Posted by: bearskopff | July 4, 2008

PAIN – Amusement Park

We all know a new update is out soon for PAIN but we don’t know exactly what it looks like or what’s specifically included. Well, ripped straight from the PAIN blog, I give you this. Feast you eager eyes!

“A month after we shipped PAIN we (Sony Computer Entertainment America and Idol Minds) got together to plan what we would do next. I don’t mean another game; I mean how we can take what we have in PAIN and raise it to a new level. Ordinarily that wouldn’t be such a daunting task. However, our timing was condensed due to the demands of our community for more content. We all heard the “One Level!” comments from a lot of you.  Even if it was true from a graphic content, it certainly wasn’t true from a design and scripting standpoint. We all agreed that gameplay innovation in PAIN was less about a new environment and more about the events and tasks performed therein.”

“So in those meetings we started to further define what makes PAIN…PAIN. I know it’s a strange thing to do AFTER you ship a product but I don’t think you have a fundamental understanding of a product like PAIN until you put it into the hands of others. When I say others, I mean gamers like you all. Now when I say that, I don’t mean to imply that we had no idea what we were building. What I AM saying is that when you make a product you know what you mean to “say”. It is only when you get that feedback from others when you realize if what you “say” is actually understood and largely agreed upon.”

“So we took a look at the times you were posting for Mime Toss. We looked at the number of Spanked Monkeys…I am not going to mention the ridiculous PAINdemonium scores, but even the ones in the realm of believability suggested that PAIN was something that everyone understood. I would even venture to say that in some cases gamers understood PAIN better than we did.”

(…so back to that meeting. )

“In that meeting we discussed the prime skills in PAIN. The ones that we felt you needed to master in order for you to be good at anything we would throw at you. That was really important because it also influenced the way we would construct anything else. Anything else meant modes, characters, and especially environments. Many of you would have preferred that we made more than one initial environment in PAIN. While that might not have been a bad idea, I can assure you that it wouldn’t have been as dynamic as what we came up with next.”

“I will spare you all the details of the “spirited” conversations we had and focus on the salient points that emerged from those meetings. Those fundamental truths that we agreed must be part of the PAIN landscape. The skills most needed in PAIN are: Drift, Ooch, Grab, Throw and (most of all) situational awareness. The best PAIN players are great at improvisation. PAIN is great at randomness so you have to be ready to “play it by ear” to be good.”

“When conversations began about what modes would be represented in the next area it really came down to asking ourselves what skill sets do PAIN players currently have? What does it mean to someone when you say “I’m really good at PAIN?” The modes didn’t matter as much as the skills involved. Your experience in the Downtown area needed to be applicable to everything we do in the future. So we went about choosing which modes would stay intact. Which modes would we tweak and which modes would be replaced with something a little more exciting.”

“We even went a step further and just asked you which modes you liked the best. It was somewhat shocking to us that the mode you liked the best was the one that took the least amount of time to do. PAINdemonium? Are you kidding me? We weren’t expecting that! It was at that time when we really starting thanking ourselves we included a poll on the site. BTW: This was the reason we made two PAINdemonium levels in the latest update. So we knew that going forward giving you goals within our crazy areas was going to be appreciated.”

“We also took a look at the scores for Mime Toss and knew that whatever we were doing there you seemed to get it as well (too well). The same went for Fun With Explosives. If we were going to take theses modes a step further we would have to figure out what you liked about them and make sure that was present while adding something new to the mix.  That’s where the idea of Gold.. Ahem Platinum Club came from.”

“We also had to keep in mind that everyone who plays PAIN is not an Ooch deity. We had to make sure that the PAIN philosophy was intact here. That philosophy being…”

“Funny and PAINful to watch. Easy to learn, but difficult to master.”

“There needed to be a significant difference between the inexperienced PAIN player and the expert. If you are good at PAIN by now you know what I mean. Watching someone play PAIN who knows what they are doing is actually very impressive. Observing the newbie play PAIN is almost unbearable (if you are able to score golds). You want to snatch that DUALSHOCK®3 from the noob and show them how it’s done. Personally, much like a lot of players, I am content with being good at a game and not God-like. So rest assured you don’t have to be an awesome incarnate to enjoy the new content. However, if you happen to be, we still have challenges for you.”

“Okay…now that we knew the mission we now had to build it.”

“The Amusement Park has had many different incarnations before we decided on the final format. It had to represent what we know of the PAIN play style and add layers to it. It wouldn’t do to have another level like Downtown. We needed to move beyond that area. We needed to step it up.  That meant…”

More moving parts.

More ways to move around.

More community Interaction

Different ways to move around

A different launcher

A multi-leveled environment

Longer PAINful runs


(Oh and….less time between new content updates.)

“There are other changes to be sure. These are some of the larger ones. Each one of these changes made us go back and revisit how we achieve things. The majority of the larger changes are there to make sure multiplayer is fun and non-abusive. The single player changes are there to prepare you for the world of hurt you will experience when you challenge other people online.”

“A few modes escaped tweakage. Most did not. The new modes I think you will enjoy and will give you more than enough in the way of challenges to keep you busy.  We even went back into Downtown, and made sure that any of rule changes in the Amusement Park were echoed in Downtown. We didn’t want you playing with different rule sets.”

“So in the coming weeks we will be sharing with you all the new PAIN area. All the characters you will see and the modes of play involved. I’m pretty excited about the amount of content in this add-on. It’s more than the original PAIN release and I think it finally faithfully represents what you should expect from us from here on out. If you like PAIN you’re going to love this. If you love PAIN already. Well….I hope you have a change of underwear.”

“See you at the Fun Spot.”



  1. yay for pain

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