Damaged Satellite
Rescue, Part 1
Rescue, Part 2
Oxygen Garden
EVA Prep

Mysterious Vessel: Rescue, Part 1

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Learning about the vessel

Dropping down out of the vents, Jack enters a room filled with cone-shaped objects.  Based on their markings and the belts that seem to be used to store / move them, he guesses that they're most likely munitions shells with warheads for delivering some unknown payload to a target.

The scale of the shells and the ship give him pause—clearly he's stumbled aboard a warship, but his extensive knowledge of Earth's current spaceship production doesn't contain any record of such a large vessel, particularly one so well-armed.





As he reaches the far end of the room, a mysterious apparition appears, hovers, then vanishes.  Jack will encounter this same "ghost" a couple more times before learning its origin.




 
GAMEPLAY VIDEO




The big guns

Confirming Jack's suspicions about the nature of the ship, the next space he reaches holds a gigantic cannon.  Clearly the ship was constructed with large-scale battles in mind.

However, things clearly went wrong before the ship's arrival.  The cannon room is filled with floating warheads, many of them "live" either from damage or from being in the middle of being loaded into the firing mechanism when the catastrophe struck.

Jack navigates this minefield of floating radiation sources either by avoiding the warheads or by pushing them out of his path and returning to Induction Panels around the room to recharge his shields.




GAMEPLAY VIDEO




 
CHALLENGE

This was a tricky space to work with.

From the start, we knew it couldn't be focused on Bio Threat gameplay because small, slow projectiles and clusters of surface-denial material aren't really effective in a big, open space unless you increase their density to the point where it'd be hard to understand the theme of the room.

That meant taking a bit of a "dip" in the increasing presence of the Bio Threat as mapped out across the entirety of the rescue mission.  Not really problematic, but we'd also tried a few other types of gameplay in large spaces like this and found them to be difficult to pull off well.

In addition, even the basic objective of the room (with regard to the macro goal finding Liv)—just finding the exit door—was proving somewhat difficult in early revisions.

The solution I hit upon was to fill the gameplay "hole" that might otherwise be left in this space with something that had been a threat and would be again a bit later... radiation.

Since the room is essentially dominated by a cannon and we were thinking about how to present shells that it would fire, it made sense to add radiation to the shells and toss a few of them around the space to create a minefield to navigate.  That presents a few problems of its own, but systems were being developed that would eventually make the theory behind it work out;  identify a radioactive shell with the scanner, push it away from the path you need to take to progress, return to an Induction Panel to recharge your shields.

There are some hidden issues with that becoming a really engaging feedback loop, but as a one-off sequence, it's all right.



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