Jason’s back in digital form and he wants to play.
What do you fear most? The answer may vary for many depending on the era they were born. In the 80s, it was all about Jason Vorhees, the hockey-masked serial killer with a large serrated blade and zero qualms about the death of teens. Over the years, Jason’s legacy has been tarnished but he still stands as one of the most iconic movie villains of all time. Thankfully, Gun Media and Illfonic are looking to bring the legacy of Jason with all the gore intact in Friday the 13th releasing in October for Xbox One, PC and PS4.
GamingBolt spoke to Illfonic lead producer David Langeliers, president and co-founder Charles Brungardt, lead artist Shane Stoneman and producer Bryce Glover to learn more about the asymmetrical multiplayer experience.
"Our main game mode most closely mimics the movies, where the campers are locked in a desperate struggle to survive against Jason using all means possible."
Concerning the 1 vs. 7 multiplayer experience – how do the campers win? How will their fears towards Jason affect their progress? Will there be a variety of game modes to put a spin on the gameplay?
Our game is not exactly 1 vs. 7. Each camper is on their own. If they manage to survive the encounter by escaping or hiding (or get a rare kill of Jason), they win. They might team up with others, work on their own, or even sacrifice a friend to survive themselves.
Our main game mode most closely mimics the movies, where the campers are locked in a desperate struggle to survive against Jason using all means possible.
On that note, there have been a number of asymmetrical multiplayer games – both big and small – that haven’t quite panned out (Evolve, Dead Realm, Survivors, etc.). How will you be avoiding the same traps those games faced with Friday the 13th?
We are really focused on making playing as either a counselor or Jason fun in their own way. They both have a very different approach, but through play-testing we have found that lots of people actually prefer playing as counselors because it gives them that horror game feel. The Jason play style is the hunter instead of the hunted.
What has your experience of working on Unreal Engine 4 been like? How did it help to develop the game on a low budget while still maintaining AAA visuals?
It’s been great! It allows us to prototype really quickly to get things up and running. Then when we want to make the jump to production quality visuals, it is also a very seamless and easy transition.
"The most difficult part is capturing the film feel in the movies. Mimicking the quality of the film used, the lighting and color pallet to really give it that Friday the 13th feel."
What was it like to develop on both the PS4 and Xbox One compared to PC and did you notice any differences in hardware performance?
UE4 has a lot of the cross platform tools pretty dialed in. Really we focus on our target PC spec in the beginning and then really try to dial it in for similar hardware sets to the PS4 and Xbox One. We want people to have the same experience and quality bar on PC, PS4 and Xbox One but we also don’t want to hold back the PC as well. This is something we got really good at over the years at IllFonic is hitting a level of quality on the PC we are happy with them maintaining the look on console. With UE4 and next gen hardware they have made it a bunch easier to do this.
What obstacles and challenges did you face during development? It couldn’t have been easy to capture the right atmosphere and tone for a Friday the 13th game.
The most difficult part is capturing the film feel in the movies. Mimicking the quality of the film used, the lighting and color pallet to really give it that Friday the 13th feel. We have spent a lot of hours going over the movies and have many screenshots of various scenes we are using for reference. Most of the props on the game are referenced directly from the movies as well.
We’re very interested in a potential single player campaign for the game, especially with the chance to play as Jason throughout. Though backers missed the stretch goal, could this still be added somewhere down the line?
Funny that you would ask, because we have been discussing this quite a lot lately. It absolutely could be added somewhere down the line, and we are already brainstorming on what a single player campaign could be like.
For that matter, the offline mode versus bots – are there still plans to include this down the line, perhaps post-launch?
We have also been discussing offline mode with bots. There are a few different options that we have been exploring to make that happen. It may not be the exact same play experience that we have in multiplayer now with bots taking the place of players, but something close to it.
"We want this to be a real Friday the 13th game that both the team and fans alike can be proud of. It should look and play like the Friday the 13th game that fans deserve."
Are you using the 7th core on the PS4 and Xbox One for development process? How has this helped for the game’s development?
We’re currently exploring the different ways we can use the console hardware to maximize performance and UE4 has been a big help in that regard.
What resolution is the game currently running or targeting on the PS4 and Xbox One?
We’re not ready to talk about target resolutions just yet but we want the fans to know we’re dedicated to making the best looking game we can on all platforms.
What is your take on Silent Hills? What are your thoughts on its cancellation?
There are lots of team members who are fans of the Silent Hill games. Of course those who are fans are disappointed by the cancellation, but we know that business decisions need to be made for any number of reasons and hope that more Silent Hill games will be made in the future.
As a Kickstarter project, what kind of production values we can expect from the game?
The team is shooting for a AAA experience through and through. We want this to be a real Friday the 13th game that both the team and fans alike can be proud of. It should look and play like the Friday the 13th game that fans deserve.