Developer Diaries// Alone in the Dark

Posted 30 Apr 2008 17:27 by
Games: Alone in the Dark
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Hervť Sliwa, Lead Designer, Eden Games
Inspiration and Innovation
We were so impressed by the legacy of Alone in the Dark we wanted something very ambitious and very innovative, so the first proposal was in fact maybe a little bit too ambitious and too innovative, which meant it looked very risky to a producer. And we had a difficult start Ė the project was killed once, and after that we were so motivated to make this game, we worked on it and came back with a technical demo and a proof of concept of all the most risky elements, and Atari said OK letís take the risk, and since then weíve had full support to develop the game. Pre-production started in 2003 then full production started 2 years ago in early 2006. The team built up very fast and today there is around 120 people working on the game.

The main source of inspiration for this game was the narration, thatís to say finding the best way to create the perfect narration for this type of game. At Eden we were all addicted to the new TV series like 24, Lost, Prison Break. We thought about this and said, hey, maybe thereís a new way to tell the story in a game.

The length of the game is close to 10 up to 15 hours of gameplay and narration and so itís not the same pace as a movie which is around two hours. Lots of games try to copy the narrative structure of a movie, but it fits better with a length of a TV season, so we had the idea to split the game into an episodic structure.

From TV thereís the work of one guy I respect a lot, which is J.J. Abrams. Heís the guy behind Lost and Alias and a movie which was released recently called Cloverfield. Iím a huge fan of this guy and his work. He did a conference about how he works with the mechanics of what he called the magic box to create different plot twists. His work was a real source of inspiration for me.

My goal for this game is for the audience to say, oh yes, now a game can be more interesting than a movie. We think in this media we provide everything that a movie provides; we can have animation, acting, sound, music, everything of a movie, but we have something more which is interactivity, so you can be directly inside the story. With this approach the main goal is to give the feeling to the audience that now itís time to re-think about entertainment.

What we try to achieve with this game is to have the broadest audience possible with lots of different types of gameplay, but we donít want to disappoint the more core gamers so weíre trying to create a blend between the two worlds, give lots of innovative content and new action, new types of gameplay, but we want to really make it very accessible.
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Games: Alone in the Dark

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