VideoGamer.com: I guess you throw lots of testers at it, just test test test test.
DS: Yeah, we have lots of testers. There was some criticism of the first one, they said it was buggy. You see those buggy Saints Row videos and GameTrailers having like five parts on the bugs of GTA. It's one of those things that's hard to test, but on this one we tripled our QA team. We have hundreds of testers working non-stop basically, just to get this done. We learnt from the first one that we need a lot more people testing this so we can make sure we can get it as clean as possible. It's definitely challenging. All the features in there, you have to test everything and make sure everything works together too.
VideoGamer.com: I can't imagine how difficult that must be.
DS: We pull our hair out a lot, because you don't know. People in an open-world game can play it like they want to, so they'll find little gaps in-between buildings, they'll go in there. They'll try to find everything. They'll go in the water and find really really weird places that you might not have even thought about.
VideoGamer.com: I guess if you've got a five part video on Gametrailers you know your game is popular.
DS: Very true (laughs).
VideoGamer.com: The game's coming to PS3 as well as 360 and PC. How are you guys finding PS3 development?
DS: I think because we had problems with the first one, from day one we knew how important the PS3 was. We knew how important it would be, especially in Europe. Any place outside of the US it's so important because that's where it's selling. So what we did, instead of porting the game later on, we started with the PS3 from the beginning. So we had a team working on the PS3 and a team working on the Xbox, which is something we didn't do before. I think a lot of teams just port way too late. They think it's going to be an easy process and port it over, and that's why you see a lot of games get pushed out there - you see features getting cut. With ours, as of right now, we have no exclusives when it comes to DLCs, as of right now, I don't know if that will change or anything like that, people are going to get the same version. Graphically it should be the same. We put them side by side and to us they look basically the same.
VideoGamer.com: Technically it's generally considered that the PS3 has more power under the hood than the 360, but we just don't see multiformat games looking better on Sony's console. Why do you think that is?
DS: Graphically, in itself it's a very very powerful machine. I think the problem is you have to teach programmers how to do that. We have very very amazing programmers on our Xbox team who when they get the PS3 in front of them, it takes them forever, because of the multi-threading they do with the Cell processor. It's just how complex the Cell processor is. As people get their heads around that it gets better and you get more parity coming out, but code has to be written in a certain way for that and it's a lot more complicated than it is for the Xbox. I think you're seeing development teams now ramp up. You get people who are dedicated to the PS3 and that's why you're getting equal graphics. You see some stuff on the PS3, like Metal Gear Solid, that push it very very firmly graphically, and I'm sure Resistance 2 is going to do that as well. I think you're going to see games that are developed for each console specifically, the exclusives, really push it that way still. I think the Xbox, even though it doesn't have as much hard drive space, is not Blu-ray, you still see that it's a very very powerful machine. I think that's why games like Final Fantasy are coming over to the Xbox. It's still, in essence, as powerful, and people have their heads around that. Maybe two, three years from now when they're very much into the PlayStation cycle you may see better games come out. We don't know. I don't think anyone's really taken the Cell processor to its full potential yet.
VideoGamer.com: Is there a console that's better suited to what's going on in Saints Row 2, with the AI, physics and large open city?
DS: It's tough, because as I said we're doing both simultaneously. I don' think we compromise, but I think both of them are handling our needs as of right now. Who knows. That could change when it comes to Saints Row 3 if we go after that and do that one. Right now it seems like what we want to do we're able to do on both platforms. We're not being limited by one. We're not pulling a feature out because we can't do it in the other one. Who knows, a couple of years down the road, maybe we find that people have wrapped their heads around the PlayStation or they see the Xbox and are like "Wow, we never knew it could do this". It just depends on how smart your programmers are.
VideoGamer.com: With the PS3 version are you looking at including trophies?
DS: Yeah, we're looking at that right now. They just announced it. My favourite thing on Xbox is Achievements. I'm one of those achievement whores who goes through and completes games for points. So yeah, we're definitely looking at supporting that right now. Since it just came out we're in talks with Sony about that. Sony I believe is mandating it starting next year, coming after our product, but we want to support that as well. I'm not sure if it's going to be day one or coming later. I know games like Uncharted are actually doing that as well. If it's possible we're going to do it. We've had talks this week about what exactly our achievements are going to be.
VideoGamer.com: How are you guys going to approach it? Are you going to mimic the 360 achievements or have unique trophies on PS3?
DS: I think Sony is trying to push for unique. At least with my talks with the lead producer on some of that is Sony wants, they don't want them to be mimicked, they want to have special achievements in their version. So that's one thing they're pushing on that, and they're saying that if you're developing something on PS3 we want you to have exclusives for us.
VideoGamer.com: So from your point of view, making a multi-format game, you have to think of twice as many.
DS: Yeah, you really do actually. I'm sure there will probably be some that overlap, just because there are some fun achievements that you want to do on both, but yeah. It's a different system too. There's like gold, silver, platinum type trophies too, so there's going to be top level achievements. I guess you have that on Xbox too, with 60 point ones as opposed to 20 point ones. Yeah, there'll definitely be different achievements for both.