Just Cause 3 interview with Avalanche Studios’ Christofer Sundberg

Explosions, explosions, and explosions! Previously on May 18, 2015, we interviewed Avalanche Studios CEO Christofer Sundberg. He gave us the details about the upcoming Just Cause 3 game before E3 in June. With that in mind, he made us even more excited about his latest sequel, especially after we played it. Check out the interview below.

Nerd Reactor (NR): When you were developing Just Cause 3, what were some things you wanted to work on above Just Cause 2? What were your thoughts?

Sundberg: Well for me, I wrote the first game. Being the director of the studio, when we came out of JC2 [Just Cause 2], we’ve gone through a super rough patch from the studio. We had done some massive layoffs, and we lost two publishing deals in one year. The team felt like we needed some fresh eyes on the game, so in the third game we have a completely new team. There are very few members on JC3 that worked on JC2, and I think it’s really paid off and that it added to the game. It’s not just improving what’s good on the good game and taking out the bad stuff. I think the whole game has matured. In the first game Rico was more or less a mumbling idiot. He had a super-flat personality, and the biggest character in the world was actually no one. We improved on the second game where we gave him a little more personality, but he still came out kind of flat. But the world in Panau in JC2 was a super detailed world, with a lot of backstory. So, we owed it to Rico in the third game to tell his story, and let the world be the strong character but still lift Rico up to an equal level. I think that’s the biggest change between the two games, and obviously, we increased the insanity on the whole thing. [laughs]

NR: On the playable build, I actually really liked the idea to add the little wings. What was the concept of adding that to improve traveling?

Sundberg: That’s something that Roland [Lesterlin] and the team pulled off in a way that I can never imagine. But what they have done, they actually separated the grappling hook, the parachute, and the wing suit. The grappling hook is still your go-to tool to attach things together while your parachute actually has become a very stable combat platform from the air. Before, it is what the wing suit is today, to traverse the world. Then we added the wing suit to be the way of transporting yourself through the world. And the parachute is what you use to attack all the bases from the air.

NR: What did you feel that you wanted to bring into this game that you wanted to see?

Sundberg: More of everything. I think it goes back to what we said before about Rico. We’ve been working on this franchise for about 12 years. Giving him more personality is very important to me.

NR: What are some of your inspirations for the game? Movies, games?

Sundberg: Well, originally the first idea I had when JC was born was like one of those, “Wouldn’t it be cool if…ideas.” And in this case, it was being able to sky dive onto a moving car. And that was our first prototype for Just Cause. By this time when we first started working on JC, the movie XXX had came out. Also, like the Fast and Furious movies, it’s not the movies where you have to concentrate to watch. It’s just one of those movies that are super simple; it’s all about the fun. And that’s the same thing with Just Cause. It’s all about the fun, the action experience and etc. So I think movies like XXX, Fast and Furious, but also action movies in general, all the Michael Bay movies obviously, have been such a huge inspiration.

NR: More explosions, more… [laughs]

Sundberg: More of everything, yeah! And just live out those dreams of creating those super explosive moments that you’ve always wanted to do in a game but you never had.

NR: The one thing we saw was that huge map, and this might be even bigger in the final build. You guys had section 1 and section 2 in the main island. How did it feel being able to use the power of the newer generation system of creating something so huge?

Sundberg: Well, the size of the world has never been a challenge for us. I think the size of the world in the map of JC3 is the same size in JC2, 32 by 32 kilometers. The challenge for us is how to fill the world with meaningful content and density of gameplay that makes sense, and that really sets the size of the world. Obviously, we have jets in the game, so we can’t be flying to one part in 30 seconds. It’s all about the variety of the world and all the density. Those 3 zones are quite different from each other. So, it would be great to see the reactions once we open up the world a little bit.

Just Cause 3 is street dated for December 1, 2015.

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