During our round-table interview with Dante’s Inferno Greg Rizzer, the lead designer told participants that the character of St. Lucia was not just a “reskin of Dante”, but was instead built separately from the main game in order to obtain proper optimization.
“One of the things we had to do was to create Lucia as a separate character,” said Rizzer. “We didn’t want a character that was just a re-skined Dante.
“Also, in order to maintain 60FPS, as soon as we created her and her wings, we were aware that with the inclusion of co-op means you would want more enemies for her to help attack. So, what we did was go through existing characters from the single-player and optimized the enemies.
“Then, we looked for areas where we could save time and space and redo the characters. That way, the game always runs at 60FPS. There was also a budget meter implemented so that when you go to create your own trial, the budget meter keeps the you from blowing the budget and causing the game to lose frame rate”.
According to Rizzer, St. Lucia not only differentiates herself from Dante in looks, but in combat as well.
“Gamers are savvy enough to know when its just a new coat of paint, so we wanted her to be different, ” said Rizzer. “Lucia is an angel and has wings, so where as Dante is 70/30 ground and air combat, Lucia is 70/30 percent air and ground combat. The exact opposite, really.
“So we conceptualized her so that she really feels different to other characters in this genre. She’s light, quick, and her abilities are different, she has an upgrade tree, and she has this kinetic eye energy attack that is both unique and ranged”.
New enemies have been added to the mix as well, and these include ones the team wanted in the main game but ran out of time and space for.
“Because the size and scope of development, there are always characters that you run out of time with, so we finished some of the enemies that didn’t make it into the final product,” revealed Rizzer. “That was a great opportunity.
“One of the things we brought in was the Dark Forest DLC characters, and you can use them in the level editor for your trials. There is also a new one, The Summoner, which was left out of the main game. What’s really cool is that you can tell him which enemies to spawn, and until he is killed, keeps spawning waves of enemies.
“There just was not enough time for him to be put into the single-player game. Oh, and there is also the new Fire Sprite- which is a fire version of the unbaptized babies, which we there in as well.”
The Trails of St. Lucia, complete with level editor, will be made available April 29 on PS3 and Xbox 360.
You can read more from our round-table interview through here.