May 5, 2006

Prey Weekly Update #17

I'm not Chris Rhinehart. That's my usual greeting when meeting people, not just the opening of this weekly update. I just like to make sure there's no confusion. My name is Jason L Blair, though, and I'm the Director of the Adventure Game Division here at Human Head Studios.

Chris asked me to write this weekly update because, as you can imagine, everyone here is going through a hardcore crunch right now--not only with finishing the game, but preparing for next week's computer and video game extravaganza, E3.

Prey will have a strong presence at this year's E3. It will be shown not only at 2K Games' booth but Creative Labs' and Microsoft's booth as well. All three spots are amazing traffic centers and I'm confident folks will be blown away by what they see.

Both the PC and Xbox 360 versions will be shown at E3. A MultiPrey tournament will be going, showing off Prey's mind-bending Death Match experience. As you're reading this, you are probably fully aware that Prey plays hell with gravity, wall-walking, and even allowing your spirit to leave your body during game play. Not only is that an amazing part of the single-player game but it opens up entirely new dimensions in MultiPrey. You'll have enemies coming at you in true three-dimensional space. The potential to frag and be fragged by people behind you, in front of you, above you, and underneath you cranks up the tension and anxiety that make Death Matches so much fun. And be sure you stash your body someplace safe if you decide to let your spirit roam.

The Xbox 360s that will be running the game will also be sporting a snazzy Prey faceplate, made exclusively for the show. There is a picture of what this faceplate looks like at the bottom of the update. Future public availaibility of this item has yet to be determined (in other words, we don't know if you can buy them or not), so there's your answer before you ask it. :)

If you're a person who is not going to E3, like me *ahem*, you needn't worry about missing out. Prey will be receiving full coverage by the major video game news outlets and I'm sure Chris will be back next week with a full summary of everything that happened.

As part of finalizing Prey, we've had some beta testers from 2K Games in the office the past six weeks. This is an official shout-out to Larry and Darren who did phenomenal jobs in working first-hand with the development staff to knock bugs out of the game. While, yes, this made more work for the poor developers, it also helps make Prey that much more of a great gaming experience.

My main job is creating and overseeing the development of board, card, and roleplaying games for Human Head, and I am a writer at heart - that's my passion - so I felt very fortunate to be brought in on some of the writing of Prey. With a script already in hand, the task of the in-house team was to focus on bringing together the artistic "big vision" of Prey's story with the technical realities of creating the game.

The core story of Prey is a classic hero's tale so the work that needed to be done was punching up the dialogue and making Tommy's transition from reluctant hero to possible savior smooth, gripping, and dramatic. Tommy is a guy with a lot on his plate and, working with the original script, the in-house team was able to fully meld the narrative with the game aspect of Prey.

Of course, Prey is also a love story and it is Tommy's love for Jen that propels him into the world of Prey and, once in, even more starts to unfold as he encounters obstacle after obstacle and even becomes embroiled in another, overarching plot that truly puts the weight of the world on Tommy's shoulders.

As a gamer and a writer, I find Prey fully satisfying. Folks may think I'm biased but this isn't my game. This is just a game I was fortunate enough to assist with - from helping with dialogue, to writing ad copy, to writing the manual. But the game play experience is what I'm talking about here, and Prey delivers. I'm excited to read and hear the reactions from E3 and, later, from gamers and reviewers who get a chance to play the final game.

This is going to be an exciting time for Prey, from E3 on through gold, now is the time where Prey truly gets to shine. I can't wait for you guys to see it.

I'd be remiss not to talk about what I do here at Human Head. As stated above, I'm the Adventure Games Director and it's my job to produce our company's traditional games. This spans from the latest entry in our GOTHICA line of horror-themed board games, released last year, to VILLAINY - The Supervillainous Card Game, coming in July, to our upcoming pen-and-paper roleplaying game, NORMAL, TEXAS. You can read more about what I do at

So, that's the update; the outside-insider's view of Prey. Thanks to Chris for asking me to write this and thanks to me for giving Chris this update off to get back to the grind.

Thanks to you for reading. Chris will be back next week, exhausted from all the debauchery at E3. If he doesn't have pictures, I'll kick him for you.

Jason L Blair
Adventure Games Director
Human Head Studios
(aka Not Chris Rhinehart)

The Xbox 360 Prey Faceplate created exclusively for E3 2006

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

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Posted by Joe Siegler on May 5, 2006 at 6:41 PM | Permalink | Discuss this story on our forums
News Categories: Prey | Weekly Updates