In many ways the development process of Control is fundamentally different from Remedy’s usual approach to game design. Weeks before completion of Quantum Break, the studio started a process that would transform their business in order to secure a sustainable future. One where they would produce AAA experiences at a much faster pace and keep full ownership of their IPs.
However, Remedy’s desire to make games that stand out in the market never changed. What had changed was that the studio wanted to provide a longer lasting gameplay experience. In order to make that happen, innovations in gameplay and how the narrative would unfold were required. Something the studio approached with great care as they have become known as masters of storytelling and creating strong characters.
As described by Mikael Kasurinen (Game Director) in the latest Dev Diary video, one of those new story delivery techniques is exploration. Not everything is explained right away and through use of exploration, the player needs to actively participate in the world to uncover the mysteries. Remedy never made it a secret Control is an open-ended experience and that provided the team with some challenges as to how to guide the player. Exploration is awarded with upgrades or side-quests that otherwise would have been easily overlooked.
This approach to game design also tested their Northlight technology. As the team decided destruction was going to be of great importance in the game, they quickly discovered this would require them to build the game around that very feature. For example, what happens when you place a important narrative item on a destructible desk?
The new levels of destruction also challenged their Visual Effects Artists. In a recent livestream, James Tottman (Senior VFX Artist) and Elmeri Raitanen (Lead VFX Artist) went to great lengths to explain the challenges they faced in creating the visual effects, how they all work together and why certain design decisions were made. Vida Starcevic (Community Manager) also asked the VFX team a selection of questions from the community. If you’re interested to learn more about this stream, click here to go straight to the Control YouTube on which it was archived. A new livestream, in which Remedy will play through a campaign missions from start to finish, is planned for Tuesday May 7, 7pm EEST / 9am PST.