Associate Producer Dan Tovar Talks New Splatterhouse
November 23rd, 2010, cannot get here soon enough for gamers! Why, you ask? Because that's when Namco finally delivers its latest iteration of the classic Splatterhouse to blood-hungry fans!
Recently our own Mr. Dark sat down with Associate Producer Dan Tovar to talk about the reimagining of this truly killer franchise! Curious as to what to expect? Get ready for the goods!
Dread Central: For those who aren't familiar with Splatterhouse, give us the lowdown on what we're in for.
Dan Tovar: Splatterhouse is a revival of the classic arcade game from the late 1980’s. You play as Rick Taylor, who was just a regular college student until he and his girlfriend, Jennifer, go to the West Mansion to meet the mysterious Dr. West. When they arrive, they are attacked by monsters, and Rick is left to die while Jennifer is kidnapped. During the scuffle an ancient Terror Mask is knocked into Rick’s blood, and it awakens an entity that had been trapped there for centuries. Rick puts the mask on after he is promised life, power and the ability to save the love of his life. He is transformed into a monstrous brute capable of enduring hell and sets off to find his girl and exact revenge on the man who killed him.
DC: Being a remake, can you tell us about some of the elements taken from the original three games that we can expect to see in the new title?
DT: We used the original Splatterhouse games as inspiration and direct reference while developing the update. We identified a number of critical elements that were iconic to the franchise and therefore were must-haves for the modern game. Settings, characters, weapons, moves and even music were all on the list. Players who loved the originals will no doubt recognize a lot of familiar elements while playing through the game. That being said, we wanted to be competitive and fun in today’s game market so there is a ton of new stuff for people to sink their teeth into.
DC: Based on the ESRB description, it sounds like this one really pushes the envelope for content in a game. Was there anything that wound up on the cutting room floor because it was just too extreme?
DT: For us it was a bit of the opposite. A lot of the stuff that didn’t make the game was stuff that was not extreme enough. We re-worked a lot of assets and elements to make sure they fit in with the wet and gory nature of the game. Some environments that would not be polished enough in time did not make it in. Some of the moves were just not brutal enough so those got left behind. Some weapons looked puny and insignificant in Rick’s monstrous hands so we had to move on. And some monsters themselves just didn’t seem nasty and savage enough to be a challenge to a brawler like Rick so they were dropped.
DC: We have to ask: The game started with BottleRocket Entertainment then moved internal. How much of that original effort still exists in the game today? Was it a total re-work in the last year and a half or so?
DT: There are definitely still elements from the original development still in the game. The story arc, characters and overall intention are still there. We did update the character art, level art and general design. There was a lot of re-work that went into making all the elements work together, and having two separate phases of development was quite challenging to say the least. But everyone worked hard in the end, and we are all proud of what came out.