It seems that with Tearaway you wanted to avoid more overtly challenging gameplay. Why was that? A lot of game environments try to provide challenge and slow you down, and maybe make [the game] seem longer than it is. So you have these barriers all the time, like having to go into a room and kill 400 people, which unlocks the door to the next room, and it’s just like the last one. I was keen to get a feeling that the world wants you to go through it. That, to me, came from the idea that each footstep should be pleasurable, so you’ll see the paper squashing down or moving when you’re going through the long grass, or splashing in the puddles. Having this gentle positive feedback all the time [encourages you to] keep going. This is a journey that needs to happen, so let’s help you on your way, rather than putting spike pits everywhere.
Did you have any rules for the way you wanted to use Vita’s different features?
We had to make sure all the interactions made sense. You can have this very fantastical world, but what you’re doing from the outside [has to feel] natural. So you’re not having to trace a symbol on the rear touch pad to pull off a fireball move or anything. It’s more, ‘I can see the floor is thinner here, so I’m going to push my finger through,’ and then it’s up to you to what you do with that. Rather than learning some special move, you’re slapping g[ [a drum skin] to make something jump in the e air, and that’s much more immediate. It was important to us that the narrative could use all l of these features so that they felt they were part of the story and part of the world.