Developer Diaries// Alone in the Dark

Posted 30 Apr 2008 17:27 by
Games: Alone in the Dark
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Hervé Sliwa, Lead Designer, Eden Games
Inspiration and Innovation

The most exciting thing in this game is we?re trying to provide lots of variety. Our goal from the beginning was to try to provide as much variety as possible in one adventure. The first thought was, in a movie like Indiana Jones or something like that the hero can run, jump, fight, drive a car, jump out of the car, use the car as a bomb etc, and everything in a full adventure and with a good narrative structure.

Of course it?s very hard to provide this in a game because it needs lots of technology and different engines. If you make a car game it?s not like an adventure game or a fighting game ? it seems to be impossible. But we thought maybe we could do it, so that?s why the project was maybe too ambitious at the beginning.

So from the start we tried to see how all this variety of gameplay elements could come together. After lots of research and development on all these features we made our first prototype and we were able to have our hero run, jump, get in the car, get out of the car, use every object around him, and we said, ok, now we can build a full adventure game.

To put everything together was a nightmare, but one of the most enjoyable things is when everything comes to life. When you dream about some situation for years, then when you play it, it?s unique. It?s hard for a designer to say what he?s most proud of because by definition I?m never proud of anything, I always want more more more, but maybe one thing is the fact that we are breaking some video game rules and bringing some other real world rules.

One thing I?m proud of is you don?t need a specific key to open a specific door, you can open the door without a key. If you are imaginative enough and creative enough you can build your own weapon and blow up your door and to hell with the key puzzle. It?s just a little example but it was so hard to build a level design and game rules to say ok, no more key, no more specific game rules, and try to make a good adventure game with that, but things worked out pretty well.

What we expect from the audience is, holy shit! But also to feel, it could be me. The idea is you are someone in a very specific situation, but it could be anyone. So it?s not a caricature of a perfect guy, it?s just a normal guy in an extraordinary context.

You have to face up to all this shit happening around you and you don?t have a full arsenal of lots of weapons, you have to find them, to build them and be creative enough to survive. What I expect from the audience is, maybe if I tried that and that I could get past this, and oh, it works! Maybe you could try another way and it works too because it?s just logical and we don?t need to explain all the rules of the game because it?s as close as possible to the rules of the real world.
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Games: Alone in the Dark

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