One of the more intriguing announcements of the new year is Microsoft Studios' Deadlight from independent developer Tequila Works. The trailer should have been enough to pique your interest, and now we've got more information on the game, its influences and where the new IP could head in the future direct from creative director Raúl Rubio.
Q: How long have you been working on Deadlight?
Raúl Rubio: The original idea was drawn by our Art Director, César Sampedro, in 2009. It was a speed painting showing a backlit silhouette of a sole figure and some menacing shadows appearing from both sides of the picture. We achieved a proper game concept for Deadlight around November 2009. Since then we founded Tequila Works assembling a bunch of insanely talented veterans, signed with Microsoft Studios and we even had time to make t-shirts and change to a bigger office.
Q: You describe Deadlight as a AAA title; in what ways does the game meet the expectations of the AAA game?
RR: Best quality no matter the size. Assets and productions are top quality; instead of AAA, we prefer to describe Deadlight as a "handcrafted" game.
Q: Will the AAA game come with a AAA price?
RR: (Laughs) Ask Microsoft Studios, not us! Don't worry, you can expect an XBLA price.
Q: How many hours gameplay do you expect gamers to get from Deadlight?
RR: Deadlight is a narrative driven experience, its story goes back to the character. Randall's inner journey will give an average of 6 hours for the main adventure experience.
Q: Can you tell us anything about Deadlight's main character Randall Wayne?
RR: Randall Wayne was born the 19th of May, 1952 in Hope, BC. He barely left his hometown in his life, except for a couple of visits to Vancouver. He hated cities and only found peace in the isolation of nature.
Randall married very young and had a daughter called Lydia. Before the Massive Mess, Wayne was an ordinary man with no great aspirations, but also without a heavy load on his shoulders. He became a park warden and spent long stays in the mountains, which improve his character.
Thanks to his long his job in the woods, Wayne acquired basic knowledge on weapons handling, survival skills and climbing.
Randall has a passion for crime fiction and espionage novel and has an interest in animal biology. He is introverted and slightly paranoid.
Q: What has inspired Deadlight?
RR: An overdose of 1984, Heavy Metal and Cimoc magazines during our childhood that enhanced our dystopian instincts. Authors such as Richard Corben, J.G. Ballard (Hello America), Richard Matheson (I Am Legend), Stephen King (Cell), Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead) and Cormac McCarthy (The Road) have heavily influenced us. Movies like First Blood. And last but not least, the classic cinematic platformers Prince of Persia, Another World and Flashback.
Q: Can you see Deadlight becoming more than a digital game in the future?
RR: Absolutely. Deadlight was been conceived as a whole universe, a multiformat IP if you prefer. We have written lots of stories within the Deadlight universe, not only Randall's odyssey. Diverging timelines, biology... there's a lot of research behind the world of Deadlight!
Q: What are the biggest benefits of being a Microsoft Studios game?
RR: Freedom! They give us a lot of freedom to create the way we feel. They really understand our philosophy and bet on original proposals. They take care of the headaches allowing us to concentrate on creating.
Deadlight will be released this summer for Xbox LIVE Arcade.