Perhaps the key ingredient in making a game, or really anything scary is an element of suspense. If we already know what is going to happen, it's often not that scary at all, as everybody who has rewatched a horror movie can probably attest to.
To circumvent this issue, the developer of the upcoming Dead Space Remake, Motive Studio, revealed in a recent blog post that they have a unique trick up their sleeve.
Dubbed the Intensity Director the new feature allows the game to automatically alter the state of the game to keep players on their toes.
"It's a content organization, spawning, and pacing control system," explains Senior Systems Designer Dan Kim. "And depending on how we count things, the system has more than 1200 unique events, with a massive variety of combinations possible. Different elements, like audio or lighting changes, fog or steam, enemy spawns—all that combined together in layers to create encounters that feel like hand-made situations."
According to Motive, the system works so well that even the developers themselves sometimes get scared when the game throws everything at them in terms of bloodthirsty Necromorphs, dim lighting and thick fog.
"You know, when you watch a horror movie, everything is timed to the nanosecond. Everything is so carefully planned and staged; it was like, how can we even reproduce that with a dynamic generator? That's not possible! But it turns out that we were actually able to get that same kind of feeling," says Lead Senior Software Developer David Vincent.
We don't have to wait long to find out whether the Intensity Director works as well as the developer will have us believe, as Dead Space Remake launches on January 27 for PC, Xbox Series S/X and PlayStation 5.