Not all video games are made with multi-million dollar budgets, and when it comes to smaller games, sometimes designing a game or level on a budget is a must. As part of Gamasutra’s “Deep Dives” series, they recently had Shawn Patton – the Principle Designer for Schell Games – sit down and discuss what it took to create a level for the VR puzzle game I Expect You to Die.
As Patton states, when the game was first being tested, many players commented on making the game “worth” the cost, meaning that Patton and his team had to find ways to possibly design levels in a cost-effective way. To do this, he said, he began by having a brainstorming meeting to discuss possible level concepts before moving on to letting the core team meet and discuss what could be realistic.
What came from these moments, he said, was learning that something as simple as sitting in a train car can be fun, and not every environment has to be rich or gigantic to be engaging to the player. The entire discussion is well worth the read if you’re interested in level design or game design on any scale, so make sure to head over to Gamasutra to check it out.
For more on I Expect You to Die, make sure to check out our review on the game:
I Expect You to Die is an essential VR game that gets across why virtual reality is so fundamentally different from traditional games. It immerses you in Schell’s take on spy culture, and provides some frantic heart pounding moments as you try not to die. The adventure is over all too quickly, but the format of the missions being launched from a central office is the perfect platform to bring in additional missions as updates or DLC, which I would wholly support if they matched up to the impeccable quality of the existing puzzles. The credits do conclude by saying “I Expect You To Die will continue…” so after all of these deadly super spy experiences, it looks like Schell Games still expects you to die, and hopefully we don’t have to wait too long. I Expect You to Die isn’t just stirring up the field of virtual reality. Like a Bond martini, it’s thoroughly shaken.
I Expect You to Die is available now.