October 28, 2009 // 8:02 pm
- Today Lead Designer of The Saboteur Tom French
discusses Developer Diary #2, which comes just under a month after the first installment
, as follows:
Last we talked I told you about my buddy and our hero Sean Devlin
, since then he and I have been quite busy. We've had some pretty cool press trips to the UK and even to the city where The Saboteur is set in–Paris. Felt a lot like a coming home.
Paris in many ways is like one of the characters in The Saboteur. Paris is The City of Lights and Love. It's vibrant and colorful, rich and cultural. People are constantly out walking the streets and nearby markets are filled with browsing shoppers.
If you've seen the movie Amélie and you'll know what I mean. That's the "fantasy" of Paris we strove to have in the game – and do. It's a beautiful and bustling city filled with incredible buildings and architecture. Building Paris was an extremely tough challenge to tackle because the city is so well known.
First and foremost, we had to be very cautious about how to bring the in-game version of it to life. We started out by thinking about how to create "the fantasy" of Paris. From a physical world perspective we'd have to make sure that we had all the major monuments in the game, and we do. The Louvre? Check. Notre Dame? Check. The Eiffel Tower? Too big to fit in the game, cut... OK I lied... absolutely! Check!
They're all there and built to their grand real world scale - waiting to be climbed and explored. All monuments have been placed where they belong in a scaled down map of Paris and filled in the twisting streets and buildings in between. It's not a real map of Paris but it captures the spirit of what the city feels like.
For example, from the storefronts you'll be able to see the street level all the way to the amazing rooftop that inspired parkour. Parkour, for those who don't know, is the gymnastic free-running you've seen in movies like Casino Royale or in games like Mirror's Edge.
But the problem with trying to re-create a city like Paris is that, no matter how many Nazi soldiers you place in the world, it could never feel occupied.
To solve this, we had to do something drastic. The idea was to take this city and wrap it in chains, crushing the hope of the people. To represent this mood we literally suck the life out of it by removing the color from sections of the world.
This is what we call the Will to Fight. These low Will to Fight areas have the harsh black-and-white, Sin City-style look you may have seen in a lot of our screenshots. In these areas Nazis patrol the world and people in the streets are harassed and even executed. These are grim times, but not for long...
As Sean fights back in missions against the occupation alongside the Resistance, successful grand acts of defiance against the Nazis will literally bleed color back into the world, inspiring the people inside of it.
While this could have just been an interesting visual gimmick in The Saboteur, this inspiration is where the gameplay of the Will to Fight comes into play. It's not liberation; the Nazis are still in control of the country and exist in these areas. It's that the hope and spirit has been restored to them.
In these high Will to Fight areas it's safer for Sean to exist. People will cheer him on when as he fistfights in the streets, even help fighting alongside you by providing black-marketweapon dealers that will give Sean access to all sorts of better equipment and gear for the resistance.
How does Sean accomplish these "grand acts of defiance" in the missions? What types of things will you be doing in these missions? Stick around for the next blog and I'll answer these questions and more!