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Dave Doak: "Next gen is a Spinal Tap thing"

Oct 1, 2007

"If you look what people do [with next-gen games], it's a Spinal Tap thing. It's all turned up to 11." Dave Doak immediately has our attention. Speaking to PC Gamer in an interview in this month's issue, the ex-Rare Free Radical co-founder is keen to discuss the pitfalls of next-gen development.

He continues: "A typical next-gen look has often got all the next-gen stuff like specular highlights and normal mapping turned up to the max... But if it's not turned up to 11, people think it's not next-gen enough."

Doak was enthusing with PC Gamer about Team Fortress 2's inimitable and gorgeous look, recalling criticism of Free Radical's own visually unique shooter, TimeSplitters. "I was surprised to see Team Fortress ... We've always had people critiquing TimeSplitters for being a cartoony sort of game. But now that people can do realistic rendering, they're starting to say 'Do we really want to do that, or do we want something with its own distinct look?'."

"TimeSplitters has always had that and it's something we want to go back and look at again, specifically taking that cartoon look and doing ti with the interesting rendering you can do now [with next-gen]."

For our money, Doak and his people can do no wrong (although TimeSplitters Future Perfect wa... no, let's not go there). And if he wants to do it while flinging around apt cultural references, we're not going to stop him. You can read the full interview in PC Gamer issue #180, on sale now.