‘Zoochosis’ Developers Talk Inspirations Both New And Old


When the trailer for Zoochosis came out, it caught everyone off guard. With its The Thing-like approach to body horror and Bodycam viewpoint, I can’t wait to see what awaits us in Zoochosis. For now, all we know is that the player is a nighttime zoo keeper who takes care of the animals, feeding them and giving them medicine for a weird virus. Depending on how many animals we end up saving could change the ending, so there is potentially a lot of replayability built in around Zoochosis.

Dread Central spoke with Zoochosis developers Oleg Gaze and Adam Woodsmith about their horror influences, The Mortuary Assistant, and creating a game with bodycam footage.

DC: So, where did the idea come from for Zoochosis, and how long has it been in development?

Oleg Gaze: The idea came quite spontaneously. I was walking after a work meeting, strolling along the botanical garden that blends into a zoo while scrolling through social media feeds. That’s when I switched to Instagram and stumbled upon Adam’s new work. I was literally rooted to the spot, my mind transforming the animals behind the fence into images from Adam’s post. By the next morning, I was swinging like a pendulum from “This is a really cool idea” to “Nah, forget it.” Nonetheless, in the morning, I decided to share it with the team. And well, you see the result.

DC: When and how was the decision to adopt the bodycam horror style?

OG: The bodycam idea really adds realism to the experience. It’s not just a spectator view; you’re right in the thick of it. Cool, right? Plus, there aren’t many games with bodycam features. If any player doesn’t like this mode, they can easily turn it off.

DC: I can guess that The Thing is a big inspiration, but were there other big horror influences from both game and film?

OG: Let me be totally honest with you. The Thing wasn’t among our references. Maybe because we were a bit intimidated to take on the Master’s work. But now, after releasing the trailer and receiving tons of comments saying Zoochosis is like The Thing in a Zoo, we’re really flattered! It’s a big “wow” for the whole team and very inspiring. As for the second part of your question, we’ve asked Adam to elaborate.

Adam Woodsmith: One inspiration was the biology of the Alien Xenomorph from Ridley Scott’s movie, Alien, or H.R. Giger’s artwork for some mutant designs and the parasite. I imagined the parasite like it could reprogram animals. It uses the animal’s unique features and twists them. Take the giraffe. We thought, what if its neck worked like a snake? It could coil around corners or leap from air vents, opening its jaw in a creepy way. And imagine it with spider-like legs to walk on walls and ceilings. This idea was key in creating our mutant animals. I also looked at classic monster movies for ideas. Think Jurassic Park, The Relic, The Mist, and the more recent Annihilation. I even brought in some eerie, Lovecraft-style horror elements into the design.

OG: For our game inspirations, we’ve got a mix of old and new. Modern horror games like The Mortuary Assistant and Choo-Choo Charles, plus upcoming ones like Paranormal Tales and ILL, really caught our eye with their trailers. We’re as hyped as any gamer out there.

Then there’s our own Sparky Marky, being developed alongside, injecting a bit of irony and fun. Mix all these with genre classics like Resident Evil, Silent Hill, and Alien: Isolation, which we all grew up playing, and that’s the recipe for Zoochosis. Sure, we have loads more influences, but in short, the entire horror genre is a massive inspiration for us!

DC: Could you tell us about the story and gameplay of Zoochosis? And will the gameplay loop differ in ways with each playthrough?

OG: First up, this is a horror sim where you’ve got to make it through one night in a freaky zoo. Your job’s not just the usual animal care like feeding and cleaning, but also treating sick animals with some really weird illnesses. And yeah, we’ve got a killer story for all you horror game fans. This isn’t your run-of-the-mill, plotless scare-fest. We’ve woven the horror into a unique, gripping narrative. It’s not just about getting spooked; it’s about getting hooked.

Players step into the shoes of a night zookeeper, uncovering the dark secrets of this eerie place. Expect some wild plot twists. Will you play by the rules or smash them? Your choices carve out your path to one of many different endings.

That’s about all we can spill right now. Gotta keep the suspense alive. But trust us, we’ll be laying all our cards on the table pretty soon.

DC: Are you planning on bringing Zoochosis to any events this year?

OG: Absolutely! We’re on the lookout for business partners, so right now, Zoochosis is being featured at the Taipei Game Show. After this, we’re heading to the Steam Next Fest. We’re also considering participating in the GDC and MIX events.

DC: Finally, what would you say to the horror fans who are excited about Zoochosis?

OG:  We’re huge horror genre fans ourselves, and honestly, if we heard about a game like this coming out, we’d be eagerly waiting for it too! Not going to lie—we’re super excited about it! A huge thanks for the warm reception of our announcement trailer. It’s both inspiring and adds a lot of responsibility. We’ve even decided to take a short break from social media to focus on preparing the next gameplay trailer and, of course, on the development process itself.

We’re giving our all every day and are truly grateful for the ongoing support for the project. Thanks to you, too, for letting us answer questions and share a bit of our story with your audience.



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