EDGE - - THE MAKING OF... - Thomas Mahler Di­rec­tor, Moon Stu­dios

You fo­cused on Ori’s con­trols and feel first. When did the story come in?

I ac­tu­ally started writ­ing when we didn’t even have an artist on the team! Some bits of the story are sim­i­lar to the short film I wanted to make while I was study­ing sculp­ture, and I just took bits and pieces of that. Then, when we saw the sto­ry­boards com­ing to­gether, we made some changes to fi­nesse it and make it that much more emo­tional.

What have you learned from mak­ing Ori?

I think we just be­came more ex­pe­ri­enced, and ob­vi­ously we now have more tal­ent in the stu­dio. With Ori we had this thing of want­ing to prove our­selves. In terms of de­sign, we wouldn’t have re­ally changed any­thing. The lessons we learned were more just ex­pe­ri­ence: how we ap­proach a prob­lem, how we avoid freak­ing out when some­thing doesn’t work, and so on.

What were your aims with cre­at­ing the De­fin­i­tive Edi­tion?

When we re­leased the game, there were still some peo­ple say­ing, ‘Hey, it would have been cool to do this and that’. For ex­am­ple, the tele­porters – that was some­thing we ini­tially wanted in the game but just couldn’t do it tech­ni­cally. But peo­ple wanted it, and we knew we had to do it right. I love that about Bl­iz­zard – when the game ships, it’s not just, ‘OK, you paid your money, we took it, that’s it’. It’s, ‘No, let’s go back and give it a lit­tle bit more love’. If peo­ple have com­plaints and the com­plaints are valid, then it doesn’t hurt to spend a lit­tle bit of time on it to re­fine it and give it that ex­tra pol­ish. I want peo­ple to be able to play Ori ten years from now and still think, ‘OK, this is a great game’.

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