There has been a fascinating trend in video games recently, particularly horror games. We all have spoken about the multiple new types of games coming out. Everything ranging from Five Night At Freddy’s to the blood bank from two weeks ago Ghost Theory. One game in particular has taken a beloved style emulated in a teaser game that shook the world and has turned the volume up to 11 on all things horror. We are of course talking about the widely popular and much talked about game Visage. This week’s Blood Bank will take an in-depth look at the incredibly successful Kickstarter campaign which still has 22 days to go!
Originally inspired by the Silent Hill teaser P.T., Visage aimed to immerse the player in a more than terrifying first person experience. SadSquare Studios are looking to bring the fright from P.T. into their own original psychological horror game. P.T. was released mysteriously on Playstation 4 consoles with little to no explanation a few years back. With multiple random ways to win the game, it created a challenge for most players. The atmosphere took the world by storm with an eeriness that is rarely seen in video games bringing to life some of the most frightening nightmares anybody could imagine. Then came the sudden cancellation of the newest Silent Hill game leaving the horror world heart broken and craving more.
Enter Visage, the potential savior to all horror game fans. The point and click first person thriller is set inside a huge house in which terrible things have happened. By wandering through macabre corridors and exploring every room leads the player into endless mazes while your head fills with memories of all the dead families who once lived in the home. While discovering the mysterious deaths within the house, the player quickly learns there is an evil entity which clearly does not want to be disturbed. Loaded with no weapons, the player is expected to investigate the environments and seek out clues to the mystery. Death is part of the game as is life and will occur no matter what. The catch is the longer alive the more insane the mind becomes. They offer in-game counseling to help the player coupe with such occurrences. Everything in the house is interactive and allows for a real haunted house experience shy of “punching the ghosts in the face and flipping tables.”
The sounds and the music play a huge part in creating the edgy atmosphere. Their expansive library of sound effects and ambient noises will be put together with a maximum attention to detail. SadSquare Studios understands the importance of a video game soundtrack to create the desired mood and feeling from a particular level. The soundtrack for Visage will be completely original. They will create a haunting, atmospheric score which will span the entire world of the game. They say it will range “from plaintive and wandering to menacing and dissonant.” You can hear samples at their Kickstarter page.
We Are Indie Horror was able to get an exclusive interview with the founders of Visage, Jonathan Vallières and Jonathan Gagné. As an independent community we focused these questions towards how to run a successful crowdfunding campaign. Visage made their goal with in two weeks and with over a month left in their campaign. Now they strive to reach the stretch goals to bring the game to more platforms and even V.R. We asked about their secrets to success plus much more on the game. Without further ado, WAIH talks with Visage.
WAIH: First and foremost congratulations on a successful and continually growing campaign. What is the secret to a successful crowdfunding campaign?
Square Studios (SS): Thanks a lot. And most of all, thanks to our generous and wonderful backers.
A successful Kickstarter starts with a good idea or a good product. If you don’t have that, your chances drop by a good deal.
Once you have that winning idea or product, the most important thing is presentation: You have to make sure that your presentation catches the eye of anyone looking at it. It needs to be clear what it’s about, easy to digest, and attractive to look at.
Try to be funny. People like fun stuff. They like to be entertained and engaged and have a laugh.
The next big thing is coverage. You need that, so that people start talking about your product. How do you do that? Two things: Press releases and social media. Be active online, show that you care about the people who support you, and if your product is good, you’ll eventually be covered by some news sites, which usually leads to being covered by other news sites that pick up the story.
Show your face: People like to know who’s behind the product and the campaign, that you’re human. A simple video with your face and a small speech is enough. Even if it’s terrible (like ours).
That’s pretty much what we’ve learned so far. There’s much more to it, as far as details and depth, but that pretty much covers the basics.
WAIH: We all know you were inspired by PT but is there any other horror or non horror based games that influenced Visage?
SS: We’ve also been inspired by some horror touchstones, like the movies A Nightmare on Elm Streetand The Grudge, and the games Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Silent Hill, Phantasmagoria and many more.
» Jonathan Gagné speaking: One of our biggest influences, other than P.T., is The Grudge. It’s probably a personal thing, since I know there are a lot of people who dislike this film series, but there was something about this movie that scared me like hell. It was that feeling that something is always watching you, wherever you are. There are so many scenes where you see the antagonists in a dark corner, under your bedsheets, just behind a hole in the wall. I felt like there simply wasn’t a single safe place in the world after watching that movie. «
We want to recreate that very feeling in Visage. You’ll always feel like something’s off, like something is watching you from the next room or from behind the door, like a constant presence that you just can’t shake off.
WAIH: Have you done any VR tests with the game yet? If so in all honesty how scary is it?
SS: No comment on that one. You’ll have to see for yourself how scary it is.
WAIH: How large is the house that the player gets to wander around? Is the house based off a real house?
SS: It’ll take players somewhere between 5 to 10 minutes to make their way through the house if they don’t stop to inspect anything. But the Visage house isn’t your typical everyday house, so expect way, way more in terms of exploration time. The house has been designed from the bottom up purely from our ideas, so it’s not a real house. (If it turns out that it is, then we’re all a little scared right now.)
WAIH: What kind of elements are you bringing to the story that will set Visage apart from the recent uprising of this style of game?
SS: We took the main elements that are needed to make a horror game and a horror story work, which are: a setting that feels real and credible, realistic graphics, a tense atmosphere, and a family-based story to top it all off. These ingredients are the key to creating a chilling horror experience because they toy with your sense of the everyday and intrude on your sense of what’s normal and what’s safe, until you feel like what’s happening to you in Visage could happen to you in your very own home.
WAIH: Any words of advice for someone starting their own crowdfunding campaign be it a film, a game, or a cause?
SS: Work hard, really hard, believe in your product, and make it shine. Don’t start a Kickstarter or other crowdfunding campaign if you’re not 100% completely sure about the quality of your product. And don’t assume you’ll be successful, even if you do have an amazing product or idea. Be fully prepared for the campaign to fail and have a backup plan.
» Jonathan Vallières speaking: I was fully expecting that the Visage Kickstarter could well go unfunded, not because I didn’t have faith in my product, but because I was worried about the lack of media coverage. Visibility is really what can make or break a Kickstarter campaign. I was really confident about our most recent trailer for Visage, which we débuted when we launched the Kickstarter; we’d carefully reviewed it, frame for frame, to make sure it was as polished and creepy and effective as we wanted it to be. But as solid as I thought the trailer was, it wasn’t up to me if it would be successful. The trailer had to be seen. It had to build an audience, and the audience would decide if they liked it. «
When we decided to release our Visage trailers to the world, it was up to the people to decide what to do with them.
We are immensely grateful to everybody who’s helped spread the word about Visage, both during the Kickstarter and back in our earliest days when we first appeared on Steam Greenlight, as well as to our loyal and incredibly supportive backers.
Well WAIH community, there you have it. Hard work, dedication, and publicity while believing in your product truly helps create a successful crowdfunding campaign but it does not ever guarantee a fully funded project.
Visage still has some time on their Kickstarter, so you can still reserve your copy and score one of the awesome perks they are providing. Head over to their Kickstarter page for more information and view the trailer below. If you cannot monetarily donate, please share with the world. This is a game worth having! Remember this is We Are Indie Horror’s Blood Bank Where Every Drop Counts.