At the E3 2017 Media Showcased a new gameplay demo for Days Gone that focused on open-world dynamic events. Behind closed doors, we got to see an alternate-path of the demo, changing up the weather, time-of-day, and play style. Our goal for this second demo was to show that changing something like the weather was more than cosmetic — it could significantly impact the experience.
After the dust from E3 settled, I sat down with Sam Witwer — who plays Deacon St. John — to watch the Alternate-Path Gameplay Demo and talk about some of the things we’re trying to do in Days Gone.
Here are some of the topics we covered:
• Weather and time-of-day: Snow will impact your ability to ride the Drifter Bike, cold makes Freakers stronger; rain can dampen sound, but brings more Freakers out during the day; night brings out even more Freakers and changes the behaviors of Marauders, and more.
• Survival Vision: You can focus on the environment around you to discover tracks, clues, and resources.
• Crafting: You can find all sorts of things in the open world which can be used to craft items both useful and deadly.
• Traps: Creating and placing traps — used in conjunction with our distraction mechanic — is an important part of our strategic sandbox combat.
• Dynamic Events: You have to be cautious and vigilant to avoid ambushes, traps, and other hazards.
All of these features work together to create a dynamic, open-world experience. When Deacon rides out to save his friend, the weather, time-of-day, dynamic events, and playstyle preferences can change the experience pretty dramatically. In the Media Showcase demo, Deacon weaponizes a Swarm and uses it to attack the Marauder camp, while in the alternate-path demo, he goes in guns blazing. And these aren’t the only ways to play it.
What if you wanted to try to stealth the entire camp? What if you had a sniper rifle, a lot of ammo, and a perch way up on the bridge near that waterfall? What if you wanted to ride through the camp on your Drifter Bike, tossing Molotovs left and right? How you play is up to you.
John Garvin – Creative Director, Bend Studio
Sam and I also talked a little about the genesis of Deacon’s character over the last three years of development and some of the challenges Sam faced while helping create the character. But because Sam is not only an accomplished actor but is an avid gamer as well, it was interesting to hear his thoughts on the game itself, the dynamic events, the alternate paths, the brutality of the world.
We’ll be talking more about all of that — and Deacon’s story — in the coming months, but in the meantime, think about this: when the world of Days Gone comes for you, will you be ready?