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Motive devs talk Dead Space's remake changes, giving Isaac a voice

EA Motive gives a public post-mortem on making the Dead Space remake and its many changes.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

February 6, 2023

2 Min Read
Cover art for EA Motive's Dead Space 2023 remake.

Developers at EA Motive used a Reddit AMA to talk about the recently released Dead Space remake, and revealed some interesting insights on the game's development. The AMA functioned primarily as a post-mortem that covered all aspects of the game.

Speaking generally about development, producer Phillipe Ducharme explained that Motive determined changes by playing the original Dead Space beat by beat, and "looked at the different type of changes we wanted to bring and how they could be leveraged across the game." 

One example given was the ADS cannons segment in zero-gravity, which he said was also determined by player feedback made about the section back in 2008. 

Several questions revolved around recreating the Necropmorphs, which game director Eric Baptizat called a difficult task due to their "complex behaviors." But he underlined the importance of keeping the creatures' original spirit while "also adding a small twist to some of them to make them feel a bit unique and still surprise players."

Using the Twitcher as an example, Baptizat continued that changes were "based on fun and quality of the experience for the player. [...] We didn't change the design of it but just tried to enhance it, make it more efficient and ultimately more fun to play with."

Senior writer Jo Berry added that she enjoyed recording the screams of the Necromorphs and other characters during development. "The descriptions for the screams were so graphic that we all ended up getting the giggles between takes," said Berry. "Also, it turns out that EVERYONE loves recording creepy whispers."

Berry was also asked about the work done to account for Isaac Clarke talking in the remake since he was a silent protagonist in the original 2008 Dead Space. Isaac having a voice "adjusted the dynamic of conversations," according to her, and there was discussion on when he would opt to stay silent as other characters talked. 

Similar to Yuri Lowenthal in Marvel's Spider-Man, Isaac's voice actor Gunnar Wright had to record lines multiple times depending on if the character was calm, fatigued, or injured. She added that for when Isaac ran out of ammo, Wright would "use a water bottle to stand in for the weapon and just kept swearing at it over and over."

For more insight from Motive about the Dead Space remake, including the process of creating a character's transformation into a Necromorph, you can read the developers' answers in the AMA. 

Game Developer also spoke with Motive's technical director David Robillard about the process of creating a fully interconnected USG Ishimura and the AI "intensity director," which can be read here

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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