Nobody Hears Your Cry: How Dead Space Was Created [Cadelta Horror Month] (Topic)

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Nobody Hears Your Cry: How Dead Space Was Created [Cadelta Horror Month]


When Dead Space came out in 2007, I launched it, literally half an hour later I got scared, and I deleted it. This was the first time the game really scared me. This was my story of getting to know Dead Space. And although everything can be attributed to the fact that I was then a child, I played horror, and the same Resident Evil never bothered me. But I was not alone, this was the case with everyone, because Dead Space was scary in earnest. According to the creator of the original first game, Glen Schofield, he wanted to create the scariest game in the industry. And at the time of 2008, I can say that he did it. Therefore, the history of the creation of Dead Space is especially interesting to consider.

Resident Shock 3.4

The game was developed by the late Visceral Games. Before Dead Space, she was often only involved in film-licensed projects, and it's worth mentioning that their games like The Godfather: The Game or The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King weren't even bad.

After being renamed from Redwood Shores to Visceral Games, Schofield asked management to create a scary game and his proposal was approved. Initially, the project looked like the spiritual successor to System Shock 2, and with the purchase of the rights to this particular series in 2006 by EA, speculation began among the gaming environment that they were preparing the third part of System Shock for release.


As one of the developers told the PC gamer, the creators of the game were really very focused on this franchise and all the developers had to go through System Shock 2. This greatly affected the final result, because the atmosphere and concept of Dead Space is really very close to this game However, the best horror of its time was influenced more by the other best horror of its time - Resident Evil 4, which personally inspired Glen Schofield. Visceral Games decided to focus on it, but leave the space setting. Also, developers, like horror fans, looked for inspiration in films and literature. This led to the name of the main character Isaac Clarke being a combination of the names of science fiction writers Isaac Asimov and Arthur Clarke.

The team realized that they wanted to create something darker and more terrifying than before, make the player panic from start to finish and sit on pins and needles.

Exploding and interface

In the game design of the game, the developers decided to go in a new way and make the game realistic to make it scary. First of all, this concerned the interface, which was completely removed from the game in favor of full immersion. Interactivity with the outside world has increased, and every action should feel real. Shots, destruction of objects, even the way Isaac stomps and smashes boxes.

Experiments led to the creation of a strip on Isaac's spine, and a second indicator. So the player could focus on the environment. Another major component of the game is dismemberment and copious violence. Necromorphs are rather unusual and disgusting opponents, more like pieces of living and shapeless meat than anything in particular.


Everything falls into place when you know the sources of inspiration. To create characters, developers have long looked at photographs of corpses from the scene of car accidents. The proportions, the location of the limbs, gangrene and bruising - all this was copied from real pictures of death.


To slash opponents, it was nice to make a special type of weapon, namely a plasma cutter that can hit with lines and cut individual parts of the body. The design of both the enemies and Isaac himself was adjusted to it, segmenting the bodies so that each part could be cut off.

The walls are pressing on you

Much of the atmosphere in any game is music and sound design. For starters, Dead Space was nominated for several awards by the non-profit Game Audio Network (GANG) in 2009: Music of the Year, Sound of the Year and Sound Design of the Year.

Don Becker was responsible for the sound design in the game. He started working on it from the very beginning of creation, and not in the last stages, as is often the case in games. The sounds pressed on you, forced you to turn around and simply recreated the beautiful, but at the same time mute atmosphere of quiet space, where no one would hear your scream, no matter how hard you tried.


For example, the team went to record the sounds of an arriving rail train in San Francisco, as Becker considers him scary and disgusting enough to be inserted into the game. As a result, you constantly hear it as you open and close doors in the game.

But the special fear was caused by the necromorphs themselves. Instead of spawning anywhere in the corners of rooms, the developers herded the monsters into ventilation, located literally everywhere. Players never knew when the next creature would emerge from them and try to kill you.


The AI of the enemies read the location of the player and launched the monsters in such a way as to corner you. So, slowly walking back and firing off one necromorph, the game could send a second one behind you from the ventilation that you have already passed and decided that it is not dangerous.

You were never safe, and even the vents you cleaned out could reappear. If in most cases this can be annoying when mobs spawn again on a cleared location, here the mechanics were so organically woven into the narrative and pace of the game that it looked natural.

What can I say, Dead Space was able to scare us. She also knew how to come up with various terrible scenes, which only developed more strongly in the second part. For example, having survived a difficult fight, the player would go to another room to rest and realize that he could, when suddenly a tentacle grabbed him and began to beat him. And although the creation of this scene almost ruined the game, since it was difficult to implement, such moments made it clear that everyone wants to kill you.


Although the series is already dead, like the development studio, no one can take away the horror and legacy of Dead Space from us. The story behind Dead Space makes it clear to us that the game was really created with a desire to scare us, and yes, they did it.

The Topic of Article: Nobody Hears Your Cry: How Dead Space Was Created [Cadelta Horror Month].
Author: Jake Pinkman