An Exclusive Interview with Destiny 2’s Project Lead David Shaw
Destiny 2

Some series feel as though they are made for certain systems. Destiny is one of them. A first-person shooter that relies upon people working together online for strikes and raids seems made for the PC. Yet, the original game didn’t appear there. Instead, it is Destiny 2 whose future lies on that particular platform. At Activision’s gameplay debut for the title, CheatCC was able to speak with David Shaw, Bungie’s PC Lead for Destiny 2, about this version of the game.

This is something people have wanted. Shaw reminisced about this, saying, “Every time we say anything [about Destiny], the first comment is, ‘When PC?’” The community has been clamoring for such a thing. And not just the community of fans. When first talking about this release, Shaw said, “Well, there are a ton of PC gamers at Bungie. There have always been people asking, ‘When are we going to bring it to PC?’ It’s certainly something we’ve been thinking about for a long time.” The important thing was quality. “The key thing for us is, if someone is wondering why did we wait so long is when we were going to do it, we wanted to do it right.”

Doing the PC version of a game right is something that has proved problematic for some companies. Take a look at some recent releases. NieR: Automata is still in need of official patching. Bandai Namco’s Tales ports needed fans to make them run properly. The Batman: Arkham Knight and Mortal Kombat PC iterations are better left forgotten. There’s always a concern about whether the PC version will receive the same care and attention as a console counterpart. Shaw made certain that I understood he and Bungie wanted to keep that from happening with Destiny 2.

When it first came up, Shaw said, “Our goal was to build a PC version that came out of the gate strong. Where the PC community would recognize that we understand them. We are them. Bungie wants to deliver a great PC experience.” But then, it came down to showing how and proving it. That’s where Shaw went into greater detail.

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“We looked at it and said, 'Okay, what are the things that say that in 2017? What are those features.' We've gone in and done all kinds of things to change Destiny in ways that are appropriate for the PC. Now the game itself, we have this kind of one game build. We believe that core gaming experience is so strong. That's not where we spend our time. We spend our time on, 'How do we make that play like a PC game?'

“We did everything on the technical side of things. We went in and added 4K support, uncapped the frame rate, text chat will be there and FOV sliders, all kinds of knobs and dials that are the things that PC gamers expect. We try to listen and think, 'What are the ones that will be really critical? What are the ones that make the most impact?'”

This meant considering how people on PCs were going to be playing Destiny 2. While some do have some sort of gamepad for their computer games, other first-person shooter fans prefer the keyboard and mouse control scheme. Shaw confirmed Bungie know this, “Beyond that, we said, 'Okay, the sandbox game. Most people are going to be playing on mouse and keyboard.' That's one of our fundamental choices we made is to support mouse and keyboard fully. We not only added mouse and keyboard support, the ability to remap your key controls, but we've also done a bunch of work in the sandbox gameplay itself tweaking things like our recoil model and changing exactly where the reticle sits to make it feel and play like a true PC game.”

While some tweaks will happen to make Destiny 2 feel more familiar to PC players, there are other elements that will remain the same everywhere. In addition to the general gameplay, Shaw confirmed the matchmaking will be one such element. “As far as matchmaking, we're using a proprietary matchmaking system. That system is common across all the platforms. If players experience the title on consoles, it will be the same on PC.” He also confirmed Destiny 2 will be peer-to-peer, as Destiny was, saying, “We do not support dedicated servers with Destiny 2.”

Destiny 2

From there, Shaw and I went to talk about more lighthearted things. For example, his favorite class. As Shaw says, “I'm all Titan, all the time. There is no bad choice, except for anything but Titan.” (Though he did later say, “In all seriousness, there's no wrong choice.”) When going on about his favorite things about the Titan in Destiny 2, Shaw brought up how the Fists of Havoc super ability has changed. “On the floor the remastered Striker is playable. Being able to do Fists of Havoc multiple times in a row is just huge. And on PC, the ability to 180-spin and do it again. There's lots and lots of fun in there.”

Shaw also professed his love for Destiny 2’s community activities and opportunities. “I am all about co-op. I love Strikes; I love Raids. If I could play nothing else, that's what I would play all the time.” While he appreciates the campaign the game offers, he took the time to clarify what made multiplayer so good for him. “For me, it's all about those 'Let's go get together, chat, laugh, and go take on some really, really hard shit and either rock it or just get destroyed and be like, okay! How do we do better next time?’”

The important takeaway from all this, though, is the effort Bungie and people like David Shaw are putting into Destiny 2. There’s a sense of dedication that developers need to have when making their games, and every statement Shaw made exemplified that sort of passion and joy. Especially in an age where the PC version of a multiplatform game could lead to people wondering what sort of treatment it will receive.

It is encouraging to hear Shaw say, “The way we look at it, we are shipping Destiny 2 on three platforms. Not Destiny 2 on two platforms. They are all our children. We're eager to make them all fantastic experiences, regardless of what platform you choose to play on.” It helps you feel more confident and excited about a game like Destiny 2. It makes you think when it comes to PCs, it could meet your expectations.

Jenni Lada
Jenni Lada
JMariye

Site Editor
Date: 05/22/2017

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