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Robert Bowling on backing Ouya, the episodic nature of Human Element

Robert Bowling on backing Ouya, the episodic nature of Human Element
Jessica Conditt
Jessica Conditt|@JessConditt|July 23, 2012 9:30 PM
Now that former Infinity Ward creative strategist Robert Bowling is free from the corporate machine, he's jumping into the independent innovation scene full-force. Bowling recently donated $10,000 to the Ouya and announced a prequel to his studio's first game, Human Element, as the console's first confirmed, exclusive title.

"Could I have made this decision a year ago working on Call of Duty? Possibly not," Bowling tells Venture Beat. "But this is what being independent, being small, and being nimble is all about. We're able to make commitments like these and take bigger risks. And what I like about Ouya and what encouraged me to commit to it was the fact that Ouya is different."

Bowling formed Robotoki as an answer to the mainstream, public studios, and Human Element will be able to play with more formats in more creative ways than, say, popular military shooters generally do.

"What's important, what we're showing with Ouya, what we're doing on mobile, and what we're planning for 2015 is an experience that will adapt and change based on the device you're engaging with," Bowling says. "So what we're doing on mobile is very different from what we're planning on doing with the at-home experience in 2015, and it will be very different from the episodic content that we're bringing exclusively to Ouya."

The at-home iteration of Human Element will be a first-person survival title with heavy RPG elements. On a tablet, Human Element will focus more on strategy and resource management, sharing supplies and stats with the home game but playing as an independent experience. Human Element is episodic, and Robotoki would like to launch an installment every six months leading up to the full game's 2015 release window, but "right now, things are very early."

Bowling draws influence for Human Element from Cormac McCarthy's The Road, a cancelled BBC series called Survivors and a novel that Bowling himself started writing, The Parents' Guide to a Zombie Apocalypse. "It's rather heavy," Bowling says. That must be the hardcover version.
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Robert Bowling on backing Ouya, the episodic nature of Human Element