BasketballProject 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.
DevelopmentA 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.
MusicThe 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.
PhysicsThis 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.
User interfaceThe 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.
- Computer Gaming World
- April 1999 (Issue #177) – Coaster of the Year