With highly anticipated survival horror titles like The Evil Within and Dying Light poised to hit stores later this year, some fans may forget that there are also quite a few indie titles coming out that could essentially become breakout hits in their own rights. One such title on that list is the open world Oculus Rift compatible survival horror game The Forest.
Late last week, I had an opportunity to speak with Endnight Games about their highly ambitious game and asked them a few hard-hitting questions about their views on the survival horror genre as a whole. We also get a confirmation that this title may be headed to next-gen consoles, but is a PC exclusive for now. Feel free to check out the full interview below.
What movies or games would you say inspired you to create The Forest?
Endnight Games: We’re inspired a lot by classic horror films, from very early on in the project our vision was to create the type of world from ‘The Hills Have Eyes’ or ‘Cannibal holocaust’ and throw players into it.
How do you view the Survival Horror genre as it stands today and what are you hoping your game can bring to the genre as a whole?
Endnight Games: One thing we are doing very different from other horror games is tone. We have a unique style and work a lot with contrast. Lots of horror games tend to be all horror all the time. Always dark and gloomy. We try to alternate between the most disturbing thing you’ve ever seen in a game, and then soon after, one of the prettiest and most serene. We hope people who hate horror games will still play the forest, and force themselves to suffer through the scary moments to get to the calm nicer parts.
What challenges did you face when developing this game to work with the Oculus Rift? What do you feel the device will bring to the overall gameplay experience?
Endnight Games: Scale is a big issue, when developing in 2d you often don’t notice small inaccuracies between the size of the different models. Once viewed in 3d VR every mistake really stands out and becomes really distracting. Building a consistent looking world has been one of the most challenging aspects. In general, developing for stereo is always harder, both in games and on films. Many image effects or shadowing techniques need to be done a certain way to work with two camera’s and with virtual reality we have the additional issues of how we constrain a camera to a player body and have it feel natural and smooth. I feel it’s all worth it, as once you step into The Forest, look down at your feet in the virtual dirt – it really is an experience unlike anything you’ve ever had. Once you descend into a cave holding your lighter as your only source of light it can also become terrifying really fast.
Do you have any plans to release The Forest on the PS4 and/or Xbox One?
Endnight Games: We’d love to release on both – as a small team our current focus is on the PC version.
Are there any survival horror games of franchises that you are personally a fan of or think need to be rebooted?
Endnight Games: We are big fan of System Shock 2, but don’t think a reboot of that would be a good idea.
What advice would you give to aspiring game developers and designers who may want to get into the games industry?
Endnight Games: Well we are still very new to the industry ourselves so we don’t want to be handing out advice prematurely. But I think it’s true that the barrier to entry into the games industry has never been lower. With platforms like Steam and great, affordable development tools such as Unity there is no better time to be an indie developer. I’d advise anyone with a good idea and some relevant skills to go for it. It certainly will be a fun challenge and you will learn lots of new things along the way.
The Forest is scheduled to debut on PC sometime later this year. For more updates and info on the game, please feel free to visit survivetheforest.com.
Are any of you intrigued by The Forest? Please feel free to let us know your thoughts on the game and more in the comments section below.