The lights are on
GI: How do you make everybody happy? You’ve got
the instant-gratification people who want to print out the FAQ and do a
fatality, and then you have the serious fighting-game players, too.
Boon: I think you need to make the average player able to do something
cool and big on the screen. To throw a spear, it’s tap, tap, button.
Ninety percent of the world can do that. Then a smaller percentage can
do the quarter-circle fireball thing. And then a smaller percentage can
interrupt the fireball and break out of it and do this. And then a
smaller percentage can interrupt this, interrupt that. I think if you
offer that for all of those levels, so this guy’s having fun because
he’s throwing iceballs, and this guy’s having fun because he’s
interrupting this move and cutting into this move and showing off in
front of people, that’s where you get the big numbers in the millions of
GI: With fatalities, do you feel like you’ve run out of ways to ruin the
human body in unique ways? Is there a collective cheer when you
discover something new?
Boon: When we started the game, we decided we were going to model the
body and then decided we were going to have cuts here, here, here, here,
here—so we gave a graph of a separated body out and said, ‘This is what
we have to work with.’ That’s where people went, ‘OK, he cuts him in
half here, and then cuts his head off, and then he cuts his arm off…’
That was the template that everybody worked from. And we would have
fatality meetings where people would stand up and act out their ideas.
Some people would cross the line, and you’d go back and forth, and
that’s how that works.
GI: Without getting too explicit, what is crossing the line in a Mortal
Boon: I don’t think there’s a general rule that you can say, but you go
by peoples’ reactions. There would be seven or eight of us in a room,
and somebody would describe something and sometimes most of us would
go…ehhh, no. You’re not going to do anything…I don’t want to even say
them out loud. [laughs]
GI: Does the new Mortal Kombat have some of the silliness of the older
games? Like Jax’s giant foot stomping down?
Boon: I think in every Mortal Kombat game we put a touch of silliness in
it, because we’re not taking it seriously. When we say, ‘Kung Lao cuts
your head off and then cuts you in half and then you split like this,’
we’re not like [mock serious tone] ‘Good job.’ It’s just so ridiculous
that you would do that to somebody, that for us we need to remind
everybody that we’re not being very serious. So we’ll have the ‘Toasty’
guy or have someone turn into a baby, but we’re not going to go crazy
with that. We’re not going to do animalities or friendships or the over
the top humorous stuff, but we are going to have funny elements.
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