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Game Dev God of War : Ragnarok - Interview with Cory Barlog and Eric Williams (IGN)

Bartski

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That radical reimaging of what Kratos' journey could be is one Barlog directed and shepherded through to its acclaimed launch, and though he had grand plans for the series, as he told us in our God of War spoilercast, he isn't directing Ragnarok. Williams, a veteran of the franchise who has been involved with it in some form or another since 2004 across many of its entries, is now sitting in the director's chair. In speaking with both Barlog and Williams following Ragnarok's first gameplay reveal, though, it's clear not only how integral Williams has been to the entirety of this new era of God of War, and how much he understands the responsibility of leading the charge.
"I've worked with every director on the franchise in a different capacity. I worked with Cory as an animation lead. I worked with David Jaffe as a director. I worked with Todd Papy as a level designer. I worked with Stig as an artist. And with Ru [Weerasuriya] and Dana [Jan] at Ready at Dawn in different capacities. Learning from each one of them, to me it's just doing right by everyone that's come before me and taking the franchise in the right direction. You don't want to be that director that sends it off the rails. A lot of big franchises this can happen with, and so I just want to pay respect to what we've done in the past and still try to keep it fresh for the future at the same time."
"I remember that point when we were talking about ripping everything down to the studs," Barlog said, offering his take on that time. "Everything I've ever worked on with Eric, Eric is the sounding board and also the boundary limit testing, where I didn't want to say to him, 'I want to take all of it out and then I want to re-examine it and choose the things that work and figure out how to build them.' I was like, 'Oh, we'll keep some stuff,' just to see how his reaction was. And his reaction was 'Well that's dumb. You should absolutely just take it all out.'"
Barlog and Williams both said that, when it came to specifics, there were only three core things Barlog asked Williams for - and no, of course they didn't spoil what those things were. Williams thought those aspects lined up with his vision as well, though he was open and frank about how, following that discussion, the path forward wasn't always an easy one, but the two trusted each other's creative process thanks to their history together.


"There's something that happens in boxing a lot. You'll have this very, very skilled young boxer and his father is his trainer, his coach, his manager, his everything. And it gets to a point where the kid is so good that it's time to go pro, right? That's where the promoters and all this stuff starts to come in and wants to pull him this way, and the dad's like, 'Stay with me. We'll do this right, you'll be champ forever. You go over there, they're going to send you to the wolves, you're going to get knocked out,'" Williams explained.
"And Kratos has this mindset. It's like, 'There'll be a time for this, but now is not the time. We don't need to go pick a fight. Let's just grow and be together and have this time.' But the kid, being young, wants to go, right? That young boxer wants to get out there, wants his title shot."

more in the link.
 
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ElCasual

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Glad to read that SM Is working in GoW and a new IP. Hope the days of glory back again and make a Siren game.
 

kyliethicc

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Glad Cory has still been involved in this game to some extent.

Now they just need to finish it and ship.
 
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Yoboman

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My only worry is the new guy will play it too safe, whereas Cory is obviously more than willing to rattle cages and push for things that everyone else says can't be done
 

kyliethicc

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My only worry is the new guy will play it too safe, whereas Cory is obviously more than willing to rattle cages and push for things that everyone else says can't be done

"When Cory and I sat down and first talked about [2018], he was like, 'Well, we're going to tear the house down to the studs.' I was like, 'What does that really mean?' We went back and forth on whether some things were just sacred. And I was like, 'Well, if we're going to do it, we have to do all of it.' We got to those places where it was, no blades, no jump, new camera, companion, all that," Williams said.

"I remember that point when we were talking about ripping everything down to the studs," Barlog said, offering his take on that time. "Everything I've ever worked on with Eric, Eric is the sounding board and also the boundary limit testing, where I didn't want to say to him, 'I want to take all of it out and then I want to re-examine it and choose the things that work and figure out how to build them.' I was like, 'Oh, we'll keep some stuff,' just to see how his reaction was. And his reaction was 'Well that's dumb. You should absolutely just take it all out.'"
 

Yoboman

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‘Personalities’ are overrated. Games are made by teams and not everything seen in game is Cory’s vision
Im not talking about personality. You need a lead to push the boundaries and challenge teams to go outside the safe or expected

No judgement on this guy but its undeniable that SSM were in a rut playing it way too safe before Cory came back

Watch the making of documentary how much he had to fight against the internal opinions he was ruinung God of War

The new guy doesn't need to go to the extremes of rebooting the series but he needs to still push the limits of creativity and new ideas
 

Mr Branding

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Sure, you’re not wrong, but I’ll reserve judgement until this comes out. I doubt they can get ‘radical’ without alienating their fanbase again and all it’s needed is a gow1 to gow2 improvement.
First gow had like 3 major bosses which is not so different from 2018.
Gow 2 impressed by evolving the formula and by adding so much gameplay content and variety. Hopefully Ragnarok does just that.
I am also one of the peasants which appreciated Todd Papy as director since he was the main combat designer in the trilogy and it showed in Ascension, best combat by far.
 
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Fredrik

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Im not talking about personality. You need a lead to push the boundaries and challenge teams to go outside the safe or expected

No judgement on this guy but its undeniable that SSM were in a rut playing it way too safe before Cory came back

Watch the making of documentary how much he had to fight against the internal opinions he was ruinung God of War

The new guy doesn't need to go to the extremes of rebooting the series but he needs to still push the limits of creativity and new ideas
The foundation is already set, it’s an amazing game, best Sony game ever for me. They really just need to listen to player feedback and add more enemy variety, more big boss fights, have less invisible walls and less annoying backtracking and it’ll be a 10/10. They don’t have to rewrite the rules again.
 
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bitbydeath

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Enemy variety is looking good, hopefully we also get more variant boss battles as well.

Tits and blood/gore wouldn’t hurt too.
 
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kyliethicc

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Im not talking about personality. You need a lead to push the boundaries and challenge teams to go outside the safe or expected

No judgement on this guy but its undeniable that SSM were in a rut playing it way too safe before Cory came back

Watch the making of documentary how much he had to fight against the internal opinions he was ruinung God of War

The new guy doesn't need to go to the extremes of rebooting the series but he needs to still push the limits of creativity and new ideas
You do realize that Eric Williams came back with Cory right? He was there from the beginning of the reboot.

Williams was the one who pushed for the full major changes to the game's formula, even more than Barlog was going to do.
 
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DarthPutin

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From that trailer the new GOW looks very much like more of the same(which is fine),I'm more interested in what Cory comes up with after it tbh.
Me too. Extremely.
But also agree that they don't need to reinvent the wheel again, only improve it. It seems like northern duology of sorts, so it should be cohesive.
 

Handel

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Great interview, love that we'll be getting a more ambitious Atreus in this one. He needs to start taking the steps to becoming the god he is meant to be, with some changes obviously from Kratos's influence.