Best Foot Forward
Game intros, including the opening scenes and the tutorial, are key to bringing players into a game’s world. They set both stage and tone, and give the player familiarity with controls and characters alike.
Retrovirus is, at the time of writing, receiving some intensive introductory overhauls.
The past few weeks have been focused on the Retrovirus tutorial, with a special emphasis placed on getting players to experience–rather than hear about–the mechanics of the game world. We’ve also been working on mood, and purpose. Retrovirus is about a shattered virtual world, inhabited at the time the player comes along by citizens and viruses that would destroy them. The tutorial doesn’t wait to show the player concepts like infected programs being cleansed, and destroyed enemy creep nodes heralding the arrival of new foes.
The next few weeks of the Retrovirus intro, then, are going to be focused on getting players to experience theme and plot. To start, the team is pulling out all the stops on an intro video that follows a single citizen on his travels through the pre-infection system. The world will be full of digital life, as citizens come and go, and fill Retrovirus’ world with activity. Major characters will be introduced, like the Agent and the Oracle, and in-game environments will be shown off as intact before the player is tasked with clearing them.
To accomplish this goal, a lot of work has had to go into Paragon, our toolset for Retrovirus. We’ve had to build in a video recording system, as well as a camera cue system that allows a camera to move and pan on timed cues. Much like a director with his actors, our artist Erik has placed bots and set scenes for filming. The conversations here in the Cadenza office have sounded very Hollywood, of late!
The intro video will be released to the public along with the Retrovirus pre-order beta, which is also in the works at the time of writing.