GDC 2008: Clark Davies, Innovation and Wipeout Pulse
Put a dial on the radio, make the camera digital and let the people paint.
Games can be categorized into three sets, says Sony Computer Entertainment Europe designer, Clark Davies:
1)99-percenters - Games that stay mostly the same in each incarnation (DDR, Guitar Hero, etc.)
2)Changers - Games that really reinvent the wheel in a traditional series (Phantasy Star Online Episode 3)
3)Evolvers - Games that maintain the same basic fundamentals but add to them as a series progresses (Halo, Perfect Dark)
He considers his own Wipeout Pulse to be part of the latter group. When designing the game, his team went out of their way to take advantage of the PSP's unique features by including support for custom soundtracks (although to its credit, the Wipeout series has always had top notch music), and the ability to take screenshots on the fly. A robust community resource at the official Wipeout website provided support for the game's ship-skin editor, stat tracking and custom grid campaigns.
Davies wanted to stress that innovation can take a variety of forms outside of the realm of the gameplay. By focusing on player-based design philosophy and combining existing features in a way that makes them unique, he claims developers will find they are more successful in creating an engaging game experience.
[Original source: Ray Barnholt, 1UP]