Lost Planet 3 game director Matt Sophos discusses the technology that drives the new game.
Capcom has enlisted Los Angeles developer Spark Unlimited (Turning Point, Legendary) to continue the adventures on E.D.N. III. Lost Planet 3 is a prequel to the original game, offering fans of the franchise a very different experience in the harsh, icy conditions of the unforgiving planet. The game combines on-foot third-person perspective action with first-person Mech combat against an array of monstrous aknids.
The development team for Lost Planet 3 has fluctuated to suit the needs of the production. Starting with a core group of eight people, the team has grown to over 100 to match specific points in the dev cycle. The studio has attracted a diverse group of people who have worked on games ranging from little known gems like Anachronox to massively popular titles like God of War and Mass Effect.
For the first time in the bestselling franchise, which previously was developed in Japan, the game is being developed with Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 3 technology. That suited Spark well because the game maker has a long history of working with Unreal technology.
“The previous two current gen titles developed here used Unreal Engine 3, so the decision to use Unreal for Lost Planet 3 was natural,” said Matt Sophos, Lost Planet 3 game director, Spark Unlimited. “It allows us to leverage our past experience and avoid development issues we’ve encountered in the past, thus increasing our efficiency and quality. Its robust toolset also makes it the best choice for level design because it allows us to hit the ground running from day one – laying out gameplay spaces and prototyping encounters.”
Sophos said the experience the studio has gathered from years of working with the engine has allowed them to work more efficiently. They avoided past mistakes and optimized their workflow based on past experience, allowing them to have more time to work on the creative aspects of the game rather than wrestling with the complexities and capabilities of the engine. He added that this project has benefited greatly and they were able to get started right away.