So What is Mark Cerny’s Knack? Here’s an Explanation

Mark Cerny is the architect of the PS4 but he is also working on a launch title called Knack. Now you may have seen this game during the PS4 reveal event and it looked pretty casual.

mark cerny knack

Cerny revealed that the game is 10 hours long in an interview with the PS Blog. It also has a lot of replayability.

“I think many people will go to the store and get, say, Watch Dogs, or Killzone or the like, for themselves and they’ll get Knack for another member of the family. But I also think a lot of core gamers will end up getting Knack for that old school – with a twist – feel,” he said.

“It’s not apparent from the E3 demo, but it is a very story driven adventure. The first time through should take about ten hours, and then we have included a lot of features that make it interesting to play again.

“For example, there are hundreds of secret rooms and many contain treasure chests. Some of those are part of gadgets that will help Knack in his quest – you need to collect all the parts before you can build the gadget. Others are crystal relics where if you collect enough of them you can unlock a variation on the Knack character you can use in a subsequent play-through.

Knack was actually a difficult game for him to create and he explains the challenges he and his team in Japan had to face while developing the game.

“Our initial concept was that Knack would maybe break down a building or a wall, and he’d incorporate the resulting bricks into his body, but when we prototyped this we ended up with a giant amorphous blob of a character,” he explained.

“It took a year and a half to figure out that the secret was to design the character more intensively. The character is made from ‘relics’ – these are left over from some long lost civilization, if you dig down deep into the earth you find them.

“They’re a power source, and the doctor has managed to imbue them with consciousness. With that storyline we were able to then design relics in specific shapes and build various versions of Knack out of them.”

The game contains a lot of influences and he also explains how different things will affect the main character.

“In some levels he’ll slowly grow, and in other levels he get big really fast – by picking up icicles for example — but then if he goes out into the sun he’ll melt down quickly,” he said. “The way I look at it – there’s a bit of Crash Bandicoot in there, a bit of Katamari Damacy, which is a game I love and must have bought three or four times over the years.

“And there’s a bit of God of War too. You can see that game’s influence on Knack – especially in the control set, where the right stick is the dodge. Actually God of War 3 was one of my consulting projects.”

The game will be released sometime later this year along with the PS4.