If you’ve ever watched a horror flick and wished that you could force the characters to make better decisions, Supermassive Games has got you covered. After the runaway success of both Until Dawn and the more recent Dark Pictures Anthology titles, their latest interactive scare-fest comes in the form of a partnership with 2K, the publishers responsible for classics like Bioshock and The Darkness.
Titled The Quarry, their new game stars horror icons like David Arquette and Lin Shaye and sees a group of teenage camp counselors being hunted by psychotic locals in a backwoods horror throwback that can be played either alone or with friends.
And with the title set to release later this year, Bloody Disgusting reached out to creative director Will Byles for a brief interview on why we should be excited for The Quarry.
Bloody Disgusting: Thank you so much for joining us, Will! Our first question is about this impressive cast of horror royalty that you’ve managed to round up. With juggernauts like David Arquette, Lin Shaye and even Ted Raimi, how exactly does the casting process affect the development of a game like The Quarry?
Will Byles: Development of the game initially starts out with a ninety-page script much like a film. Only when that’s done do we start fully developing characters and coming up with a dream team to work with, looking for actors according to characters.
Luckily for us, we basically got everyone we wanted this time, with the roles having been developed with these actors in mind. The younger cast was great, as they had an easier time understanding how games work and what we needed from them, and Ted Raimi was also especially fun to work with.
Because of the sheer size of the game, the actors would each get an incomplete script, featuring only their parts of the story, but they all understood what we were going for. The performances were also fully motion-captured this time, with very little key-frame corrections made after recording sessions.
BD: With Until Dawn having been influenced by the films of Larry Fessenden (who also co-wrote the game) and The Dark Pictures Anthology borrowing from films like The Blair Witch Project and The Exorcist, what kind of media influenced The Quarry?
WB: We’re actually going with an anachronistic 80s feel in The Quarry. The game is still set in the now, but we wanted to go back to a retro experience without cellphones or the internet. That’s why we settled on the campground setting, which harkens back to slashers like Friday the 13th or even Sleepaway Camp.
Of course, we’re mostly working with that kind of 80s backwoods atmosphere instead of directly borrowing ideas from these movies. If anything, there’s a lot of Evil Dead in the game, with that film’s particular tone and setting being a big inspiration for us.
BD: With classics like Borderlands and Bioshock to their name, I can imagine that working with 2K has opened a few doors for you guys. So how exactly did this partnership affect development?
WB: Working with 2K was great as they gave us plenty of freedom to basically do whatever we wanted within the horror genre. We were a little hesitant at first since some publishers can perceive horror as a kind of niche experience, but that definitely wasn’t the case here.
With their help, we can guarantee a longer and more intricate experience than our previous games.
BD: I think it’s safe to say that Supermassive already mastered this style of game after Until Dawn and the Dark Pictures titles, so we were wondering what the writing process was like on this latest game and how it might differ from writing a movie.
WB: The main thing that we think about when writing these games is that they’re third-person experiences with first-person emotions. It’s a vicarious kind of interaction with the characters which turns into something personal when things go wrong.
One of the main differences between playing these games and watching a movie is that we can make players feel guilt, which is an emotion unique to videogames. Players can feel bad about themselves after making a wrong decision or not paying enough attention, and I think that’s something special that helps us to tell unique stories.
BD: That’s it for our questions today, but we’d like to know if there’s anything else you want to tell players before they get their hands on The Quarry?
WB: I really believe in this medium, and we’re trying to push game narratives forward with this kind of interactive storytelling. We want it to be accessible enough that you’ll be able to share this experience even with people who haven’t ever played a videogame before, as well as friends who want in on the fun either in person or online.
We can’t wait for you guys to try it out.