Interview: Raul Rubio Munnarriz talks Deadlight

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For those that don’t know, what is Deadlight? 

Tequila Works was founded in November 2009, when a group of old friends and talented veterans from Blizzard, MercurySteam, Weta, Triumph, SCEE and Pyro decided to focus on tasteful little creations.  Something we could feel proud of. Most of us had worked together before, and our highlights include, among others, Diablo III, Heavy Rain, the Motorstorm and Commandos sagas, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow or Overlord II. Deadlight is a narrative driven experience. Randall is alone most of the time and his character is introverted and slightly paranoid. Deadlight’s story goes back to the character, it’s Randall’s inner journey. There are not hidden evils in the shadows, just you and your fears. I hope you enjoyed our last trailer. Then again, think what YOU would do in this situation. With no weapons or gadgets. We  take so many things for granted! For example, the power of noise and using yourself as a life bait. When you are in a dead world, every little sound is amplified.

 

 

 

The game is set in the 80s, why is that?

 

 

Deadlight is set in 1986. We can rewrite history and play with the player’s own memories. This is an alternate world after all. The 80s have a unique visual appeal, and also marks the beginning of the end of the Cold War. Paranoia and fear defined most of the 80s; add chaos to remove civilization and you will get a world based in distrust and individual survival. From a design point of view, it was challenging to contextualize elements typical of platform games. But it allows us to create a unique yet familiar universe.

 

 


Since it’s a post-apocalyptic survival game, how hard was it to balance combat with the survival aspect?
Deadlight is a survival game, there are combat, but all the game objectives are about surviving, and not fighting. Combat is always an option but a poor one, there are more enemies than bullets, and noise is a key mechanic in Deadlight. Randall finds tools and small firearms during the game, but these are more useful as ways of unblocking paths than killing. Don’t expect rocket launchers!

 

 

 

 

But puzzles are the centerpiece of the gameplay though?
Yes they are indeed. Imagine that your path is blocked by a bunch of enemies. You have no weapons and two of them are too much for an unarmed Randall. But there’s a crane with a hanging car in the middle. The controls are on the other side however. You can taunt the zombies so they can see you. They will moan and will start to try to catch you. If you have guts, you will run to them and will be able to climb on the car before they reach you. With no time to lose, jump down to the other side and activate the crane while they are
turning around to crush them under the car. Or just run away!

 

 

 How deep is the lead character Randall and his story in the world in terms of his reasons for doing what he does in the game?

Randall Wayne is a very complex character. He is a Canadian park warden from Hope, B.C. Randall has a passion for crime fiction and espionage novel and has an interest in animal biology. He is introverted and slightly paranoid. Before the Massive Mess, Randall Wayne was an ordinary man with no great aspirations, but also without a heavy load on his shoulders. He married very young, at the age of 23, and had a daughter called Lydia 2 years later. Thanks to his long stays in the mountains and his job in the woods, Wayne acquired basic knowledge on weapons handling, survival skills and climbing. His abilities and lots of luck allowed him to survive long enough to become one of the last living persons in the Pacific Northwest.

 

 

 

 The visual style and premise is reminiscent of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road? Was that an inspiration?  

We are huge fans of George A. Romero and 28 Days Later or we love novels like The Zombie Survival Guide, World War Z and Monster Nation. But Deadlight is about survival, not zombies. Normal people under really stressful situations. In that sense, our inspirations included novels like I Am Legend, Hello America, Cell comics like The Walking Dead and films like First Blood, and of course….. The Road. We wanted to transmit the solitude and isolation that Randall is feeling.

 Will we meet other survivors and how will they react to Randall?
There will be other survivors you’ll interact with them, they may be friendly or not, and are a part of the gameplay to well take into consideration

 Are there any collectibles, or incentives to replay the game once finished?
Yes, a lot for you to discover and replay the game over and over….
Deadlight is available as part of the Summer of Arcade and will be released August 1st for 1200 Microsoft Points