Inside the development of Sega’s MadWorld

By Spencer . August 1, 2008 . 5:33pm

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Out of the three games PlatinumGames announced I was most surprised by MadWorld. The noir style, the brutal controls and the extreme amount of gore aren’t common on the Wii. At E3 I watched a demonstration where I saw some of the gestures, but the presentation was terse so there wasn't much to report. To get find out more about MadWorld I spoke with Christopher Kaminski, Associate Producer at Sega.

 

Can you tell us about the mad world in MadWorld?

 

Christopher Kaminski, Associate Producer at Sega: The premise is Death Watch is – it takes place in a dystopian future – where a group has put together this thing called Death Watch which is essentially a broadcast show where people are literally beating each other to death. It’s a really twisted form of entertainment from this group that has taken over Paradigm City. You take the role of a contestant in this game show literally fighting for your life.

 

MadWorld kind of reminds of Smash TV, but more violent. What was PlatinumGames’ inspiration for the design?

 

One of the things they really wanted to do was make a game unique to the Wii. I mean that was the idea. What can we do with the Wii that was new and they went from there. That was the core idea of making a game for the platform.

 

When I saw the demo the enemies didn’t seem very reactive. You could walk up and kill them without resistance. Are the enemies more interactive? Don’t tell me they just stand there.

 

[Laughs] They will be much more interactive. For the purpose of the demo we wanted to highlight the moves Jack does. Obviously, the game is still in development, and yes we will definitely have enemies that will fight back.

 

That’s good to know. Just to be honest, when I saw the demo they would just wait to die. What level of interactivity are we talking about? Will they actively chase you like Bayonetta or will it be like No More Heroes where they walk around, but are pretty much waiting to die?

 

[Laughs] It will be somewhere in between in the end.

 

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When we were looking at some of the finishing moves there was the sign to the eye and the dumpster that can close on them. What’s your favorite finishing move at this point?

 

That’s a great one. For me it’s a tossup. If I had to pick a favorite, the dumpster is my favorite. I never get tired of watching half the torso pirouette through the air.

 

How many finishing moves are there going to be in MadWorld?

A lot. [Laughs]

 

Will they vary from level to level, environment to environment?

 

Um hm. As you go through the game you will constantly meet new ways for dismembering and dispatching your fellows.

 

I saw a little bit of Man Darts today. Can you tell us about that?

Man Darts is just a fun one. I have to admit it never gets old demonstrating that. The basic premise of it is taking a baseball bat and literally smacking guys into this giant dartboard. When I first saw it I was like that just brilliant, sheer brilliance.

 

Is Man Darts is a party game or could be played like a party game?

 

I’m going to go with no comment with that one.

 

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So is MadWorld just a single player game?

 

No comment. [laughs]

 

The controls for Man Darts were quite visceral where you swing the bat with the remote. I saw when you have the chainsaw you drive the remote down. Are all of the controls that intuitive?

 

Yes. Like I was saying before this game was designed with the Wii in mind, it’s a Wii exclusive. It’s all supposed to make a sense. We’re not using it just as a gimmick. The finishing moves all correlate and are all very intuitive in the way they use the Wii remote. The team has really hit a bull’s-eye.

 

I know you’re talking about this being a Wii exclusive with these controls, but your Grandma is not going to buy this.

 

[Laughs] Well, my Grandma is!

 

[Laughs] OK, so your Grandma is going to buy MadWorld, but the senior citizens home across the street probably won’t add this to their repertoire of Wii games. Are you worried about that? Do you think there is enough of an audience for MadWorld on the Wii?

 

Absolutely. You know a lot of Wii owners are hardcore gamers, they are people who love video games. There hasn’t been anything like this game before and there haven’t been a whole lot of core type games made for the Wii. We think this is going to be perfect.

 

The violence –

 

While the game is very, very violent it is tempered by the art style and by the commentary.

 

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Yeah, the commentary is kind of sarcastic in nature, maybe over the top?

 

It’s totally over the top and it’s totally irreverent. The team that we got for both the writing and voice actors – we’re really excited when we can talk about those things. We’re not talking about them just yet. They are phenomenal. They are great.

 

Who is doing the writing? Is it Sega USA? Or is it PlatinumGames writing in Japanese and you’re localizing it?

 

Actually, it’s a joint project, for the writing component, with PlatinumGames and the US. This game is made with a Western audience in mind even though it’s being done in Japan. So it’s a great collaborative effort.

 

It’s probably early to ask this question, but No More Heroes came out with a highly censored version to avoid a CERO Z rating. I don’t think Sega has ever published a CERO Z game in Japan. Do you think MadWorld can be toned down where it can be a CERO D release? Or is it not even being considered for a release in Japan at this point?

 

I can’t really comment on that one, but it’s an excellent question.

 

We saw the Wii Motion Plus and it seems like something that would fit with MadWorld with the controls. Have you considered implementing that accessory at all?

 

No. Unfortunately, we’re not using it.

 

Images courtesy of Sega.


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  • http://veryimmature.blogspot.com Geoff

    To me it looks and feels like a spiritual sequel to God Hand… but perhaps that is wishful thinking.

  • Pedro Silva

    “but your Grandma is not going to buy this”

    And who cares? I’m getting tired of all this stigma the industry is giving the Wii. seriously, give it a rest on that account.

  • jeffx

    Man I love this game and these guys!! Excellent interview, glad to know *some* developers are aware of the hardcore potential of the Wii!

  • Pedro Silva

    indeed, unlike square-enix ridiculous event just now.

  • EvilAkito

    I’ve lost quite a bit of faith in Nintendo as a game developer and really place most of my faith in the Wii on third party efforts. Right now things are looking pretty bright.

  • http://whatistheexcel.com James A. Calwell III

    My grandma would buy it.

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