We had a chance to talk to developer Trickster Face last week about their Kickstarter Survival Horror Game, Long Night. A demo of their upcoming game is available on their website: http://www.trickster-face.com/
TFN: How would you describe Long Night to someone who knows nothing about it?
Trickster Face: Long Night is a third person survival horror about intimate fears coming from family drama. The characters are a bunch of teenagers in an American holyday camp in the 90’s. The player will have to understand the meaning of the fears to face them and use his intelligence and instinct to survive this supernatural night.
TFN: In your Kickstarter video you say, "Survival Horror is more than shooting hordes of monsters." Can you elaborate on how this thought has impacted your game design?
Trickster Face: With Long Night, we choose to remove the weapons from the game design and focus on reflection above destruction. The gameplay was design to answer directly to the scenario and vice versa. It means that all features (exploration, chase, riddles and bosses) make sense in the story. For example, you will not have out of context riddles (find the jewel to put it in the statue to find another item, to finally open a door, to progress). In Long Night, resolve a riddle will help you to understand the psychology of the character and find direct way to face the fears.
TFN: Are there any games, movies or other sources that have inspired and influenced Long Night?
Trickster Face: Of course Long Night was inspired by many sources, like “it” from Stephen King (and his work in general), the urban legends, Silent Hill 2 for the psychological aspect, Resident Evil 1 for its atmosphere. In the movies, we were inspired by classic horror like Psycho, Nightmare on Elm Street, Scream, Friday the 13th… We want to build Long Night as a love declaration to the horror gender.
TFN: How do you feel the long-form storytelling of video-games enables you to explore fear in ways movies (which are typically shorter than three hours) cannot?
Trickster Face: Long Night use an approach closer to the TV shows. We take the video game time to dig into the characters back story. We want the player to feel intimate with those teenagers so they can relate to their own life, past and present.
TFN: Can you describe how player agency has been beneficial and also challenging in designing a Survival Horror game?
Trickster Face: During the development of Long Night we focus on the reward of the player’s implication. Meaning that more the player interact and explore, more knowledge and more horror events he will get. We build the scenario with several level of interpretation so, as a player, you can build your own Long Night experience. It gives to the game a replay value and above the possibility to discuss about your vision of the story with other players.
TFN: What has your experience been with the Kickstarter process and is there any advice you’d offer to aspiring game designers looking at the platform?
Trickster Face: Well, we can say about Kickstarter that it requires a lot of work of presentation and communication. It’s a really living platform, so it’s difficult to be noticed when you’re surrounded by so many ideas. Today, making a game became easier with the accessibility of development tools, but the consequences are that the press is submerge by interesting projects. So, our advice to any game designer looking at this platform, could be: “Don’t come with just an idea, but bring some concrete to your audience so they can understand your project better”.
TFN: Our podcast is known for doing Top 5 lists every week, Long Night promises to be a truly frightening Survival Horror game. What are your Top 5 Survival Horror games?
Trickster Face: Top Five horror games of Trickster Face
1 Resident Evil Rebirth
2 Silent Hill 2
3 Resident Evil Code Veronica
4 Project Zero 2
5 Alan Wake/Obscure
TFN: Thanks for taking time to talk to us! Is there anything else you’d like to say about Long Night?
Trickster Face: Thanks to you for giving us the opportunity to talk about our first born: Long Night.
Our ambition is to make a game very close to the player, because that’s what fear is about, intimacy…
This isn’t a game about psychosis and unbelievable stories. It’s a game about you, me and the truth inside us.
Check out the Long Night Kickstarter and consider donating over at: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1102758921/long-night