Hey everyone! Please give a warm welcome to Jim Boone (Senior Producer) and Scott Phillips (Design Director) from Volition, the creators of the Saints Row series. Saints Row: The Third is currently featured in the Humble Deep Silver Bundle, and Saints Row IV is seeing its worldwide release later in August.

Jim and Scott are here to answer your questions, so let’s get started!

  • volition_scott - Scott Phillips, Design Director
  • volition_jim - Jim Boone, Senior Producer

Proof: http://i.imgur.com/W5sJroE.jpg

Thanks for all the questions, Reddit! Jim and Scott are off to go save some code! See you all next time!

Comments: 740 • Responses: 66  • Date: 

MarinesOP181 karma

Cliff Bleszinski said:

"The SR team is amazing. Dildo holds them back. It's immature"

"once you put a dildo in your game it doesn't matter if your controls, pacing, graphics are all great. You're 'that game with the dildo."

What do you think of his opinion? Are you ever concerned that the "ridiculousness" in recent Saint's Row games could have a negative impact?

volition_scott418 karma

I actually briefly talked with Cliff once a couple years ago about this and he said basically the same thing. He said he felt SR would've been better if it had been a Michael Mann/Heat-esque bank robbery type game.

My response was that somebody else already makes that game and spends 4 times as much money to make it with a staff 4 times our size. We need to make Saints Row, not a game someone else is already making. We deliver something that no one else is delivering - that's how we achieve success, not by making serious games because everyone else is doing it.

As Jim said earlier you wouldn't want to see the same movie over and over again, sometimes you need a drama and sometimes you need a comedy and Saints Row delivers something that players' clearly want and aren't getting elsewhere.

volition_jim119 karma

I feel like I get where Cliff is going with this comment. My take is that hes trying to talk about how as an industry we're trying to show we can create games that are an art form - a medium where we can tell great stories. I just tend to come at this from a completely different direction. I think of this along the lines of motion pictures. There are lots of movies out there with plenty of styles to chose from, some serious and some not so serious. It doesn't prevent movies from being an art form or being a lesser medium in some way. For example, I just can't imagine Hollywood suddenly deciding that movies like "The Hangover" shouldn't come out because it is immature. Sure, it may not win an Oscar but it sure is funny as hell and amazingly entertaining. People won't all feel the same way about that movie as I do, but that doesn't mean the movie shouldn't be made. My take is that there is plenty of room for comedies in movies and games.

RadioActiveLobster128 karma

I just want to thank you for going the extra mile to make the PC versions of Saint's Row The Third and Saint's Row 4 the best they can be.

After Saint's Row 2's PC debacle I didn't have a lot of hope but the quality of Saint's Row The Third (great EyeFinity/NVSurround support, DX10/11 Specific features, etc...) and the recent major support for user modding (Get Steam Workshop support in there!!) have renewed my faith.

I am eagerly looking forward to the PC version of Saint's Row 4. I've got 5760x1200 pixels ready for the madness.

My question for you is, how much "extra" work does it take to get the PC version running as well as it does? I've heard other devs say they can't do the PC version because it would require too much work, it's not financially viable (cough Red Dead Redemption Cough). Is it really that much? Alan Wake made back it's entire PC dev cost within 48 hours of launch on STEAM. Was it similar for Saint's Row The Third?

volition_jim85 karma

In terms of extra work, it really depends a great deal on what features you plan to add to the PC version of the game. We've certainly done a lot of work on our PC version of SR4, but we also haven't added a ton of cutting edge rendering features for the PC version. Given the visual style of our game, and our more stylistic approach, we can get away without all those photo-real features that other developers have to work so hard at. This allows us to focus on making the game run as well as we can on PC, and I think fans will very much enjoy this version (it is my favorite way of playing SR4)

RagingGhost102 karma

Can our SR:TT character be carried over to SR4?

volition_jim171 karma

It can indeed! We're really happy we were able to add this to SR4. You just need to make sure you are logged onto your existing profile and then you can load your character!

blolfighter76 karma

The SR2 port for PC was, to be diplomatic, not optimal. Not optimal at all. It is my understanding that you realized this and did the SR3 port in-house. I had no real complaints about the SR3 port, it ran smoothly and everything worked as it should.

My question is this: Can we expect the same level of quality from the SR4 PC version?

volition_jim120 karma

One of the things that I really think helped here was that we (Volition) did the PC version of SR3, which wasn't the case on SR2. We have also done the PC sku for SR4 and have been working on that build of the game the entire development cycle for SR4, so I think you'll find the same level of quality for SR4 PC as you had with SR3.

learntofart74 karma

No real question, but I just wanted to mention: That part in Saints Row 3 where you go into Matt Miller's turf and stuff starts happening is one of the most genuine laugh riots I had while playing a game. It both curved my expectations, beyond even what I knew already, while still getting me awesome gameplay. Thank you for thinking outside of the box. It's the shit.

Also, sorry about what happened to THQ. I loved THQ and I'm glad Deep Silver got a piece of the action. I'll continue to look over all your brethen's projects.

volition_scott64 karma

Thanks! We loved that Matt Miller mission too.

LordSparks66 karma

As someone living in Australia, I'm concerned that the game wont feel the same due to the annoying censorship issues.

Do you feel that people who play a censored version of the game will be missing something, or will all the important stuff still be present?

volition_jim85 karma

I certainly wish we didn't have to release a censored version in Australia, but as you can imagine there really was't anything we could do about it. I will say that the changes we've made are not too disruptive to the game. Assuming the current edited version gets approved the Australian version will be missing one weapon and one mission, and that is it - nothing else will be changed assuming this passes.

mdhay55 karma

Did either of you work on the FreeSpace franchise? I'm curious to know what the original devs would think of adding into a sequel should one be made!

volition_jim56 karma

I did indeed work on both FreeSpace 1 and 2. I have a special place in my heart for both of those games. There are plenty of people her that would love to do a sequel, but at the same time we are pretty excited about working on things like Saints Row 1-4 and Red Faction, so we've had plenty of other games to keep us busy.

MozeoSLT51 karma


First, I'd like to say thanks for doing this AmA. You guys are probably all on a pretty tight schedule right now, so I appreciate you taking the time for this.

Okay, question time: Saints Row 2 is one of my favorite games of all time. Not only did it have lots of ridiculousness packed into it, but there were also very serious character moments thrown in that were done very well. Carlos' death was surprisingly moving in such a wacky game. And the scene with the Ronin leader at Aisha's funeral was amazingly well-done. Saints Row the Third was hilarious and fun, but it missed a lot of the serious moments that made the SR2 story so enjoyable. Rumors state that a lot of that was due to THQ's restrictions. Now that you guys are with Deep Silver, can we expect more of those intense character moments?

volition_scott56 karma

Glad to hear you loved SR2! i worked as a director on that project too as well as SR3 and now SR4 so i can speak to your questions pretty well.

While THQ was involved in the story of SR3 for sure they didn't necessarily tell us to shy away from nor go towards 'serious moments'. The decision to move away from things like Carlos' death in SR3 was on purpose to try and make the tone of the game consistent and cohesive with the entire experience. We wanted a game that felt consistent between the over the top gameplay and an over the top story. We felt that was the best way to deliver on the things that players' loved the most in the SR franchise. I totally get and have heard the comments such as this that some people missed the more serious elements of SR2 but we feel we that with the great success we had with SR3 that the majority of the fans have agreed with us.

Deep Silver has been very open and given us a ton of freedom so I think you can expect Volition to continue making the games that Volition is best at doing with great support from DS!

iStealthshot47 karma

Hey guys. How does it feel to have your game go from a gritty gangster story to something completely over the top?

By the way, I love your games and can't wait for Saint's Row 4.

volition_jim59 karma

It really has been quite a journey for Saints Row as a series! Speaking for myself, I really enjoy the way the game has changed from SR1. The reason I say this is that we tried to listen to feedback we got along the way, and make changes to the game we thought fans would want. In SR1, people enjoyed the game and we heard a lot of buzz over our crazier elements like Insurance Fraud. In SR2 we decided to up the over the top feel, and saw people really respond to that in things like Septic Avenger - nothing like spraying poop on people! So we really went for over the top on SR3, and it was by far and away our most successful SR game. Listening to the fans really helped the series, so I am pleased with the way the series has changed over the years.

DotsonK2946 karma

Was there anything that was suggested for Saints Row 4 that you wish you could have added, but did not have the time?

Also, can you give a little insight on what happened with the SR franchise when THQ went bankrupt?

I love the game and cannot wait for SR4 and possibly more games after that.

volition_jim107 karma

Scott loves to tell the story about how we had a flyable dragon in the game at one point. We had a week where the team could do anything they wanted, and a group of people added a dragon. It was work in progress but did work. The problem was that it would have taken a fair amount of work and time to get right, so it didn't make it in the game. Wish it could have!

As for SR during the THQ bankruptcy, basically companies were free to bid on THQ as a whole, or on individual items such as Volition and SR. Deep Silver ended up winning us, and we couldn't be happier with the way things have gone!

TheKidWithBieberHair46 karma

What would you say to try to persuade a gamer who has only played GTA IV and never played a Saints Row title before, to try SR3? Also what made you go with such a strong sci-fi theme for SR4?

volition_jim82 karma

For fans of GTA IV, I think they would definitely enjoy SR4 quite a bit. There is no doubt the tone of SR4 is quite different than GTA, but we're both open world games with a TON of things to do. Where SR4 is different is having some really over the top moments throughout the game, along with our super powers and aliens. This really changes up the gameplay quite a bit.

As for sci-fi, we felt like it would be a really fun way to change things up for the SR series, especially by adding super powers.

munsosl845 karma

Why a purple dildo melee weapon?

volition_jim142 karma

Ha, why not? :)

volition_jim37 karma

Well all, Zinyak has gotten in the code and Scott and I need to get back to work to fix it! Was so great talking to you all and take care!

afakething29 karma


volition_jim32 karma

X360, PS3 and PC (windows) only I am afraid.

shinto2929 karma

What is the most wack thing ever submitted to be put in the game by an employee?

volition_jim55 karma

Wow, that is a really good question! Given how many crazy things we have in the game, you can imagine that we've had some pretty crazy ideas that didn't actually make it in game. I would say the flyable dragon I just talked about above would be one that jumps to mind. I always laugh when Scott talks about how the dragon isn't in SR4 not because it was too crazy, but because we didn't have enough time to do it right. Would have been amazing!

Dread_Hayze28 karma

Hey guys fantastic games!

Question: Have you ever shown your parents the games you have created, if so what do they think about the more hilarious questionable content within?

Looking forward to IV! xoxo

volition_jim90 karma

Haha, yeah I had a moment like this where I wasn't sure how things would go. I had dinner with my in-laws and we were talking about the game. Somehow they asked me about what kinds of things we have in the game and I tried to skirt the question a bit. They picked up on that and asked me to tell them the craziest thing in the game. Nothing like telling your mother in law about the giant purple dildo bat we have in the game that allows you to beat people to death. Seeing her laugh after telling her about it gave me a big sigh of relief! :)

volition_scott55 karma

I actually haven't shown my parents any of my games since I worked on the Punisher. That was a bit violent for them so I just decided to not keep them in the loop since games aren't their thing anyway :)

MagicMan33727 karma

Do you have any plans to include destructible environments in your future games like you had in the Red Faction series? Also, I personally loved Red Faction: Guerrilla's multiplayer and would love to see something of that nature return at some point. Any chance of that happening?

volition_jim36 karma

Unfortunately that isn't something that is a part of SR4. The biggest problem we have with our destruction engine is how expensive it is. This means we would never be able to create a world anywhere close to the size and density as we have with Steelport. Once we shrink the size of our city enough to accommodate the destruction engine, we wouldn't have a city close to the size of what fans would expect for a city based open world game. I wish we could make it happen, it would be amazing for sure, but it just isn't doable from a tech standpoint.

tristanley23 karma

Do you guys giggle like maniacs when you code/ test the game? Or are you guys used to it at this point?

volition_jim39 karma

Ha, believe it or not we do still laugh when playing the game. Certainly we get familiar with our own jokes, but there are moments in the game where I still laugh when I see it.

utingme22 karma

what was the inspiration behind the septic tank mission in SR2? what's to stop angry septic tank drivers from going 'poo-stal???'

volition_scott40 karma

That activity actually had a very interesting backstory. Basically there was an idea for an activity in SR2 where you used a hose hooked up to a fire hydrant to spray people out of specific areas. It went through many iterations but in the end I felt it didn't have anything that made it special. So I randomly suggested one day that we change it into spraying sewage because that had an immediate impact and 'fun' factor that spraying people with water did not.

After a few iterations we moved it into a truck to keep it mobile and then with the sewage sprayer on top it was a complete masterpiece :).

Vendoban22 karma

Will Stoner Shaundi be in the Saints Row 4 longer than the cut scene she appeared in? Some of my best memories were from Eliza Dushku's voice acting of a lovable stoner girl...

volition_jim40 karma

I obviously don't to give any spoilers here, but hopefully it is safe to confirm that she will be in more of the game than just that one cutscene.

volition_scott28 karma

Yes. "Old" Shaundi is quite interactive in Saints Row IV.

smells_like_fish20 karma

I remember playing Saints Row on the 360 and always crashing into invisible walls. I just wanted to say, having played all of the Saints Row games, that the progress you guys made as game developers is remarkable.

volition_jim24 karma

Thanks so much for that! We've certainly worked hard on each of the SR games, and there is no doubt we've learned a lot! I remember on SR1 when a fan created a video that was a gigantic collection of bugs from the game, but done in a pretty humorous way. We loved watching that video, but would much rather not have so many bugs that you can create a similar video for SR4. :)

Matthew_Cole17 karma

Are you ever planning to expand outside of Saints Row and consider making a new franchise in the series of franchises which Volition is known for?

volition_scott29 karma

Right now we're focused on Saints Row IV and making sure the launch is great and that fans really engage with it! No one knows exactly what the future holds for us!

DietSeth15 karma

Hey guys, thanks for doing this AMA and making some great games! I am by no means a serious gamer, but I own both SR2 and SR3 for PC and PS3 and have completed both on both platforms. It is extremely rare for me to find a game I enjoy enough to complete.

A couple of questions I've had for you guys for quite a while (just stumbled on this AMA, so I'm pumped to actually have the forum to ask):

  1. I know you're geared more towards the DLC platform for extra content, but has there been any thought of making SR4 more community mod friendly (for the PC guys at least)? Even simple things like cars, outfits, hairstyles, etc. would be awesome.

  2. Can you bring back the layered apparel option from SR2 to SR4? Being able to choose a t-shirt or tank top then placing a vest on top of it really, really made the game a lot more immersible for me. I always felt like something was missing with SR3 when I couldn't create a layered outfit. If this is coming back... I'll go preorder SR4 today.


Edit: Wanted to add that good character customization completely makes a game for me. It's the little things. Please keep that up!!

volition_jim18 karma

I'm happy to say we are indeed working hard to make SR4 very mod friendly. We recently gave some details on what we're doing for mod support, so take a look out there for details on this. Needless to say we are SUPER excited to see what people do with SR4, and hopefully you will be as well.

As for layered clothing, this is always a painful one for us. We really wished we had been able to bring this to SR4, but it just wasn't something we were able to do. I think people would be surprised by just how much work it takes to do layered clothing in SR - it is a ton of work! This meant we could add layered clothing to SR4, but we would have had to greatly reduce the amount of new clothing we could add to the game. We felt fans would want more options and so we stuck with that direction for SR4.

redfaction9915 karma

Will there be the return of mission replay in SR4?

volition_jim21 karma

Sadly, we won't have mission reply for SR4. Based on changes that were made to the engine in SR3, it makes mission replay fairly challenging for us to get working. I wish we had time to have included this in SR4.

coolshopp13 karma

Oh and I would love a Hispanic accented voice. My Danny Trejo MC is a little off as a Brit lol

volition_scott33 karma

Picking the player voices is INCREDIBLY tough. They cost a ton of money to get the number we have and we really need to make hard choices. Consider how much our player says (tens of thousands of lines) and then consider that we have 7 of them... That's costly and something that few other people do.

sammyTBags13 karma

How far away are we from having a Saints Row game with GeoMod technology?

volition_scott9 karma

Not very likely... Some visual destruction, sure, but full geomod like RF games? Probably not. Too technically demanding and puts too many restrictions on design possibilities.

Akalron13 karma

What are your opinions on people saying that SR4 is just 50$ DLC for SR3? (Those who believe you didn't alter Enter The Dominatrix much, and were just hoping to get extra money)

volition_jim30 karma

Honestly I completely understand why people had this question when SR4 was first announced. We talked about how we were developing our expansion pack (Enter the Dominatrix), and then were doing a full sized game instead,. Then we were purchased by Deep Silver, so there were even more questions.

Now that we have finally been able to really talk about the game, and how we've been working on SR4 since the end of SR3, I think people are seeing it isn't just expensive DLC. We have SO much content in SR4 - there are even more things to do in SR4 than there were in SR3. We've made a lot of major additions like superpowers and aliens, full mission campaign, tons of side quests and activities, an unbelievable number of collectibles. SR4 is definitely a full game and I hope people are getting a better sense of what the game has to offer as we have shown more an more of it over the past number of months.

wolfgang16913 karma

volition_scott35 karma


No, human hearts.

Well, alright, probably something from the upper peninsula of Michigan called a Pastie. (pass-tee). It's basically a bunch of meat, potatoes, and onions, wrapped in bread. It's amazing.

streakingduck12 karma

Is the character design part in saints row IV going to be the same as saints row 2?

volition_jim18 karma

If you mean character customization, we are very much like SR3 rather than SR2. We have the same types of character and clothing customization as we had with SR3, but obviously with a bunch of new items to chose from.

JakeGTAV11 karma

What are your views and opinions on the Grand Theft Auto franchise, do you guys ever play the games?

volition_scott35 karma

I've played every GTA (on the consoles) since GTA3. They do some amazing things and I can't wait for GTA 5. My favorite, for reference, is still Vice City. However, Saints Row and Saints Row IV specifically are very different games than GTA and serve a very different need/niche for gamers. I don't think we need to live in a world where only one open world game exists and I think if you saw anything from E3 this year it was that open world games are the future.

I personally think you'd have to be crazy to make open world games and claim you haven't played GTA... I'm of the opinion that if you are going to do something and do it right, you'd better learn how everyone else who came before you did it and then try to do it better and improve on things.

I'm always fond of examples like: Apple didn't come up with the first smartphone, mobile mp3 device, nor tablet. Microsoft didn't come up with the first operating system. But both of them did do those things better than anyone else had done them before.

I think this philosophy holds true in games as well.

Healzu11 karma

Can we have a dildo bat in Saints Row 4?

volition_scott24 karma

You may be able to find something like this in the world of Saints Row IV. Yes...

scorpiongames72011 karma

Is there any chance we will see a port of the first Saints Row to PC? Me and a bunch of friends would kill for an opportunity to play it on PC.

volition_scott18 karma

Probably not unless there's an enormous market for it. That game was built as a near-launch-window title for X360 and as such it took us years to refactor the engine to allow us to do a PS3 version for SR2 and then to do the PC port ourselves for SR3.

So it would take a ton of effort to make that happen and the dollars probably just aren't there. Sorry.

r4wrz10 karma

Do you think that taking things less seriously makes your games more fun?

volition_scott22 karma

Our games are fun because we spend ALOT of time focusing on making them fun. We always start with the concept of whether something is going to be fun for players to player first and the next step is then 'ok, how do we fit this into the game thematically/narratively'. I think that is absolutely a unique factor for Saints Row and not something that most other games attempt as they do the reverse.

But we're also a fun studio that loves to laugh when we make games, which i believe is definitely important for us and for making Saints Row what it has become today.

volition_jim11 karma

I do think so, for a couple reasons. I think it is fun to play a game that doesn't take itself very seriously. You jump in and just have fun, do what you want. You also have a chance to laugh at a lot of really funny things that we are able to get away with in SR. Don't get me wrong, I love serious games as well, but I enjoy the fact that we create a style of game that just isn't very common out there. Personally I wish there were more games made that are there just to make you laugh and have fun.

TehMuffinMan8 karma

When can I buy a real life full-size functional Dubstep Gun?

volition_jim15 karma

I don't know but let me know when you find one. I want one too! :)

staind16038 karma

whats the current situation with the Australian Classification?

volition_jim9 karma

We are actually waiting to hear back on our edited version now and should hear any day now. We tried to appeal their ruling - hoping that we wouldn't have to release an edited version of the game in Australia but were rejected a second time. Now we wait to see if we made enough edits to satisfy the Australian rating board, which should be the case. We'll see!

TheCrzy17 karma

Hi guys! First, I'd like to say, I love your games. They're awesome! and I have some questions.

  1. How do you guys think of all this batshit crazy stuff?

  2. Do you ever use any ideas from the community?

  3. How "serious" is SR4 compared to SR2?

volition_jim12 karma

Thanks, so glad to hear you like our games!!!

In terms how we come up with these ideas, it is a lot of work from the team where we sit around in meetings and just throw out ideas. As you might imagine we come up with a lot of stuff and work to figure out which ones we think will work best.

In terms of ideas from the community, we are always looking at what kind of reaction we get from the community and that helps guide our decisions. For example, Scott just mentioned how we've made decisions on direction for things like the over the top tone of SR3 based on reactions from the fans. We definitely work to listen.

As for how serious SR4 is versus SR2, we are definitely closer in tone to SR3 - we pretty much have to be with things like aliens, suiper powers and being the President!

bulbousnub7 karma

Any lead on when official SR3 modding tools are going to come out?

volition_scott13 karma

I know I've gotten several emails asking for details on some mod stuff, but since I'm not super technical I can't really answer that. Perhaps Jim can... Maybe our Saints Row forums are a better place to ask that? I'd love to give you an answer but I'm not sure the best way.

gintrux246 karma

Have you had any plans on making an exact Saint's Row movie like in the Third? :)

volition_scott11 karma

THQ considered it for awhile but it never really went anywhere. That was during the period where a Red Faction movie was made by SyFy.

I always sort of wondered what that would've looked like... Probably very similar to the Fast and the Furious movies honestly. :)

xandan6 karma

What was the thought process on the transition from saints row 2 to 3? When did the idea of craziness click for you guys?

volition_scott9 karma

We spent alot of time focusing on what does 'over the top' mean for Saints Row at the beginning of Saints Row: The Third. We got the design group together multiple times for mega-meetings and condensed it down into two primary things. 1. a 'mantra' that should guide the design process - "embrace the crazy/fun trumps all" 2. a tone video which conveyed the feeling of what it would be like to play Saints Row: The Third.

Those two things (And several others) really helped gel what we wanted to make. For me I think the craziness clicked with the team once we started showing in progress missions like skydiving and when the dildo bat got created I think people then understood what we were trying to make.

moomoohk5 karma

Hey guys!

I'm sure you've been asked this question a million times before but It would be nice if you answered me: Are there any plans to bring SR to Mac? My lifetime quota of massive purple dildo whacking has yet to be reached.

volition_scott5 karma

I don't believe SRIV will be coming to Mac. Jim can confirm 100% though. Sorry!

nwt1234 karma

How does the Importing System work does it work like Mass Effect or will you have to be signed in to a saintsrow.com account?

volition_jim4 karma

You will indeed need to be signed in to that account. This is the way we save all your characters so that's how you'll be able to download and share your characters with others.

UpwardFall4 karma

Hey guys! Huge fans and I cannot wait until Saints Row IV is released! I had a few questions about entering the gaming industry:

  1. How did you two get started in the gaming industry? Meaning, what road did you take to reach where you are today?

  2. What is your best advice to somebody who wants to get started in the gaming industry?

  3. What are some of your favorite resources that helped get you started in game programming/designing/directing/producing?

Thanks again, Jim and Scott!

volition_scott6 karma

  1. I went to college to get an art degree then spent 6 months at home making a portfolio which got me hired as a general artist at Volition about 12 years ago. I then worked my way into an animation position and then finally into design where I am now. I originally entered the industry as an artist as I felt that would be the best way to round out some of my skills (plus i don't particularly like programming) and to ultimately allow me to get into design where i wanted to be.

  2. play lots of games critically and not necessarily to enjoy the experience - i.e. learn what they do and why while you play. Pick a discipline and focus on that - the industry is getting more and more specialized and so you need to be really good at one discpline. Go to a school that specifically teaches games - IF you are 100% sure you want to make games. Otherwise go to a generalist college and have the full college experience.

  3. Playing games is my #1 resource. I learn what others are doing, why, how it worked, think about how it could be better, etc. Essentially always be looking at games critically and not just thinking about what YOU like, but more objectively what they did right/wrong. Also play a variety of game types - not just stuff you love.

I would also recommend getting into modding and joining groups of friends to accomplish projects. Showing self motivation and work completed are two great things that employers are looking for.

Good luck!

Unleashed2k4 karma

Are we going to see any Behind The Scenes footage of the voice actors? I heard there will be another song rendition by the cast. Also, how amazing is it to work with Troy Baker and Laura Bailey?!

Last question. Do you think in the future of Saints Row we could visit Steelport & Stillwater in the same game?

volition_jim3 karma

We do have some things coming soon that will give you a taste of this. Stay tuned!

Scarcheg3 karma

I really enjoyed SR3, but I'm a bit scare of SR4 because I don't really like all these superpowers stuff, if you know what I mean. Please, say, that the normal Saints Row car travelling experience is not gone in this game. I just want to drive and shoot :-D

volition_scott10 karma

Cars and combat and vehicle customization are definitely still in the game and still as fully featured as ever in Saints Row IV. If you want to drive around and shoot you certainly can. You will definitely want to try the super powers and will have to use them at certain times, but we tried to maintain some of the vehicle gameplay from past SR games where we could. We hope it's a good mix and we know from playtesting that there are some people who stay in cars for long periods in the game because they just enjoy them so much.

fromtheaudible3 karma

How do you think the next generation of console hardware will influence your current and future game and audio engines?

volition_scott10 karma

Lots of improvements and scale factor upgrades are the primary changes. So everything will look and sound and feel better primarily.

I'm interested in how mobile and online will change going forward as the new consoles and the business as a whole are moving more towards consistent engagement with players to keep them coming back. So i'm excited to see where that goes.

Hxcgrapes3 karma

First off I want to say how much I love and respect the Saints Row series. My question is: Why haven't you brought back Saints Row 1 multiplayer game-types like "Blinged Out Ride" and "Big Ass Chains"? Those are amazing!! Bring back that type of multiplay!

volition_scott7 karma

We would love to do MP, the problem is that we want to focus our resources because we don't have the 400-1000 person teams that other studios do so we can't do every feature that we want and need to selectively choose what we make in order to 'do it right'.

We also wanted to focus on co-op because we felt that provided a more broadly available experience for more players.

We'll see what the future holds for MP!

DrMilkdad3 karma

Can I do Macho Man's elbow drop in SR4? Maybe SR5?

DrMilkdad7 karma

Sorry, what I really want to do is a Stone Cold Stunner. Or The Mandible Claw.....and The Rock Bottom.....and a choke slam.... just make sure there are tons of wrestling moves again.

volition_scott7 karma

There are lots of taunts and compliments to choose from and plenty of melee moves. I can't speak to the specific wrestling moves you're mentioning but we do have some of the craziest and most over the top moves ever seen in a SR game in Saints Row IV.

cobalthawk3 karma

What game series/setting would you like to do a cross-over with, either in a fighting-mode, like Marvel vs. Capcom, or just setting-wise, like Saints in the Mushroom Kingdom.

volition_scott15 karma

The Last of Saints Row. Just give Joel super powers and a VTOL jet so he and Ellie can fly around the post-apoclyptic world and run that place like a boss. We're already partially there since Troy Baker did both of the main characters.

But it would be an interesting mix since LOU is a deadly serious game and Saints Row is basically the complete opposite - a crazy over the top player power fantasy.

callddit2 karma

Hi Volition Team!

I love the Saint's Row Games and am a huge fan of Red Faction: Guerilla (not so much Armageddon, sorry!)

But I have 2 questions:

  1. If THQ hadn't dropped the Red Faction series, would you have considered making another one?

  2. What is the creative process that goes into making the craziness that is the Saint's Row games?


EDIT: Thanks /u/Kelsig, modified the question.

volition_scott2 karma

  1. Red Faction the IP is owned by someone else now, so Volition won't be involved in any potential future RF games.

  2. Booze, drugs, insanity. No, not really. It's actually alot of hard work and stressful times punctuated by tons of fun and enjoyment. Alot of the craziness comes from the team when they really 'embrace the crazy' and push for even wackier and more awesome things that we originally planned on. This scenario has happened tons of times where the initial idea for something isn't that over the top, but over the development of the idea into a real playable thing it becomes awesome because the team takes a hold of it and really drives the idea to it's ultimate conclusion. It's fun to work in such a collaborative environment as the Saints Row games!

lolaism2 karma

are you going to do a multiplayer for SR4, where its like a MMO and everybody can see the other players but there are still NPC's? or even a CO-OP with like 4 people, because I know MANY of my friends who want to buy SR4 but it's not so great to only be able to play with one other friend :/

volition_jim3 karma

Unfortunately we don't have anything like that planned for SR4. For us, the focus was on co-op gameplay since we feel like that is the best way to experience the over the top nature of our game. We did multiplayer on SR1 & SR2 (not MMO), and we found that there weren't that many people that played that. People really enjoyed playing with a friend and experiencing the story by playing together - this was in SR2 where we introduced co-op. We think that is the sweet spot for SR games, so we've stuck with co-op gameplay rather than trying to blow out multiplayer.

fogsea2 karma

Would you rather fight a hundred duck sized Gats or one horse sized Gat?

volition_jim10 karma

Oh my, one horse sized for sure. Can't imagine fighting a hundred Gat's regardless of their size!!!

volition_scott5 karma

Why would I fight Gat? He's my buddy!!!

You do get to fight a giant hundreds of feet tall can of Saints Flow in Saints Row IV though... Plus you fight lots of regular sized cans too.. Man you guys are gonna love that mission. :)

travisgatlin2 karma

You guys should keep having the epic cutscenes. SR2 had the only cutscenes in a video game that I actually enjoyed. Terrific job, guys. But I have a question. How and why did you rig a toilet as a playable character in SR3?

volition_scott6 karma

I'd love to hear what was your only enjoyable cutscene in a game?

Why = because I thought it would be fun and funny to play with the concept that the player was in a virtual world and was going to be manipulated. We also had in the past had a sofa couch homie character temporarily rigged up for a tech test that everybody loved and we called couchie. We needed to continue couchie's legacy and so we made the urinal a playable suit.

How = lots of work by very smart people. The toilet as a character is actually both easy to model and easy to rig since it has no real moving parts except for a lid. So compared to a human the toilet was a breeze.

Trip0lar2 karma

What is your storyline development pipeline? Do you brainstorm a bunch of crazy situations and build a story around that? Or do you come up with a very basic storyline and think "hey how much can we fuck this up and make it cool still?"

volition_scott4 karma

We tend to start with the high points across the entire story. Like what's the setup, how do we lead the player into this world, what are their objectives to achieve their ultimate goals, what obstacles are put in their place, and where do we want them to end the game.

Then we start filling in the gaps, pulling in cool ideas both gameplay and story that are had along the way, and basically just push and pull on it until we're happy and the team can provide feedback and redirect us on where we have issues or need improvements or where they have better ideas.

shadowthetank2 karma

What was your reasoning behind moving in a more comical direction with the series in times of blockbuster games being extreamly dramatic?

volition_scott8 karma

Mainly we moved in the direction we did with SR2 because it was the game we wanted to make. We enjoyed the craziness of the over the top open world and so we wanted to continue down that path.

There wasn't an intentional push towards less serious until Saints Row: The Third when we purposefully set out to build on top of the great success we had with SR2 finding it's own niche as a sort of counter-point to alot of the overly serious and 'downer' games that were coming out. We wanted the game to be FUN first and foremost and we did everything we could to focus on that.

Dramatic games are great and I love them, but I can't play them all the time... I need a break sometimes and I think Saints Row has provided that break from the norm that lots of players' have been looking for.

volition_jim5 karma

We're all certainly fans of the more dramatic games that are coming out nowadays, but we feel like we have something different and more unique to offer with SR. I feel like video games have so much room for so many styles, and often wonder why we don't do more variety in the types of games we make. Put another way, it would be strange and sad of the only movies that ever got made where action and dramas. Not that I'm not a huge fan of these genres of movies, but it'd be sad never to go to a comedy. I feel the same way about games.

michaelbb2321 karma

Honestl Was the diIdo Copied From San Andreas

volition_scott2 karma

It was not, no, but I could certainly see why that seems true. The dildo bat was honestly just a very minor weapon that was going to be used in one part of one mission, and it wasn't meant to be 6 feet long, but when the weapon artist finished it and it had such a hilarious impact on everyone who saw it we just knew we had to make it available in the main game. When fans and the press saw it they went nuts and couldn't stop talking about it. I'm honestly amazed at how much of a life of it's own that thing has had!

fourtecks1 karma

I worked in QA for you guys during SR2 and RFG and left sometime before THQ killed off most of them. That job reminded me of how much I hate sitting in one place for long periods of time (the reason I left), but otherwise it was a good job with excellent people. Do you guys have a decent sized QA again? What happened to the Robison (sp?) building?

volition_scott2 karma

HI! Glad to hear you enjoyed working with us! QA is at pretty good numbers now and doing great work. Robeson - i honestly don't know. That wasn't a very long lived plan, truth be told.

die-no1 karma

How is the office life over at Volition? I'm guessing it's pretty relaxed to help all these crazy ideas flow, but what do you guys do to encourage it?

volition_jim1 karma

We are fairly casual with many things as you might imagine. For example, we like to have beer for our team meetings. Or any meeting. Heh. But at the same time the people at Volition work HARD. The team really cares about the projects we work on and I really think that shows. People routinely work extra hours - not because they are forced to but because they take pride in their work and are passionate about the project. This atmosphere really helps with everything from brainstorming new features for our games to adding that last bit of polish to the game.

RevengeVonKarma1 karma

What's next for the Saints Row franchise: Saints Row V, or something completely different?

volition_jim1 karma

No idea at this point! Now that we're finally done with SR4 (but plenty of DLC ahead of us), we're at the point where we can start to look at what is ahead.