When it comes to gaming and movies, you’d be hard pressed to find a developer as dedicated to the medium as TellTale Games. The studio went all out for their episodic Back to the Future games, emphasising key aspects of the classic film trilogy into their adaptation, and now they’re looking at designing their version of Jurassic Park to feature some iconic “Spielberg moments”.
“Our game draws exclusively from the films. The original Jurassic Park film is referred to as ‘a Stephen Spielberg film.’ So we considered Spielberg’s cinematic style essential to the brand,” Game Designer J.D.Straw told JPLegacy.
“There are many moments where we would talk about how a scene would play out, and little details pop up where we’d say, a Spielberg film would do this”. Straw gave examples of the characters being in ever increasing danger, sound effects ripped straight from the film, as well as some familiar visual gags for dedicated fans, while the dinosaurs are being crafted to have some sort of unique character aspects.
“The dinosaurs are not just monsters. They’re characters”, Straw explained. “Velociraptors come across as sinister bullies. T-Rex is an opportunist. Dilos are playful and disarming. We kept asking ourselves, what do the dinosaurs want when they are on screen. Usually it is as simple as to eat something. But Jurassic Park dinosaurs are full of personality.
Straw admitted, that the gameplay for the upcoming title represented a unique challenge for the studio, as they had to balance action prompts with keeping the dinosaurs on-screen. “I was very vocal about making sure the player’s attention to the interface and inputs and attention to the on-screen action were not mutually exclusive,” Straw said.
“When the action picks up, it’s important for the inputs to appear on screen where you expect the player’s focus to be so they don’t miss them or feel robbed of the experience by having to look away from the awesome dino action going on”.
“It was really important that Jurassic Park: The Game had moments where the player could take in the majesty of a dinosaur without having to immediately run from it”. Another challenge for TellTale, was ensuring that players would have a sense of freedom, without missing any vital details.
“We tried really hard not to railroad every little detail of the plot. The real challenge there was essentially making every exploration push the plot forward”, Straw said. “We’d find some key plot point got buried in optional dialog or on a non-critical point of interest, and we’d have to weigh whether to relocate that info to a mandatory cut-scene or trust that the player can connect the dots without that info.”
Jurassic Park: The Game, release in November on PC,PSN and Xbox Live, with the iPad version arriving later.
Last Updated: September 29, 2011