Published on September 13th, 2010 | by Cameron Woolsey
Dead Space 2 Multiplayer Interview with Scott Probst
In this interview Greg and I are seated with Scott Probst the Multiplayer Producer of Dead Space 2.
Cam: So Scott, when it comes to the multiplayer of Dead Space, a lot of people didn’t expect it. Is it something that you wanted to try [at the start of development] or was the team thinking that they could just [begin development late] and see where it goes?
Scott: That’s a good question. I think it’s a natural evolution; a natural progression of the franchise. From the beginning of development we wanted to say: “How can we continue to build on Dead Space as a franchise and to continue to open it up as a game to new gamers and new players and basically get into those different interests?” From the very beginning we wanted to build a multiplayer and we wanted to make something that was core to the franchise and not added development or a tacked on experience. So what we’ve done is build something that is we’ve built something that fits with the core of the franchise that will be what you would expect to be playing in multiplayer. The team’s hard work has been paying off with what we have been playing today.
Cam: So we can expect a full backing on this instead of [the same] experience; we’re going to see DLC and new maps, right?
Scott: I wish I could expand on that but I can’t mention anything else.
Cam: Aw c’mon, if I turn off the mic will that help? I won’t tell anyone I promise.
Scott: No, sorry.
Cam: Pinky swear.
Cam: Alright…I noticed in the trailer that we saw different characters with different colors. Are we going to see some customization of the human characters in a way?
Scott: Absolutely; you will actually see customization on both sides. You will see a metagame experience as you play through. Each match that you play will be a round as a necromorph or a round as a human or vice versa. You will get to play as both sides and as you level up through the metagame you will actually unlock things that will build on both your human as well as your necromorph character. So as the human you will have the ability to unlock new weapons and new abilities for those weapons like damage modifiers, for instance. You’ll also have the ability—as you said—to unlock new suit skins which will give you a different look and give you the ability to customize what you look like ingame.
Then on the necromorph side we have unlocks that build into the core components of the gameplay mechanics of each one of the characters so with “The Pack,” for instance—he’s the baby with the big head—he has the ability to get in and have a short-range melee attack and he’ll have the ability to have increased melee attack damage which builds on his core components of gameplay.
Cam: OK, so we will see something like increased health or [increased] ranged attack damage?
Scott: Yeah, the plethora of unlocks will be there representing both sides of the humans and necromorphs.
Cam: Have we seen any of that so far in this multiplayer presentation or is this still something that you guys have yet to elaborate on?
Scott: We are not releasing too many details on what we’re actually going to be featuring on specific unlock basis but what we’ve experienced today in these multiplayer matches is that we have unlocked new weapons. So we have the ability to play with both the plasma cutter and pulse rifle at the start of the match and after the match we get to unlock the explosive javelin gun which they can then choose to put into their load-out.
Greg: How is matching going to work once you start leveling up?
Scott: We want to match make based on location so that you are close to the people and have a good connection—matchmaking based on location and ping. We also have the ability to match make based on skill—so basically a skill equation that we have come up with that evaluates your skill level—
Cam: Much like TrueSkill, maybe?
Scott: Similar to that but not exactly. What we want to do is match players with similar skill sets so that you don’t have, you know, the greatest player in the world—a max-level character—playing against me who is a first-time player.
Cam: So, what type of game modes are we seeing out here? Will it be more expanded? Will we see something like deathmatch or capture the flag?
Scott: The thing to keep in mind is the maps that will be featured in Dead Space 2 multiplayer will all be objective-based so, again, feeding into what you think you would be doing in the multiplayer side and having missions that are similar to what you would be doing in the single-player side of things. With the map today you have the Titan Mines where The Sprawl’s security team’s objective is to three different components which are bomb components and ultimately construct the shock mine which will explode and then eradicate the necromorphs and blow open an escape door for them. Each one of the maps you’re going to play is going to have a different objective so it’s not going to be that same objective time and time again. There will be a new objective for the humans to go in and figure out how to defeat the necromorphs each time in each map.
Greg: As far as in the game right now, is there anything you can unlock in-game that you can use in multiplayer?
Scott: Oh, you mean in the single player side of things?
Scott: So we’re not going into the details of that but there will be unlocks and items from the single player side that will feed into the multiplayer side.
Cam: Is there going to be some kind of storyline that will be connecting the single player and multiplayer about what’s going on?
Scott: Yeah, absolutely. We’re not going into too many details about that but each one of the multiplayer maps is from within The Sprawl so these are locations that Isaac would have gone to throughout The Sprawl and might have seen as he journeys through his mission in the single player campaign. What Isaac will find is story elements that hint what is going on within the events of the multiplayer.
Greg and I would like to thank Scott for this interview and being a super classy guy all the way through.
If you have any questions or comments please feel free to drop either of us a line and we will get back to you as soon as we are able.