Alien: Isolation's "Low-fi Sci-fi" Trailer Discusses "Retro-Future" Aesthetic

Alien: Isolation's "Low-fi Sci-fi" Trailer Discusses "Retro-Future" Aesthetic

The Alien: Isolation team says they didn't build any gadgets that couldn't have existed on the original 1979 Alien film set.

The Alien universe has a very "retro-future" aesthetic - that is, big, push button consoles and CRT screens rather than holograms and touch panels - and the team behind the upcoming Alien: Isolation want to stay true to that. The new "low-fi sci-fi" trailer for the game explains how the team went about designing the in game electronics to adhere to this philosophy. Basically, if it could not have existed on the set of the original 1979 film, it won't be in the game.

"This is a game set in the future, but based on the past," said Al Hope, the game's creative lead, commenting on some of the techniques they used to maintain authenticity. He gave an example of taking on-screen elements (that is, anything that is displayed by those clunky CRT monitors in-game) and actually running them through a VHS tape while fiddling with the cables to distort the image.

Jon McKellen, the game's UI lead, says that his artists studied the work of Ron Cobb, the original concept artist for the film, to try and capture that iconic Alien feel. "If we could understand his process, we would be able to expand on the universe, while still remaining faithful to the original source."

Gary Naper, a designer on the game, added that the low-fi sci-fi approach doesn't just inform the visuals, but actually influences gameplay. Alien fans will be familiar with the franchise's motion-tracker, which is clunky, difficult to read, and not even really that useful.

Source: Gamespot

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Wow, it sounds like it takes a lot of hard work to make stuff look clunky and rubbish. I have a newfound respect for the development team of Colonial Marines.

moggett88:
Wow, it sounds like it takes a lot of hard work to make stuff look clunky and rubbish. I have a newfound respect for the development team of Colonial Marines.

The game is Alien: Isolation not Colonial Marines. It does mention it several times in the article.

Secondly it's a different team working on it. Isolation is being developed by The Creative Assembly. Colonial Marines was created by Gearbox Software, Nerve Software and TimeGate Studios.

OT: It's a good idea, although truth be told I don't think it would have bothered me all that much if they hadn't. I am more concerned with the Alien acting as intelligent as they are supposed to be. If it doesn't feel like a threat because it does stupid things for the sake of "cool" moments or plot advancement then it will ruin the atmosphere and not feel like a legitimate threat.

Legion:

moggett88:
Wow, it sounds like it takes a lot of hard work to make stuff look clunky and rubbish. I have a newfound respect for the development team of Colonial Marines.

The game is Alien: Isolation not Colonial Marines. It does mention it several times in the article.

Secondly it's a different team working on it. Isolation is being developed by The Creative Assembly. Colonial Marines was created by Gearbox Software, Nerve Software and TimeGate Studios.

I think you missed his joke. I believe he was saying that if it's taken the Alien Isolation team so much effort to make it look old and out dated, it must have taken the Colonial Marines team even more effort to make their game look as shit as it did.

Anyway, I like the team's design and thought process. Hopefully the gameplay will match.

Li Mu:

Legion:

moggett88:
Wow, it sounds like it takes a lot of hard work to make stuff look clunky and rubbish. I have a newfound respect for the development team of Colonial Marines.

The game is Alien: Isolation not Colonial Marines. It does mention it several times in the article.

Secondly it's a different team working on it. Isolation is being developed by The Creative Assembly. Colonial Marines was created by Gearbox Software, Nerve Software and TimeGate Studios.

I think you missed his joke. He was saying that if it's taken the Alien Isolation team so much effort to make it look old and out dated, it must have taken the Colonial Marines team even more effort to make a game look as shit as it did.

Anyway, I like the team's design and thought process. Hopefully the gameplay will match.

Ah, well pointed out. Re-reading it I can see that now. I think I am just far too used to seeing people say such things with a straight face that I start to assume that everybody is doing it. Especially as it is also quite common for people to criticise development teams who have worked on similar games for problems on new ones too (Bethesda being blamed for problems with Elder Scrolls Online for example).

all this "return to grass roots" talk is definitely what fans would want to hear, we'll have to see if it delivers but I am certainly interested

wont be pre ordering though

Legion:

moggett88:
Wow, it sounds like it takes a lot of hard work to make stuff look clunky and rubbish. I have a newfound respect for the development team of Colonial Marines.

The game is Alien: Isolation not Colonial Marines. It does mention it several times in the article.

Secondly it's a different team working on it. Isolation is being developed by The Creative Assembly. Colonial Marines was created by Gearbox Software, Nerve Software and TimeGate Studios.

OT: It's a good idea, although truth be told I don't think it would have bothered me all that much if they hadn't. I am more concerned with the Alien acting as intelligent as they are supposed to be. If it doesn't feel like a threat because it does stupid things for the sake of "cool" moments or plot advancement then it will ruin the atmosphere and not feel like a legitimate threat.

No, I get it, thanks. I was making a joke about how these guys are working hard to make the game feel retro and slightly clunky/ugly, whereas Colonial Marines was going for sleek/futuristic and completely failed. Feel free to private message me if more explanation is required.

If they can balance the aesthetic and feel as explained in that video with some decent survival horror gameplay this'll be a fun game.

this to me just sounds like more of the same stuff they said before the last game *spit spit* ahh well time to go rewatch the movies and cry i guess

I actually just finished watching Alien. All that video distortion they are harping on making it authentic is a load of rubbish. The only time that was in the movie was when the crew went to the alien ship and it was the remote cameras on the crews helmets receiving interference.

RedBackDragon:
this to me just sounds like more of the same stuff they said before the last game *spit spit* ahh well time to go rewatch the movies and cry i guess

Different studio, therefore no connection whatsoever :) And for that reason, and based on people I respects opinion about the demo being amazing...I am amped for this.

After the debacle over Rome 2's hype-up and complete lack of delivering on anything I'm really wary of Creative Assembly's marketing, not to mention the hype up to the last Alien game.

JET1971:
I actually just finished watching Alien. All that video distortion they are harping on making it authentic is a load of rubbish. The only time that was in the movie was when the crew went to the alien ship and it was the remote cameras on the crews helmets receiving interference.

They were talking about the seventies and eighties in general. And anyways, the sequel Aliens had a ton of grainy video cameras.

Lo-fi Sci-fi?

I'm waiting for Hi-Fi Sci-Fi!
A Bang and Olufsen stereo system going on a murder rampage!
Now that I want to see!

this looks actually very promising. but i still wait before i jump up in the air because of the feeling its going to be great. but i sure hope it will be great.

Dango:
After the debacle over Rome 2's hype-up and complete lack of delivering on anything I'm really wary of Creative Assembly's marketing, not to mention the hype up to the last Alien game.

this game is being worked on by a different team within The Creative Assembly, the Rome 2 team is working on either a new strategy game, or an an expansion to the one previously released.

JET1971:
I actually just finished watching Alien. All that video distortion they are harping on making it authentic is a load of rubbish. The only time that was in the movie was when the crew went to the alien ship and it was the remote cameras on the crews helmets receiving interference.

They are certainly going a bit overboard but if you actually looks at most screens in the actual game they arent all that much distorted (mostly on start up). Either way this focus is a lot closer then the very advanced tech in other Alien games.

Since this video was around that it makes sense that whatever they showed had that effect present.

That's good, because the hi-tech holograms in Prometheus annoyed me considering they were a good few years before the events of Alien, where they were surrounded by CRT displays. What happened? Technological regression?

You want to cash in on a prequel, at least fucking commit.

RA92:
That's good, because the hi-tech holograms in Prometheus annoyed me considering they were a good few years before the events of Alien, where they were surrounded by CRT displays. What happened? Technological regression?

You want to cash in on a prequel, at least fucking commit.

I'd think it was because Prometheus was a cutting-edge scientific research and discovery vessel that was purpose-built for that mission. Nostromo on the other hand was an outdated pile of shit that barely functioned.

I'm very hesitant about this. It's not fair to criticize them for mistakes they did not commit, but it would be foolish to ignore patterns. I hope it turns out well.

Give these guys the film series, thoer understanding is better than that of promethius.

I don't know, I always thought of the Halo series as a pretty old-fashioned sci-fi universe. But I guess they got most of their inspiration from movies like Aliens, Predator, and Starship Troopers.

What I'm saying is that this doesn't seem all that revolutionary to me. However, I appreciate their attention to detail.

It looks like it'll be a cool game but the way they're pushing this "low-fi" theme in our face makes it seem like some kind of gimmick to me.

Keiichi Morisato:

Dango:
After the debacle over Rome 2's hype-up and complete lack of delivering on anything I'm really wary of Creative Assembly's marketing, not to mention the hype up to the last Alien game.

this game is being worked on by a different team within The Creative Assembly, the Rome 2 team is working on either a new strategy game, or an an expansion to the one previously released.

I'd still assume the marketing is the same team, though I could be wrong.

I would like to point out that they had to stretch, stomp on and other wise damage the equipment to give it that jittery, fuzzy, look. And that was probably old equipment to begin with! What I'm getting at is that VHS and CRTs don't look anywhere near that bad when the equipment is in working condition. I actually have an old CRT and VHS player from the mid 90's and they still work just fine. I didn't need to store them in a hermetically sealed environment ether. They weren't that brittle.

I was digitising some old home movies with the VHS machine a few years back and I was really surprised by how good the quality was. I guess I was just used to seeing that stuff in movies and games looking really abused and crappy. Again, the tapes were just kept in a storage box from after we moved.

A lot of people seem to think that VHS was always that cruddy looking, and it wasn't.

So they're trying to stay true to the first movie and not aliens like every other alien game in the existence of ever. Good.
Doesn't mean an exec can't go all "we need all the call of duty monies, put more guns" on them and that footage is most certainly not going to look that way in the game whatsoever but it appears they at least try.

As an old crustie who saw Alien when it first came out I have to say I'm excited and nostalgic. I'm not convinced they can pull it off but if they do I might just have to buy this game for the experience, even if the gameplay is rubbish. This game is promising an awful lot, I just hope it doesn't disappoint

 

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