Interview with the Allison Road Developer

P.T. was one of the biggest phenomenon’s of gaming horror ever since Amnesia: The Dark Descent was released back in 2010. It was creepy, beautifully put together, and was actually terrifying. Sadly, it was attached to Konami, so, of course, they had to get rid of one of the best things they have done in years. Unless you kept it on your PlayStation 4, there is no possible way to actually play the game. I mean, unless someone makes it illegally playable. However, a new horror game appeared on Kickstarter called Allison Road and had gotten a lot of positive press. I decided to get in contact with the developer and talk about the game and horror gaming in general. By the way, they recently canceled their Kickstarter, but are now signed up with a publisher and have the resources to make the full game.

Cam’s Eye View: First off, what made you want to make a horror game? Was it because of a certain game, like Amnesia, or was it something else entirely?

 

AR: It wasn’t any specific game, really. I just love horror. I saw my first horror movie at quite a young age and I was ‘hooked’ ever since, one could say.

It really fascinates me how you can have all these intense and frightening emotions in the safety of your own home.

 

Cam’s Eye View: Why a first-person perspective? Why not third-person?

 

AR: I think ‘being’ the character has quite a different impact as opposed to just watching the character. It feels very immediate and almost like you’re actually there.

 

Cam’s Eye View: What is the main goal in Allison Road? What is the player trying to accomplish?

AR: You are trying to find out where your family is and what happened to them!

 

Cam’s Eye View: Since horror is subjective, what are the elements that you think create great horror?

 

AR: I think there are a ton of things that can create great horror.

But what’s more important is how you build up to the great moment (whatever that moment may be). The anticipation, so to speak.

I think the more the player *thinks* something is going to happen, the more impact it’ll have when it finally does.

 

Cam’s Eye View: The only terrifying individual we have seen so far is that creepy dead girl. Will she be the only threat we see in the game, or will there be other things we should be looking out for?

AR: There will be other entities. In fact, we’ve just revealed another character, Hana!

 

Cam’s Eye View: It seems like a majority of horror games have the player avoiding/hiding from monsters. Why do you think this became such a popular mechanic that is seen in most horror games?

 

AR: Well, in a way it is the more realistic thing to do, really.

A lot of times when we talk about game specific things, we try to put ourselves in the shoes of a normal person, and we ask ourselves ‘what would you do if that happened to you?’

Pulling a big shotgun and shooting up the place never really came up as an answer.  Haha.

 

Cam’s Eye View: Since this game is a first-person horror game, and was brought out the same week as Soma, what will make Allison Road stand out from Daylight, Outlast, Alien Isolation, and so on?

 

AR: Allison Road is not about fast action or pure terror. It’s more slow burning horror with a heavy focus on narrative. I have to admit, I haven’t played Soma yet, but I heard great things about it. Really keen on checking it out!

 

Cam’s Eye View: Do you think that you can still have a scary game, even if you put it into another genre like an action game or an RPG?

 

AR: Not sure, haven’t tried yet ;)

Games like Resident Evil, which are heavy on action, can be quite scary for sure. It’s a different kind of horror, but scary all the same!

 

Cam’s Eye View: How important do you think story is in a horror game? Should the main story be amazing, or should it rely more on the lore of the world to captivate players?

AR: I think story is very important. And the environment and world has to go along with it.

I don’t think one can exist without the other. 

 

Cam’s Eye View: What do you personally think needs to change about horror gaming as of right now? Do we need to step away from the first-person horror and go more 2D? Change the style of horror that we keep getting?  Or change up overall mechanics seen in the horror gaming genre as of right now?

AR: That’s a funny question, given that AR is a first-person horror game, haha. Personally I would just really love to see more games with a great story that really draws you in, where you really care for the characters and want to find out what happened to them. 

In fact, I recently played Life is Strange, and while it’s not horror, I really enjoyed that game. The writing and characters are great! 

I think that’s the sort of thing that’s lacking a bit in horror.