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

Damaged Sensor Satellite

Section   1  | 2


Experience the Level

The left column features videos and descriptions of the major events for each section.


 
Development and Analysis

The right column focuses on the planning, decisions, and iterations for the section.

This side also includes analysis of the section's successes and failures.



Summary of Events leading Up To This Section of the game

During the first half of the game, Capt. Olivia Rhodes (AKA "Liv") and her companion robot Echo-1 ("Jack") witnessed the appearance of a mysterious anomaly in the vicinity of their mining station, Kronos-II.  The anomaly emitted electromagnetic pulses at random intervals which wreaked havoc with the station's systems and equipment on the surrounding satellites and dig sites.




Jack and Liv worked together to fix the malfunctions while the station's artificial intelligence, named HERA, attempted to scan the anomaly to determine its nature and origin.  The initial scans were unsuccessful,  In the process of setting up further tests, Liv left the station and became trapped when one of the pulses caused some equipment to malfunction.




Jack reached Liv's location to help free her, but as he began to do so, the anomaly flared bigger than ever before and deposited a massive vessel of unknown origin at its location before disappearing completely.  A wave of ice asteroids were displaced from Saturn's rings at high speeds during this event, and Jack was knocked offline as the debris hit him and appeared to do catastrophic damage to the station.





 
DEVELOPMENT

Aside from a brief stint supporting the Station Team's efforts, my area of responsibility only involved gameplay occuring after the "ship arrival" event that occurs mid-way through the game.

As such, I'm only outlining the very basics of those events in the intro on the left.  The pages about sections I worked on go into much more detail.




The video below will catch you up on the most recent events (as described in the left-side column) so you'll be fully up-to-speed for later pages.


"ARRIVAL" AND "EMERGENCY" VIDEO




Station Emergency

As he had several times before, Jack woke up in a "backup" body aboard the station, his programming and memories having been preserved and downloaded into a replacement robot shell.



He explored the bridge area, worried over what might have happened to Liv during the "arrival" event and afterward, since clearly some unknown amount of time had passed between his deactivation and waking up.  He revived the station's AI, HERA, who was similarly in the dark over how long Jack had been offline, but provided a tip that Liv had left the station because its life support systems were down and the mysterious vessel's arrival had brought with it deadly levels of radiation.

Though Liv was able to hook up a radiation dampener device to one of the station's transports, her oxygen reserves were dwindling.  Although her plan was risky, she had left for the mysterious vessel, hoping that its life support was still in working order.


 
COMMENTARY

The Design Team had decided early on in the project that "permanence" would be an important element of the game.  The "rewind time" approach many games have to player death often means the player hears dialogue lines repeated each time he dies, which we felt would break the sense of continuity (and therefore also the immersion) we wanted to achieve.  Thus, we devised a narrative around the idea that when Jack dies, he respawns with the state of the world unchanged from how he left it.

Although we maybe could have played it more forcefully (to better support a later narrative beat which might not be coming across as clearly as it could have), the idea here was that when Jack wakes up this time, neither he nor the player know how long he was "out"ódid he respawn almost immediately, as he'd done every other time in the game... or had days, weeks, or even years passed?  Would Liv still be in danger?  Would she even still be alive?

(In reality, only a period of several hours has passedóLiv is still alive, but is also still in danger.)



Section   1  | 2