In part two of our interview, Visceral Games' exec producer, Steve Papoutsis reflects on the almost-finished sequel, its scares and why the horror sequel may have gotten some unlikely influence from Pixar...
So, you're almost finished with Dead Space 2... is it better than the original?
The original Dead Space is always going to be a very special game to us because it was what allowed us to make more Dead Space - whether it was the comic, animated feature, graphic novel, whatever. That really opened the door for the team.
In terms of Dead Space versus Dead Space 2, it really evolved a lot. I think it's going to feel better to people when they play it - the visuals have surpassed what they were in the first one, clearly. So yes, I think it is going to wind up being a better game, but I think Dead Space will always be an extremely important game to us all.
Did you feel any pressure when tasked with topping the brilliantly-reviewed original?
Absolutely. We've shown the game a lot but the proof is in the pudding, when you play it by yourself beginning to end. It's certainly going to be interesting and exciting to see what people think of it, but as I said the visuals are outstanding, Isaac controls better than he did in the first game, some of our new weapon additions make it even more fun, Zero gravity segments are awesome, epic moments are cool... we're all very excited. This is the pay off; we get to see what people think.
EA CEO, John Riccitello stated this month that the Need for Speed series was damaged by deadlines and preasure from the publisher. You guys are a fantastic example of the new EA and developer freedom; Do you think that was a key to why the original Dead Space was such a fantastic game?
Games are forever, pain is temporary. So when you're working hard on something, in the short term it may be tough - but at the end you're going to have this thing forever that people are going to get to enjoy.
You may be burnt out, tired or grumpy from putting in all that time, but at the end it's going to be worth it once you have this thing that people love and enjoy.
It's a self-imposed crunch - that is the thing with the Dead Space team. Maybe nobody [at EA] is telling you 'you have to be there' but those people are there because we love it, want to be there and are putting our heart and soul into it - so that's the way we approach making these games.
Nobody ever comes in and says "you have to be here on Saturday". But people respect each other, and when it comes to the work we're doing that they do themselves, they think, "hey, if I can get this thing done so that Sophie can do her work on Monday I'm going to do that so it makes the game better."
That's motivated by the team. There is no pressure - it's a labour of love, passion and wanting to do better than what we did last time. With [the first] Dead Space, any time we showed it [to EA] there was immense pressure. At any minute we might have got cancelled, they might have said, "This isn't making any progress, we don't like it."