On the eve of the launch of Visceral Games’ much hyped sequel to their survival horror shooter, Dead Space 2’s producer, Shereif Fattouh let’s us in on where they went wrong the first time ‘round and what they’ve done to make round two right.
Ask Shereif Fattouh what the team behind Dead Space 2 learned from the first game, and he’ll give you a list of what players liked and how they’ve managed to bring those elements across to the new game. They learned that people like using tools as weapons – forget machine guns, hand over the plasma cutters and mining tools. They learned which necromorphs were cool and which ones weren’t so cool. They studied what people liked and capitalised on them for Dead Space 2.
But what about where they went wrong?
We asked Fattouh to step back and be critical of the first games’ weaknesses, and he was more than happy to acknowledge where things could have gone better.
“The hardcore fans will know of a moment in the original Dead Space; the ADS Cannon. It was where you hopped into this Asteroid Defense Cannon and played a mini game that involved you shooting at asteroids… but it was brutally difficult,” Fattouh said.
“From that one mini game, I think we learned, I know I personally learned a big lesson as far as design goes, that if you’re going to have a game mode that is drastically different to the main game mode, you better be sure that it’s well tutorialised and that it’s not super difficult, because otherwise you’ll throw people off,” he said.
“People who have been playing the game for so long are used to a certain mechanic, and they like that experience, so if all of a sudden you throw them into something like a flight simulator, it should be a mini game that acts as a change of pace instead of being something that is brutally difficult that people can’t get past. I’ve heard stories of people, and candidly I’ve seen people on message boards talk about how they got to that point and put the controller down because they couldn’t get past it. We don’t want another ADS Cannon moment in Dead Space 2.”
So does this mean the end of ADS Cannons altogether?
“Yes,” said Fattouh.
“No more ADS cannons.”
We managed to speak to Shereif late last week for an in-depth interview on Dead Space 2, check back later this week for more info!