Mike Holmes caught up with Supermassive Games' design director Tom Heaton in the darkness at a recent PlayStation event to discuss the prospects of the innovative new horror game that is Until Dawn.
"What we were trying to do right at the start of making Until Dawn was make a playable horror movie," says Heaton. "That's our vision if you like. And that means the starting point was to go and watch a load of movies, classic 80s and 90s horror movies like Scream, Friday the 13th, I Know What You Did Last Summer and kind of just get the whole atmosphere of those. Look at the techniques of how they scared people. How they made such thrilling movies and work out how can we make a game and that does the same? That gives you that cinematic experience, but that you the player can play. That was the challenge we came up with."
Heaton also detailed how the DualShock 4 is being used and how the team makes use of motion controls. He described a moment where the player character hides and the player is also asked to keep still.
"At that point we ask you the player to keep completely still as well," explains Heaton. "Cause the DualShock controller has great motion detection and we can tell if you're keeping still and if you don't keep still then you'll be caught and the next bit of the game will unfold."
Perhaps the biggest appeal of the game is the idea that your decisions will dictate which characters will survive. Supermassive maintain it will be really difficult to have all characters survive on the first playthrough and that the idea is that for most players only 1-2 characters survive until the end.
"There's a range of choice and they're meaningful," says Heaton. "The game constantly branches. In big ways and small ways so that your story is unique. It won't be quite the same as anyone else's story. That's one of the big ideas behind the game. That you choose, the game branches, you create your version of the story."
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