Cold Fear Developer Diary #2 Feature - The Next Level

Cold Fear Developer Diary #2

Cold Fear's development staff Cyrille Combes, Arnaud Barros and Nicolas Castaing discuss programming, level design and more.

Article by External Source (Email)
January 12th 2005, 10:10PM

Cold Fear: The Forbidden Experience

The Oil Rig Level Design: Arnaud Barros, Lead Computer Artist

For the Star of Sakhalin platform design, we tried to reach new dimensions, differentiating the rig from the whaler ship. Our objective was to show vastness and a very broad perspective so the player had a sense for the many modules in the distance. We also re-created the environment at sea. From my point of view the result is even more impressive than on the whaler.

As the player gets familiar with his surroundings, the perspective from the vast environments help him take his marks.

Moreover the platform is not built in one piece. Rather, it is made of several different modules that offer several settings including environments that are scientific, industrial, underwater, or habitations. But I will stop here; I do not want to spoil everything.

The star of Sakhalin oil rig: For the outdoor parts we wanted to offer greater perspectives – increasing visibility to see the different modules in the distance.

There are four modules with different atmosphere. Here Tom explores the scientific module.

Nicolas Castaing, Level Designer and Lead Level Builder

Right from the start, we wanted to offer an evolution in gameplay from the whaler to the oil rig. The whaler puts the focus on the storm, tights indoors, close-quarter combats and surprise effects. By it has far bigger dimensions, the oil rig means even more action-oriented gameplay, allowing to fight many more enemies and bigger creatures. The tension is built more progressively.

The military theme is also more present in this part of the game: there are more mercenaries and they are better organized: they put security systems for the doors and mines to protect themselves from the Exos.

The Eastern Spirit ship: smaller place, and closer fear.

The star of Sakhalin: bigger creatures and more military action.

Creatures like the Exomass or the ExoShade are more powerful, but we took care to always offer two or three different ways to fight them.

For example with the ExoShade you can take the risk to let it grab you and then attempt to perform a finishing move or you can use the shotgun to make it fall and carry on firing, thus preventing it from running away. And of course you can always use the speargun…

With all its network of pipes, the platform also offers many more interactive objects in its sceneries. Some pipes contain flammable gases; others are filled with pressured steam. The player really has to watch for the valves.

ExoShade: you can take the risk to let it grab you | The player really has to watch for the valves

The fear is more progressive in the oil rig. For instance there is a room in the game where at first you will only hear strange noises. The second time you enter it, some dust will fall from the ceiling, then on the third time, when you really are under pressure, something even more dreadful happens.

We tried to build a seamless course of events – visuals, sounds – all along the path in order to put the player under constant pressure. Sometimes it’s only a sound, a small FX, or a jolt, but it can also be the apparition of a creature. Therefore the player is really in his guard, he pays attention to the slightest unusual activity, not knowing when he will have to fight.

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