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Video How Dead Space's Scariest Scene Almost Killed the Game | War Stories | Ars Technica
19:07   |   views   |   01/08/2019


  • this was one of the original enemies we
  • thought for sure that flying enemies
  • would work and we found out they were
  • really hard and they weren't that much
  • fun but in the end we did end up having
  • a character that was some I liked him
  • that would cover up any of the dead
  • people and turn them into an echo morph
  • hi I'm Glenn Schofield creator and
  • director of dead space I set out to make
  • the scariest game of all time along the
  • way I had to break some rules
  • make some new ones and really redefine
  • how I meant for the others
  • [Music]
  • I started thinking about dead space
  • around 2005 to do a prototype that
  • everybody would approve we actually took
  • a deaf kid of the Xbox a lot more than
  • real mo of everything and we filled it
  • with just three rooms with spinning
  • lights and you know fans and everything
  • because we wanted to just see what it
  • would look like and then we found out
  • after that it was easy to actually give
  • it to the engineers and then they knew
  • exactly what we wanted a by accident we
  • found a good way to develop and create
  • newer engines because they if they saw
  • what we wanted and they were able to
  • make it my number one goal was to scare
  • the heck out of one person I wanted to
  • make the scariest game you know you have
  • to go in and go I want to make the
  • scariest game ever but you don't go in
  • and say I want to make the third sketch
  • but I also wanted a game that was
  • exactly what I wanted to make you know
  • I've made a lot of kids that people
  • wanted me to make and I was happy doing
  • because making video games but this one
  • I wanted to really make my creative side
  • just really happy and so I think you can
  • see it in the end product was just
  • really a handcrafted game so my
  • influences to make deadspace from a game
  • industry with definitely the Resident
  • Evil series and Resident Evil 4 had just
  • come out one of the things I would say
  • the team is we're gonna make Resident
  • Evil in space and you got it right away
  • the resume before is one of my top five
  • games of all time and I just like the
  • mood the mood was impressive sometimes
  • it was dreadful but it was I
  • I just got caught up in I was always
  • worried about what's around the corner
  • but I always wanted to see was around
  • the corner too I wanted to be in the
  • world anyway there was a blind enemy and
  • that thing was so scary and so hard that
  • when I finally got it I was cheering and
  • that's a different kind of scary this is
  • tension in playing and then there's just
  • like running away and all but the moment
  • that the dog jumped out and Reza diva
  • one still goes down is probably top 5
  • scariest moment in history against is
  • what pushed me to want to make another
  • video game and I think because I thought
  • the video games hadn't yet become a
  • scary as movies at least overall now I
  • will say the Silent Hill the town and
  • the whistle and the nurses and my god
  • the feeling in that room when it would
  • go from nice to to awful things that
  • would influence me and creating tension
  • or dread or oppression or whatever it is
  • I look to movies and horror science
  • fiction at the top there is event
  • horizon the idea of a spaceship going to
  • hell man it's that something just crazy
  • and then I wanted to create something
  • like that
  • I found event horizon to be successful
  • in creating the storytelling that was
  • just done in the backgrounds one of the
  • characters is standing with her back
  • through the cockpit in the cockpit and a
  • light goes on and the glass behind it is
  • just covered
  • it's it's not normal-looking it looks
  • like just some Awful's happened and this
  • character here has no idea and I wanted
  • to get that feeling somehow all
  • throughout the game we wanted you to
  • have moments of relaxation but not not
  • too much the sound designer in horror
  • movies is one of my my favorite aspects
  • of making the game and I had such a good
  • time working with with Don Becker who is
  • my longtime friend and collaborator and
  • we want a ton of awards on the sound
  • design because the sound is so important
  • in a video game to me and a lot of games
  • sound design was like sort of the thing
  • that came in last wasn't that important
  • though we ran out of memory we don't
  • have a lot but right from the start we
  • said sound design and the music and the
  • audio are key one in particular really
  • got me was the BART train will Don Mecca
  • was telling me one day he's like Glen I
  • was going in the BART train we went
  • under the bay and it's the worst sound
  • in the history of my head or something
  • like that and I'm like recorded next day
  • he's hanging out the BART train getting
  • the sound when it's in the tunnel and
  • everything and he plays it for me and
  • that we have these really nice sounds it
  • was like screeching
  • and it's great is what we were looking
  • for is how can we scare people just
  • without no monsters no nothing so you're
  • in zero g in the game you get to an
  • airlock and it's down quiet again then
  • you open the door and people are running
  • in the room they are just trying to get
  • out of that room it's so awesome
  • there was such a thrill for us because
  • that was a great way to now realize that
  • we can use sounding more a ruse of
  • developing dead space were no HUD
  • character never talks we were gonna do
  • this member meant all big moments are
  • gonna be interactive and everything is
  • gonna run through the filter of
  • innovation meaning everything that we do
  • in the game should be innovated on
  • whether it's the HUD or the things that
  • we called out or not even just that his
  • look is something you've never seen
  • before the stomp and that's just a
  • simple melee
  • with resume for one thing that we wanted
  • to do was you know you walk and then you
  • want to shoot you got a stop that's what
  • made it really scary but I also thought
  • it just that sometimes took me out
  • because I'm like don't know I want to be
  • running and shooting I want to get away
  • from the character so that's what we did
  • well I didn't want him to stop and have
  • to shoot I wanted to be able to turn
  • shoot just like he wouldn't be alive
  • that just was a nice place to innovate
  • one thing with the enemies we didn't
  • want to have a place where the door open
  • then there were the enemies that we just
  • always there or something we wanted to
  • be real we wanted to be semi random so
  • we have this system of vents but it
  • wasn't just a spawning point if we had a
  • vent here and event here depending on
  • where the character was is where the
  • enemy came out so what we were trying to
  • do in many cases was the enemy would
  • come out of that and we go I'll shoot
  • back up that's that's another enemy
  • coming out of the other man just by
  • innovating a little bit on the way spawn
  • points are you can really get something
  • special we wanted you to feel like you
  • were Isaac that's why you don't see a
  • lot of HUD up we're talking about HUDs
  • and somebody said you know I once
  • thought I saw hard on the back of a
  • scuba divers back I'm like that makes a
  • lot of sense I'm in deep water that's
  • where the idea came from was like I
  • don't get that because I kept saying how
  • do we put it on the character have we
  • put on the character one of the
  • engineers realized that there are times
  • that Isaac was getting killed and you
  • would see his back and it would still
  • have green on it so the engineer went
  • and made sure that every time Isaac died
  • that it didn't went red and that you
  • just see parts on his back I love that I
  • love that one the engineers when anybody
  • comes up with just something to make the
  • game better
  • the main character Isaac was not gonna
  • talk you had to try and make a character
  • that didn't talk not look like he was
  • always just taking orders like he was
  • person on himself
  • that came from half-life 2 we just
  • wanted to have the sort of the Gordon
  • Freeman feeling again so character never
  • talked the other rule was we were going
  • to do this member meant the thing that
  • we built the game on so changed the way
  • that the enemies were designed it
  • changed the way every single weapon was
  • done because now they had to be
  • something that could chop off arms and
  • legs isaac dying is purely to systems
  • enemy system attacking a character that
  • has dismemberment the death animations
  • weren't pre based each one was different
  • based on where the enemy was at da the
  • enemy killed you however it happened he
  • may cut off Isaac's arm to make up his
  • legs that's all it's all so that's why
  • they're all different so the death
  • scenes they ended up being like a
  • feature the thing that changed a little
  • bit over time in developing the game was
  • actually the length of the death because
  • we realized what a fun thing we had so
  • he just took two great systems and had
  • at it so wanted to get as many points as
  • we could in the arms and legs and
  • everything so that it felt really real
  • like I don't want to chop here and his
  • wrist falls off yeah this here is the
  • all the notes from my animation director
  • Chris stone he took all the notes from
  • the meetings that we had because this
  • one here is all about this member man
  • you can see the different points that we
  • were talking about this is how we
  • started and then you can see we number
  • two and then we got more and more
  • complicated as time went on and
  • technology got better well you can just
  • see that the care that went into justice
  • member meant was something really
  • special
  • interactive moments there are no
  • cutscenes in the game so we're trying to
  • tell the story through video logs but
  • also what Isaac does you know one of the
  • main things with with this game was
  • trying to come up with really cool big
  • interactive scenes because they're
  • really complicated to make one that we
  • came upon almost made us break our rule
  • because it was so hard that we almost
  • just said well let's just have him
  • dragged Isaac and we'll just shoot it
  • was like no we're not gonna do that
  • we're not gonna break our rule just for
  • one one that led to a lot of a lot of
  • work a lot of changes in the way that we
  • do things and a lot of things a lot of
  • ways that we still do work was the drag
  • tentacle this was a problem that was so
  • big and so hairy for I said it just he
  • kind of stopped us in our tracks for a
  • month
  • the drag tentacle was meant to be a
  • medium moment well medium thing within
  • the game we're gonna do it once the
  • tentacle comes out grabs you and then
  • pulls you down on the ground and then
  • you you die if you get caught by it but
  • as we're getting into it we're realizing
  • that no no Isaac would want to shoot he
  • would want to be on the ground and
  • pulled and shoot you don't think
  • anything's gonna happen to you because I
  • think just before that we had a scare
  • and so we wanted you to kind of
  • instantly go geez that was pretty scary
  • and then you walk through this door and
  • within a couple of seconds this thing
  • comes out and grabs you at that moment
  • just when it grabs you I wanted to be
  • one of the scariest moments in the game
  • because it flips you on your back and
  • you can't get away from it you'll have
  • to shoot it through that wasn't just
  • about animation that was about
  • technology finding the target and being
  • able to wrap around and grab the way by
  • the ankle which is what we wanted so we
  • had the creative his tentacles kind of
  • figured out what you were there to
  • create falling on my back and get the
  • sounds for it all this stuff went
  • through the lists okay animators you're
  • gonna be animating the thing kind of
  • grab you guys are building the drag
  • tentacle okay you know what it's got to
  • do it's got to be animated at the grab
  • foot and everybody had their lists and
  • things to do but went away for a few
  • days on business trip when I came back
  • nothing was working but yet all the
  • stuff was there right and it was done
  • right was done good but they're like
  • Glenn we did everything you asked but
  • it's mess and I'm looking at it going it
  • is you know it is after just kind of
  • making a whole bunch of mistakes for a
  • couple of weeks we realized it's got to
  • be a better way and I realized that you
  • know the problem wasn't the team it was
  • really
  • now I was giving them their assignments
  • some things need to come first I need to
  • have them grab them by the leg before
  • where I can throw them on the ground and
  • I he needs to be on the ground before I
  • can start an anime so all these things
  • that started coming in as layers
  • so I started thinking about how the heck
  • we get the tentacle to come in grabs the
  • leg picks him up throws him on the
  • ground the sound hits because all that
  • could be slightly different I could be
  • there in the hallway or I could get the
  • laughs or it could be the right realize
  • had to do one thing at a time all right
  • guys just animate the track tentacle
  • coming out of the hole and it grabs him
  • by the leg like yeah but this sounds
  • like just do that part came back that
  • worked then he came back and said okay
  • the next thing animate him being picked
  • up and thrown in on the ground on his
  • back like yeah but then he shoots him I
  • know just do let's just do this party
  • now everybody is starting to get it when
  • you do everything at once you're not
  • sure why it's not working when you layer
  • it and you break it down you peel the
  • the onion peel you keep you know you had
  • one you had one you had one and then you
  • hit a spot where it's not working now
  • you can focus everybody just on that
  • spot and get through it a lot quicker I
  • started calling it layering layering
  • management you know there's probably a
  • term for it but that for us we still
  • call it you know we got a we got to add
  • layers we got to do this in layers guys
  • in there and nowadays most of the guys
  • on my team will know that this is a
  • layered problem and that started back on
  • on dead space and so we threw him on the
  • ground and we realized that now he's
  • dragging him and we dragging him for a
  • long way because we wanted
  • have some way of shooting so this is
  • kind of naive I think at the time too we
  • thought well if he throws you on your
  • back we'll just play like one of the
  • moves of you shooting the different
  • weapons while you're standing but you're
  • kind of on your back we'll have him full
  • and we put that in there in the litter
  • so we realized then that we have to
  • animate all his moves on his back
  • shooting all the different weapons just
  • for this one scene that someone told me
  • lasted about 40 seconds
  • we had to remake all of his shooting
  • mechanics and some struggling mechanics
  • it was daunting we had to put a team on
  • the animation then we realized the
  • tentacle would have to be blown off and
  • broken and it could be anywhere along
  • that long way so there was just so much
  • work that went into it so we started
  • layering on all the issue then when it
  • was all done completely done that's when
  • we went back and we headed them special
  • effects on top throwing a mother ground
  • the sound of him hitting and all that
  • and then we were able to put the
  • triggers incorrectly because now we knew
  • all the different places that the
  • character would be it could be he
  • probably had anywhere between 15 and 22
  • people working on the drag tentacle at
  • any time and I remember you know people
  • coming in and asking me Glen are you
  • sure you really want to do this we cut
  • to other things just to get that in I
  • can't tell you what we cut because I
  • don't care like that that that drag
  • tentacle was was really cool
  • you know doing the the drag tentacle
  • moment normal lessons that we learn from
  • it some of the stuff that came out of
  • that were just a sense of pride now they
  • felt like they could take on anything
  • and the rest became after that was I
  • don't want to say easier but there was
  • like hey there's a challenge just break
  • this down at the layers and see what we
  • can do you know by doing stuff like this
  • we were more efficient we save time we
  • save money we can make more game because
  • we knew that we had a way that could
  • break down any problem I like the ones
  • that are hard because I'll say to the
  • guys do you think another studio would
  • do this and they say no I don't nobody
  • can take that I'm like good having an
  • overarching desire to make something
  • great and have quality be your number
  • one thing is the bass lesson he may say
  • oh well you should always be that way
  • and it's like yes but there are times
  • when you have budget cuts we have
  • changes you don't have to write people a
  • need you have to let down your guard a
  • little bit we ship the game two weeks
  • early because we have gotten all our
  • bucks we have gotten all the way down to
  • C bucks the game came out and then we
  • won I'll not forget the biggest one was
  • sitting at the dice Awards which is the
  • big one for us and when they called our
  • name I'll never forget this the the
  • feeling of validation honey just said
  • it's okay to go make another one now I
  • founded sledgehammer games with my
  • partner Michael Condrey July 21st of
  • 2009
  • and we made three games modern warfare 3
  • advanced warfare and then we made World
  • War two the cool thing about modern
  • warfare 3 was we also want action game
  • of the year so we won dead space and
  • then modern warfare 3 so we got him back
  • to back when I think back about death
  • space and I think back on its origins
  • which was just me and my car talking to
  • paulie about making a game I can't
  • believe ten years later it's become
  • something I never you just don't expect
  • it a real highlight of my career has
  • been you know making dead space and then
  • what it's brought since I've been
  • playing more of the types of games that
  • I'm making right now that doesn't mean I
  • haven't been writing I still write a
  • horror stuff and I've got quite a few
  • stories and I enjoyed making that space
  • so much that you know hopefully someday
  • I'll make one of those games again
  • [Music]
  • you

Download subtitle


Glen Schofield, the co-founder of Sledgehammer Games and the creator/director of Dead Space, goes in-depth on the development of the classic third-person horror shooter. Glen set out to create the scariest video game of all-time, borrowing gameplay elements from Resident Evil 4 to create a product with a unique blend of horror and action. Always upping the ante, the Dead Space team decided to create a massive dreadful tentacle that attacks and drags the game's protagonist around the environment. Little did they know, this element would prove far more difficult to develop then they had ever realized..

Gameplay footage used in this video:

SHN Survival Horror Network
Jacob Danik
Psyche Carlitox
Sam Mucha

DEAD SPACE Full Game Gameplay Walkthrough - No Commentary (2018 Ver. 1.0) /watch?v=nqvYW0xsyCU (RabidRetrospectGames)

Dead Space 4K 60fps Longplay Walkthrough Gameplay No Commentary /watch?v=NkXzYBxrGrg (SHN Survival Horror Network)

Dead Space All Death Scenes HD 1080p 60 fps PC.mp4 /watch?v=fTuH9u545qw (Jacob Danik)

Resident Evil 4 PS4Pro Full HD 1080p 60fps Longplay Walkthrough Gameplay No Commentary
/watch?v=g5GrJrdM0sM (SHN Survival Horror Network)

Resident Evil Director's Cut Walkthrough Part 1 Without Commentary
/watch?v=FRPAaeIjZ3o (Psyche Carlitox)

RE4 Blind Claw Guy.mp4
/watch?v=AjwhaMizbP8 (Sam Mucha)

Silent Hill Homecoming HD 1080p Walkthrough Longplay Gameplay Lets Play No Commentary.mp4


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How Dead Space's Scariest Scene Almost Killed the Game | War Stories | Ars Technica


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