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Dead Space 2 Dev: A Struggle Between Design And Production

Video games are mainstream now. For them to be truly successful, they have to appeal to a very wide audience.

This is the reason why the games of today are much easier than the games of yesteryear. It's inevitable; it had to be done. The hardcore are the minority.

And that's why games like Dead Space 2 can't be too restrictive. They can be challenging in some respects but in regards to certain elements, they need to remain accessible. In speaking to OXM UK, Visceral Games' combat and control designer Brian Bartram said the adventure was to initially include a lot of tough puzzles. After saying scaling back during development was a "common issue," Bartram elaborated:

"Some players would love for us to have kept them harder, longer, and more complicated. But when two or three people in a 10 person playtesting session just can't get past it, we have to "nerf" it. But that's just a playtesting example.

Games are frequently a type of benevolent struggle between Design and Production. Design wants a giant game with all kinds of cool stuff in it. Production wants a game that will actually ship. When they compromise, things have to be cut away, reduced, and scoped down."

See, before there really wasn't much of a struggle. The harder the better, right? That's what all developers seemed to conclude back in the '80s. After all, those who played games would likely play this one game for months in order to get it right; they're dedicated fans, after all, and not many new titles released in any given year. But oh, have times have changed. When the masses are involved, one has to play it safe with the risky, more difficult content.

Dead Space 2 was a great game, though. Don't want to take anything away from it.

Related Game(s): Dead Space 2

Tags: dead space 2, visceral games, dead space 2 design, game development

1/9/2012 9:54:57 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (12 posts)

bigrailer19
Monday, January 09, 2012 @ 10:32:48 AM
Reply

That's exactly what was missing in Dead Space 2 though... The first didn't hold back quite so much and with that everybody loved it. The second was great no doubt, but it lacked what the first had! Anyways really looking forward to the third!

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CrusaderForever
Monday, January 09, 2012 @ 11:18:46 AM

You are right, nothing can touch Dead Space 1. A true masterpiece to say the least.

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CrusaderForever
Monday, January 09, 2012 @ 11:17:08 AM
Reply

Thanks Ben, that is very interesting. I thought the game was perfect. I actually thought the ending "Gauntlet" was very tough. A harder campaign/puzzles would have been very welcome but I enjoyed DS2 the way it was shipped. Love the universe and Isaac. Cannot wait for DS3!

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Mr Bubbles IGR
Monday, January 09, 2012 @ 1:54:53 PM
Reply

Well they should've included the the harder content that they would not have included in the game, as an optional side quest or bonus missions or have an option before you start a new game to include or not include the harder puzzles, OR have each difficulty setting include incrementally more and more of the "harder" puzzles not originally intended in the game, and for the easier game setting the easier regular puzzles.

That way there's some extra challenge for the dedicated fan.

Last edited by Mr Bubbles IGR on 1/9/2012 1:57:43 PM

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bigrailer19
Monday, January 09, 2012 @ 5:33:50 PM

Honestly wat the really should do for any survival type game, is do what GoW always did. Start the game on a difficulty you think you'll be fine with and if you struggle after so many deaths have the option to decrease te difficulty!

As for the puzzles, have an option after a certain amount of time pop up with a hint to help guide your through it, if you need it, like Uncharted has. That way nothing is sacrificed for the fans who really enjoy the hard puzzles and difficulties.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, January 09, 2012 @ 3:32:25 PM
Reply

Nevermind all that, Dante's Inferno 2!

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ColTater
Monday, January 09, 2012 @ 3:59:04 PM
Reply

I platinumed both, and they really weren't that difficult. IMO the first was scarier and better paced.

I need Dante's Inferno dos as well.

Last edited by ColTater on 1/9/2012 4:01:01 PM

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Lairfan
Monday, January 09, 2012 @ 8:29:35 PM
Reply

Hopefully they take the Uncharted approach in the next one, aka pop a message up that solves it for you if you can't get it for a long time. That way they can keep those tough puzzles in yet still be accessible to the people who don't want to screw around with them.

Tbh, that was the only thing that wasn't excellent about DS2 other than the multiplayer.

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Krilldog
Monday, January 09, 2012 @ 8:32:00 PM
Reply

In my opinion, both games were/are amazing. I platinum'd both. Obviously, there is a certain feeling you don't get with the second that you had with the first. I think in terms of over all difficulty, I have to give the second one the edge, simply based on statistics for myself. I died way more on the first, then I did on the second. not to mention impossible mode. LOVED that.

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ColTater
Tuesday, January 10, 2012 @ 12:45:49 PM

Krill, I played impossible mode with only using the plasma cutter to get the one gun trophy and beat on the hardest difficulty. Still, it wasn't as challenging as playing on HARDCORE on the 2nd one. With the first one, playing on impossible didn't keep me my toes like playing hardcore on the 2nd one, because you had unlimited saves. On Hardcore, you only had 3 for the entire game, so you had better not die, or back to the last save point for you.

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Krilldog
Wednesday, January 11, 2012 @ 12:26:22 AM

I typed that incorrectly. I meant, I died more on the second, and I meant hardcore mode. Not impossible. In reference to the second game. Apologies for my mess up.

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Raze22
Monday, January 09, 2012 @ 9:12:43 PM
Reply

<-------plays his broken record "very hard, hard, normal, easy, very easy"

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