Dead Space Remake Developers Explain the Intensity Director

The Intensity Director has been described by the Dead Space remake developers as a way to offer unique experiences to different players.

Posted By | On 15th, Dec. 2022

dead space

Developer EA Motive has revealed new details about the upcoming Dead Space remake in a new developer blog post on the game’s official website. This time around, the focus is on a new feature dubbed the Intensity Director.

Meant to be a way to keep players on edge throughout their time with Dead Space, senior game director Eric Baptizat describes the Intensity Director as “a way for us to control the stress level for the player, to be sure there’s always something happening.”

Essentially, the system will gauge a player’s general performance during their time with the game and dynamically adjust events to make the game scarier. This goes beyond something like the Director in Left 4 Dead, however, since the Intensity Director can also affect aspects like fog, steam, and even audio and lighting changes.

An example given in the post is of a player encountering a relatively relaxed room where they only experience a couple of spooky sounds, but not much else in the way of scares.

“But then you might go into another room,” says associate lead level designer Steven Ciciola, “and suddenly, there’s a Slasher spawning from a wall vent, plus the lights turn off, plus there’s fog in the environment, and it becomes a lot more intense. But then we give the player a break. Because we do essentially track the peaks and valleys of tension, to make sure that it’s not just back-to-back-to-back high-intensity events. Because that would be emotionally exhausting; you’d be like, ‘I can’t take this anymore.’”

The studio has been testing and playing around with the Intensity Director quite a bit, and according to the post, it has been well worth it. The developers describe testing a chapter and finding the scares developed by the Intensity Director to be almost indistinguishable from more directed scenarios.

“What was most surprising,” says lead senior software developer David Vincent, “is that I wasn’t expecting it to work so well so fast! 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.”

Dead Space is slated for release on January 27, and will be coming to PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X/S.


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