“Tell us something about your game that people don’t already know.” That was a question that we recently and repeatedly asked a bunch of developers while checking out a game. We didn’t want the usual, “this game has 12 weapons that feel like 24 because of the alternate fire for each” factoid. We asked for stuff like whether a feature was cut, or if someone put in a picture of their dog in a poster within one of the levels. Think of this as the gaming equivalent of hearing that one of James Cameron’s goals was to feature “the ultimate cat-fight between badass moms” in Aliens. We asked twenty developers to tell us one piece of trivia for their game, and here’s what they said.
From DICE General Manager Karl-Magnus Troedsson: “There might be one thing that maybe not everyone noticed what we did in the EA press conference [at E3] — I challenge all hardcore Battlefield fans to take a look at the absolute first couple seconds of the presentation. There’s an audio cue in there you might recognize — it’s an homage to Battlefield 1942. It starts out with a tune from 1942.”
Creative director Ken Levine gives us an alternate take on the one of the more significant narrative changes between the original BioShock and the upcoming Infinite: “In the early story briefs of BioShock Infinite, Elizabeth was mute.” Which makes for an interesting inversion of having a chatty protagonist accompanied by a mute companion.
Kinect programmer James Warren details, “Okay, you know how at the end of Rush Hour mode, there’s a ‘super feature’ — assuming you’ve built up enough points? Well, that wasn’t always there. In fact, it was only after we watched the movie 2012 that someone on the team said, ‘we need to have that kind of carnage at the end of a level.’”
Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3:
Producer Mark Rubin tells us, “The characters in the London level [Mind The Gap] that you see, the SAS guys, they’re actually from COD4. Remember the cargo ship? The squad that you’re with — you play as Soap and Price obviously — the other squad members are now the lead squad members on the SAS squad you see here.” A quick glance at our notes from the Mind The Gap presentation plus a recent playthrough of Crew Expendable from Modern Warfare, reveals that, indeed, Sergeant Wallcroft is present in both missions; and that Private Griffen has been promoted to Corporal.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution:
Art director Jonathan Jacques-Belletete admits that a 2027-era gas station that you encounter early on is based specifically off of his extrapolation of a current real-world petroleum company.
Next time you check out some footage of this upcoming Xbox Live Summer of Arcade title, then think of this extreme example of sound sampling. Creator Eric Chahi tells us that the fellow in charge of audio went to the Piton de la Fournaise, an actual volcano, to capture the sound of volcano eruption and lava flow.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim:
There is a story to go along with the creation of the dovahkiin (the dragon language, fully developed with a font, dictionary, and everything): According to game director Todd Howard, he told lead designer Emil Pagliarulo to come up with the dragon language. Pagliarulo had a small bit of writer’s block, and over one weekend, had brewed some mead (an alcoholic beverage created with fermented honey). “Maybe it was the process of brewing mead; maybe it was from drinking all that mead. Whatever the case, I can say that after a mead-filled weekend, Emil came into the office on Monday with the dovahkiin language completely mapped out.”
Gears of War 3:
Design director Cliff Bleszinski tells us, “The Locust were, at one point, called the ‘Geist,’ but we had to change it due to the Nintendo ghost simulator. At another point they were called the ‘Wyrm.’ We still have some files in the source named both… And the occasional artist still slips up and uses these terms internally!”
Kid Icarus: Uprising:
Rather than give a goofy fun fact, director Masahiro Sakurai opts to point out an actual gameplay feature that pretty much no one has noticed: Uprising utilizes an actual economy. He specifies, “In this game, like the original, hearts are money. The higher the difficulty that you play and succeed at, the more hearts you’ll receive and the money you’ll receive. And those hearts can, then in turn, be used to buy things or, without saying too much, offered up to Palutena.”
Lord of the Rings: War in the North:
The team seems to be fond of Monty Python, according to creative director Michael De Plater. He notes that in the debug menu, there is an option to spawn a vorpal bunny. Like its namesake in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, said bunny flies around in a rage and kills pretty much everything in the area with copious amounts of gore.