Michel Ancel on making Beyond Good & Evil 2 a game with memorable moments and strong consequences

Beyond Good & Evil 2

Beyond Good & Evil is more than a little bit special, managing to be funny without being stupid, sweet without being saccharine and clever without being obstinate. So it’s with good reason that people have been clamouring for a sequel for years. A teaser appeared in 2008, but nothing more. Development appeared to stop so Michel Ancel and his Ubisoft Montpellier team could work on Rayman. That done, Beyond Good & Evil 2 should be getting most of the team’s attention.

Ancel spoke to Edge about trying to create a title with memorable moments and strong consequences, and though he doesn’t name it, it’s hard to imagine he isn’t talking about Beyond Good & Evil 2.

“I think there are some very memorable moments in games, and in the one I’m working on we try to make moments memorable and [imbue them] with strong consequences,” Ancel said. “It’s not only about a single moment, but the whole journey that the player is led through in the world. In Beyond Good & Evil, we tried to make the player travel and discover different things, and I think it’s something that you really need… It’s like in a good story, or a good book, or a good movie: the whole book is supposed to bring you to this special moment. It’s meant to make you feel something very strong, even if it’s short. It’s something that we haven’t achieved yet [in the game industry]. I have the idea to build this kind of thing, but honestly, it’s something that we need to work on.”

Ancel also thinks that developers need to move away from focusing on graphical fidelity, and explore new ways of creating memorable experiences that aren’t rooted in cinematic visuals. ““We know how to take care with design better than before, but now the next step is to move away a little bit from the graphics,” he said. “We know how to make games, but we need to work on how to make them really exciting and mysterious at the same time. We’ve made games with big cinematics and expensive sequences, and we’ve tried to make the games for millions of people. Now there are other explorations that we need to do.”

Cheers, Edge.