January 27, 2006

Prey Weekly Development Update #3

Hi and welcome to the third entry in the Prey Weekly Update series. This entry will be a little different than the ones that preceeded it. This will detail some of my experiences on the press trip for Prey this past week via a couple of journal entries I made during the week - it got pretty hectic there, so there isn't a report every day, but I think most everything got covered. Enjoy!

Jan 23rd, 11 PM

Well, I arrived in Los Angeles this morning to a very welcome climate change. It's damn cold in Wisconsin (although, it has been an unseasonably warm winter. Still, it was like 20 degrees when I left). A lot of driving today. LA is too damn huge. I'd assume lots more driving tomorrow, too.

Today was a fairly busy day of demoing. The first few demos are always the most chaotic as it takes a couple of demos to get into the groove. I usually elicit enough feedback from the first few demos to shape the demos for the rest of the trip.

Today was also the first time that someone not working on the game (or testing for us) has played the multiplayer. Very cool to see people’s reactions to the gameplay in MultiPrey. They picked up the mechanics of the game very quickly - I had expected them to take longer to understand wallwalk and gravity flipping, but they were running around the levels like champs within just a few minutes.

Jan 24th, 11:30 PM

Another long day today. Didn’t have as many demos today (although I looked at the schedule and the next two days are going to be action-packed when I get to San Francisco).

Two demos this morning, which went very smoothly. The game pretty much shows it self off now. The levels are so packed full of stuff that it’s really easy to simply walk through the game and point out all the features that set Prey apart.

I was a guest on Attack of the Show today. While I haven’t yet seen the footage of the episode, it felt like it went well. We showed some live footage of the game being played as well as some footage of multiplayer in action. If I had to complain, I would only say that the segment went really fast - I wish I had more time to talk about the game!

Overall, a good experience. Big thanks to everyone involved in the show. I look forward to seeing the footage of the episode.

Flew into San Francisco today. This part of the tour is slightly different in that the journalists will be visiting us in our hotel suite. So, tomorrow morning we need to set up the machines and get everything ready.

Jan 27th, 7 AM

Set-up yesterday morning took a bit longer than we expected as we ran into some issues with a couple of the machines. Unfortunate, but that meant that we had fewer systems for the multiplayer demo than previously expected.

The demo consisted of three parts: We showed a portion of the single-player game, showed a short bit of the 360 version in action, and then a hand-on demo of Prey multiplayer deathmatch.

Nearly all the features in singleplayer (wallwalking, gravity flipping, spiritwalking, the vehicle, etc) show up in multiplayer. When designing the maps, we ran into issues where the levels became really dense and chaotic due to all of these gameplay elements. Eventually, we decided to selectively emphasis elements in each map. So, for instance, we have maps that focus on wallwalking and other maps that focus on flying around in vehicles.

We showed the journalists three of the multiplayer maps, each based around different Prey gameplay: wallwalking, gravity flipping, and spherical gravity (where the combat takes place on giant spheres). Lots of swearing and smack-talk around the table. Again, very interesting to see how quickly they picked up on the design of the maps and the mechanics of the gameplay.

Overall it was a great time, and we managed to pack in a lot of demos in a short period of time.

Now, I’m looking forward to going home and getting back to work!

Chris Rhinehart - Prey Project Lead
Human Head Software

Level Designer Dave Halsted hard at work with the Preditor.

Sound Lead Ed Lima working on the copious amounts of audio for the game.

Click the screenshot to watch Prey in action on the videos page!

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Posted by Joe Siegler on January 27, 2006 at 11:58 AM | Permalink
News Categories: Prey | Weekly Updates