is metrics; we’ve found sometimes there’s a difference between what people are saying in the forums, and what’s actually going on in the wild,” he said, quoting the example of the sawed-off shotgun, which people thought was pretty good, but was kind of useless statistically.
“Then the final thing we use is our gut. If we can’t trust that we might as well pack it in.” He then quoted some examples from some games, and how people did not want something in a game that they “did not sign up for.”
“In Dead Space, [there] was that asteroid sequence. I signed up to kill Necromorphs and be scared, I didn’t sign up to play Asteroids.
“The same thing applied to Gears 2 with the damn tank on the lake. Most Gears fans signed up to hear the story of Marcus, Dom, Cole, Locust, and chainsawing and cool weapons, and awesome set-pieces. They didn’t sign up to drive a tank over slippery ice that breaks. That’s one of the very important lessons we learned.”
Blezsinski said that while Gears 3’s story has a personal touch to it, he could never go into something as personal as relationships.
“I’ve had my share of ups and downs, and good and bad relationships, but I don’t think I could ever pull off a game like Catherine,” he said. “I applaud them for going in that direction. Catherine is the first game to touch on themes of stress, infidelity, and uncertainty in a relationship since Silent Hill 2, and that’s an area I wouldn’t even want to touch, because they’re tricky.”
Gears of War 3 releases in 15 days, on September 20, for the Xbox 360 exclusively.