Video Interview: Why Denis Dyack Never Gave Up On “Too Human” (must watch!)

If I was making a list of top 10 answers I ever got in an interview, the following honest, open, emotional video from Silicon Knights president Denis Dyack would be included.

At GDC I asked him why, with more than a decade of development work done on “Too Human,” he didn’t at some point decide that this game just wasn’t meant to be. This is what he said:

As with all videos, it is not available to anyone using computers with IP addresses in Japan, the U.K. and Canada (sorry Denis!). Read on for an excerpt:

“Growing up, when I was younger, I’ve had so many people telling me that I can’t do x or I can’t do y. When I was in grade school, I didn’t do particularly well in a couple of classes and the teachers told me I’d never grow up …and never get out of high school. I ended up becoming more educated than they did. I have three degrees. I got a Masters degree in computer science.

“I think it comes down to never let anyone tell you you can’t do something. I really mean that for everyone. It is so easy to be cynical. It is so easy to be negative. And it’s so easy to say, ’This is not going to be good’ or ’This is going to be trash.’

“And I think about ’Too Human and some of the rough spots we went by or just recently came through and I think about the documentary on the making of the ’Titanic’ [movie] where they’re interviewing the actors. Because if you remember the movie Titanic was completely panned by the press before coming out. It was going to be the next ’Waterworld,’ a terrible movie. And when we were going through the tough times and before we had shown anything for Too Human we were watching that and going , ’Wow, we kind of relate to those guys. We really believe in what we’re doing.’ You just can’t stop believing.”

But why, of all things was “Too Human” an important idea not to let go of? Dyack goes on to talk about the nature of games, technology… and sewing machines. It’s really interesting stuff from an interview I’ll never forget.

For the kind of material that can never get on the back of a box but might make you decide if this game is for you, watch the video.