DEAD SPACE Director Reveals How One Massive Dreadful Tentacle Almost Killed The Horror Game

There's no denying that Visceral Games' first Dead Space is a horror classic and Director Glen Schofield reveals how the horrifying "tentacle" monster almost killed the title in this fascinating video...

Visceral Games (that was known as EA Redwood Shores before 2009) started working on Dead Space around 2005. Between the game's critically acclaimed release in October 2008 and its conceptual phase, Dead Space was a complicated project. In a recent Ars Technica video, the game's Director Glen Schofield reveals the true, and incredibly fascinating, story behind the game's extended development.

Although Schofield gives us many great examples of Visceral's creativity (like the fact that one of scariest sounds is the game actually is the noise of San Francisco's public transportation), the video is centered around the team's struggle to make the "drag tentacle" scene work. First encountered in Dead Space's third chapter, the drag tentacle interrupts the player's walkthrough with an unskippable arcade-esque sequence where you must shoot the tentacle's glowing bits before it brutally kills you.

To this day, that scene is a truly surprising and straight terrifying experience, but creating it took an almost unbelievable amount of work. While it's really hard to tell where one animation ends and another begins, the sequence is not a fully scripted single sequence. The tentacle actually is able to find Isaac programmatically, but how it happens depends on the player's positioning. According to Schofield, that scene required its own specific animations for Isaac's falling, struggling, and shooting.

EA announced the decision to close down Visceral Games on October 17, 2017. Months before the closure, Visceral had been working on a secret action game set in the Star Wars universe codenamed Ragtag, a Battlefield spin-off titled Hardline and a sequel to their beloved horror trilogy - Dead Space 4.

Only the Dead Survive. A massive deep-space mining ship goes dark after unearthing a strange artifact on a distant planet. Engineer Isaac Clarke embarks on the repair mission, only to uncover a nightmarish blood bath and the ship's crew horribly slaughtered and infected by alien scourge. Now Isaac is cut off, trapped, and engaged in a desperate fight for survival.

Dead Space was released in October 2008 on PlayStation 4, PC, and Xbox 360.
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