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Dead Rising 3's SmartGlass Companion will feel like a real cell phone

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When Capcom Vancouver was developing Dead Rising 3's SmartGlass Companion app, one of its design pillars was 'Your cell phone is a cell phone,' according to senior designer Brent Arnst in a blog post on Gamasutra.

"We wanted the player using our app to look at their own smart device and feel that they had just plucked it off a rotting corpse in Dead Rising 3, just as Nick (Dead Rising 3's hero) has," Arnst wrote. "We wanted players to enable SmartGlass and access apps as though they were using the device Nick had just picked up in the game."

Playing with their smart device beside them, players will be able to access in-game apps as well as make and receive calls. This decision influenced the design in that it led to the studio creating a "living, breathing character that could phone or text the player at any time to offer advice, new missions or tempting prizes."

In order to make the player feel like the phone they carried in the real-world was the same phone the character carried with him in the game world, the studio also developed apps that fit the concepts of a contemporary smartphone, like maps, a news feed, a mission tracker, a hint app and the option to customize the player's ringtones and background wallpaper. But of course, it wouldn't be a Dead Rising game if there weren't over-the-top options. Using the SmartGlass app, players will be able to use military apps to call down air strikes, a hail of bullets or flares that will blow up a city block worth of zombies.

Arnst's full blog post where he talks about the rules the studio designed to accommodate a second screen and what he would do differently next time can be read here.