Airtight Games has described Murdered: Soul Suspect's ghost gameplay as a "horrible design headache," explaining the process the dev team took to make players "feel like... a ghost".
"It's a horrible design headache," said Airtight VP Matt Brunner, discussing the player's ability to walk through walls in the upcoming murder mystery with X360.
"If you can imagine, how do you design a clear path for your character when you can bypass it in anyway possible? That was the real challenge we were faced with. There was a small group of us early on into development that said 'It doesn't feel like I'm a ghost yet, why? What's missing?' It just feels like you need to be able to pass through objects."
Brunner explains that the team initially experimented with players walking through the walls of a handful of rooms, but discovered that they all got "disorientated and really lost, even with four rooms".
"So one of the things we do in the background of the game is give the player subtle environmental hints, almost obsessively so, about where they are so that the player doesn't get lost.
"We've also spent a lot of time putting voice over and other elements that will redirect them if they do get lost," he says.
Once players get used to the mechanic, though, they won't want to go back to other games, Brunner suggests.
"Interestingly enough when you run around now in the game and you start getting used to it you start thinking 'I don't really want to play a game where I can't just pass through any wall I want'. There's something really freeing about it."
Murdered: Soul Suspect tells the tale of a murdered detective attempting to find his killer and discover the motive behind his death. The game is due to launch on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC in early 2014.