GDC Europe 2011: Day 1

Yesterday was the first day of the GDC Europe. Together with the gamescom (held in the same week), this is the biggest gathering of game developers, publishers and gamers on the European continent.

PreviewLabs will be available for business meetings and networking at both the GDC and the gamescom events.

Among the many speakers, there was Enric Alvarez of Mercury Steam, detailing on the development of Castlevania – Lords of Shadow.

A feature they wanted from the very start of the project was the ability to battle Titans – very huge boss-style enemies.

At first, the team was tempted to use quick-time events for these boss battles. During these quick-time events, the player would have to repeatedly press certain button combinations, in order to see an animation where the enemy gets defeated. This would make the implementation easy – offering less exciting gameplay, but still an elegant solution. After all, the actual battle against these Titans wasn’t essential for this hack and slash game.

Finally, they ended up prototyping this part of the game. The results of this were very satisfactory, so this part of the gameplay became one of the unique selling points of the game.

This shows how prototyping can not only help you to get the core mechanics right; it can also be useful for the more technically challenging parts of a game.

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