It's that time of the week again where we sit down with an indie developer and get the inside scoop on the development process, and some of the exciting new projects they're working on! For this week's Indie Spotlight, we sit down with Justin Ng of Gattai Games to discuss the creepy, atmospheric title, Stifled. If you want to get your hands on the game, don't forget to check out Gattai Games at PAX West (Booth 6003) which takes place September 2nd through the 3rd.
In addition, you'll have another opportunity during the Tokyo Gameshow from September 15th through the 19th. Let's dive in!
Who is Gattai Games?
"Gattai Games is made up of 6 developers, Justin (Design/Business), Wesley (Code), Bryan (Code/Audio), Dexter (Design), Wei Ren (Design/Art) and Andre (Design/Animation/)."
How was Gattai Games founded?
"Gattai Games was founded by Wesley, Bryan, and myself (Justin) after our graduation from Digipen Singapore. We decided that we wanted to build the games we loved without a suit looking over us. We started with mobile games, but pivoted to developing Stifled when its predecessor, Lurking, started to pick up traction. As part of this move, we expanded the team with Dexter, Wei Ren, and Andre joining us."
Where did the idea of Stifled come from?
"Stifled is the spiritual successor to our award-winning student game, Lurking. The idea for Lurking originated from Dexter and Bryan, who worked on design and sound respectively. The game was developed by a team of four: Dexter, Bryan, Zhong Min, and Justin. Dexter was inspired when he stumbled on an animated clip of a young blind girl exploring her surroundings using sound, and Bryan wanted to make a game based on sound because he was a sound guy. At the time, VR (Circa 2013 Oculus DK1 release) was gaining traction and with
At the time, VR (Circa 2013 Oculus DK1 release) was gaining traction and with sound being a core mechanic, we thought a microphone input would be an interesting and easily accessible "VR" input. The notion clicked, and the team started exploring its possibilities. The game began as an explorative puzzle game but evolved into a horror game when Zhong Min (Lead Programmer) and Myself (Producer/Art Director) came up with the black/white art style because pure pitch black darkness is scary. And what makes a horror game worse than to have the enemies hear you?"
Can you tell us more about Stifled's gameplay?
"Stifled is a mic-enabled sound-based stealth thriller, where sound is the only way you see and the enemies hear your fear. In Stifled, the sounds made by your in-game character and yourself through microphone input reveal the otherwise hidden world through echolocation. However, undue noise will attract the attention of creatures lurking in the darkness. To survive, you will have to tread the fine line between making sounds to see, and staying quiet to stay hidden."
What are some unique elements of Stifled?
"Stifled stands out with its unique mic-input and sound-based gameplay, which is rendered in a simplistic graphical art style. We also recently announced support for the PS:VR, which we hope will generate a truly chilling experience."
In what ways is Stifled different from other titles within the genre?
"With Stifled, we take the usual fear of the unknown and unseen and crank it up to eleven. Sound affords players a different way to perceive their surroundings while heightening the blinding sense of dread at the same time."
When do you hope to release Stifled and on what platforms?
"Stifled is slated for a Q4 2016 release on PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation VR, and Xbox One."
What's next for Gattai Games?
"We have already started prototyping a few ideas, and even though I can't confirm what it will be at this point. I am sure we will move away from horror for a while and one of the most promising prototypes feature Giant Robots."
What's your "Desert Island" game?
"I'd say Dishonoured (or Dishonored 2 if I get stranded post its release). The possibility space in Dishonoured is just amazing."
For more interesting indie interviews, be sure to read our interview with Ryan Juckett of Hypersect as he details his upcoming game, Inversus. We also had the chance to talk with Team GoldenEye: Source about their impressive mod that recreates the classic N64 title, GoldenEye 007. Do you love challenging platformers? Learn more about one of the coolest ones coming out this August in our RunGunJumpGun interview with ThirtyThree.