Prey: Why detailing the underside of a table is incredibly important
Because you're a coffee cup, that's why.
Prey is incredibly detailed for good reason, Producer Susan Kath told Stevivor.
“We make immersive sims — that’s what we do,” Kath said. “The level of detail in the world and the level of involvement the player has in the world is pretty extensive compared to other games that I’ve worked on.”
Some of that detail is by necessity.
“So the mimic power obviously lets you turn into a wide array of objects in the game — anything that you can pick up you can turn into as a mimic, depending on the level of the power you have. You can mimic a coffee cup and roll through small openings to get through them.
“In game development a lot of times there are things that like this table is never going to move in a game,” she said, knocking on the coffee table that sat between us. “I don’t have to bother making the bottom of the table look perfectly finely detailed because you’re never going under it.
“Because we have a power that allows you to turn into small objects and go everywhere in the game, you’re eventually going to take a moment and look upwards,” she continued. “In a lot of other circumstances you wouldn’t see the level of detail. By creating this power where you could go look at everything from 360 degree angles, we had to make even a table completely textured and beautiful.
“That said, a huge part of the appeal of Arkane games is wandering through and picking up every little thing, picking up every object and reading every note and looking at the titles of the books that are in the game. There’s a lot of information in Prey that can be gleaned from taking the time to do that; it will give you a lot of hints as to whats going on the world.”
Stevivor is currently on a second press trip to Arkane Studios’ Austin, Texas-based office. Stay tuned for more on the upcoming game.
Prey heads to Windows PC, Xbox One and PS4 in early May.