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Rocksteady's Sefton Hill shares Arkham recipe


Rocksteady Studios co-founder and game director Sefton Hill shared his recipe for making Arkham games at DICE 2012. Beyond the basic ingredients listed, all you'll need is a major license, a supportive publisher and millions to fund the project.

Sefton's Arkham recipe:
  • Make the game instantly fun and accessible. "We believe it's our job to entertain," Hill said, adding that the free-flow combat of Arkham was meant to instantly convey the feeling of being Batman.
  • Deep core mechanics, with a contant, incremental challenge to maintain engagement. "We developed combat by introducing new enemy types ... it keeps giving you more, it keeps challenging you."
  • Complementary Orthogonal Design. Boiled down, it's that systems like navigation, combat and story "all have their own distinct and strong uses." Essentially, he encouraged designing complementary design elements that don't step on each other.
  • Authenticity. "The restraints of the character define the character." Hill said certain elements may seem like a pain the ass, but that one must embrace those constraints. The fact that Batman can't kill anyone was something the team had to maintain at all times. "It stops us from falling back on a lot of game cliches." Takeway: Celebrate and explore the limitations of characters and what makes them unique.

So, there you go. Oh, you'll also need an engine. We're sure if you write a really nice letter to the guys at Epic, they'll let you license the Unreal Engine at a good price.

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