"Realistically, I think a lot of people can do this... It's just that the initial chunk of 7.5GB is quite big. I think if we would have known exactly how everything would work... I think next time around we'll try to see if we can design something that doesn't jeopardise the game which will make it even friendlier. But I think all things considered, this being launch and we've got like 2 minutes 44 from disc to the first level and no installs, I think it's already a massive improvement over previous generations."
Whether played from hard disc or Blu-ray, van der Leeuw is particularly proud of how fast and seamlessly the game loads; it's been a pet project for the tech director, who hates how slow modern games have become to operate. Guerrilla has completely eliminated in-game load times after an initial 30 seconds, and removed all logos and splash screens from the game's start-up routine. It may take a while to download Killzone Shadow Fall, but once you have it, the game comes to you very quickly indeed.
"To me, that's still something that fills my heart with joy when I see it. You insert the disc and go straight to menu," he says. "People here worked very hard... We had to ask legal and Dolby, the epilepsy warning stuff, the logos from Havok - we had to negotiate with them that we could put it in the credits and not the title screen... All the rules are built around the previous generation. I'm really happy that we're one of the first ones in, and I hope it's an example that people are going to follow."
I see this as sort of a double edged sword (of course I knew NeoGAF would LOVE this seeing as they have little care over how game development actually works, but put that into my many criticisms I have about that site and leave it at that; I think people there believe that high quality games can be shitted out in two seconds by a machine), and I'm kind of on the fence about this issue. Yeah, the game is going to load faster, and you don't have to skip over several different things that can be very annoying and can take away from the experience.
That having been said, there are things that are particularly important, and before we get all "yes, this is the way it should be", let me bring it up because, again, the way the discussion went sort of bothers me. I'm fine with putting logos and that at the end unless it's something particularly important or it's something that people need to know. Shoving who made the game to the credits could be akin to telling a pretty important part of development "hey, you don't matter, we don't give a shit about the work you put into the game, and the gamer could care even less than we already do". Game development is getting pretty time consuming and pretty damn expensive, especially for indies, so I think that if you're someone whose trying to get your name out there, it would be pretty important for people to know who you are from the start. Yeah, it's annoying to have to see unskippable "splash" screens every single time, but at the same time, telling developers "hey, I don't care that you spent countless hours and money making the game, you don't exist to me" is pretty infuriating. I know that's not what GG is trying to get people to do with this decision, but the implication that I've been seeing from the responses are telling me that we still have a lot to go before we correctly acknowledge that these games take a load of time and money to make, and they should be fairly compensated in some way.
As for the "seizure warnings", I get that they have been shoved in your face lately, to the point where I'm sick of seeing them all the time, in every nook and cranny of every game. But again, the flip side of that is say that one game that doesn't have ANY warnings at the start is a game like Beat Hazard, which can basically GIVE a gamer epilepsy! You think someone will be happy that they were not told that that one game is a special case that people needed to take special care about? I don't think Uncharted 3 needed the warning it got (which was a full screen of text about it), but Beat Hazard cannot warn you enough, in my mind.
I wouldn't mind these things being skippable, or an option to just go right to the game after the first boot up of the game so it remembers that I've already viewed the logos and I'm fine with going straight to the game (provided the logos aren't masking the load times). I'm fine with GG doing this seeing how big Killzone is going to be in file size. That being said, I think we should look to the flip side of this coin before saying that it's the best decision ever.