Mysterious survival horror games set in first person are nothing new for us, especially with the likes of The Forest making in-roads over the years. However, The Other 99 by Burning Arrow and published by Deck 13 promises something unique. The horror aspects are much more pronounced than you’d think in a game for this genre with touches of Battle Royale and The Hunger Games thrown in. Right now, the game’s time in early access is helping to shape it further.
GamingBolt spoke to Deck 13 managing director Jan Klose about The Other 99 and how it’s shaping up, especially when it comes time to release on Xbox One and PS4.
"All they have to do is get through The Other 99 and be the last person standing using whatever methods they deem necessary."
Not much is known about The Other 99 other than its survival horror roots. What can you tell us about the game and the kind of story it’s trying to tell?
While we can’t reveal too much about the story, we can tell you that the game revolves around the player and The Other 99 creating their own survival stories. We want to emphasize the lengths which human beings will go to in order to survive, demonstrated through the AIs reaction to every action the player makes.
“The only way off the island is through The Other 99,” what does this statement mean to the player?
To the player it is an instruction. Whoever or whatever put you here is telling you the one guaranteed route off the island. All they have to do is get through The Other 99 and be the last person standing using whatever methods they deem necessary.
How the PS4 and Xbox One versions shaping up? Are they both going to run at 1080p and 60fps?
Up until now we have been primarily focused on building the PC version of The Other 99 – we want to focus on providing our early access community with the best game we can deliver, and provide a stable platform for us to build on across early access. Because of this, console versions are still in an early stage of development.
Can you please detail out some of the survival and horror elements of the game?
Our primary survival elements are the management of your basic needs: hunger and thirst. On top of these, you must also maintain stamina, which you need to perform nearly every task in the game. The Other 99 is different to other horror games in that we approach horror from a human stand point;we focus on the lengths a human being will go to in order to survive, and what the consequences of those acts would be.
"The primary concern which has come out of the community is the feel and controls of the combat system – this is an area we are prioritizing, and our first update will try to address these issues."
How long is the game expected to last?
The current version available on Steam Early Access will provide players with approximately two hours of gameplay. But, as with any game which involves open world exploration, this length can vary significantly depending on your play-style.
Are there any plans to support the game via post launch content?
We will be providing regular updates throughout early access, adding significant new content and bug fixes. We will also be engaging heavily with the community to gain valuable feedback, helping shape development going forward.
The game is in early access. What kind of feedback have you received from fans and what kind of improvements are you working on?
The feedback we have received has been extremely informative and specific. The primary concern which has come out of the community is the feel and controls of the combat system – this is an area we are prioritizing, and our first update will try to address these issues. We are also working very hard to provide a Linux version of The Other 99; we don’t want the operating system to stand in the way of any player experiencing The Other 99.
Are there any other projects you are currently working on?
The Other 99 is our only current project, and we are putting all our efforts and resources in to realizing its full potential.
"Unless a certain platform secures significantly more high-quality, exclusive titles,I don’t think we will see any notable change in market share."
I am sure you must have heard about Neo and Scorpio. What is your take on this and does it represent a drastic shift for console games development?
Neo and Scorpio certainly represent a drastic shift for console gamers, and perhaps for console-only developers. For us, however, this simply brings consoles more in-line with what we expect from modern PC gamers. A key benefit which Unreal Engine 4 provides us with is the ability to quickly take advantage of new hardware as it becomes available, and provide a higher fidelity game experience.
Microsoft has been trailing behind Sony throughout this generation. Do you think the Scorpio may finally change that?
While I’m sure the slightly higher frame-rate and graphical quality offered by Scorpio will be a welcome addition for gamers, the virtual reality solutions coming out of the PlayStation 4 Pro represents a much bigger reason to switch camp. Of course, a PS4 Pro is not required to play VR titles on consoles, but the consensus among developers seems to be that it is required to get a comparable experience to PC based solutions.
Unless a certain platform secures significantly more high-quality, exclusive titles,I don’t think we will see any notable change in market share. Having said that, I do believe that a high quality VR experience from Sony could see them opening a wider gap between PlayStation and Xbox.
Is there anything else you want to tell us before we let you go?
We will be exhibiting at EGX in Birmingham this year from the 22nd – 25th September. We look forward to people trying out the latest version of The Other 99, and becoming a part of our community. If anyone has any questions, they are more than welcome to jump onto our Steam forums and leave a post. We reply to everyone as quickly as possible, and love to discuss how we can improve The Other 99.