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Red Awakening Developer Interview

PressA2Join recently had the chance to speak with Game Designer/Writer and Director at Domino Effect, Rob Peall about Red Awakening.

Dan: The game looks like a lot of fun, can you tell us a little bit about it?

Rob: Red Awakening is a team-based multiplayer stealth action game influenced by the slasher movie genre and classic FPS and stealth games of the 90s and 2000s. Built using Unreal Engine 4, Red Awakening is a surreal blend of neon drenched environments, satirical storytelling, first-person dynamic stealth, parkour style movement, drug induced power-ups, ultra-violent gameplay and an unnerving “Carpenter-esque” synth soundtrack by acclaimed composer Ryan Ike (Gunpoint) and featuring the popular EDM artist SirensCeol (Monstercat). 

The game focuses on horror, stealth and subterfuge, rather than the familiar first-person run-and-gun approach. Red Awakening draws stylistic inspiration from the slasher movies of John Carpenter, Tobe Hooper and Dario Argento, whilst its gameplay is influenced by the likes of the original Thief, Manhunt, TimeSplitters 2 and Condemned: Criminal Origins, but with the objective team-based gameplay of Counter-Strike

Dan: Red Awakening is heavily influenced by the 80’s Slasher genre, I’m a massive Tobe Hooper and Dario Argento fan, what kind of films inspired the game?

Rob: I grew up with films like the Terminator, Friday the 13th and a Nightmare on elm street so I’d say those, although Predator, Halloween, Predator, Suspiria, The Prowler and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas are all big influences on the game. 

Dan: I love films like Friday The 13th and Halloween, do you have a personal favourite Slasher film from the 80’s?

Rob: That’s a tough one, I’d have to say either Halloween or Friday the 13th Part 4, although I do really love the movie The Prowler. This visceral package is all wrapped up in Domino Effect’s distinctive cell-shaded graphical style.  

“This visceral package is all wrapped up in Domino Effect’s distinctive cell-shaded graphical style”.

Dan: There is also an element of Stealth to Red Awakening, how vital is Stealth to surviving in the game?

Rob: Yes, Stealth is a very vital to surviving in Red Awakening, as the gameplay is very cat and mouse, and seeming as every action a player performs uses stamina a player doesn’t want to be caught out in the open with no way of attacking, think dark souls in a first person perspective meets manhunt or splinter cell and you’ll be kinda close 😉 

Dan: There is team based multiplayer, can you explain how that will work?

Rob: Red Awakening’s multiplayer is 5v5 so when a contestant enters the RA program they are placed into one of two teams depending on their country of origin, these being either Team East or Team West.     

Team East is made up of a mixture of five unhinged spies and assassins originating from the eastern bloc.  

Team West consists of five psycho teenagers from across the united states who are more than eager to kill… .

Red Awakening also offers a unique spin on traditional 5v5 team based multiplayer game modes, which feel both familiar and new at the same time. Game modes include:  

Dual Demolition: An elimination-based game mode in which the goal for each team is the same; either eliminate the enemy team or detonate both enemy bomb sites. Players have three lives per round and a bomb each with the game being the best of eight rounds. Each round lasts three and a half minutes and the first team to five rounds wins.     

You Only Live Thrice: A team based mode where each team starts out with fifteen respawns. The goal is to eliminate the opposing team until they have no respawns left. If no winner is decided before the round time ends, the team with the most respawns remaining wins.

 We have many more awesome game modes to come… For this we need your help!

“Red Awakening also offers a unique spin on traditional 5v5 team based multiplayer game modes”

Dan: Will there be a single player story mode?

Rob: That all depends if we meet the stretch goal, but if we do Red Awakening will feature a campaign style multiplayer, each of RA’s 10 characters has a detailed satirical back story that is completely player controlled, so the more time player spends in the world of red awakening the more they will learn about firstly who and what their character has done and secondly what the Red Awakening program is.

Dan: What kind of weapons will players be able to use throughout the game?

Rob: There are 27 weapons in Red Awakening, which are split into five colour classes that control a weapon’s range, damage, execution speed, noise level and throw distance. Although the game is played entirely from a first person perspective, it is not a traditional first-person shooter. The focus of the experience is on up close and personal melee combat and executions, allowing players to collect, or even pull, weapons from the surrounding environment such as Fire Axes, Hammers, Circular Saw blades, shards of glass and Painkillers. 

A player has access to several fighting skills, including both a light and heavy attack as well as the ability to block and kick. Firearms are present, but they are less common and only come with the ammunition that is available in the magazine or attached to the gun.

“A player has access to several fighting skills, including both a light and heavy attack”

Dan: Red Awakening is built using the Unreal Engine 4, how was that experience?

Rob: Although Red Awakening is Domino Effect’s first game, the team has been working together successfully for nearly two years. During this time we have learned a lot and overcome many challenges, and gained experience of dealing with unforeseen production problems efficiently and effectively. We still remember staying up until 5am hurriedly fixing a build of Red Awakening the day before Insomnia Gaming Festival 53!

Our flexibility and adaptability as a team means that the decision we took in switching from UDK to Unreal Engine 4 was an easy one, and resulted in us being asked to attend the Develop Conference in Brighton with the Epic Games Staff. Using professional, industry standard development tools like this allows us to more quickly deliver the game that we have promised within a realistic time scale, as well as reducing the risk of any potential production hurdles.

Red Awakening is Domino Effect’s primary focus and will continue to be so until the game is completed. We have not offered anything in our Kickstarter that we honestly don’t believe that we can deliver, and will promise to continually update our backers on the project’s development. We’re excited about what we have achieved with Red Awakening already and with your help we will deliver what we feel is a unique gaming experience.

Dan: When are Xbox fans likely to see the game?

Rob: Hopefully 2016

Dan: Thanks for taking the time to chat with us.

Check out Red Awakenings Interrogation trailer!


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Dan has been gaming for nearly 30 years and has survived everything from Nuclear Fallouts to Zombie Outbreaks but his main love is Survival Horror and don't we all know it. Favourite games include Resident Evil and Grand Theft Auto, he can be regularly found cruising the streets of Vice City listening to the classics.


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