Dishonored dev feels players are “hungry” for non-linear games

Wednesday, 22 August 2012 00:48 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Dishonored allows something of a sandbox approach to missions, which Arkane’s Harvey Smith believes is something gamers yearn for even if they missed out on the 1990’s games which inspired it.

Speaking to the EU PS Blog, Smith said that he has “great faith” in younger gamers even though they were raised on a diet of locked-down, cinematic shooters.

“When we release a game like this kids sometimes come to us and say ‘this game blew my mind; I didn’t know games could do this; I only played very linear games before,'” he said.

“That’s what we like to hear. I actually have more faith in the 13-year-olds as they’re playing things like Day Z or Dwarf Fortress or Eve Online. They’re hungry for highly interactive, non-dogmatic experiences, I think.”

Smith admitted that Dishonored can be a little more challenging than other games, both in terms of aggressive AI response to violence and in the patient emphasis on realistic stealth.

“We decided to go with ‘view cone’ based stealth. Enemies have a view cone. Their peripheral vision is weaker and they don’t see as well up high – it’s squashed so you can hide in the rafters. The deal is that if you’re in front of their view cone they see you, no matter what the lighting levels. Even if I turned out the lights right now, I’d still be able to see you, right? So we decided to go with something realistic,” Smith said of the stealth mechanics.

“The truth is that we tried all of the models you can think of. We tried the ‘pool of shadow’ model, but modern players would say the AI looks bad if I’m in a shadow and an enemy walks right by me. That looks dumb. They want a more reactive system. And that makes it a little more hardcore. To sneak, you really have to stay behind cover, lean out behind walls. It requires you to really know where an enemy is looking and avoid that range.”

Dishonored arrives on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in October.

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