New Homefront Dev Diary Talks "Massacre Fatigue"

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New Homefront Dev Diary Talks "Massacre Fatigue"

The latest Homefront developer diary talks about avoiding "massacre fatigue" by focusing on the consequences of violence and trying to bring real emotion to the act of killing.

Huge body counts are a central component of just about every shooter on the market. Sometimes that's what you're after, but when a developer is aiming for a deeper emotional impact the visceral thrill of endless mass murder can actually get in the way. That creeping numbness to killing is something Homefront developer Kaos Studios is trying to avoid.

"In an average FPS you'll blow through 30 to 100 guys every 15 or 20 minutes or so, and you sort of get this, what we call 'massacre fatigue' when you stop even caring, you don't even realize that you're killing humans," explained Homefront Lead Level Designer Rex Dickson. "What we're trying to do is really attach emotion to that, that... there are consequences to violence."

"Consequences of violence is something we're focusing on in the game. War is not a pretty thing and there's not always lots of positive events that come out of it," added David Votypka, creative director at Kaos Studios. "It's actually very dark and tragic and we want to show that element in Homefront that you don't really get in a lot of shooters."

It's an admirable goal and I'd love to see it happen, but pulling it off will be quite a trick. The shooter genre isn't exactly known for the emotional heft it brings to the medium and I think it's also valid to consider whether or not gamers want it inflicted upon them in the first place. If escapism is the goal, hammering on the horrors of war may not be the ideal way to drive sales.

Homefront is scheduled to come out on March 8 for the PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

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Can't wait for it now, it looks really good.

holy crap - the guy on 00:20 is John C. Reilly with a 'tash like in Talladega Nights

Really cannot wait!

So looking forward to it :D

Wow... I'm trying not to get too excited about this game but this seems like the FPS I thought the industry needs, one can really bring war to life without turning into a unrealistic action movie like the current trend.

just hope theres alot of choices and freedom or else it will get bland

Eww the graphics look bad. It all feels very samey to me but maybe they'll pull it off.

Hope this game turns out to be really good, but to be honest, I'll buy it either way.

I have a lot of hope for this game. It's different and doesn't follow in the footsteps of Call of Duty. Maybe we have the next big thing on our hands...

The more I hear about this game the better it sounds.

Koreans? Really? the norks barely would have enough manpower to take over Hawaii, let alone any major portion of America. Clearly they plan on trying to sell this in China at some point.

At least it's not a bland FPS game... or is it just Bullshait what they're saying ?

What do you call someone who sells you something that doesn't do what they promise it will do?

Wow, you wanted the brands because it'd help the game?
Sure, and those nice lil' paychecks don't influence you at all.

But seriously, this looks like just another generic boring shooter. Ah well.

Both sides of this game are going to be great- SP and MP. SP- People thought that interactive cutscene "No Russian" in MW2 was bad? Wait til this gets more press, and they see death squads, executions, and mass graves. WTF!?! MP- Don't worry about teammates shooting you because you took the tank, you bought the tank!

hazabaza1:
Wow, you wanted the brands because it'd help the game?
Sure, and those nice lil' paychecks don't influence you at all.

But seriously, this looks like just another generic boring shooter. Ah well.

I kinda thought that too about the product placement, but if the money helps make the game better, and I can call out targets that are in the McDonalds, not the Burger Town, good. It's easier. Most games, product placement takes away from the experience, but here I think it will help with the immersion because of the whole "you could've lived here" thing. I looks like they are doing it right for once.

Must.....not.......hope. Dissappointed....in....past....

Ahh Screw it, Yeahh I'm looking forward to it now.

Dammit.

ravenshrike:
Koreans? Really? the norks barely would have enough manpower to take over Hawaii, let alone any major portion of America. Clearly they plan on trying to sell this in China at some point.

no, the whole point is while the American economy continues to crash and burn, the US pulls out of their foreign bases and basically quit the job of world police,soon afterwards, when shit hits the fan in the western world, NK conquers SK(south having literally NO reinforcements) and over the next 10 years conquers many smaller asian countries like vietnam and laos and even Japan, Sadly, no more mario or Link :(
And drops a shitload of EMPs onto the US effectively, leaving them open to attack while Korea steamroles in to clear up what's left of the government, you play as a regular person fighting in the resistance and what I find interesting is that most of the resistance are regular people too and will have little to no training with firearms and will probably be unable to kill ENEMY 34 while you destroy VEHICLE 5 and kill ENEMIES 17, 22 31

I hope they can pull it off as I've been wanting a game with weight behind death for a long while. Super excited and I don't usually play many FPS. ^^

I'd like to see how they try to make us think about the consequences of killing a bunch of nameless, faceless henchmen. You can nampalm them and show them pathetically stumbling round in agony, but I won't ba capable of giving a shit unless I have a reason to.

RUINER ACTUAL:

hazabaza1:
Wow, you wanted the brands because it'd help the game?
Sure, and those nice lil' paychecks don't influence you at all.

But seriously, this looks like just another generic boring shooter. Ah well.

I kinda thought that too about the product placement, but if the money helps make the game better, and I can call out targets that are in the McDonalds, not the Burger Town, good. It's easier. Most games, product placement takes away from the experience, but here I think it will help with the immersion because of the whole "you could've lived here" thing. I looks like they are doing it right for once.

Yeah, I suppose. If they put all advert money into game development that'd be nice.
But, they probably didn't let's be honest.

Josh12345:
what I find interesting is that most of the resistance are regular people too and will have little to no training with firearms and will probably be unable to kill ENEMY 34 while you destroy VEHICLE 5 and kill ENEMIES 17, 22 31

And this proves you have little to no knowledge of american culture outside a big city or California. There are over 300 million weapons now owned by civilians in the united states. Which means that even with the population reinforcements during their territory conquering(which China just let happen), for every gun they have, the US would have 10. And please note that even if they did conquer those countries, given the tech levels in the game, there's no way enough time had passed that most of those countries wouldn't need massive occupation forces as well. It still doesn't make coherent sense from a military standpoint. The only country that would have a snowflakes chance in hell of even assaulting mainland America as a single political entity would be China.

Not to mention the ease with which relatively accurate full auto weapons can be constructed using even remotely modern machine tools.

As for the accuracy argument, most people who legally own their weapons and shoot more than once or twice a year are probably at least as accurate as the average army grunt.

I think I'll pass and just watch Red Dawn for 15 hours, instead. Same experience, 'cliche and heavy-handed'

Young kids form an underground resistance/terrorist cell to take on foreign invaders, blah blah blah, american flags and crying eagles, John Milius gets a check for trimming up his own work and repackaging it as something new and innovative, since it's for a video game, see.

RUINER ACTUAL:

hazabaza1:
Wow, you wanted the brands because it'd help the game?
Sure, and those nice lil' paychecks don't influence you at all.

But seriously, this looks like just another generic boring shooter. Ah well.

I kinda thought that too about the product placement, but if the money helps make the game better, and I can call out targets that are in the McDonalds, not the Burger Town, good. It's easier. Most games, product placement takes away from the experience, but here I think it will help with the immersion because of the whole "you could've lived here" thing. I looks like they are doing it right for once.

Yeah exactly, the product placement will help the game, unlike others where it makes no sense.

ravenshrike:

Josh12345:
what I find interesting is that most of the resistance are regular people too and will have little to no training with firearms and will probably be unable to kill ENEMY 34 while you destroy VEHICLE 5 and kill ENEMIES 17, 22 31

And this proves you have little to no knowledge of american culture outside a big city or California. There are over 300 million weapons now owned by civilians in the united states. Which means that even with the population reinforcements during their territory conquering(which China just let happen), for every gun they have, the US would have 10. And please note that even if they did conquer those countries, given the tech levels in the game, there's no way enough time had passed that most of those countries wouldn't need massive occupation forces as well. It still doesn't make coherent sense from a military standpoint. The only country that would have a snowflakes chance in hell of even assaulting mainland America as a single political entity would be China.

Not to mention the ease with which relatively accurate full auto weapons can be constructed using even remotely modern machine tools.

listen, I'm only stating what the Developers said in a commentary video and what I was trying to get at was not every American is trained in the military for guns, and if they are, well then fine you've proved me wrong. Just remember that this is a GAME. It doesn't have to be realistic on a constant basis(Mass Effect & assassin's creed are good examples))

This game makes me scared. Like singularity I want this to be great, but I feel like it wont be very good. Also, Yahtzee could just copy and paste his Call of Duty: Black Ops review.

I just sense that a mini game between levels where you knock on doors and break the news to grieving widows of the enemies you murdered in the previous level... it's not going to be 'fun'.

Still, kudos for trying a new angle, we know the FPS genre sure needs it and it should balance out Bulletstorm pushing the boundaries in the opposite direction :)

I honestly don't like this "violence with consequences" thing. It sounds like it will end up being forced upon us, rather than just something to take or leave. I don't like this because if an foreign power is invading and treating my country the way it's shown in the clip, I'll definitely want to kill as many of the enemy as I can.

If they can pull this off it'll be fantastic. However I think if you want to add real weight to murdering people then you have to make the player character vulnerable too, not a godlike ass stomping, super soldier. Risk is what makes stuff tense. DOO EEET.

Ah the game no one asked for: an FPS version of "Red Dawn"...

ravenshrike:
Koreans? Really? the norks barely would have enough manpower to take over Hawaii, let alone any major portion of America. Clearly they plan on trying to sell this in China at some point.

Look at the first dev. diary. One of the guys mentions that N. Korea has the fourth largest standing army in the world. I'll admit I didn't look it up to see if that's true or just for their story, but that sounds like a sufficient force to start takeing over countries with their focus on their economy.

Somethings going to be on Fox News tonight......
"TOO CLOSE TO HOME? AT FOX NEWS, WE SAY YES"

AVENGE ME BOYS! AVENGE ME! Homefront is one of the more interesting titles coming up this year.

Hmm. An admirable goal, certainly; if video games are to be the art form so many of us claim they are, it ought to be possible to make a game that appeals to us in the same way as a tragic drama does, drawing on our universal humanity and our desire for emotional catharsis.

But I sense some dangerous stumbling blocks ahead. The nature of the medium and those who consume it is antagonistic to being railroaded into doing things just for the sake of the game-maker's vision. If you force a player to do something and then demand that they feel bad for doing it, it's not unreasonable that the player will either stop playing or approach each violent encounter with a sort of black humor that is the exact opposite of what it sounds like they're trying to achieve.

I posted this in a thread a member had made themselves, but I'll post it again here just for sake of it.

How do you combat "massacre fatigue?" To me, that means more guilt then empathy in the enemy. The only way I can see it in a video game is if when you kill a person a photo of their wives/children comes up and makes you see this guy had a family. I mean, excluding any major antagonists who get story, its hard to make every enemy soldier and individual.

I like the idea of it though, like I like the idea of this game the more and more I see it. I'm just honestly curious how you reduce/eliminate combat fatigue.

That actually sounds good.

Every time I hear about this game it switches from being an emotionally driven war game to a Nationalist "shoot them 'cause they ain't us!" shooter.

I prefer the former.

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