"from scratch" where they "don't already have a finger in that particular pool," says executive producer Scot Amos.
As everyone is looking for what's "going to be happening next" it's an opportune moment to try something new. Crystal are wary of not going "too far away" from comfort zones.
It's gamers and their safety blankets that keep them from completely going off the rails in design, as the studio knows they can't stray too much from what people expect.
"We have all these great IP, now is a great time, looking at what's coming in the future, what's coming up in the console space, what's going to be happening next... Let's start now, with a blank page," said Crystal Dynamics' Scot Amos.
"We take that kind of bold step of, let's make something new, something where we don't already have a finger in that particular pool, and let's try, from scratch, to make a new game with all of our abilities and skills. What would be a new great experience for our future?"
"Working from a blank page, and literally saying, we can do anything, we can do something that's completely off-the-wall and that nobody's ever heard of, we can go make up mechanics and be completely innovative and inventive."
Amos assures the development team will keep their raging desire to be 'creative and innovative' in check so they don't give an experience that puts people off.
"Problem is, if you go too far away from what people are familiar with, one of the phrases we use a lot is 'fresh and familiar'. Where something is similar enough that, oh, I understand that, I've seen something like that," he explained.
"Immediately, people can get bought into it and say, I kind of expect a certain type of experience. And then you put a couple of really unique twists on top. Like, oh, I haven't seen anybody combine these types of mechanics or this type of world with that type of system. And you start putting a little bit of that new, fresh face on top of something familiar, and you get people hooked."
"So I think... trying to take what you know, build on top of that, and then take something that they don't expect and just blow them away." The studio is keeping their new IP very close to the chest, but when pushed Amos did hint that it would feature an experience not dissimilar from the March 2013 bound Tomb Raider.
"So we're still very much in the early throes of creating both the team and this product," he said. "But certainly from a conceptual level, we're on a path that we're very happy with. We can't go into details until we actually announce it."
"But if you look at what we just showed at E3 for Tomb Raider, you get a sense of the kind of experience and expertise that this company and this studio has. The kind of things that the talent, the tech, and the tools can do. Being able to take that and leverage that into a future product, again, an original world, original script, all new content, all kinds of new mechanics... But taking that as a starting base gives us a huge advantage for making a new game."
"Honestly, that's as much as I can say right now," Amos concluded. Former God of War man Cory Barlog now resides at Crystal Dynamics but he's working on a separate project from this one.
Tomb Raider releases on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC March 5th, 2013.
New Crystal Dynamic IP is "great time" for a "blank page"
25 June 2012 | By Simon Priest
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