10 Things You Might Not Know About PERFECT DARK - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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10 Things You Might Not Know About PERFECT DARK

In the name of intergalactic peace, kiss Geek Dave's alien butt!

1. Perfect Dark was developed by Rare and originally directed by Martin Hollis as a spiritual successor to the company's 1997 first-person shooter GoldenEye 007.

Shortly after GoldenEye 007 was released, Rare was planning to work on a game based on the GoldenEye sequel Tomorrow Never Dies, but the company was outbid by Electronic Arts, which would release their (abysmal) video game adaptation in 1999. The result did not affect the developers, who felt they had already spent too much time immersed in the James Bond universe, so they began work on an all new adventure, upgrading the GoldenEye 007 engine with new features and graphical enhancements such as real-time lighting and support for bigger environments and more textures. According to Rare, only 30% of the original engine remained, providing a basic framework to construct levels and animate characters.

2. The game's science fiction setting was chosen due to the developers' interest in the genre.Works such as the Ghost in the Shell manga, Elektra comic books, The X-Files television series, the 1982 film Blade Runner, and the writing of author Philip K. Dick were major influences on the characters, setting and plot. Hollis explained that he and designer David Doak,
"...picked a range of locations we thought would be impressive and architectural, on the model of GoldenEye but sci-fi dystopias [...] The settings came first; the plot was then constructed by Dave to sew them together"
The new setting gave designers complete control over the environments. For example, the first level takes place in a skyscraper that one of the game's artists always wanted to build, and features realistic environments like service stairs and an exterior area that can be explored.

3. Working titles for the game included "Covert Operations" and "Alien Intelligence" before the words "Perfect Dark" were decided on. The word "Dark" was chosen for its association with the game's bleak focus on killing.

4. The decision to make the central character a woman was part of Hollis' belief that there should be more games starring women. According to him,
"Having just made a game starring a man it seemed logical to create one around a woman."
To this end, the team created Joanna Dark, influenced by a number of fictional heroines: Kim Kimberly from the 1983 interactive fiction game Snowball, the seductive spy Agent X-27 in the 1931 film Dishonored, the eponymous femme fatale of the 1990 film Nikita, and FBI agent Dana Scully from The X-Files.

5. The name "Joanna Dark" was taken from the French pronunciation of Joan of Arc as "Jeanne d'Arc", while the name of the in-game company dataDyne was inspired by Yoyodyne from the 1965 novella The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon.

6. Rare installed an expensive motion capture studio in Atherstone, Warwickshire, which was used to capture hit animations and full walk cycles; game designer Duncan Botwood wore a pair of high heels to portray Joanna Dark in some sessions.

7. Originally, Hollis hoped that the difference between light and dark would be a significant feature of the gameplay, and the title was intended to reflect this focus. A flashlight was implemented by software engineer Steve Ellis, who had been responsible for much of the multiplayer mode of GoldenEye 007, but was ultimately not included in the game due to limitations of the Nintendo 64 hardware.

In 2006, Hollis remarked that such aims were overambitious, stating that,
"Even today, you can see game developers struggle to make light and dark foundational from a gameplay perspective."
Nevertheless, the game features more advanced lighting than its predecessor. For example, lights can be shot out to create darkened areas, gunfire and explosions illuminate rooms dynamically, and the player can use infrared or night-vision goggles.

8. Hollis was involved with Perfect Dark for the first 14 months of its three-year development cycle, during which progress was troubled and long delayed. As he explained,
"...each of us was asking for more than the other could give. This situation ended with my departure, and with very deep regret I was unable to see Perfect Dark to completion."
By the end of 1998, half of the team members, including Doak and Ellis, also left Rare to form Free Radical Design. This prompted Rare to assign more people to the team remaining on the project, which eventually became three times bigger than GoldenEye 007's. The new team worked in a very isolated and free environment and did not have a production manager, a schedule, meetings, commercial pressure, or any sort of deadlines. According to artist B Jones,
"People would just do things they thought were cool and would work"
Many Easter eggs and secrets were added to the game to fuel the exploration efforts and wild speculation of players.One of the most notable features is a piece of cheese hidden on every campaign level. These were deliberately placed by one of the game's level editors simply as a graphical oddity for the player's confusion.

9. The game has two hidden passwords that can be found by picking up a necklace in one level and reaching the highest rank in the multiplayer mode. Rare had originally intended these details to allow access to password-protected sections of promotional websites and use them for an alternate reality game, but the idea was never realised.

10. Shortly before the game's release, a feature that would have allowed players to place a photograph of their choice onto the face of their multiplayer character was cut due to sensitive issues surrounding the ability for players to attack images of real people. I doubt that would be a concern nowadays.

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