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Interview: Blackland Games – Developer of Mythos The Awakening

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Any adaptation of the works of HP Lovecraft will get horror fans excited as hell, so the new game Mythos The Awakening is certainly something to eagerly anticipate.

The developer, Blackland Games, was formed in 2013 and are located in Finland. Help them bring their vision of the great author’s work to life here and check out the interview below.

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Dread Central: So are you all big Lovecraft fans?

Blackland Games: Majority of the team are big Lovecraft fans. But we all love science­fiction and good quality horror. So the combination of these is great in Lovecraft stories.

DC: It’s such a shame that he never received recognition for his work during his life, isn’t it? He was unknown and impoverished at the time of his death.​

BG: Yeah that’s true and what a big loss it was when he died at such a young age. It’s a shame that during his lifetime the world was just recovering from worldwide war and people wanted to see more positive stories. But certainly he was one of the major influencers to horror stories and his influence can be seen today probably stronger than ever. We believe that he was the first “open ­source developer” in the world, and we thank him for creating these stories. Without him the Mythos game wouldn’t be here.

DC: How long has the game been in development?​

BG: Game have been in development for around ten months now.​And we are currently in pre­alpha phase.

DC: Can you talk about the gameplay?​

BG: Mythos the Awakening is a turn­based rpg with rogue-like elements. You control up to four investigators through the world from a top­down perspective. Your mission is to solve mysteries which are bound to the current ancient one. Those mysteries can contain different types of missions, for example locating cultest rings and preventing them from opening portals to other dimensions. Managing resources and the chaos around the world while solving these mysteries is important and the player has to constantly make decisions about what to deal with and how to use their resources to deal with the problems at hand. These problems include gates to other dimensions and all sorts of different monsters among other things.

While dealing with these tasks around the world, the player has to manage each investigator’s sanity, health, gear and money, as well as each major city’s sanity level and the global sanity level. If player fails too many of these tasks and the global sanity level goes to zero, then the ancient one awakens and starts to annihilate the world city by city. After every turn there are numerous things that can happen, these can be good or bad for the player. For example spawning new monsters or even police forces dealing with some of monsters.

Combat in the game is card based, weapons, items, skills and spells act as your cards which you collect throughout the game. Each investigator has their own skill set so cards handle differently depending on which investigator is using them. For example spell casters aren’t great at handling firearms and the weak-minded might be driven mad if they try to cast spells.

The encounters, except for the monsters are text-based multi choice tasks, where every choice can lead to different outcome depending on the investigator handling the encounter. Your choice can lead to another encounter in some other location or you might gain an item, regain health, suffer sanity loss or even meet your untimely death.

DC: What about the visual style?

BG​: Stylized and bit cartoony, but still grounded in reality and true to the period the source material is set in.

DC: How are you capturing the essence of Lovecraft in the game?

BG: Main feature of game is mini novels and multi­phased quests. Also soundscapes is key to creating a mysterious and unsettling feeling. Ruthless Eldritch monsters are one aspect as​well and the struggle to maintain one’s sanity is also important.

​DC: Is it a challenge making games with such a small team?

BG: It depends, if you got good team of talented people like we do, you can make quality projects. One key point in a small team is versatility and quickness, you don’t have to go through huge queue of people and wait for the messages to go through. In small teams you can discuss with other people over the table and handle the issue right away. But yes it could be a challenge if you are not up to it. In small teams everyone has to know multiple aspects of game development, you simply cannot be a one­trick pony

Of course making a Skyrim type of game is almost impossible to make with such a small team or it would take too many years to develop for it to be reasonable. ​

DC: Lastly, I just have to ask, will Cthulhu appear in the game?

BG: Depends how successful the player is on their mission on preventing the awakening, but of course, Cthulhu will appear before the end when almost everything is lost. We also have 3 other ancient ones planned for launch and hopefully more released as DLC later. So be sure to follow and support us at IndieGOGO and Steam Greenlight.

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Trailer Takes Us DOWN A DARK HALL With AnnaSophia Robb and Uma Thurman

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It was just the other day that we shared your first look at producer Stephenie Meyer (Twilight) and director Rodrigo Cortés’ (Buried) adaptation of I Know What You Did Last Summer author Lois Duncan’s  Down a Dark Hall

The film stars AnnaSophia Robb (The Reaping), Isabelle Fuhrman (Orphan), Taylor Russell (Netflix’s Lost in Space) and Uma Thurman (Pulp Fiction). And today we have the film’s trailer and poster!

You can check out the poster to the right and the trailer below and then make sure to let us know what you think below or on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram!

Down a Dark Hall is directed by Rodrigo Cortés from a screenplay by Mike Goldbach and Chris Sparling based on the book by Lois Duncan and stars AnnaSophia Robb, Isabelle Fuhrman, Victoria Moroles, Noah Silver, Taylor Russell, Rosie Day, and Uma Thurman. It’s produced by Stephenie Meyer, Wyck Godfrey, Marty Bowen, Meghan Hibbett, and Adrián Guerra.

The film hits theaters, On Demand, and iTunes August 17th.

Synopsis:

Kit (Robb), a difficult young girl, is sent to the mysterious Blackwood Boarding School when her heated temper becomes too much for her mother to handle. Once she arrives at Blackwood, Kit encounters eccentric headmistress Madame Duret (Thurman) and meets the school’s only other students, four young women also headed down a troubled path. While exploring the labyrinthine corridors of the school, Kit and her classmates discover that Blackwood Manor hides an age-old secret rooted in the paranormal.

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Tom Six Reveals “Vile” THE ONANIA CLUB…So What?

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Tom Six of The Human Centipede fame is coming back to theaters with The Onania Club, a film he promises will be, “…one of the most vile, inhumane movie experiences of all time.” IndieWire revealed the news, which adds that the film is produced by Tom Six and Ilona Six through Six Entertainment Company.

Details are being kept secret for now but the site says Six will bring a psychological thriller that will feature, “…mostly strong female characters” and that it will, “…definitely pass the Bechdel test with flying colors.” Starring in the film are Jessica Morris, Darcy DeMoss, Deborah Twiss, Karen Strassman, and Flo Lawrence.

Let me try and gather all my thoughts here because this is hitting some notes that I’m frankly not really feeling. I’ll try to organize this as best I can.

…[a] vile, inhumane movie experience…
If that’s what Tom Six is aiming for, my interest has already dropped by a huge percentage. I didn’t see The Human Centipede in theaters but I saw it after it hit home video. It wasn’t a gross movie but it had a gross premise, which I honestly thought made it more interesting. Then came along The Human Centipede 2, which I did see in theaters. I found it to be a brilliant response to those who were disappointed by the lack of vomit-inducing moments in the first film and who demanded it be more grotesque. Once they got it, they felt like it had gone too far, which made me want to point and say, “Trust filmmakers. They very often make decisions because they know how to do it right.” That being said, I think it’s a bad, unpleasant, mean-spirited movie. I never bothered with The Human Centipede 3 because of shockingly bad reviews and even worse word-of-mouth from friends and the horror community.

If Six’s goal is to create a movie experience that will haunt and disgust audiences, then my immediate concern is that there is no story to back up the intention. Hell, the announcement is more focused on creating a spectacle than it is on letting people know what the film is actually about. It’s Marketing 101 and as a horror fan for my entire life, I find it almost offensive that the idea of “gross first, everything else second” is being pushed in the initial blitz.

I have no problems whatsoever with gore, viscera, or shocking scenes. Martyrs, I Saw The Devil, The Thing, and the like are all great examples of movies that push a lot of envelopes but never fail to have fascinating concepts backing everything up. There is purpose in their horror. There is method to their madness. So far, Six isn’t inspiring much faith that The Onania Club will walk down that kind of path.

…[it will] pass the Bechdel test with flying colors…
The Bechdel Test, for those who don’t know, is a test within films that sees if there are two, or more, women talk to each other about something other than men. That’s it. Two women in a coffee shop spend 30 seconds talking about a book? Your movie passes. A group of teenage girls discuss what they’re going to wear at an upcoming high school dance? Pass. Ronda Rousey and Michelle Rodriguez trade barbs before beating each other senseless. Check.

While noble in intention, the Bechdel Test is a shockingly low barometer for movies to be considered women-friendly. It doesn’t ask for nuance or depth. It doesn’t set any expectations for emotion or drive. If Six thinks that his movie is a landmark simply because it passes the Bechdel Test, he clearly doesn’t know that horror has been doing this for a long time. And from reading about Bree Olson’s character in The Human Centipede 3 (the only woman in the IMDb credit list), and taking into account the female characters of the first two films in that series, I think one can understand my lack of faith when it comes to Six and women in his films.

I am fully aware of how negative and critical I sound here and I really do hope that I’m going to be proven wrong. Every film should be allowed the chance to stand on its own merits. Hopefully The Onania Club will see Six give us a film that will generate interesting conversation for years to come. But until more is revealed, my expectations are very low.

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Ben Hanscom Has Been Cast in IT: CHAPTER 2

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Some fun news out of Deadline as the site has reported that Jay Ryan (Mary Kills People) has been cast as the adult Ben Hanscom in It: Chapter 2. He joins Jessica Chastain, Andy Bean, James Ransone, James McAvoy, and Bill Hader, who will be playing Beverly, Stanley, Eddie, Bill, and Richie, respectively. Bill Skarsgard will also be back as Pennywise.

Andy Muschietti will be directing based on a script by Gary Dauberman (Annabelle: Creation) with a planned release date of September 6, 2019, almost two years to the day after the release of the first film.

It was a massive success, earning just over $700 million globally against a $35 million budget. That film starred Jaeden Lieberher, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Wyatt Oleff, Jack Dylan Grazer, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Chosen Jacobs, Nicholas Hamilton, Owen Teague, Javier Botet, and Steven Williams.

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