Jurassic Park Game Inspired By Heavy Rain

By Quintin Smith on January 10th, 2011 at 6:06 pm.

I really hope somebody out there gets this joke.

Telltale has told Game Informer that its upcoming episodic Jurassic Park game will be a more tense, slower-paced experience than its usual adventures games, and that the team are taking an inspiration from David Cage’s PS3-exclusive Heavy Rain. Specifically, the interview states that Telltale is “going above and beyond to develop something new for Jurassic Park: Episode 1.” The game is set partially during and partially after the first Jurassic Park film, so, mm.

Is that interesting? I thought that might be interesting. More importantly, have you guys all played Trespasser yet? Look, I’ll put a video of the beginning of the game beneath the jump. This 1997 FPS was light-years ahead of its time.

You’ve heard of Trespasser, right? It was another official Jurassic Park game, but it also had this fantastic technical innovation of an arm that you swung around with the mouse, like it was some strange extension of your own body. Pressing buttons on a keypad, taking aim with a gun, battering something with a plank, you did it all with appropriate mouse gestures. Just like the engine used by Frictional games (developers of Amnesia: The Dark Descent and Penumbra) these days, come to think of it.

But the arm was just part of it. This Wikipedia page makes for a good list of Trespasser’s technical innovations.

Hidden inside Trespasser are all these great puzzles, smart storytelling techniques, and moments of great drama and tension. Or you could just play through the whole thing giggling at all the accidental hilarity that comes out of its fabled arm.

In my first five minutes playing Trespasser I located a plank of wood, which the game encourages you to use as a makeshift weapon. I took an experimental overhead swing to get a feel for it. It felt great!

Then, when I tried to bring it back up, I couldn’t. It had snagged on a rock by my feet. Instinctively, I walked forward to get past the obstacle while also tugging at the mouse to bring it back up to eye level. When it eventually came free of the rock, between my walking forward and the upward pressure I was exerting on it with the mouse it launched upwards with such incredible momentum that it hit my character square in the face and killed her. Amazing.

The other story I like to tell about Trespasser is of the mounted gun you encounter towards the end. You walk into this big clearing full of dinosaurs, and in the middle of them all is an old, rusted jeep with a working machine gun still mounted on the back. You run forward as the dinosaurs begin running towards you, and you leap onto that jeep praying you’ll be able to defend yourself…

…and then an interesting thing happens. You see, between the need to reposition your character with the WASD keys to turn the gun around, plus the need to use your mouse to use your character’s arm to angle the gun, and the gun’s own heavy weight meaning it quickly gathers enough inertia to physically spin your character around, the act of firing this gun becomes something akin to a deeply sickly fairground ride. You go spinning left and right like a ragdoll, always tugging the booming thing this was or that, until eventually after several minutes of this all the dinosaurs are dead. It left me feeling so motion sick that I had to go and have a lie down.

Fantastic game, anyway. Go investigate!

__________________

« | »

, , .

81 Comments »

  1. Dood says:

    The sidestepping Tyrannosaurus is scaaary!

    • Quintin Smith says:

      It’s a scary-ass game. Partially because it’s so hard to hit anything with the gun and it’s coming RIGHT AT YOU AND noo

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      Not enough time for more “ooooo”, huh?

      Sounds brutal.

  2. Unaco says:

    Ahhh… Trespasser. The only game in which I felt it necessary to stare intently at a digital representation of a woman’s breasts (to see how much health I had left, and nothing more).

  3. Igor Hardy says:

    When I played Tresspasser as a kid I wasn’t really impressed by any innovations, only frustrated by the crazy controls, how slow it worked on my computer, and the arm bending in all directions together with whatever it was holding at the moment.

    • Rich says:

      The arm bending looks like he’s dragging the gun through soup. Does the character have exceptionally weak wrists?

    • BooleanBob says:

      It reminds me of the way the player model held the Cougar Magnum in Goldeneye, which always looked off to me. No one else ever seemed to see a problem with it though :(

    • Bhazor says:

      To me it looks like playing any fps game on the wii. The same weird looking straight ahead whilst aiming at something at the bottom left of the screen thing you get in all the shooters.

  4. Hunam says:

    If the game was actually based on that screenshot I’d buy it now. I’m sick of always playing as the stupid humans. Let me be a T-Rex RAWR!

    • The Great Wayne says:

      Maybe this is at the root of a new furry movement. Cosplaying as dinosaurs. And we’ll call them “scalies”. It’s a scary thought tho.

    • Ergates_Antius says:

      Jurassic Park the MMO?

    • Rich says:

      I think you should know that I’ve already met a “scaly”, and proposed the very same name*. The individual’s personal preference was dragons. He still referred to himself as a furry, even though his dream animal was both scaly and fictitious.

      *Not to his face. I don’t think he’d appreciate it.

    • zergrush says:

      Haven’t you guys heard of the “Godzilla Bukkake”?

    • Rich says:

      No, and I refuse to google it.

    • BAReFOOt says:

      Guys, I give you: Pterodactyl porn! ^^
      Oh Internet… you really have everything

    • Hunam says:

      This is so not how I wanted this to go down. I mean… you just. No. No. Stop it now. No furries, no scalies. Just computer games where dinosaurs eat people.

      What is wrong with all of you? :(

    • Ninja Dodo says:

      I vote to ban the word “furry” from the online lexicon. The Internet has ruined anthropomorphic characters.

    • WildcardUK says:

      I couldn’t help it. I clicked BAReFOOt’s link (wonder why that was to hand?). The best bit? Them flapping their wings!

    • Adriaan says:

      I am 12 and what is this..?

    • Wulf says:

      I have seen far, far worse than anything any furry factory can crank out.

      There’s currently a meta-game going on between my college friends at the moment, and unfortunately I seem to be at the centre of the storm, not the eye, because it’s not particularly calm, but everything tends to come my way. And… well, let’s just say that furries are tame. They’re completely harmless, fairly unobjectionable, and sometimes charming creatures most of the time.

      Yes, they have perversions, but so does everyone. Let’s not be total hypocrites here just for the sake of hypocritical intellectual fappery, that’s not fooling anyone. Everything has porn. Have you seen Hentai Foundry? The things there even surpass what I’ve seen on furry sites. Yes, furry is strange, but it’s never so out and out WTF so as to even make me double-take.

      But that’s my college friends for you, at this moment I’m so desensitised to everything that I’m almost a being of pure desensitivity. To the point where furry perversions are just amusing to me more than anything else. Really, the whole furry negativity thing these days reminds me of the negativity surrounding gay in the 80′s-90′s. It’s not a whole lot different, and art depicting gay relationships was pretty much treated the same way. Every generation is going to have its antichrist. Apparently this time around its the furries, despite there being so much, much, much worse out there.

      If furry makes you want to gouge your eyes out, then you wouldn’t want to see half the things I’ve seen.

      Perhaps I should introduce you all to my college friends…

      But anyway, as a supporter of doombeasts, I completely agree with Hunam. Moving on from the topic of furries, this is more actually wanting a unique perspective. And this is why I’m actually eager to see more intelligent doombeasts as well, giving us their peculiar perspectives. I mean, look at the Charr, have you read about them, their culture, their attitudes, even the way they create things? For one, their attitudes seem to be almost directly inspired by a fusion of cats, Mongol culture, and Roman culture. This is so very o_O. And that pleases me. Then you have their organic, rounded metalworking – this has to do with the Charr dominating and making pets out of devourers, sometimes very big ones.

      I think that originally Charr metalworking started off with bronzing the husks of devourers, and then using that technique to cast other metals. This is why so much Charr technology these days looks bulbous, spherical, and even insectoid-inspired in some ways. It’s because they started off building things that looked very much like devourers, and then went from there.

      The Charr, for me, are the ultimate proof that there’s so much you can do with sapient doombeasts, they provide fresh perspectives, perspectives you can’t use for humans in a game because they might seem clinically insane, or too innocent, or too off the wall to actually have a majority subscribing to certain views. But with fictional doombeasts you can actually do that. Another great example of this being the Kzinti and their culture, for those who remember them.

      I want to see more of this, not less. At the end of the day, there’s only so much you can do with different kinds of humans and sub-human races – such as elves, dwarves, and whatnot. Sometimes you just want something much more alien to play around with, because it opens up a whole new avenue of story telling. I mean, even introducing something like fully functional genetic memory to a race of critters completely changes what you can do with them versus humans, whilst still keeping it believable because you’re not doing what most people would consider beyond their suspension of disbelief with the human race.

      Another aspect of this — of course — is that you can make their physiology oh so different, which can open up all sorts of doors for gameplay mechanics. From the more simple ones like dragon flight, to the more bizarre such as the experiences provided by Natural Selection. This counts for feral doombeasts too, even, since you’re adding things in that we can’t normally do as everyday human folks, which is great for escapism. Even with dinosaurs you get to be particularly giant, with very different senses from what we’d normally have (I’d love to see a depiction of what a dinosaur’s senses might have worked like, in a game), and so on.

      A fun example of this is recently an artist friend of mine put together a particularly nice dragon – he’s still working on it, currently, but the idea is that it has an incredibly bioluminescent red hide, and its flame is pale green, the reason for this? Phosphorus is actually part of its biological make-up. A lot of phosphorus. I’ll see if I can’t dig that bit of art out…

      Ah, here we go!

      Small Version
      Gigantic Version

      But yes, doombeasts can open all sorts of fun doors – from writing to game mechanics. It’s a shame that potential isn’t tapped more.

    • Wulf says:

      Hmm, edit doesn’t seem to be working, so…

      For those wondering what I mean by more spherical, chitinous Charr construction, take a look at this mortar being constructed, here.

    • Hunam says:

      I’m not sure how that is agreeing with me. I just want a button to stomp, and button to roar and a button to nom nom nom little dudes.

    • thebigJ_A says:

      Holy wall of text, Batman!

      Dude, wtf? “Doombeast”? What has this to do with dinosaur games?

      And somebody is a little over-sensitive about furries. Man, they aren’t today’s “antichrist”. Most people rarely ever think of them.

    • Hunam says:

      Did you ever play Champions Online?

      Furries scare the crap outta me. No thank you sir.

    • Wulf says:

      @Hunam – #1

      It’s agreeing with you in that I find the concept of playable deadly critters interesting. I thought that was kind of obvious.

      @thebigJ_A

      Erm, wow. Way to exercise the lowest common denominator and reading failure in the same post, I suppose?

      I use that word as a general umbrella term for deadly critters. Which one would hope would be painfully obvious, what kind of word would you use for the likes of dinosaurs, dragons, and whatnot? There is no umbrella term for them, so I use my own.

      And you’re wrong about that. Most people are aware of them just like you are. They’re actually fairly massive these days, it seems, and you can’t find a corner of the Internet where they aren’t mentioned in positive or negative ways. So yes. Denying it doesn’t make it any less true in my eyes.

      Let’s be frank, here. It was denied about gays too, by the very same people. I can’t help being something of a furry activist for the same reason. I’m gay, so I know what prejudice is like. It’s fine if you’re a happy, normal person, but you need to walk a mile in another person’s shoes to understand something like that. Until you do, you don’t think it’s a big problem. Discrimination is a MASSIVE problem. And I won’t tolerate it for the same reason that I won’t tolerate misogyny.

      But you don’t find many left-leaning, intelligent, empathic people when it comes to gamers. You have a lot of average, everyday people, but again, you can’t really understand discrimination unless you’ve been discriminated against. And by your attitude, I can tell that you’re not of a minority ethnicity, you’re not gay, and you’ve never been discriminated against for any reason.

      Believe me, it’s not nice. And discrminating for any reason can only be considered douchefuckish.

      @Hunam – #2

      Yes, I have played Champions Online. Which is different from naked Night Elves dancing atop mailboxes how?

      The point I’m making here is that you get total perverts everyone. To try to even begin to insinuate that perversion is limited to furry is not only intellectually dishonest, but silly to the point of willful idiocy.

      See above about narrow-minded discrimination and general douchefuckery. There is a strong air of douchefuckery here, and it’s not coming from me.

      Edit #1: I will add this, though – thanks for lowering my opinion of gamers once again, it’s getting to the point where my opinion of the average gamer rests somewhere around my opinion of the right extremist, and all the white supremacy, misogyny, racism, and discrimination that they tend to shovel out.

      It’s hard to have a high opinion of gamers when I see shit like this, it really is.

  5. Shadram says:

    I’ve always wanted to play Trespasser. I was going to buy it when it was originally released, but all the terrible reviews put me off. Now I wish I’d ignored them. Anywhere selling it online? If not, GOG need to get onto it…

    • Shagittarius says:

      Don’t know why it’s getting praise now, it’s really quite shit.

    • TheTingler says:

      It’s EA, who are bafflingly loathe to release any of their classic games digitally.

      Furthermore, it’s a licenced game and the licence no longer belongs to EA, so they’re not allowed to re-release it anyway.

  6. Eclipse says:

    Trespasser was awesome, and indeed way ahead of it’s time. Ragdolls, realistic physics, no hud (well, you had to watch the main character boobs, it had an heart shaped tattoo).
    Puzzles were clever too, it was like a more ancient Half-Life 2 with dinosaurs. Sadly it was bashed down by critics

  7. Rich says:

    A light year is a measure of distance, not time.
    I hope you spend a moment to realise what a fool you’ve made of yourself.

    • stahlwerk says:

      He did write “Light years ahead”, not “before”, so he done good, I guess.

      Also, “light year” is such a misnomer, as it implies that “light” is a rate of distance. Which it isn’t. Lightspeed-year or C-year would be less ambigous.

    • Rich says:

      “Light years ahead of its time” though.

      Also, I agree with your “Also…”

    • Lack_26 says:

      Unless they’re in a metaphorical race, with certain technologies are running ahead of their time-period, beating it by distance. Okay, perhaps that’s a bit convoluted.

    • stahlwerk says:

      Welllllll, “its time” surely is meant as a figure of speech in this case, a metonymy perhaps, standing in for “the competi–

      you know what? This is silly :-D

      Edit: of course he could have meant these guys.

    • BAReFOOt says:

      Maybe he meant a Lightyear. As in, “Mr. Buzz …” When you lay them side-by-side or head-to-toe, you get a distance measuring unit. ;)

    • Johnny Law says:

      Obviously he meant to say parsecs ahead.

    • Wulf says:

      @stahlwerk

      You got a good chuckle out of me, there. I wasn’t sure whether you were actually going to run with that, or not.

      Though it’s not the first time I’ve seen this used though, far from it. I think it just falls under the umbrella of common misinformation.

  8. int says:

    Jurassic Park is frightening in the dark. All the dinosaurs are running wild.

    • Xercies says:

      I’m afraid those things’ll harm me, cause they sure don’t act like Barney

  9. stahlwerk says:

    Press (X) to Clever Girl?

  10. Rich says:

    The dialogue of that t-rex makes me think of this.

  11. Ricc says:

    For me screenshot mockups are a bit of a faux-pas on news sites, but I’ll forgive you this time…

    • James G says:

      I don’t think it was supposed to be a mockup, just a humorous juxtaposition of a still from the Jurassic Park films, with text ascribing simplistic thoughts to the T. Rex. (See Lolcats etc.)

    • Ricc says:

      It’s a reference to Heavy Rain’s thought bubbles, as the title suggests.

      edit: Also, a bit of singing shark… maybe?

    • Quintin Smith says:

      It’s meant to be Heavy Rain’s thought bubbles, yes.

    • James G says:

      Ahh, haven’t played Heavy Rain. Although as I now own a PS3 this is probably a limitation that should be addressed.

  12. Sagan says:

    I fully endorse Telltale doing something ambitious. It’s not that their games are bad, but they have kind of been doing the same thing for like 5 games now.

    • Rikard Peterson says:

      Seconded! I like the typical Telltale formula, and most of their games, but the fact that I like the company only makes me happier that they’re willing to try something new. (Even if it may not work out, I’m glad they risked it.)

  13. FalseMyrmidon says:

    Lol Trespasser. Jockeys with Daikatana for the worst most hyped game ever.
    http://www.oldmanmurray.com/longreviews/726.html

  14. AlexW says:

    If there’s a playable herbivore that suddenly spreads a hood out of nowhere at the end, screeches, spits gunk and eats flesh at the end, I’m gonna be pissed. But it would be accurate.

    Also wrong lessons to take away from HR: no ‘meaning’ to any button, so their selection is random and the player has to pay close attention to the QTE symbols to get each one right, thereby allowing shoddy animation and plot holes to slip past, or every voice actor being an American with a thinly-veiled French accent, or a character only there as a pair of boobs, a source of rape/torturous murder scenarios and potential fallback if you get someone else killed.

    • thebigJ_A says:

      Dude, you realize that was a carnivore, right?

    • AlexW says:

      Of course I do, but it’s the closest match to the retarded ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’ thing Cage tried to do, and dead man walking certainly thought it was harmless.

  15. PetitPrince says:

    Tresspasser’s post mortem on Gamasutra is worth the read, and may explain one thing or two.

    Trespasser was built entirely in 3D Studio Max. There was no level editor, only the generically-titled GUIApp, which was the game with a debugging shell and not really a tool at all.

    [...]

    There were two unexpected but incredibly severe drawbacks that we discovered only after it was far too late to change our method: the first was that Max is basically unfit to work with more than about 5,000 objects at a time. The Max files for a Trespasser level averaged 40mb in size, and could take a couple minutes to load even on the 256mb PII-266s the designers used. When all objects in a level were visible, it could take 30-60 seconds to respond after clicking on an object to select it, making fast work difficult to say the least.

    (emphasis by me)

  16. Diziet Sma says:

    An arm that you swing around? Like Die by the Sword by Treyarch from 1998? Oh that had some classic moments:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Die_by_the_Sword

    I had a lot of mondegreens from the speech in that game like “You fight like cardboard.” I think it was meant to be like a kobold but I never did figure it out.

  17. idespair says:

    Trespasser (or, at least, PC Zone or Gamer’s review) is the reason the phrase ‘Deploy the arm’ entered my lexicon.

    • Urael says:

      Dammit. I wish I’d read your post before I posted mine two below it. Great minds think alike?

      And OMG, there’s Trespasser mod scene? That’s…that’s…

  18. Warth0g says:

    I am confused as to why they thought controlling Mr Tickle to fight dinosaurs was a good idea…

    • Wulf says:

      It’s just the controls. Mr. Tickle as a combatant in a hostile arena is an incredibly hilarious concept, and one that mostly works pretty damn well in practise. At least, when I’m not having fits of giggles after stabbing a helicopter with it and hearing the pilots freak out over such. (Yes, Prototype.)

  19. Urael says:

    DEPLOY THE ARM!

  20. Voxel_Music_Man says:

    Finally! People who care about trespasser!!!!

    I bought it when it came out, but for some reason it got bad reviews – one magazine when so far as to give it a ‘coaster of the year’ award.

    Still one of my all time favourite games!!

  21. jonfitt says:

    I played the demo of Trespasser at the time and quite liked its innovative/crazy controls. However poor reviews put me off buying it.

    I tried the demo again a few years back, but it didn’t stand up too well in a post-Half-Life2 world.

  22. Navagon says:

    Trespasser was also released light years ahead of its completion. Which is a shame as it only added to the reasons why no other developer had the opportunity to be that creative with the gameplay mechanics for some considerable time.

    It did have a lot of potential. A hell of a lot. But I spent half the time trying to get the weapon pointed straight by picking it up while it’s in the absolute dead centre of the screen. Not being able to kill things because your aim is permanently off to the top left of the screen gets old very, very fast. And this is coming from someone who loves the rough diamonds of gaming.

    As for the Telltale game, this news makes me fearful. Not of dinosaurs but of QTEs.

  23. Liquidben says:

    I would remiss to not mention the wonderful Let’s Play of Trespasser by “Research Indicates” as posted to Vimeo and indexed here. It’s great to hear his warm and laconic narration detailing all sorts of things you’d never notice about this game’s world.

    • stahlwerk says:

      Vimeo links are down, but the Viddler still works in all its grainy glory. Highly recommended, this here LP.

    • malkav11 says:

      I was going to post that myself. Cheers.

  24. Mekon says:

    I was working in a small video game retail store back when the game was released – we had a significantly large number of returns of Trespasser. Was less than impressed myself when I checked it out… suffice to say, it was one title that wasn’t worth my employee discount. I could see what they were trying to do, but they failed miserably. An instance of the critics actually getting it right, in my opinion.

  25. sinister agent says:

    Quinns, are you ill? Trespasser was a terrible game. It was technically impressive to say the least, and yeah, six or seven years ahead of its time in some aspects. But as a game it was unutterably awful.

    That said, I did enjoy watching an american chap playing through it on youtube, giving a surprisingly interesting and warm commentary about the game as he played it, and the story of its development.

  26. Sir-Lucius says:

    I think my favorite part of that video is when she gives up trying to shoot the raptor and just says “Fuck it” and hurls her pistol at it. The goofy distortion in the arm as she hurls it and the futility of all the previous shots as the raptor retreated were just glorious.

  27. mwoody says:

    Amnesia doesn’t really use a gestures based system any more, btw, as you can’t really hit anything with anything.

  28. Muzman says:

    Trespasser was kinda the Boiling Point of its day. An interesting and ambitious complete and utter failure you could still have fun with.

  29. bill says:

    Trespasser wasn’t just ahead of it’s time, it was ahead of the hardware, and largely ahead of our time!

    I played it for the first time last year, and it’s an amazing (but deeply broken) game. But I can’t imagine what it was like back then. With current hardware and mods you can increase the view distance to see how crazy the developers were. They developed WHOLE LANDSCAPES AT FULL SCALE at a time when current hardware allowed view distances of about 6 feet! There’s a whole full scale mountain. There’s a whole town. And, unlike most games (like morrowind, gta) it doesn’t feel like a slightly scaled down version, where climbing a hill takes 2 minutes – it feels like near my house where walking up the hill takes 30 minutes.

    With the increased view distances, it actually has one of the best atmospheres of any game i’ve played. Plus I thought that the dinosaurs and world still looked pretty nice now.

    But you have to forget any thoughts of it being an FPS. It’s survival horror – where you have to sneak and run like hell, and the only chance you have to take down dinos is if you have time to line up the shot carefully and take them down before they get close enough to knock the gun from your hand. (kinda realistic, i guess). For later levels, I was mostly just running like hell! (and stopping in safe places to take in the view).

  30. thebigJ_A says:

    Best way to find out about Trespasser is the Let’s Play by a guy called Research Indicates: http://www.archive.org/details/LPTrespasser

    EDIT: Aw, someone beat me to it. Oh well, it’s worth being linked to twice! That dude’s commentary was great, and he was well informed about the game. I wish there were more LPs by him.

  31. bill says:

    PS/ If you do play trespasser, ignore the arm controls. Stick it straight up in the air when you’re running/platforming so you don’t catch the gun on something, and then put it ahead and shoot. Forget all the rest.

  32. hualala says:

    ♥♥♥Something unexpected surprise♥♥♥

    《Hey,friend, pls come to our website and have a look
    I am sure u will like it .All the productions are free shipping,and we accept paypal payment.Wish u have a nice day》the new season approaching, click in. Let’s facelift bar!

    There are many fashion clothes high-heeled shoes
    welcome to:=== =========http://b2bjordans.com/ =================

    The website wholesale for many kinds of fashion shoes,
    like the nike,jordan,prada, also including the jeans,shirts,bags,hat and the decorations.
    All the products are free shipping, and the the price is competitive,
    and also can accept the paypal payment.
    ,after the payment, can ship within short time.
    free shipping
    competitive price
    any size available
    accept the paypal
    90X Extreme Fitness System ONLY ONLY 42$$$$$$$
    jordan shoes $32

    nike shox $32
    Christan Audigier bikini $23
    Ed Hardy Bikini $23

    COACH_Necklace $27

    handbag $33

    AF tank woman $17

    puma slipper woman $30
    90X Extreme Fitness System ONLY ONLY 42$$$$$$$
    ======== http://www.b2bjordans.com/ ===============

    if you like to order anything you like.More details,please just browse our website Quality is our Dignity;Service is our Lift.enjoy yourself.thank you!!