It Turns Out InFamous Was An Animal Crossing Clone
If that headline made your brain ache then my work here is done. Apart from 200+ words still in need of typing. Okay, my work here is far from done.
Try connecting the two, you’d have to put yourself out at a crazy level of abstraction to really link Animal Crossing with the inFamous games. However, Sucker Punch Productions cofounder Chris Zimmerman told GameSpot that when creating the idea of inFamous after finishing off with Sly Cooper, the studio found their concept had a lot in common with Animal Crossing.
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“The original idea for Infamous, believe it or not, was that it was kind of Animal Crossing, but you were a super hero,” Zimmerman said. The Animal Crossing franchise is known for its deep social features, and similar elements were planned for the original vision of inFamous although now the series is better known for hilariously token morality.
“All kinds of crazy stuff like that,” Zimmerman said. “We worked on that for about a year in that direction. So much more stylized, much more cartoony than what you end up seeing. We worked hard to see if we could make that work.”
Perhaps for the best, Sucker Punch couldn’t make this version of inFamous hold together and instead we got the PS3 classic we all know and love. One of the game’s original pitches even had players fighting a gang of purple gorillas who were stealing balloons.
Where were all these fresh ideas when it came to Second Son?
Zimmerman also compared designing a game to raising a child.
“You kind of have an idea about who your kids are going to be, or who you want them to be. And they often end up being something a little bit different than that,” Zimmerman said. “And if you’re gonna be a good parent, you have to let them become who they are going to be. If you try to force them into being who you want them to be, you’re going to fail. You have to help them understand who their best self is as a parent.”
“And that’s the same thing as a game developer. The game is kind of that way, where you just can’t force it to be what you want it to be,” he added. “You have to let it become what it wants to become, what it needs to become. What’s the best execution of that core idea? A lot of that is going to come from the team, and some of that has to come from outside the team. It has to come from the customers, it has to come from the people that have a consumer view of it not just a producer view of it.”
How the game becomes what it needs to is a mystery but that philosophy seems to be working for Sucker Punch.