Resident Evil: Revelations was developed from 2010 to 2011 by a Capcom team produced by Masachika Kawata and Takayuki Hama and directed by Resident Evil 5 co-designer Koushi Nakanishi. Tsukasa Takenaka, who provided the story background and in-game files for Resident Evil 5, joined the team as assistant producer.Resident Evil: Revelations was the first Nintendo 3DS game to use a 4GB cartridge, due to the game's massive size. It is also the first game to feature audio selection in different languages.
Revelations was started from the ground up as a horror game that would focus more on the horror elements of the series on its surface unlike Resident Evil 5. While wanting to make a game that would be fun for fans of older titles, it was also to remain in a modern style to avoid looking dated. A second idea by the producers was that the game be structured as an American serialised drama that would present a wider cast than earlier Resident Evil titles which were typically limited.
The game was programmed with MT Frameworks for the Nintendo 3DS, a console which Capcom had not developed games on before. Because of this, the unfamiliar developers were repeatedly plagued with problems developing for it. Unlike Resident Evil 5, which was programmed with co-op gameplay in mind, Revelations' story mode was programmed entirely as a single-player game.
To make gameplay more tense while fighting enemies, the programmers came up with the Genesis mechanic, where the player would have to search for hidden ammunition themselves.
The idea of a cruise ship setting emerged after the decision to make the game more emphasised on horror, as an outbreak on a ship would leave a person trapped with no means of escape. Having already decided on a marine theme to the game, as development continued the Zombies intended for the game were replaced with the more aquatic looking Ooze mutants.
With the story planned out as a serialised drama with a diverse cast, the producers looked outside Capcom and hired anime writer Dai Satou to write the script. The producers gave him rules to follow, which was to focus on creating suspicion for both the cast and audience, and make the audience unable to predict how the story would unfold. Given a degree of creative control, Satou created the characters of Keith and Quint.
Unlike previous Resident Evil titles, Resident Evil: Revelations was planned to include different language dubs for the benefit of non-English speakers who may have trouble reading the subtitles on the 3DS' small screen.
The HD / Unveiled Edition of the game released in 2013 featured several changes:
The First Person Shooter (FPS) Aiming option/mode was removed.
The laser was removed, a crosshair was added in place.
The new version makes use of the Resident Evil.net service, providing players with weapons and other items.
It includes new costumes for Chris and Jill and new playable characters in Raid Mode, this includes; Rachel Foley, HUNK and extra DLC Characters like Ooze Rachel and Lady Hunk, with a variety of new DLC Weapons.
There is a new Infernal Difficulty that replaces the Hell Difficulty from the 3DS original. In addition to being relatively harder, items are found in different places. (similar to older RE games' "Arrange Modes").