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Outlast Will Scare the S*** Out of You on PS4

Philippe Morin's Avatar + Posted by Philippe Morin on Jun 10, 2013 // Co-Founder, Red Barrels

Hi, I’m Philippe Morin from Red Barrels! Together with co-founders David Chateauneuf and Hugo Dallaire, we started an indie studio for one reason: to use our experience working on games like Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune and Assassin’s Creed to make the horror game we’ve been talking about with each other for years. We’re all big horror fans, especially David, and the game we wanted to make, a realistic survival horror game, wasn’t the type of thing any big companies were willing to take a risk on. So we’re taking the risk ourselves with Outlast, a survival horror, stealth-based game set in an abandoned asylum, coming to PS4 next year!

The best games make you feel something, some type of emotion that sticks with you after you’re done playing. And fear is one of the most powerful emotions we can have as human beings. So for us, to make the best game possible, we know that we have to scare the s*** out of you. We’re trying to do that in a number of different ways, but where we start is with the design. In Outlast you play as a journalist with no weapons or fighting ability. You’re powerless and vulnerable: there’s actually a good reason to be afraid, because you can be hurt (or eviscerated). So, like in real life, your best option to survive is to run or hide. Using our past experience, we’re making those mechanics fun (but hopefully nerve-wracking!), giving your character some parkour-style moves and tweaking the AI so that enemies are smart about looking for you.

Screenshot-03

Design elements were the first step we took in order to terrify you, but we’re going farther. We partnered with a scientific consulting firm called Thwacke to get real-world data on mental illness and treatment techniques and make an authentic environment. Since Outlast is set in an asylum and your enemies are escaped mental patients, we felt it was important to portray our characters and setting in a realistic way, beyond just characters chasing you on a map. From the layout of the asylum to how enemies act, most of the game is based on real-world asylums. While we have some unexpected surprises waiting in the shadows, giving players as realistic a setting as possible makes the fear more tangible.

Screenshot-06

I mentioned before that we’re huge horror fans at Red Barrels. We spend hours watching classic and new movies and playing games like Amnesia – for fun and for inspiration. Immersing ourselves in horror has made it a little harder to sleep each night, but has also given us a lot of ideas. For instance, one of the things that makes a character like Jason or Michael Myers so frightening is their unstoppable drive – no matter what you do, they always keep coming to kill you. Outlast has a similar character, with some twists. More generally, what we’ve learned from countless hours trying to scare ourselves is that fear is all about setting expectations. When you start to walk up to a dark, Victorian building, you prepare yourself to be afraid; all that needs to happen after that is something to activate that fear, like a sudden movement or a creepy visual. Getting you into this state of expectation is something we care a lot about – as you can see from our PAX East booth design!

PAX BOOTH PIC

Fear is a weird thing. At PAX East, we had people coming out of our booth with many different reactions: some were giggling nervously, others were white and trembling, and others even came out joyfully discussing impaled corpses. We loved it; the different ways people express fear are really interesting to see, because each different reaction means that a person is having a personal, emotional experience with Outlast. Every designer wants their game to have an impact on how you feel, and we’re committed to making you feel as terrified as possible! Look out for more information about Outlast before our PS4 launch late next year.

What’s your favorite horror genre? Slasher, exorcism, clowns… tell me what scares you the most!

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20 Comments

1

+ luvtoseek on June 10th, 2013 at 7:27 pm said:

I can’t, won’t… PLAY THIS IN THE DARK!!! *grabs pillow*

I look forward to more info soon, Philippe! Have a great show!


2

+ Phoenix7469 on June 10th, 2013 at 8:50 pm said:

@luvtoseek Thank you for not wasting comment space on saying you were the first to comment!

This game sounds pretty cool and looks like it could give The Last of Us a bit of competition as it seems to be a similar theme.


3

+ Earthling_8 on June 10th, 2013 at 9:10 pm said:

I’ve never been into the horror genre when it comes to games but this sounds promising. I like suspense psychological thriller type horror films, Halloween is my all time favorite by the way.


4

+ swissmr on June 10th, 2013 at 9:18 pm said:

Am I the only person who doesn’t find playing a game that scares the &%$# out of you a good time. I dont like being scared and dont try to exploit that. I’m not any good at horror games either.
I play the game like I would in real life.
My friend will say “why are you just hanging out in the room where you can save your progress”. My responce “because its safe in here”.


5

+ FeddeCampo on June 10th, 2013 at 9:19 pm said:

Wow you built the place up to be dark?? haha will be awesome to play it like that with black bedroom :D


6

+ averageguy00 on June 10th, 2013 at 9:42 pm said:

im not sure if ill be getting the ps4 this holiday or the next but when i do ill definitely pick this up. keep it up guys.


7

+ ThreeLeggedFreak on June 10th, 2013 at 9:52 pm said:

I don’t scare easily, but feel free to try!


8

+ ZaGe-zAiKaNo on June 10th, 2013 at 9:52 pm said:

Daylight was announced few days ago & it looks really good. Now you guys bring Outlast, which looks just as good & seeing how Amnesia/Penumbra memories were coming back as i saw footage was amazing.

Thank you guys for also taking the risk in horror games. I think anything can scare me once i’m really within the quiet, dark tone/setting of a game.


9

+ GMFCO311 on June 10th, 2013 at 10:24 pm said:

Awesome I was hoping this would come to PS4 ever since I saw the IGN staff play it! Take a look, made me jump as much as the players themselves. lol

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Vcgdl4xQ18


10

+ Kchow23 on June 11th, 2013 at 1:52 am said:

I haven’t been actually scared by a game for a while… looking forward to it!


11

+ Elvick_ on June 11th, 2013 at 5:21 am said:

Happy for more PS4 support. :3

I don’t play horror games though, because I don’t like being scared (and am easily).


12

+ dancerboy411 on June 11th, 2013 at 7:00 am said:

Wow, the amount of research you did sounds amazing. I can’t wait to see more than just the teaser trailer. Do you have a release window in mind?


13

+ loakum on June 11th, 2013 at 10:49 am said:

as a honorary member of the Quad Brotherhood, I shall hereby tell you our mantra: “PS4Life!”


14

+ CrusaderForever on June 11th, 2013 at 10:55 am said:

Looks great!! Cannot wait to play this with the lights off and with my head phones!


15

+ Welmosca on June 11th, 2013 at 11:45 am said:

We’ll see about that…..if it can really scary the sh** out of me.I will put my bets on this game and Daylight…..because the only game that is scary is Fatal Frame.


16

+ plaztiksyke on June 11th, 2013 at 12:16 pm said:

Home invastion horror movies, like The Strangers and the original Last House on the Left, are the scariest to me. As a young horror fan, I loved the first Halloween movie and as an adult I love the german expressionist look of it. I loved the first and third Nightmare on Elm Street movies for having strong heroines and a ‘message’ underneath. I loved the photography in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake from 2005(?), but the movie wasn’t scary to me — just gory ;)

The Strangers’ use of sound, both sudden presence and sudden absence, is what made it work so well for scaring the hell out of me.

The one screenshot above shows a last-gen bloom effect, which I have to say isn’t very scary to me. I hope that shadows, outlines, and subtle reflections/shaders in low-light are the norm for conveying mood and story in the final product. I also hope for bluray-quality audio.

Any GLBT characters, playable or not?


17

+ BlueBl1zzard on June 14th, 2013 at 10:15 pm said:

Woohoo! Game sounds great, bring it on!

@Philippe Morin so the game is coming late “next” year or did you mean to say this year? I believe they said this may be coming for free to PS Plus, so next year sounds like a pretty long wait.


18

+ keekoyman on June 15th, 2013 at 11:44 am said:

I played this game at E3, I almost died from a hearth attack. This game will make you scream like a little girl.


19

+ sYtHe20 on June 18th, 2013 at 3:15 pm said:

Good to see it’s not going to be a PC Exclusive anymore :) Now everyone can be scared and enjoy this game!


20

+ THEBUZZARDMAN on July 5th, 2013 at 11:05 am said:

I’ve never really been into the thought of scaring the crap out of myself for a thrill. Except this game looks like a blast to play and just really cool in general so I can’t wait to get my hands on it!


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