Introducing ‘Lies Beneath,’ a New Survival Horror Game Coming to Oculus Quest and the Rift Platform from Drifter Entertainment
From Gunheart on the Rift Platform to Robo Recall: Unplugged on Oculus Quest, the VR community has come to expect good things from Drifter Entertainment. So when the Seattle-based indie dev started teasing a new title on February 25, people’s curiosity was piqued. Today, we’re excited to announce Lies Beneath, a brand-new survival horror game coming to Quest on March 31, with a Rift Platform release scheduled to follow on April 14.
With a visual style ripped from the pages of the team’s favorite comics, Lies Beneath plunges players into a macabre mystery in the heart of Slumber, Alaska.
What was the inspiration behind Lies Beneath?
Two things that we knew were really important early in development were an intriguing narrative and a unique setting. Narrative isn’t something Drifter has focused a lot on in earlier games, and we wanted to really focus on telling a deeper story with this one. With the setting, we wanted to take players somewhere they weren’t familiar with, not just in real life but also somewhere they haven’t seen in many other games.
Kenneth Scott: Collectively, a lot of us are fans of the genre, and it’s been heartening to see public interest return in both film and games.
How long has the game been in development? Any favorite anecdotes to share?
HH: Production started just shy of two years ago, but ideas had been bouncing around for a while before that. The most memorable moment of production so far for me has been the first focus test we had.
Throughout the project, I was always looking for opportunities to add a little extra scare to my prototypes and routine playtests to see if I could make my fellow jaded game devs yelp like frightened children.
What influenced the character design and overall art direction?
KS: Very early on, we adopted horror comics and horror manga as our creative rudder. Allow me to cheat a bit here with a little ctrl-V action, with an excerpt from our Art Vision document:
We looked at Bernie Wrightson’s articulate, spooky linework, Mike Mignola’s bold, graphic black and whites, Junji Ito’s stomach-turning body horror, Shintaro Kago’s savage surrealism, the painterly genius in Warren Publishing’s Eerie and Creepy anthologies, Sanjulián, Esteban Maroto, Dave McKean, Sandman, Hellblazer, DC’s Vertigo line, and EC Comics—most importantly, EC’s stamp on anthology-style narrative.
Who did you work with on the soundtrack and sound design? What was that experience like?
Kazuma and I have worked together on several projects now, so it was a no-brainer to bring him onto this project as well. Richard and I also worked previously, and I really enjoyed the highly iterative and experimental way of working with him.
Two-thirds of the way into the project, I brought in a tech sound designer, Carsten Ronshaugen, to help with implementation and some object interaction sfx design.
How did your previous work in VR help inform your work on Lies Beneath?
For instance, with our previous games, we learned that nailing great locomotion options is possibly the most important design consideration we’ll make at the beginning of a project. Having shipped every scheme imaginable in our previous titles, that experience really gave us a leg up when building this one.
The other system that probably benefited the most from previous experience was our physical interaction system. Lies Beneath is a much more intimate, close quarters game than our previous stuff precisely so that we bring everything into arm’s reach.
Why did you decide to develop Lies Beneath as a “Quest-first” title?
BM: We knew from the very beginning that we wanted to create a combat system that was visceral and active, and the cordless nature of Quest makes it the absolute best in class for motion control-based games.
KS: Drifter was founded around our collective excitement for new frontiers and emergent technologies. New toys and shiny things are always going to turn our heads and hearts, and Quest offers a lot of fun new challenges and learning as a developer.
Feb 29, 2020 at 05:10