1) Hello Roy, how are you doing and how’s the Steam Greenlight going so far for The Intruder?
Hi Dennis, I’m doing great! Getting onto Steam Greenlight early turned out great for me. I found out early whether people were into the idea or not, and I’ve had some great feedback and ideas because of it.
Greenlight is an excellent way to get in touch with your customers before the game’s even finished, and find out what they’re really looking for in a game. The licensing can be quite a feat, especially because I’m using Valve’s own Source Engine, but they’ve been really helpful so far.
2) For the people that don’t know what ‘The Intruder’ is, can you explain to them what kind of game it is?
It’s a survival-horror game where you have to roam a small open world to collect items, whilst keeping track of your own well-being with things like sleep and nutrition levels.
You’re preparing for an inescapable finale event where you encounter ‘the Intruder’. There’s many ways you can approach the game, and the fun comes from not knowing how things work and figuring stuff out as you go. The fear comes from having to perform under pressure, and knowing the Intruder can show up at any moment.
3) Survival-Horror is a genre that is being more common among indie developers, so I think it’s safe to say you got yourself some competition with other developers, how do you plan to stay ahead? What does your game offer that is unique in comparison to other Survival-horror games?
Being an independent developer means you have a lot less manpower, but a lot more freedom. I can’t compete with games like the Elder Scrolls or Half-Life 2 in terms of the sheer volume of content, but what I can do is come up with unique, experimental gameplay mechanics because there’s no-one to tell me otherwise. That’s exactly what The Intruder is. Having an open world, continuous time and survival mechanics with stats you have to keep track of isn’t being done often in the horror genre, because making linear horror games is a proven concept and has resulted in some great games. I’m in a position where I can try out something different because it’s a relatively small project and there’s a manageable amount of money involved. Who knows, it might turn out to be the best thing ever, or maybe it just doesn’t work well. Either way something interesting will come out and I’m going to learn a lot about game development in the process. So, the short answer: experimental game mechanics.
4) You encounter an unknown entity that is ‘chasing’ you. Can you explain to us how we can defeat this unknown entity? Or how to scare him off?
I can reveal that there’s going to be a distinctly unscooby-donian conclusion. It wasn’t the janitor all along and there’s no happy ending. The most important items in the game are weapons, and you’ll need one to be able to win the game. Basically, either it kills you or you kill it. The Intruder is like a manifestation of the game’s ending, which gives close encounters a certain importance.
5) You state that there are different weapons to acquire to ‘defeat’ the entity, can you tell us what some of the weapons might be?
In the initial experiment that lead to the inception of The Intruder, the entire game took place in/around the house and there was only a revolver. That’s all that I needed, you just had to find a gun and some ammo before the Intruder got to you, and it could be fairly nerve-wrecking knowing that it could be behind you any moment now. I think The Intruder could still work with only a revolver, but I want to give some more depth to the game by having weapons around that make you play the game differently. So however many weapons I end up making, they should offer different perks and trade-offs. I’m being intentionally vague here because they haven’t all been made yet, and I don’t want to spoil the ones that have. Expect several guns and melee weapons.
6) Can you spoil a little bit on the setting that the game is in? By the look of the screenshots we can see a house, a forest and a road. Can you tell us a bit more about it?
Yes. It’s in an agricultural environment near a small village. It’s centered around your house, with several unique environments around it like the forest and the parking garage shown in the Greenlight screenshots.
7) You also state that there are non-essential items to collect, can you give us an example of an item and what the use is of it?
Gladly. As you may have seen from the Greenlight description, you can board up windows. You don’t need to, but it can buy you some extra time in the finale event. In most games you convince planks to adhere to nearby surfaces by the power of your will alone, but in The Intruder you actually need to get a hammer first. It’s a fairly rubbish melee weapon, but when you use it while holding a plank you nail it to a wall, effectively blocking entrances.
7) “Decent mod capabilities” is one of the things you listed in gaming features, now this is an amazing feature to say the least! This clearly states you’re an open minded person in video games, will this feature be available when the game launches?
Yes, absolutely. For those who don’t know, I’m using the Source Engine, which is what Valve uses for games like Team Fortress 2, Half-Life 2 and Portal 2. Those games famously can be outfitted with whatever anime characters and obscenity you prefer because you can replace almost any game file with your own. So besides that, I’m trying to keep things flexible while developing the game and making things configurable via the level editor or text files. I’d love to see the community come up with custom maps, new settings and even new game mechanics and I’m doing my best to keep support of that in mind.
9) Speaking of the game launch, when do you think the game will get released?
I have to resort to the often loathed phrase ‘when it’s done’. I strive for a 2013 release date, but I’ve tried to make sure my community knows that if the game needs more time to really be good, it will take longer. Maybe you’ll forgive me if I point to something a much wiser man than myself, Shigeru Miyamoto, once famously said:
10) What is your favorite/scariest survival-horror game?
Definitely Frictional Games’ titles. Probably Penumbra: Overture if I had to pick one. I really like how atmospheric the world is and how intimately you interact with it.
11) Where can people stay up to date with The Intruder?
Any new media will always be available on the official Greenlight page. There’s also a thread on Facepunch where I talk more about progress on the game mechanics and the technical features. I’m actually in the middle of setting up a blog so I can have all that stuff in one place. Look forward to that soon. I’ll post it on Greenlight once it’s done.