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PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 11:19 am 
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The Game with Richard Wyckoff

1. We’ve heard there were going to be med packs. In fact, there is still one in the Smuggler’s Plane in Industrial Jungle in the build 96. By that build, health automatically regenerates pretty fast over time. How was health originally supposed to work? Was the player going to be able to eat wild foods in the game, and how would that work?

There were no plans for eating or anything crazy like that. I can’t remember anything about our plans with health packs; it’s possible that was merely just in there for looks, because I know we didn’t want anything gamelike. Even the magical tattoo caused us a lot of internal debate since it violated our realism mandate, but in the end we decided it was realistic enough and gave you useful information that we didn’t have time to show in any better way.

2. There is an old interview somewhere where a developer talks about trees crashing down as a dinosaur (like T-Rex) walks through them. This is actually pretty easy to do in the Trespasser engine, why was it not done?

Remember when Trespasser was released we could only activate about 10 boxes at once. Some objects that didn’t have simple shapes like a car were made of several boxes. Because of the branches, a tree would have to have several boxes, at least one for the trunk and one for the branches, and maybe more or else the collision would have been very unrealistic. Furthermore we would have needed to have extra geometry and textures for the bottom parts of the tree, and that would have been a waste of memory and development time.

Therefore, knocking trees over was never seriously considered and whoever mentioned that was either exaggerating or simply misinformed!

3. One of the biggest complaints for players of Trespasser is not being able to carry guns or other items from one level into the next. Do you know why this ability was not included?

Trespasser was originally supposed to have a streaming engine like GTA or Mercenaries - there would have been no level loads. It takes extra work to create a save system that can carry information from level to level, and the level system we got was a bit hacked together when it became clear that streaming the whole island was not going to be possible within our time constraints. Since there were even more important things to program and it was in fact a design benefit that we always knew exactly what items a player had at the beginning of a level, that feature was never added.

I think we talked briefly about trying to plan the level transitions so there was a fictional justification why Anne lost all her items from level to level, like falling down or climbing up a slope, but that would have been too much design work in the end.

4. It seems like there was originally going to be monitoring for Anne’s emotions. There are voiceovers in the game for when Anne gets tired from physical activity. “I really should have used that stair machine!” There are voiceovers for when the player leaves the game idle and Anne starts talking back. There are also voiceovers for caution and fear. How was this going to work? Why was it not done?

I don’t remember much about this but I don’t think it was very seriously considered. It’s very common in games to record as many extra voice overs as you can in order to fill up an entire session, and these were probably optimistically recorded in the hopes we’d find a way to use them.

5. The “tire” voiceovers include Anne whistling random tunes. Do you remember if these were known to be from somewhere, or just made up?

I have no idea. You’d have to ask someone who was at the recording sessions, like Austin.

6. Do you remember what dinosaurs were planned for Trespasser but not included? The ones we have are: Brachiosaurus, Velociraptor (3 tribes), Stegosaurus, Triceratops, Parasaurolophus, T-Rex (male, female, alpha), Albertosaurus, and “RaptorCBoss.”

I don’t remember at this point, but I don’t think we really cut many, if any. The only ones that I really felt we missed out on were Compsognathus since they featured heavily in the movie. But this was not feasible in the engine, again because of the physics speed issues - we really couldn’t have more than about 3 dinosaurs active at once.

7. We understand that dino genders were going to be in the game, and baby dinos. Do you remember anything about what this would have been like, or why it was removed?

I don’t remember anything about dinosaur genders being seriously considered. There wouldn’t have been any real design purpose. I think I vaguely remember something about a baby triceratops at one point, but it also would have been cut very early. All of this sounds like wishful thinking from before we even really designed the levels, when we had dreams of flocks of dinosaurs like you see in the movie, and much more sophisticated AI where mama dinosaurs would protect their babies. In the end we were happy if dinosaurs would just manage to run at you.

8. The oldest images of Trespasser show pre-positioned tiger raptors all over the levels, as well as green rexes, obviously while AI and rigging was yet to be implemented. Early images of working raptors show at least one tribe of them as having been changed to all-brown, including all video from the Trespasser game trailer. They were later changed back into tiger raptors, though far less poly than the original of course. Do you remember the decisions involved with these facts, and why a brown raptor temporarily replaced the white & orange tiger skin?

I have no idea, really, I don’t remember being involved in any of that. This kind of stuff does happen all the time in game development though. Sometimes an executive says “dinosaurs in the movie aren’t colorful, make them more brown.” Brown raptors would probably have really sucked since the world is so brown. They would have been very hard to see - maybe that’s why the tiger ones came back.

9. We also know dino genders were planned, and the presence of the brown raptor does not *seem* to be involved with this, since when it is seen there are no other raptor skins. Were genders cut for reasons of dino population, AI, texture space, or?

See above. Dinosaur genders were never seriously considered. By the time we had dinosaurs moving at all in the world, the last thing on our mind was making genders.

10. The T-Rex showcased by all Trespasser promotion is known in TresCom legend as “the green rex,” highly sought after for its vibrant coloration and high resolution textures, as well as having a better model. Members were very disappointed to not find him in any of the build 96 levels, especially Pine Valley, even though an old Parasaurolophus test model (seen in early images) is found in a couple levels. The rex it was replaced with is darker green, with lower detail of course. The original skin seems to have been taken directly from the male rex model used in Spielberg’s movie. Was the skin changed to avoid copyright to materials that were not allowed, or? (could also be related to the tiger raptor)

I’m sure there were no copyright issues, after all Spielberg himself supported the game and visited frequently.
Obviously all those promotional shots were made directly in 3D Studio before the game was made, and back in those days it was a lot more common to make great-looking (i.e. higher resolution models and textures) models for fake screenshots, since in-game art looked pretty crappy. I think the T-Rex was completely rebuilt at least once, if not twice, in order to make it actually fit in memory and render efficiently, and when that happens all sorts of things like texture color can change.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2010 7:12 pm 
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Therefore, knocking trees over was never seriously considered and whoever mentioned that was either exaggerating or simply misinformed!

:lol: That's kinda funny cause I have read descriptions of trees being knocked over in many places. They are probably all very early, though.

and much more sophisticated AI where mama dinosaurs would protect their babies.

Haha, someone should record that part of TC Final...

after all Spielberg himself supported the game and visited frequently.

Nice...

I think the T-Rex was completely rebuilt at least once, if not twice, in order to make it actually fit in memory and render efficiently, and when that happens all sorts of things like texture color can change.

Well that explains it.

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