Outline Where we started Horror vs. Sci-Fi What We Did –Color and Lighting –User Interface –Environment Design –Player Character –Weapon Design –Enemies What Went Right / What Went Wrong Work-in-Progress Examples Q&A
DEAD SPACE GOALS (JAN ‘06) Create new survival horror franchise (not a lot of competition compared to market, EA had none) 85 Metacritic Don’t get cancelled and screw up new I.P. green lights for others
LET’S NOT GET FANCY Risk tolerance already maxed out before starting: New IP vs. Simpsons, Lord of the Rings, Godfather Small Team Almost No engine when we started Stylization works against horror
HORROR VS. SCI-FI ACTION HORROR (Little Competition) Slow Movement, Exploration Less Combat, More Lethal Environmental Storytelling More Mystery Fragile Everyman Player SCI-FI ACTION (Tons of Competition) Fast Movement Frequent Combat, Less Lethal Action Storytelling More Explicit Superheroic Ass Kicker ALWAYS EMPHASIZE HORROR!
keys to horror art direction Accessible, Believable, and Relatable Games already a step behind film “reality” Not too many logic leaps required Easy to relate to Keep magic tech to a minimum (No Lasers or force fields) Immersive Once we’ve got them, don’t let go Don’t remind them it’s just a game Must Move Away from Sci-Fi Action!
RIGHT, SOUNDS EASY ENOUGH “ACCESSIBLE, BELIEVABLE, RELATABLE, and IMMERSIVE” Color and Lighting User Interface Environment Design Player Character Weapon Design Enemies
RIGHT, SOUNDS EASY ENOUGH “ACCESSIBLE, BELIEVABLE, RELATABLE, and IMMERSIVE” COLOR AND LIGHTING User Interface Environment Design Player Character Weapon Design Enemies
Outline Where we started Horror vs. Sci-Fi What We Did –Color and Lighting –User Interface –Environment Design –Player Character –Weapon Design –Enemies WHAT WENT RIGHT/WHAT WENT WRONG Work-in-Progress Examples / Q&A
RIGHT: DID LESS, POLISHED MORE Polish and Presentation highest scoring aspects of DS Controlled what problems we tackled We cut off rendering features early. –Relatively modest rendering (no HDR, basic shading) –Artists had final tools early, learned them well We cut off content early –Engineering Alpha 4/18 –Content Alpha 5/31 –Content Lock 7/31 (No A or B bugs) –Audio Lock After Everyone else (huge win) –Ship 10/14 Tons of Focus Grouping, time to properly respond