uses the Jurassic Park
license and takes place on "Site B", the Costa Rican Island from the Lost World where Jurassic Park's dinosaurs were originally created and, following the island's abandonment, allowed to breed out of control.
Players take the role of Anne, the sole survivor of an airplane crash who finds herself stranded in the Lost World, and who needs to find a way off the island (or at least avoid becoming a dinosaur meal). Throughout the journey, Anne will be accompanied by the disembodied voice of John Hammond, the founder of Jurassic Park.Trespasser
does not feature some of the typical first-person shooter interface elements. There are no health bars, ammo displays, or power-ups, and players can't pick things up just by walking over them. Instead, interaction with the environment is done using Anne's arm, which can be moved around using the mouse and which can be used to pick up items, throw rocks, push down crates or wield weapons. Anne's voice gives a rough estimate of the amount of ammo left whenever she wield a gun, and Anne has a heart-tattoo that fills with red as she becomes more damaged.
The game also features a 'realistic' physics model where every movable object can be knocked over, roll around, or thrown in a manner related to their size and weight. This also means players can crush some of the smaller dinosaurs with heavy crates, and can even use a rock to bash their heads in. The dinosaurs in the game are only trying to survive instead of existing solely for the purpose of killing Anne in wave after wave. Thus they run away when injured and will often attack other dinosaurs rather than the player.
Part of the Following Groups
The Press Says
Project leader Seamus Blackley and designers Austin Grossman, Andrew Haydn Grant and Richard Wyckoff had previously worked for Looking Glass studios. Trespasser
has an early incarnation of Looking Glass' traditional basketball court, at the beginning of the 'town' level, complete with a ball you can dunk into one of the nets.
A few months after release, Wyckoff gave a revealing interview to Gamasutra, in which he admitted that the game's production had been beset by problems. In particular, flaws in the physics engine made it almost impossible for the player to stack objects without them sliding off each other. As a consequence, although Trespasser was often stereotyped as a game consisting of crate-stacking puzzles, the final product features no crate-stacking at all; you only have to knock crates over, or climb crates which have, conveniently, already been stacked. The complex, processor-heavy mathematics ensured that the physics-based dinosaurs - which had strictly limited AI, and were added only a few months before release - could only be used sparingly, hence the lack of packs.
The game was designed entirely using 3D Studio Max as a level editor. It was designed before 3D graphics cards were ubiquitous, and has some clever tricks to speed up software rendering; specifically, distance objects (and not-so-distant objects!) are rendered as 2D bitmaps, which flick into 3D when you approach.
Probably because they wanted to ship the game together with The Lost World
movie many features had to be cut and the game was released unfinished in 1998. This is the reason why it often feels more like a gaming experiment than a finished release. Close to Trespasser
's release, some sources said computer technology wasn't advanced enough to run it decently.
The music had to be written from scratch, as the licence only allowed use of the 'Jurassic Park' name and a few story and character elements; no sound effects or music. It remains the only part of the game to be universally admired. Dreamworks Interactive used several music scores from Trespasser
in their next game, Undying
. This explains the odd fact that Undying's boss battle music is so heavy on jungle drums and elephant trumbones.
This game proved that technology didn't cause gameplay. The engine had very difficult and never-seen-before features. like every object had its own material and weight and on this way collisions could be calculated very realistic. Also the sounds in this game aren't pre-programmed as some sources say, but they are real-time-calculated based on the speed of collision and the materials of the objects.
You were carrying a body with the camera all the time time which you could see when you looked down, but then you could also see you're actually too close to the ground which means this woman doesn't have legs below her breasts.
The game has no in-game user interface. But it still uses a traditional health system and presents Anne's health in form of a tattoo on her breasts.
Information also contributed by
- Computer Gaming World
- April 1999 (Issue #177) – Coaster of the Year
This entry to the MobyGames database was contributed by Alan Chan (3657)
on Mar 15, 2000.