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How weather, dynamic events and playstyle drastically alter your experience in Days Gone showcased in new demo

Creative Director John Garvin and actor Sam Witwer narrate a different approach to the survival horror's E3 playthrough

At the E3 2017 Media Showcase we premiered a new gameplay demo for Days Gone that focused on open-world dynamic events.

Behind closed doors, we showed 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.

Days Gone

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?

4 Comments
1 Author replies
1

Instead of ‘showcasing’ demos, how about letting us actually play the demos ourselves.

You remember the purpose of demos right?

Sold on this already, just want the release date

John Garvin 13 July, 2017 @ 23:53
2.1

Thank you! We’re still working hard on the game and will be talking about the release date at some point in the future!

3

I’ll be honest. The first demo that you guys has shown us in 2016, it wasn’t the best way to announce a game with run and shooting. I was disappointed. Than you showed us this… It was incredible, i felt like its an open-world Last of Us game but with more brutality and freedom to kill anyone how i want. There are some cool ideas in the game, can’t wait to see more. I hope this get released in the next year.

andrewsqual 14 July, 2017 @ 13:13
4

Incredible. You have come a long way since Syphon Filter and human character movement animations :) The game running on Unreal Engine 4 has me worried it won’t be native 1080p on standard PS4 though.

Would love for Sony to get you guys to do a new Syphon Filter reboot some time down the line too. Maybe its too late this gen for such a thing but perhaps for PS5.

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