Until Dawn will adapt to how the player is using the Move controller, and what the player chooses to do in the game, according to creative director Will Byles.
Speaking with the PS Blog, Supermassive Games said the teen horror-inspired title doesn’t use a HUD, instead, players will use the Move controller as a flashlight with the T-button controlling the player’s walking speed.
“We wanted to make sure this game was fun to play, but also watchable — we wanted a couple or group of friends to sit down and those that weren’t playing would be really happy to watch the whole thing,” said Byles. “It just seemed like a much better way of doing it [with no HUD].
“Every time we put something on screen, it breaks your suspension of disbelief just a little bit. So we try to keep it to a minimum. We wanted to try and keep all the shocks and scares first-person, so they’re happening to the player, with as few abstract elements as possible.
“The game was designed from the ground up for PS Move. We started off making a first-person teen horror game that was flashlight-based — everything you needed to do or navigate used the flashlight. And PS Move is perfect for that; it looks like a flashlight, it feels like a flashlight. The T button underneath it handles your walking speed. Then, when you’re interacting without the flashlight, we map the PS Move controller to what your hand would do.”
While Until Dawn will change depending on player decisions, it isn’t a linear game in the traditional sense, yet the fate of the character being played is in the gamer’s hands.
“If you die in this game, you die. The story will change, adapt,” said Byles. “There’s no reset or respawning — that’s it. You’re onto the next character.
“During development, we did a lot of testing to make sure that there was a pacing to the fear. We did galvanic skin response (GSR) tests, which sounds quite technical, but it measures the conductivity of people’s skin — like a lie detector. Then the person would play the game, we would film them and see what’s onscreen, and we’d get this graph showing how frightened or relaxed they were.
“It’s quite interesting: The scene when Michael and Jessica are in the lodge and it starts to get amorous, we saw some interesting skin galavanic responses when some of the younger men were playing it.”
The game will also contain ans sense of humor, like in the scene where players use the Move to begin disrobing the character’s girlfriend.
“We keep coming back to the game being unashamedly a teen horror. If we didn’t do that stuff, I think that people would feel cheated,” Byles said. “We’ve got to go there, we’ve got to do it. People see teen horror movies as date movies, and we’re trying to do the same thing here.
“To us, the three words of teen horror are scary-sexy-funny. Things like I Know What You Did Last Summer, Scream, Buffy or Supernatural. All of those have the same sort of feel — they’re teen horror.”
Until Dawn was announced during Sony’s pre-gamescom conference and is out next year for Move.