The studio behind upcoming survival horror game The Callisto Protocol, Striking Distance, wants players to die a lot, and to enjoy all the deaths, to the extent that is even has an Achievement/Trophy for watching every death animation in the game. The studio’s chief technical officer, Mark James, spoke about how the game is handling the player dying in an interview with VG247.
According to James, players will be dying in The Callisto Protocol a lot, but the studio wants players to have fun dying thanks to the game’s unique death animations. The studio calls these death animations ‘murder desserts’.
“That’s what we call them – these brutual moments when you die – that’s what we call them internally,” said James. “Because, to us, it feels like the kind-of reward at the end of a meal, you know? Glen loved them in the original Dead Space, and we’ve doubled down on them even more in The Callisto Protocol. It feels like we reward you even for failing.
“People are going to work through our game, and they’re going to be like ‘oh I’ve not died that way before, fantastic!’”
James talks about how the studio came up with some of the game’s ‘murder desserts’, and how some of the studio’s favourite ones ended up being related to environmental deaths. The Callisto Protocol will even have an achievement/trophy for having seen all death animations in the game.
However, despite the myriad deaths, Striking Distance doesn’t want players to get frustrated with The Callisto Protocol. To help prevent frustration, the studio is being careful with how it places checkpoints for players throughout the game.
“We’re not going to give you the obvious solution to dealing with a new enemy,” explains James, “the first time you see it. We’re going to let you fail, so you’ll be able to say ‘right, the GRIP gun doesn’t work against this enemy’, or ‘that one is a total bullet sponge’, or ‘no point using ballistics here’.”
The Callisto Protocol is coming to PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S on December 2.