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Supermassive Games discuss the development of Until Dawn

Will Byles, Executive Creative Director and Tom Heaton, Design Director of Supermassive Games and Until Dawn are currently holding an AMA for Until Dawn and future projects through Reddit. The duo discussed a lot about the process of making Until Dawn including the art design, narrative and the supernatural elements within the game.

When asked how the team first come up with the idea for Until Dawn and what inspired them to make the game they replied,

“It was in about 2010. We were working on something similar and Sony came to us with the basic concept for a Move title and a teen horror called Until Dawn. There was only a bare bones idea. we then developed the story and gameplay in house. And as you probably know it then transitioned over to PS4.

What inspired us to make the game? We all love horror movies and we knew that if we could make decision making work then we would have the basis of a great experience. We wanted to put the player in the shoes of the slasher victims.”

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Tom and Will discussed which characters death they found the most fun to write,

“We had whole meetings devoted to gory deaths. How depressing is that? Will’s favourite is Josh’s bursting head. Tom’s is Emily in the ore grinder.”

They also confirmed that they had managed to achieve everything they wanted from the development of Until Dawn,

“We did pretty much everything we planned to do. Some of the feedback that we’ve had has given us ideas for the future, and we’ve had ideas since we finished the game that we would definitely like to follow up on in our next game.”

When asked about repeat playthroughs and their effects becoming less significant and a little predictable they replied,

“The thing about the branching in Until Dawn is that you can only change what your character could change at that point in the game. So there is a core narrative, which is the way things are set up on Blackwood mountain. We are really happy with the amount of branching in the narrative, every choice affects something. That said, we would like to see even more branching ourselves, because we think it really works.”

Until Dawn

SuperMassive games also talked about the reasons behind the introduction of the Wendigo in Until Dawn

“From the outset we wanted to subvert the slasher genre and play with different genres in the same game. The Wendigo myth fits well with the game’s location. And it’s the source of most shapeshifter legends.”

When asked about possible DLC involving the ability to save certain characters and possible scenarios published through Tumblr  they confirmed that they were not currently working on any for Until Dawn,

“We’ve seen them too and they’re great. But we are not currently working on any DLC for Until Dawn at the moment.”

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When discussing the reasons behind the failed PS3 version of the game and why they decided to reboot Until Dawn for the Playstation 4 they had this to say,

“When we first showed it publicly there was a lot of community demand for a non-Move version. PS4 was coming over the horizon and we knew we had a great story. It seemed rude not to.”

On the art design of Until Dawn, they had this to say

“We wanted to make this look as much like a movie as possible, so rather than an art director we had a Production Designer who went through a process similar to how it would be done on a film. Because we had fixed cameras we were able to compose shots using traditional film styling.”

On the Supernatural elements within Until Dawn,

“The supernatural element was part of the narrative all along. It was always very tempting to show some of the supernatural elements, because you always want to show cool stuff. But we’re glad we didn’t because the twists worked really well. But if you look carefully at early trailers you will see some hints.”

Until Dawn is currently on sale right now through the Playstation Store for the Playstation 4 at a price of £34.99.

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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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