Interview

‘Allison Road’ Director/Creator Chris Kesler Answers Our Questions About The P.T.-Inspired Horror Game

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With the abrupt cancellation of Silent Hills and the removal of P.T. from the PlayStation Network, there was a huge hole created for those looking forward to the full release. Sometime later, a video hit YouTube that was a prototype for a game titled Allison Road. For those of who were excited for Silent Hills, the video hit hard. The footage looked fantastic and it took a number of the tropes that were in P.T. and expanded upon them.

Now, months later, the game has hit Kickstarter. We had the chance to ask a few questions to Chris Kesler, Director/Creator/Writer of Allison Road about the the game, the Kickstarter campaign and the overall influence that P.T. has had on it.

Chris Kesler Director & Creator/Writer of Allison Road

Chris Kesler
Director & Creator/Writer of Allison Road

Thanks for taking the time to talk to us about Allison Road. It looks very promising and we’re all hyped for it here at Pixel Related. How did the creation of Allison Road come about?

Hi there! Thanks a lot for taking the time to do the interview! Appreciated! The concept for Allison Road had been around for quite a while actually in one form or another. However, it was always more in an open world kind of scenario. Which is, as you can imagine, not really feasible when you are on your own. When P.T. came around and was clearly totally amazing, I realized that this concept could be set in a much smaller, much more manageable location instead. The game was so small, yet so effective. It’s sort of an obvious conclusion, but sometimes it takes a little nudge to go in the right direction!  So I took the AR ideas, set them in a house instead and off we were 🙂

Obviously, Allison Road has drawn heavy comparisons to P.T. from Konami. Do you think those comparisons are apt and how do you plan to separate Allison Road into its own thing?

Actually I think the separation will come naturally once we start revealing more of the actual game. Yes, people compare it to P.T. a lot, because it’s set in a house and looks real. I suppose the same thing would happen to  Gone Home if it looked photographic (great game btw!).  It’s not really something that concerns us or something that we feel we have to counter in any ways. Like I said, I’m sure it’ll happen organically over time.

What other horror titles, video game or otherwise, are you using for inspiration for Allison Road?

Oh there are a lot of things that are inspiring, really.  For example I love the art / style of the movie  The Cell and its art director Eiko Ishioka. Or the artist Damien Hirst whose work some of the set pieces are based on. Equally movies like Amityville Horror are awesome; since they are somewhat based on real events it gives the story a whole new character.  And then of course old-school horror games like the first Silent Hill or Resident Evil titles are a big influence. Very captivating story, heavy focus on atmosphere. Absolutely great!

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The prototype video showed a little bit of what we can expect from the plot. Can you give us some more details as to what is going on in the game?

You know, actually the prototype really only shows a tiny fraction of the plot. Basically that you wake up somewhat disorientated / without memory one night. We didn’t want to spoil any of the actual story, so the events in the video are staged so that we could show a few minutes of working game so to speak.  The prototype isn’t actually part of the real game so to speak. Well, the environment is but not what is happening.

When you initially released the footage, did you expect there to be such a large reaction from the community?

Uhm, definitely not! Frankly, we didn’t really expect anything at all. We just wanted to make a cool game and thought it’s time to update the Youtube channel, since it was starting to collect some cobwebs haha. Pretty incredible what happened after we released it, for sure!

What kind of feedback from the prototype video are you going to try to implement in the full release?

As you can imagine we had all kinds of feedback. The vast majority of users definitely wasn’t too much into the V/O, so we decided to take it out for the most part unless there is a cut scene. That was really good to know for sure. Then there were other things like some people get motion sick from first-person games and they asked if we could make the head-bob optional. We’ll definitely look into that. Generally speaking we read all the comments and feedback and if there’s anything we can integrate without compromising the game, we’ll try our best to do it.

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Now that you’ve turned to Kickstarter, what is your ideal vision of what the full release of Allison Road will look like?

Uhm. Can you ask me again in 20 days from now? 😀

 

Are there any plans to release the prototype that was shown off in the initial video?

No, there are no plans to release the prototype.  It’s in pre-alpha and ideally we’d like to release something like an actual demo/beta, which is in fact what our Lucid Dream Experience on Kickstarter is all about. For folks who’d like to check out the game long before the release.

What are your goals for the Kickstarter beyond getting the game funded?

To grow the community, really.  Money.. that’s one thing, sure. But the support of the community and having fun with folks following the game. Can’t put a price on that! In fact, yesterday we launched a little game we’re playing with people from our social media channels and Kickstarter backers and the response has been great. That makes it all worthwhile!

Finally, what is your favorite piece of horror media, video game or otherwise?

I think Silent Hill 2. I would say that game had the most profound impact on me when it comes to the perception and direction I took with regards to the horror medium.

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Many thanks to Mr. Kesler for taking the time to answer our questions about Allison Road!

The game so far looks great and we can’t wait to play it once it’s done. Let us know if you plan on backing this project in the comments below.

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