Twice a month, the official Killzone site interview a Guerrilla employee about the Killzone franchise, working at Guerrilla, and game development in general. This week, they were granted an audience with none other than lead artist Arjen Bokhoven.
Please tell us a little bit about your role at Guerrilla.
Currently I'm Lead Artist for the Environment Art team on our PS3 project. My responsibilities are to maintain our levels production schedule and distribute high-level tasks among my artists, in addition to being general support for the team. James Mason is my right-hand man in this process, but where his activities are of a more technical/creative nature, I'm just a n00b so I bang on drums. Oh yeah, and during crunches, I'm responsible for getting new content as painlessly as possible into our game.
What areas within your role are you most focused on at present?
At this moment we're putting the finishing touches on a demo. This is eating up most my time currently.
How deeply involved were you with Killzone: Liberation?
I was overall Lead Artist on that game, and it really was a labor of love. So yeah you can say I was quite involved.
How do you feel about the way that Killzone: Liberation was received by the public and Press?
I think it's great people love the game so much, and I personally feel proud that we managed to pull off such a high-profile title on the PSP. Everyone thought we were nuts when we announced that we wouldn't go first-person, but people seem to be all over the game regardless.
Which aspect of Killzone: Liberation do you feel most surpassed your expectations?
The gameplay for sure. I think that the reason why this game is so much fun, is the random factor combined with tactics. You can approach a level from multiple playing angles, giving players a better sense of control that would have been lost if we made everything super linear. The graphics I never doubted about. Neither about my immodesty by the way.
If you were responsible for a sequel to Killzone: Liberation which feature would you most like to see changed or added?
I would have liked to catch grenades and throw them back (imagine that in multiplayer!), I also think we would have to make our vehicles more of a core mechanic instead of just part of certain levels.
Which Killzone: Liberation level did you enjoy the most?
The good old Docks level, simply because we know it so well and played it to death. I also really love the Islands levels, if only for their kick-ass cutscenes with Cobar.
Which Killzone Universe character is your favorite and do you think we'll be seeing more of them in the future?
Rico for sure. He's a jivin' lean mean baaad aaass cat, he's got the strength of the bear, speed of the turtle but his only problem is that he's such a nice guy. No mean streaks at all, love the guy.
Finish the following sentence: "My previous development experience with handheld games prepared me for developing Killzone: Liberation on the PSP because…"
…I know what it takes to get decent graphics on such a small screen. I know what needs to be toned down or exaggerated in order to get to a satisfying result. The only thing that you can never be prepared for is working with other people, but you can't make these kinds of games on your own now, can ya?