When Watch Dogs was unveiled in a surprise announcement at their press conference at E3 a few years back it exploded onto the scene and let gamers imaginations run wild, but then it released and the bubble popped.
and accusations of some serious visual downgrades, and even gameplay, left a sour taste for many. Creative director Jonathan Morin partly blames the 'blank canvas' of any new IP.
However he and his Watch Dogs team, which is a global effort across many studios, are excited to now focus more on what Watch Dogs as a series can become. They'll even be visiting a lot of things that didn't make the cut the first time around. "The challenge when we made the first game was to create something that would make people dream about something else", Morin told gamesTM.
"When you start a new project, it’s a blank page and everything you do is what you want to do,” he says. “With a sequel, there is more pressure to push a brand forward and we now have to appeal to fans in a new way.” They will continue to take risks with Watch Dogs, as otherwise they'd quit.
"I will not do this job if there is no risk in it, that would just be boring. You shouldn’t prevent yourself from trying something just because it’s hard and the solution is not apparent.”
Morin reveals they're very interested in letting people explore more of their own stories and emergent gameplay in future games, and not wrapping them up so tightly in a fixed narrative. "...players loved the idea of other players who create an alternate reality in their games and knowing that now opens up a lot of new possibilities of what online can do."
"I don’t think Watch Dogs is perfect in any way and there’s a lot of room for improvement", admits the creative director. "But you don’t always see this when you ship a game. We deliver what we believe the brand should be at the time. But afterward, when you cool down after five and a half years and take your vacations and people play the game, certain elements become clear."
"They let you continue to bring what you envision to the next level with the fans included this time, which is where I think it really gets interesting.”
"I have four kids at school and their friends tell us what they like and don’t like about the game”, he continued. “The new pressure is almost like a privilege. If you are making a game with pressure, then you’re making a game people care about. And people care about Watch Dogs.”
Check out thebetween Jonathan Morin and gamesTM for more on Watch Dogs.