White Night Developer Q&A
I recently had the chance to sit down with OSome-Studios and shoot them a few questions about their upcoming title, White Night. Here’s what they had to say:
Console Monster: Greetings and thanks for setting aside the time to talk to me today. First off, could you let us know who you are and what is your role at OSome Studio?
Mathieu Frémon:Hi Justin. I’m Mathieu Frémont, I’m both programmer and producer at OSome Studio. As the company is quite small (only 3 of us and some outsourcing), we all have multiple roles. So I take care of administrative aspects, and programming, more tools and graphics when I have time.
CM: OSome Studio is based in Lyon and Paris, correct? How would you describe the company, and has your location influenced your games in any way?
MF: Studio is split between Lyon, were we have more administrative and technical part, and Paris, where the artistic alchemy takes place. Having an office in Paris helps us to work with more talents, as there are lot of artists we know in Paris. And at the same time, we know good programmers in Lyon, so even if the studio is split, that’s the way we found to work with the people we like.
CM:Your upcoming release, ‘White Night‘ is a noir, puzzle-heavy survival horror, can you tell me a little more of what the game is all about?
MF:The game is about a man in the American 30’s. He drives a car, and has an accident trying to avoid a woman, in the middle of the road. Was she really there ? Hurt, he tries to find help in an old mansion along the road. But doors close behind him, leaving him trapped in the dark. From now, he will have to use any light source (lamps, matches, candles), because if he stays too long in the dark… he dies.
CM:What are some of your favorite features or moments in the game? And is there anything that you had to leave out that you wish had made the final release?
MF:I try to not spoil too much.. I think one of my favorite features is burning ghosts using desklamps. Ghosts are really hard to kill, and very powerful creatures. They usually one-shot you, that’s why I’m so proud when I manage to burn some.
We had some extra delay since initial schedule, so we already added a lot of nice features since the initial version. But one of the things that we tried was some ghost hands coming from the floor, inspired from Repulsion movie, from Polanski. We did not manage to integrate it to existing gameplay with enough polish. So we killed the feature.
CM:This is your first project on the PlayStation 4, correct? What were some of the difficulties and/or benefits of working with this new hardware?
MF:We already worked on PS3 years ago, and that was really hard to debug. So we were a bit afraid working with PS4. But hardware is really much easier to use, and is behaving a bit like a PC, but with much more power. Also, Sony SDK let you port the game quickly with high level API, and then optimize certain aspects using lower level API. That was really nice and effective.
CM:The PlayStation 4 has some very unique features such as the DS4’s touch pad, light bar and gyroscopic senor, did you implement any of these features? If so, what purpose do they serve?
MF:We tried to use light bar and touch pad, but in the end we had no time to add any platform-specific feature. So unfortunately we don’t use these features in White Night.
CM:With White Nights heavy noir look, were there any particle films from old Hollywood that influenced the creation of the game?
MF:Of course, we were inspired by Hitchcock movies like Psycho, for the manor and for the mood. But also by German expressionism, with strange camera placements that make player uncomfortable.
CM:What does the future hold for Osome?
MF:It depends on White Night success, but we like telling stories. Reuse a genre and add our own ideas to it. So maybe a sequel for White Night on a totally different place, or another game. In any case, we want to experiment things but keep an universe where player can find some references he already knows.
CM:Speaking of other games, what are some of the current favorites of the team?
MF:Oh, it depends on the members of the team who have different tastes. And games have different purposes. Want an short onyric trip in a teenager’s life? “Life Is Strange”, want adrenalin and explode your keyboard? “Nuclear Throne”, want to replay SciFi adventure to unlock all love stories? “Mass Effect”, some time in the bus? “Monument Valley”.
CM:Thanks for taking the time to answer some of our questions, and best of luck with ‘White Night’. We can’t wait to get our hands on it!
MF:That was a pleasure, can’t wait players feedback!We know this game has a lot of strong directions. Some will love, some will hate. And that’s the kind of game you can do when you are indie!
White Night hits PSN and Xbox LIVE tomorrow, So be sure to check it out!