Dead Space’s horror influence comes from life, not space monsters

In an interview with Gamezone, Dead Space’s art director, Ian Milham, spoke briefly about what influenced the horror aspects of the game. Instead of looking at games like Silent Hill or Resident Evil, the team behind Dead Space decided to draw on real world influences. Apparently, they then  turned those real life influences into space monsters.

The key I think was to not look at other games and movies too much, but instead look at real life. For horror, we thought about what types of things scared us, what made us uncomfortable, and we integrated those real-world influences into the game. We found that these ideas were usually pretty universal, so if we were scaring ourselves, we’d probably scare other people as well.

It’s interesting that a game centered on survival/horror wouldn’t utilize some of its forbearers for inspiration. Some scenes in the original Silent Hill still make my skin crawl, no matter how many times I see them. I wonder what kind of “real-world influences” they drew from? Hopefully no one on the development staff had a fear of ponies or bananas.

Brad BradNicholson