Throughout the eighties, a film by the name of Friday The 13th dominated theatres across the globe, with millions parting with their cash for a front row seat to watch as Jason Voorhee’s terrorised and brutally murdered Camp Counsellors at the infamous Camp Crystal Lake. To date the franchise has spanned twelve movies, more than the two other huge slasher films of the same era; Halloween and A Nightmare On Elm Street. The Friday The 13th series has grossed a whopping 457 Million Dollars in the box office, making it the most successful Horror franchise in history.
The concept of a machete wielding Jason stalking innocent people, mainly sexually active teenagers or college students has always had the uncanny ability to make sure movie goers have a very uncomfortable time in their seats, this notion has not been lost on Kentucky based developers Gun Media, who as fans of the films have taken to Kickstarter to gather support and funding as they look to bring the Friday The 13th franchise back to the video games industry with a bang, with 8 days remaining they are $80,000 away from reaching their $700,000 goal.
PressA2Join recently had the chance to catch up with the team at Gun Media to find out more about their exciting project, why they decided to create a game based on the iconic Slasher movies and bringing members of the original film back together.
PressA2Join: I just wanted to start out by stating how incredibly happy I was when I first heard you were making a game based on one of my all time favourite films, so from my teenage former self, thank you!.
Gun Media: You’re welcome!
PA2J: When did you first decide you wanted to create a video game based on the Friday The 13th films and did you encounter any problems when looking to acquire the use the license, can you explain a little about that process and how it all came together?
GM: We were sitting around a bit after working on our previous project, Breach & Clear. A lot of work here in the office went into working on another title, and eventually we started talking about all the cool 1980’s things that many on our team grew up with. Eventually, Friday the 13th came into the discussion, and well…Summer Camp came out of that. We were incredibly fortunate to draw the attention of the license holders at Crystal Lake Entertainment, and they reached out to us first. After a few months of talks and the general licensing agreements, it basically boiled down to our team doing what it could to make this game as amazing as it possibly could be. Sean S. Cunningham, the director of the first game saw our confidence and passion and extended the license to us, as a gift. So, now we’re making Friday the 13th: The Game, and we’re doing what we can to make it the best game it can possibly be!
PA2J: Friday The 13th is such a hugely popular slasher movie, what is the pressure like when trying to do the films justice, do you think fans of the films, like myself will enjoy the game?
GM: Pressure? You know that pressure is there. We’re working on something we grew up on, something that millions of people grew up with. Jason Voorhees, heck, the entire franchise was scary for many of us growing up, it still gives many of us chills. We’ve got a lot to live up to. What gives us confidence is that the guys who made the very films we idolize have faith in what we’re doing. We’ve put a lot of time, effort and sleepless nights into the design of this game. We’re certain that what we’re going to give to our fellows fans is exactly what we’ve all been expecting, and we’ll do what we can to ensure that the final game is something to remember!
PA2J: You’re working with a lot of members from the original film including of course Kane Hodder reprising his role as Jason, original director Sean Cunningham and iconic make up artist Tom Savini, what are they like to work with and how did you manage to get so many amazing people on board?
GM: Think about it. We grew up looking at the expertise and knowledge accumulated by these masters. Tom, Kane, Harry and Sean…all of them have been in the business for longer than a lot of people have been alive. We get to work with their backgrounds paired with today’s current gaming world. Tom doesn’t have to deal with actors. Kane doesn’t have to hold back. Harry gets to work in an even tighter atmosphere. This is basically going to give us more creative freedom to devise a truly fantastic horror setting within Friday the 13th!
PA2J: The late seventies and eighties were a great time to be a fan of the slasher genre with so many great films like Halloween and Friday The 13th, does the team have any personal favourites from that particular era?
GM: Everyone on the team has their favorites; Inferno, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, Psycho…and of course, Friday the 13th tops the list!
PA2J: The Friday The 13th franchise has grossed almost $500m to date, why do you feel the slasher films were so popular during the seventies/eighties?
GM: People are inherently curious about the taboo; sex, drugs, death, rock and roll. All of that makes us curious as we don’t see it every single day. The idea that someone goes around killing and maiming people without repercussion draws many people. It’s an outlet, one that is a curiosity. We can’t imagine anyone honestly acting like Jason Voorhees in real life, and to see a representation on the big screen is inherently interesting. It’s akin to the same attraction we have with super agents, heroes and other seemingly impossible kinds of people. The scares cause a reaction, and that’s a reaction that we want to experience; a thrill is a thrill, after all.
PA2J: A Friday The 13th game could trigger a possible ripple effect with further slasher games starting to be created, is this something you can see happening?
GM: Absolutely! We’ve loved playing Until Dawn, we know there are other games trying to make their way into the genre, and of course games like Five Nights at Freddy’s have been a huge hit! People love being scared. We’re giving them a scare they’ve known and loved for decades!
PA2J: Most people know what devastating chaos Jason and his machete bring to the table but from the Camp Counsellors point of view, what can they do to take down the big guy, do they stand any chance at all?
GM: The fun part here is that we’re remaining faithful to the movies. Jason is one powerful son of a bitch. He’s going to rip apart most everyone and anyone that stands in his way, doesn’t matter how awesome they are. Thing is, he gets defeated at the end of every movie. We know we can take him down. Is that dumb luck, or something more? We’ll be exploring how that works down the road, but suffice to say movie buffs will be pleased. Remember, you never know exactly how you can take him down…but you know that he can be taken down.
PA2J: I grew up on big screen monsters such as Jason, Michael and Freddy, to have the chance to play as Jason is something I’m immensely looking forward to, other than his obvious traits, what else does Jason offer as a playable character?
GM: This is the first time you get to control him in well over 25 years (if you’re counting the very limited Friday the 13th: The Computer Game. This allows you to basically be a director; you are Jason. The others are counsellors. Piece that together and you are going to make an amazing experience almost every time you play. With our trailer planned at the end of each game, it’ll be something you can share with your friends afterwards. It is entirely up to you to screw with other players, to outright murder them or to plan your attacks out methodically with the best efficiency. You’ll get to have a lot of fun here!
PA2J: Jason Voorhees as a monster, has a terrifying presence about him, he has a large frame and is a formidable force to be reckoned with, what is it like to design a character of the size of Jason and bring to life such an iconic movie monster, how much involvement has Kane had with the character?
GM: Kane is Jason to a lot of people, and he’s absolutely the guy we think of when we think of Jason’s haunting presence. Every single time you see him, you should shit your pants. Kane is a master of bringing that overbearing presence, and we’ll be translating him with his motion capture. You’re going to see his moves, his kills and his presence faithfully translated to the game.
PA2J: You have so many amazing Stretch Goals including some of Jason’s more iconic kills, is there anything in particular you’d like to be able to add to the game and why?
GM: Single Player remains a big part of what we want, we’ll do what we can to get it in there even if we don’t hit the stretch goal. We want to give you that 1980’s experience with the characters, settings and kills you are familiar with, while still making gameplay memorable every time you log in. The better we do with this Kickstarter, the better we’ll be in the long-run. But do know this; we will be working after release to ensure we get the best Friday the 13th experience possible!
PA2J: On your Kickstarter page you talk about the possibility for the franchise to have the use of VR support in the future, that would be some experience. Do you plan to implement VR further down the line?
GM: It would be cool, for sure! We’ll have to see where that takes us, but we definitely think fans will like what we have planned. A lot of laughs here in the studio on the possible scenarios, but a lot of serious discussion as well!
PA2J: Finally is there anything you would like to say to backers or people looking to get involved with the game?
GM: You guys are awesome and we love you! The support has been amazing, and we can’t thank you guys enough for your spreading the word! The more we do, the more we push and the better this game will be! We’re going to make this the game we’ve all been waiting for!
We would like to thank Gun Media for taking time out to chat with us, for those looking to get involved with Friday The 13th head over to the Kickstarter page and show some support.