Coverage = WOW

Between the latest Webisode going up and the press tour that Steve (our Project Lead) did last week, we've definitely had the biggest interest spike in the game. I said I'd stop this blog from being an aggregation tool, so I'll just say that you should check out all of the main online web outlets -- chances are they'll have new images, videos, and interviews with Steve up.

While it's cool to give the journalists their look, I also want to give you guys new stuff that you can't get anywhere else in terms of insight into how we are making the game.

This time, I thought I'd drop a blooper video. A couple weeks ago, we decided to play with the force applied to grenade explosions. Our theories on trying things like this is usually to crank it up to 11 and then scale down from there (which is how we came up with some of the amazing decapitations and dismemberments).

In the below clip I just cut off a trooper's leg (hence the moaning you hear to start) and am now being hammered by another guy from a bunkered in machine gun nest. One way to kill him is by tossing a grenade into his little fortress.

So... while this isn't the force of grenades in the game now -- here is a look at what they could be - cranked to 11 ;)

video

Enjoy

Sheldon

P.S. Sath - we wanted to get a demo out roughly a month before the game ships... so its coming soon, but likely not before the holiday season.

New Blood

We have been in full-out "polish the game" mode for the last few months. It's been pretty awesome to see the types of improvements that we're able to do with that extra time.

One of the places that really stands out to me, has been our blood effects. Dark Sector is a game in which you throw a sharp metal glaive, so we've iterated on the blood many many times trying to find that perfect color/thickness/hotness.

Here are two screen shots which compare our blood from 2 months ago, to the blood we have today:


Shot 1 - This trooper (I'm guessing he is left handed now) - looses his arm and leaks a few pints of grainy brand X blood.



Shot 2 - His short sleeved friend realized that you can't save your arms... but unfortunately for him, he still lost his leg. Notice the new blood :)



When we spend hours debating the quality and pouring over different kinds of blood, spatter patterns, and thickness -- I know I made the right career move and my parents must be proud ;)


I'll answer another set of questions later this week.

Sheldon

Q&A

Thanks for the questions!

“Can you say anything about how many levels/stages there will be?”

We divided the game using chapters that made sense for the story. Each chapter is an important piece in you understanding the evolution of Hayden both physically (gaining new powers) and morally (the types of choices he makes). So from purely that perspective, Dark Sector has 10 chapters.

“Is there still a place for stealth? Or there's only one solution?”

Dark Sector is clearly an action game. Once you start using the glaive to ‘power throw’ and ‘after touch’ you’re going to feel like a super-hero, not a super-spy.

That said - Can you play sneaky? Hell yeah.

At the beginning, you can approach an enemy from behind and slit his throat and avoid detection from enemies by smartly sliding cover to cover. That does the job pretty well until you get your third evolution power. It changes the concept of stealth completely and is very satisfying for players that like to get the drop on enemies and perform brutal finishers. There is more on that evolution coming in the future webisodes, so I don’t want to spoil that too much for you.

Sheldon

Finally - a developer has returned to the developer blog

It’s been a long while since a developer actually posted on this blog – so I’m going to break that trend hard from now on. I’ll be posting at least twice a week and I’ll do my best to change this from a Dark Sector news aggregator, to something that you can learn about the game from.

Where to start? I guess that is really question for you? Hit the comments at the bottom and tell me what you want to know about any aspect of Dark Sector. I’ll do my best to answer (or if it’s something we’ve answered in an interview – I’ll point you to that).

I’ll start with a pretty common question that I get about mechanics and how we balance gun and glaive.

This was a big one for us. As we were moving closer and closer to our original ship date, we kept watching our focus testers fumble with that balance. People would play through the game completely using one or the other – only occasionally switching for sniping or puzzle solving. When I look back, its actually pretty crazy how long it took us to figure out that the solution was dual-wield.

It’s so good for the game that we had the extra time to implement this -- the difference dual-wield makes is staggering. There is nothing more badass than kicking in a door, decapitating a few enemies with a “power-thrown” glaive toss on the right, while at the same time blazing down the guys on the left with your dual-wielded Uzi.

It also allowed us to change a few enemies to require gun and glaive combos in order to beat -- I think these are now some of the most fun enemies in the game. There are also bonus style points for shooting from cover when dual-wielding…



That’s all for now,

Sheldon