It’s not ruining anything to tell you that Franco Delille doesn’t die of old age in Dead Space 2, seeing as his demise happens, quite horrifically, in the opening moments of the game. But more surprising than his death is the amount of work that went into bringing him to such short life – it took a team of eight people two months to complete Delille’s Infector-induced death, as detailed in an interview with Joystiq.
“We wanted the skin to slough,” said EA’s Tony Gialdini, adding that the team spent three weeks just animating the transformation, to say nothing of the modeling, lighting, and sound and video effects. “The most hellish part of that was actually not the animation of all the skin falling, as you would think, it was actually the 18-22 tentacles that were all wiggling around on his head…It was slowly driving [animator Ryan Hood] insane trying to get these tentacles to behave.”
It really makes for a fascinating read, especially when Gialdini shares the ways in which the team actually held back. If you think Delille’s death is the stuff of nightmares now, imagine earlier versions where “his face kind of exploded…like all the skin flew off” and one where the head stabbing scene looked a bit too sexual, becoming “disturbing in the wrong way.”