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  • Results from Game Design Challenge: Reviving Resident Evil

    - staff

  • Sean Myers, Aspiring Designer in Japan

    SCRIPTED CAMERA MOMENTS The camera system synthesizes desired qualities of both the fixed camera angles of the older titles and the fixed tracking camera of the newer titles. Fixed (read: controlled) camera angles are conductive to inducing fear and setting up scares, scripted and unscripted, but are outmoded. An over-the-shoulder camera that tracks the playable character allows for more intuitive and popular gameplay by virtue of greater player control. Suspense, tension, and fear are bolstered and have maximum impact when control is given and then taken away-at the right moments. This synthesis of camera systems is achieved first by employing scripted cameras used during moments benefited by authorial control, and then by seamlessly (avoiding obvious "tells") oscillating between these scripted camera moments and normal tracking camera gameplay.

    FREER PLAYER CHARACTER MOVEMENT, MELEE IS MAINLY DEFENSIVE Maintains freer player character movement, particularly moving while shooting, eschewing the tank controls of old. Keeps melee finishers, but tones them down. Changes melee in general to a defensive, evasive, and counter mechanic.

    LEVEL DESIGN NOT ALWAYS CONDUCTIVE TO SUSTAINED FRENZIED ACTION, AND IS PACED BETWEEN WIDE AND NARROW LINEARITY Toning down sustained action, therefore, depends on enemy entry points that promote quick reaction and environments that are restrictive, in general. Pacing is also important, and there are combat encounters scattered about where frenzied action "catharsis" can be achieved. This pacing includes a mixture of wide (older titles) and narrow (newer titles) linear areas. The former areas focus on horror and exploration, use backtracking again but to a currently acceptable degree, and contains puzzles. The latter are more action-heavy, allowing for the aforementioned catharses.

    RETURN TO SCARCITY No more indiscriminate drops of ammo from downed enemies, and a return to limited item carrying capacity and scarcity of save ability.

    REMOVAL OF CONSTANT AI BUDDY CHARACTER Having a constant AI buddy (in single player mode) is contrary to maintaining a sense of vulnerability, and by extension, fear. Returns to a lone playable character.

    TWO CAMPAIGN MODES Keeps the cooperative play introduced in RE5 and RE6, but has two game versions/modes in campaign-single player and cooperative. The game is not identical between these two modes. Single player mode focuses on tension, suspense, fear, and horror. Cooperative mode is more action-oriented. In terms of narrative, the story is different, tailored appropriately to the single player and cooperative experiences, respectively.

    A STALKING PURSUER IN A PERSISTENT ENVIRONMENT Reintroduces a pursuer in the vein of Mr. X and Nemesis, as they created a sense of menace caused by their constant stalking, and dread at the thought of the inevitable run-ins with them. But rather than scripted appearances, this pursuing monster has persistent AI in persistent levels-stalking the player in real time, at all times.

    RESET TO A MORE INTIMATE NARRATIVE A smaller scale narrative is in order again. The threat of large-scale outbreaks has been contained. No more immediate consequences of global significance or antagonists motivated by world domination. Survival is the overriding goal.


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