Interview: Watch Dogs 2 game director talks easter eggs, San Fran, hacking and future Watch Dogs games

Future Watch Dogs games? Probably.

After our hands-on opportunity with Watch Dogs 2, I had an opportunity to sit down with the game director for Watch Dogs 2, Danny Belanger.

[Video above shows full interview]

What I really took away from the interview was that the developers had done what they could with the feedback from the first game and used it to the best of their ability in Watch Dogs 2. They took what worked and changed what didn't. 

In addition to that, it's pretty much confirmed that Aiden's sister and nephew will be making an appearance in the sequel and that we will be able to tailor our online experience to our tastes. Oh, and Watch Dogs 3 will probably be a thing!

Check out my interview below!

Tatiana Morris: Any connection to Watch Dogs 1?

Danny Belanger: Yes, it's after the story of Watch Dogs 1 and Dedsec was introduced in the first game, but it played a minor role. Now it's really the thing of the game, you are actually part of Dedsec and you're building it up.

Are there any repercussions if you turn off the ability to be hacked in the game's campaign?

No, you can customize every single online feature, so if you don't want to be invaded, if you don't want co-op, if you don't want bounty, you can turn them off individually and there are no consequence. 

I think the consequence is you're missing some fun activities. I think it really adds to the game, but we let the player decide.

Any Easter Eggs or references to Aiden's sister or nephew ?

I'm sorry I can't spoil that.

Will there be a companion app?

There's none of that unfortunately for the second one right now, so we'll see in the future.

Will there be New Game+ Mode?

[Laughs+shrug] Neither…

Watch Dogs 2 has been compared to being the Assassin's Creed 2 of the series, what do you think of that comparison?

I like hearing that, for us, it's a great opportunity to build on something. You know the first one was kind of a new generation of console, a new open world, a new IP so it was very challenging, but now that we have that we know what Watch Dogs is about so we can really build something cool. A new character, new city, deeper hacking – so a lot more hacking, we changed the driving – it's a bit easier than it was the first game. It really allows us to listen to the fans, you know, 'this worked really well' let's push it, 'this worked less' so let's fix it.

For us, it was a great opportunity.

Are there any features that haven't been revealed?

I would have to dig in, but I'm sure there are things you didn't see. We gave you guys a lot of hacks so you experiment what the game is about and all the mechanics, but there are some hacks you didn't try out. 

So there's stuff you didn't see for sure.

The game kind of parodies hacker culture, how did you strike the balance between serious and humorous?

Well, hacker culture is very funny… They like to have fun. We were inspired by reality, we learned a lot about hacker groups and actually the hacker groups, they are small cells, even within a hacker group sometimes they fight each other, so it's not like one common thing. Hacker groups have different motivations, some sell hacks, you know some are pretty bad. We are on the good side of hacking, they are actually exposing lies and dangers in technology. You're kind of part of that movement with Dedsec, and they do it with style.

A lot of hacker groups start movements with internet culture, so the branding of Dedsec was important to us to make feel real, and also its kinda cool the way they present their stuff. They're trying to get followers and so they have to show themselves and talk about what they're doing.

Why San Fran over Chicago?

We selected a few cities, what we wanted to do was have a different vibe and tone. Changing the city to San Fran, the actual Bay Area, from Chicago allowed us to be a bit more funny, colorful and the culture in San Fran is really strong so 'culture, counter-culture' and especially the tech. Because we have silicon valley and you being a hacker in silicon valley allows us to do really, really interesting stories about technology because it's really the birthplace of modern technology.

What were the other cities were looking at?

I can't say that cause we might use them in the future.

What did you learn from Watch Dogs 1 in terms of feedback and did you apply it to Watch Dogs 2?

We do listen to the fans, so we do read it even if it's not always fun, so there was a lot of good and some negative. We take all that feedback and then we extract what we think we need to work on. People wanted stronger themes, so we talk more about technology. We have a new story, so we are taking it in a different direction and for a sequel, it's nice for it to feel like it's different. We added deeper hacking, driving, and the [couldn't understand this word ]was really light so we are bringing that back, but we are adding co-op to it. You're part of Dedsec so you can meet Dedsec players out there. So you just press a button and you're now in co-op with someone or a friend and you can do co-op missions for an infinite time actually cause it's just a system that will create missions