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Gaum, Byron (Dreamcatcher Games)

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In days gone by if a video game cost less than $50.00, one would assume that it had to suck, and in most cases we were right. I don’t think I’ve ever been happier to be WRONG! DreamCatcher Games has been lighting up the video game bargain bins lately, and that’s a very good thing! Recently we had a chance to sit down with Mr. Byron Gaum, one of the many minds behind such recent genre fare as Obscure and Still, so gamers – press “pause” and take a look-see!


Ryan Acheson: First of all, what would you say your favorite horror pieces are? What influences you the most? Feel free to include films, games, books, whatever.

Byron Gaum: I’ve always been a huge horror fan ever since I was first freaked out while watching Amityville at the tender age of seven. I then went on to Twilight Zone re-runs and Alfred Hitchcock stories to get my fill since my parents wouldn’t let me rent or see any other horror movies. I’m now 30, and I find that many horror movies just don’t scare me enough anymore, so I read a lot more and play some horror-based games on the side. I love Stephen King books just because they force you to use your imagination a lot more than a movie normally would. His descriptions are so well thought out that you can’t help but conjure powerful and terrifying imagery in your head. Recently, I finished Doom 3 on the PC. This is a very scary game, but you need to play it with headphones on and in the dark – all the lights turned completely off except for your monitor. All horror-based games should be played with headphones and in the dark as it makes the game so much more engaging.

RA: I understand you’re a strong believer in the power of games to scare, but Still Life and Obscure showcase two pretty different ways to approach horror gaming. What would you say are the big differences when designing a survival horror game like Obscure over an atmospheric adventure game like Still Life?

BG: Although these games are both creepy games that incorporate the horror theme, they may likely appeal to different audiences. Obscure is paced quite quickly as it is comprised of more action sequences; on the other hand, Still Life is more methodic and puzzle-driven and will require you to think a bit more than you normally do in Obscure. We have seen that both methods are effective in appealing to fans that enjoy horror-based games, but some may prefer one to the other.

RA: What things scare you? Do you find the in-your-face jump scares of survival horror scarier than, say, the slowly building tension of something like Se7en? Is it scarier to be helpless to save someone rather than facing the guilt of their death if you could have saved them?

BG: Today I find the things that scare me the most are the movies, books, games, etc., that are somewhat realistic and you could almost see them as being true – for instance, the movie Open Water. Although this isn’t your traditional horror movie, I found it quite terrifying because this could actually happen to someone while on vacation. Another movie that I really liked was The Blair Witch Project. They did an excellent job on it because it seemed like it was a real videotape that was actually recovered in the woods. The Freddy and Jason type movies just don’t do it for me anymore. As for your last question, I’d prefer not to be in either situation!

RA: What things that scare us do you think work best in gaming?

BG: Well, for one thing the sound has to be top-notch and the visuals should follow. A number of times in games you’ll often hear something before you see it, and the sounds can be so creepy that they’ll send shivers down your spine. Both Still Life and Obscure use sound to their advantage, which greatly helps to engross the player.

RA: Adventure games have long been a favorite genre of mine, and DreamCatcher Games with its Adventure Game Company has long been flying the genre’s flag, whereas companies like LucasArts have turned their back on them. What do you think it is that has enabled the adventure game to endure long past its supposed demise, and how do you see a game like Still Life taking it forward?

BG: There is still a large audience for adventure gaming –although it may not be as large as it was several years ago. Over the years we have seen many games take parts and pieces from the adventure genre and incorporate them into other genres, and many of the original and avid adventure gamers have now moved on to enjoy other genres, the largest of which is probably RPGs. There are still those that enjoy their gameplay to be a little slower and to exercise their brains more than other games do. Combine this with a strong storyline, and you are sure to appease any adventure gamer. I’m largely an action gamer myself, but every now and then when the action begins to get too monotonous, I’ll load up the latest adventure game and play through it. Still Life is an attempt to satisfy adventure gamers’ need for more mature content, and we feel that it delivers just that.

RA: It’s always encouraging to see a “Mature” rated game that’s actually just that: aimed at adults instead of pandering to base instincts. The nudity, swearing, and violence in Still Life seem to be part of the story rather than cheap attempts at getting free publicity. That said, are you worried about how the content of the game will be perceived by the mainstream media?

BG: No, I was never really that concerned. All these issues are so prevalent in all entertainment today, and having this in a game is no different. The game is rated “Mature” to prevent younger players from playing and buying it, so I think the restrictions in place are enough. The media’s reception to the game so far has been exceptional, and review scores have been averaging in the mid-80s.

RA: Many people don’t realize that Still Life is a sequel to Post Mortem, which also featured Gus McPherson. It’s a pretty bold attempt at a sequel, and the parallel investigations are one of the things I’m most looking forward to experiencing, but how crucial is it that people are familiar with the original game, and on the flip side, should fans of the original game expect to see any references back to it?

BG: It is not crucial for the player to have played Post Mortem prior to playing Still Life, although those that have will see how the stories are connected. A good sequel will often not require you to play the previous game, and this is what Still Life does so wonderfully.

RA: Horror films often center on a screaming woman because it’s a tried and tested archetype for scaring audiences. Victoria is quite obviously not the weak and pure damsel in distress you still see in many horror movies, but are you still hoping to get some mileage by centering part of the game on what many people will see as a physically weaker and more easily victimized character? Do you hope that Victoria will reach out to women gamers, or do you feel that it’s easier to feel scared for a female character?

BG: A large part of the adventure audience is comprised of females, so it only seemed natural to have a female lead. Gamers like to live vicariously through the main character, so you need to make the character as intriguing as possible. Initial feedback from women (and men) who have played Still Life is that they have enjoyed playing as Victoria, so we think that the developers made an excellent choice when they created her.

RA: A lot of horror fans aren’t really hardcore gamers but are willing to pick up anything that looks like a scary game so long as it isn’t overly difficult. How important is this market to you, and how do you go about ensuring the game caters and appeals to the horror fan?

BG: This market is definitely very important to us because a large part of our consumer base are those that don’t necessarily play games all of the time or just want to try something new instead of the “tried, tested and true” games. Our games vary in difficulty and subject matter, and even if you are having troubles in a particular game, you can always post a message in our forums, and many players will be more than happy to assist you.

RA: DreamCatcher have been pretty good at supplying the horror fan’s demand for games, but what else should our readers be looking out for in the months to come?

BG: We have Painkiller coming out for the Xbox, which was awarded Computer Gaming World’s 2004 Single Player First Person Shooter Game of the Year. This game really is terrific and has a huge variety of horrifying and unique characters in it. Possessed clowns, demonic orphans, electric clowns – they’re all here. I’m in awe of the creativity behind the characters in the game. Even if this isn’t your type of game, I encourage you to check out the character art in the Features section at www.painkillergame.com. The Xbox version will include new weapons, single player missions and, of course, Xbox Live capabilities.

RA: Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. I certainly felt I got my money’s worth with Obscure and look forward to playing Still Life. Finally, please take a moment to tell the horror fans why Obscure and Still Life are worth taking a look at.

BG: If you’re looking for some scary games, you really can’t go wrong with either of these. Obscure is priced at $19.99 for PC, Xbox and PS2, which is a terrific value. Still Life for the PC is $29.99, and the Xbox version is $19.99.

Thank you very much and I hope that we can continue to scare you in the future!


Big thanks to Byron for chatting with us!

Discuss horror themed games in our forums.

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Alien: Covenant’s Carmen Ejogo Joins True Detective Season 3

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“From the dusty mesa her looming shadow grows…”

The first season of HBO’s “True Detective” was one of the best seasons ever put on a TV screen. Hands down. The second season was another story altogether. While not a complete waste of time (Colin Farrell owed) the season was basically merely ‘meh’.

But what about “True Detective” season 3?

Well, a few months back it was announced that the third season had been greenlit by HBO, with creator Nic Pizzolatto returning to pen the series and director Jeremy Saulnier (Green Room) taking the helm of the episodes.

Today we have news that Carmen Ejogo – who you may recognize Ejogo from such recent fright flicks as It Comes at Night, Alien: Covenant, and The Purge: Anarchy – will be joining the previously announced Mahershala Ali (Moonlight) for Season 3.

Ejogo will play the female lead, Amelia Reardon, who THR describes as “an Arkansas schoolteacher with a connection to two missing children in 1980.”

Nice Pizzolatto will serve as showrunner and direct alongside Jeremy Saulnier. Executive producers include Pizzolatto, Saulnier, Scott Stephens and season one stars Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey as well as original director Cary Joji Fukunaga. Steve Golin, Bard Dorros and Richard Brown are also credited as exec producers.

Synopsis:

A macabre crime in the heart of the Ozarks and a mystery that deepens over decades and plays out in three separate time periods.

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Danielle Harris Tried to Get Jamie Lloyd into New Halloween Movie

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One of the top films all of us are looking forward to the most here at Dread Central is Blumhouse’s upcoming sequel/reboot thing to John Carpenter’s Halloween.

The new Halloween (2018) film is written by Danny McBride and David Gordon Green and is all set to be directed by Green this year. Recently we learned that original Halloween star Jamie Lee Curtis was going to be returning to the new film.

Not only that, but Curtis’ classic character Laurie Strode would have a daughter… played by Judy Greer. But what about Danielle Harris?

After all, Harris was the star of Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers and Halloween 5: The Curse of Michael Myers. Let alone, she had a starring role in both Rob Zombie’s remake and it’s sequel. So how about the new film?

Turns out Harris tried to get her character Jamie Llyod (aka the daughter of Jamie Lee Curtis’ Laurie Strode) from Halloween 4 and 5 into the new film… but she was turned down by Blumhouse and the new creative team. That sucks.

Harris was pretty bummed about the whole deal and took to Facebook recently to clear the air. You can check out quotes from her video, along with the video itself, below.

After that make sure to hit us up and let us know how much you would have liked to see Harris return to Halloween in the comments below or on social media!

“What I am bummed about is… [Laurie] has a daughter,” Harris says. “I was okay with it when she had a son… but they’re saying it’s the last one and… she has a daughter. And it’s not Jamie. It’s just kind of a bummer, I guess. I think somebody had said, it wouldn’t have hurt the movie to have Jamie reunited with [Laurie]. But that didn’t happen.”

“We did put in a call, thought it’d be kinda cool even just to have a little flashback…” She continues. “They were not interested. So. I tried.”

Blumhouse’s Halloween hits theaters October 19, 2018.

halloween and germany

Posted by Danielle Harris on Monday, November 6, 2017

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Jordan Peele Is Open to the Idea of Get Out Sequel

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Recently we shared the baffling news that this year, the Golden Globes were considering writer-director Jordan Peele’s psychological horror-thriller Get Out a comedy.

Hurm. While that bit of news still doesn’t make a bit of sense to me, today we have an update on Jordan Peele’s possible sequel Get Out 2. Which is always welcome.

Deadline was recently speaking with the filmmaker and Peele told them that although he still hasn’t cracked the sequel, if he comes up with a fresh spin he would have no problem revisiting the first film.

“I haven’t decided anything yet,” Peele told the site. “I am allowing the creative part to bubble up, and not force it. I know if a follow-up is meant to happen, it will. I’m open to figuring out what it is. But I also don’t want to let down the original and its fans. I simply would not do something like that for the cash.”

Good to hear!

I don’t know about you, but if Jordan Peele does decide to revisit the world of Get Out again in the future, I will be there. After reading these comments, I have faith the man will not return unless the story deserves it. Money be damned!

Unless… the sequel is called Sell Out… Ooohh. Snap. All jokes aside, in this world of sequels and remakes, it feels pretty damn good to hear a filmmaker talk this way.

What do you think of a Get Out sequel? Do you think the first film needs a continuation? Make sure to hit us up and let us know in the comments below or on social media!

You can buy Get Out on Blu-ray HERE.

Synopsis:

Now that Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) and his girlfriend, Rose (Allison Williams), have reached the meet-the-parents milestone of dating, she invites him for a weekend getaway upstate with Missy and Dean. At first, Chris reads the family’s overly accommodating behavior as nervous attempts to deal with their daughter’s interracial relationship, but as the weekend progresses, a series of increasingly disturbing discoveries lead him to a truth that he never could have imagined.

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