GDC 2012: How a Floppy Dildo Saved Saints Row: The Third from the Brink
Written Thursday, March 08, 2012 By Lee BradleyView author's profile
In any creative endeavour, there are eureka moments where everything comes together, where a cohesive vision reveals itself. For Saints Row The Third that moment arrived with a purple dildo bat.
Speaking at GDC 2012 today, SRTT's design director Scott Phillips revealed that the early days of the project were beset by problems. “For the first six months or so, Saints Row The Third went in a very different direction,” he said.
“We started off with the idea that the player was an undercover agent, infiltrating the Saints. We did this to allow the player to make choices. We wanted choice to be a much bigger part of the game.
“So maybe in a mission you would come across a big bale of cocaine. You'd have the choice of either handing it into the FBI or giving it to the Saints. Each of those choices would have different paths.
“It would have been fun, but the question was, 'Is this a Saints Row game? And the answer was no, this is not a Saints Row game. So about six months in we reset. We reset the story and a lot of the key design tenets.”
Despite this, however, the game still faced identity problems. Volition just weren't sure what tone the game should adopt. “The result was confusion,” said Phillips.
But then came was Phillips calls an “aha!” moment. The dildo bat.
“Initially it was just one bullet pointed weapon on one mission spec amongst thirty to forty missions. It was just not a big part of the game. When the weapon artist took it, I think that the description was just dildo weapon. So he took that and created a giant six foot long, enormous dildo.
“Then he took it to the tech guys who rigged it up and got it all floppy. He took it to the audio guys who added some wet, sloppy, slapping sounds. And then we put it in the game.
“The team just loved it. We felt it was awesome. We finally felt we were playing something that you wouldn't play anywhere else. It was a nice moment for the team to really gel and say, 'You know what? We know what Saints Row the Third is now.'”