Interview with Alexandre Sabourin Red Barrels Senior Technical Artist for Outlast II
The Gamers Lounge: How does the environment play into the horror genre?
Alexandre: You have to give emotion to the player with so many aspects using lighting. Players are ready to be scared. Jump scares are not always cheap; they have to be setup by using lighting and sound with sound being one of the biggest things you have to have working in the game.
The Gamers Lounge: Do you find inspiration from other horror games and movies or do you try to go off on your own?
Alexandre: Our cofounders are big fans of horror games; there will always be certain aspects of horror games that are the same. We, of course, find inspiration from other games, but there are many ways to attack the horror experience. You have to change it sometimes to avoid players feeling a repetitive pattern. That’s why we watch these movies and play the games as well.
The Gamers Lounge: How do you see the horror genre overall?
Alexandre: The community for horror games is pretty small. The inspiration for the first one was Amensia: Dark Descent. They did a great job creating a very scary game.
The Gamers Lounge: How is it having one of the top games in the horror genre?
Alexandre: Considering the competition, it’s nice to hear that people consider us a top game. We’ve come a long way. The first Outlast only had 9 people, which is not a lot of people at all. We take pride in what we do, and being a small company, we all take part in everything. We work hard and we’re desperate to scare you.
The Gamers Lounge: How big is this compared to the first Outlast?
Alexandre: The story line is much more deep and complex as far as details. The environment has changed with indoors and outdoors, which isn’t as easy as it sounds. Indoors, you have a constant feeling of claustrophobia while walking through corridors, so when the player goes outside we need to make the player feel like they have no options while they’re out there. The game is also going to be longer. There are also going to a lot more crazy things than the first Outlast.
The Gamers Lounge: Is a VR horror game something that you’d like to do?
Alexandre: We have taken a look into it. It’s definitely not something that is going to be in Outlast 2, but we’ve talked about it and we have to try it. It’s a tough medium because of motion sickness.
The Gamers Lounge: With a smaller team how much involvement does each person have?
Alexandre: As much as they want to get involved. We listen to everyone’s idea. A good idea is a good idea no matter who's it’s coming from. Not everyone is involved in the storyline, some people who do art just want to do art. Sometimes people have wild ideas and those are the ones that pay off at the end of the day.
The Gamers Lounge: I’ve noticed that there seems to be more things happening in the environment than the first Outlast. Could you speak on that a little bit?
Alexandre: You’ll notice that there are black blobs that are moving around. That’s actually a simple idea I had one night. You know when you see something that moves and it gives you the chills? I thought I don’t like that and I want that in our game. We made sure that when something like that happens it fits logically in our storyline. It happens where it has to happen.
The Gamers Lounge: How long has Outlast II been in development?
Alexandre: It’s been in development for about 2 1/2 years and is due fall of 2016.