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An interview with the developers of DreadOut

We've posted about DreadOut before, and we're still looking forward to the game's release! OMGeek has reached out to Digital Happiness, the Indonesian-based development team behind the PC survival horror title. Rachmad Imron, founder of Digital Happiness, was kind enough to answer our questions about DreadOut and the team behind it.

DreadOut's indiegogo campaign is currently at $3,300 out of their $25,000 goal. There are still 39 days to go, so support them if you're able! DreadOut is on Steam Greenlight too. If you like what you see, give the game a thumbs-up! Demo download links are available on both sites.

Read on for more on fighting baddies with supernatural powers and gadgets, uniquely Indonesian ghosts, the team's influences, and strange creepy men who make unsettling offers to horror game developers!

About DreadOut

Can you give us a brief description of DreadOut?

DreadOut is a horror adventure game within an authentic local Indonesian setting. Players play as Linda, our protagonist, trapped in some haunted town. Her friends start disappearing and suddenly she begins feeling differently about herself. She slowly becomes able to sense a ghost appearance and somehow can transfer her energy through any object like her gadget to hurt those spirits. Just like the native belief that photos can steal your souls - just like that kinda concept.

Why make a horror game?

We love and grew with video games and specially the horror genre, and we miss that genre.

Have you considered a Steam release? How about Greenlight?

Yes, we are aiming for Steam distribution, and yes, we're already on the Steam Greenlight Program. We're currently #31 out of 1177. You can check our page here. Don’t forget to vote! Hopefully we get Greenlit this 17th April batch.

Will the game be also set in Indonesia? If so, what are you doing to make it feel Indonesian?

Actually we're miss about game that really close to us, we're missing somewhat that we already tired grew from other culture reflection, to make feel indonesian? Since we grew up and live in our beloved country, I think it's not hard for us to make an authentic look based on Indonesia in the form of setting, character, and also lore. I think it's more difficult try to relate that concept into the general/global audience gamer. Let's say in terms of ghosts: there's a ghost named Pocong and it’s really famous and scary in Indonesia... but others find it looks so silly if they don't know the story and lore behind it. Kinda like that.

Why did you choose the Unity engine?

It's really easy to adapt and it's affordable.

How long has the game been in development?

2 years.

Besides PC, what other platforms are you currently targeting for release?

PC, Mac, Linux.

When is your projected release date?

TBA 2013. :D

About Digital Happiness

What or who are your influences?

Lots of people find similarities with the Fatal Frame series. Yes, Fatal Frame is one of our favorite games and it inspired us. DreadOut is kinda our love letter to them. In terms of fellow indie developers, we really love our indie heroes such as Jonathan Blow, Team Meat and Phil Fish their story it's really inspire us

Are you fond of telling horror stories in the office?

Yeah of course. Even our studio is haunted... kidding! Sometimes some people take our game too seriously. There was a time when we exhibited our first pre-build in public and there was some creepy fellow who tried our game, standing and smiling. Then he quietly offered his ability to "open" our eye just to help us to get more accurate forms on our ghosts. Of course we kindly refused that offer. That was weird and scary!

What made you start a game dev company?

We’ve grown tired of providing our services based on contract. We’ve already had years of experience on 3D animation projects, and yes video games are our passion. I think the video game industry nowadays is more open and easy to adapt to than 10 years ago when a majority of games must through a big publishing company.

What are the current challenges faced? (besides financial)

What, you read my mind?! Trying to restructure our engine and game architecture is very time consuming and stressful, as are working remote, not being able to sleep well, and malnutrition (kidding).

What advice can you give to other game developers in Southeast Asia?

Just never give up, determination, completion beats perfection... that's cliche isn't it?

What’s your favorite horror movie of all time? (pick one only!)

Mmhhh juondarkwaterthering :D

Many thanks to Rachmad Imron of Digital Happiness for taking the time to answer our questions.

DreadOut - Indie Southeast Asian Horror Comes to the PC

In case you’ve forgotten what it’s like to lean as far back as possible from your monitor and turn down the volume and switch on all the lights in the room, I bring glorious and terrible news. There’s a new horror game in the works, and as we are in the midst of a macabre winning streak that includes the likes of Slender: The Arrival, A Machine for Pigs, Routine, and The Cat Lady, I’m glad that with horror, much like with jello, there’s always room for a little more.

DreadOut is a survival horror PC game from Bandung-based Indonesian developer Digital Happiness, and while it’s news in itself that a Southeast Asian developer is once again taking a crack at making a full-fledged game, it’s compounded even further by the fact that this is turning out to be a proper scare-fest of a calibre that seemingly only the indies can produce nowadays. The game is currently up for funding on indiegogo, and as of this writing, the project has gotten $3,000 worth of pledges out of a $25,000 goal. There’s still 41 days to go, so we remain hopeful that the team will raise the necessary funds. Links to download the game demo are also available on the indiegogo page.

The title is set in Indonesia, and is heavily influenced by the brand of Asian-flavored survival horror popularized by the Fatal Frame series. The plot is comfortably set up like a horror movie -- group of high school students go on a trip, stumble across a creepy locale, rile up the sinister powers that occupy the place, and get themselves into a huge, messy, and terrifying pile of trouble. It’s up to Linda, who may or may not be our Final Girl of the story, to use her smartphone, digital camera, and video camera in clever ways to fight back.

Or at least survive long enough to get everybody else out alive. Right?

The game is shaping up to be a contender. The graphics are good if not great, and the content is brimming with the potential of a never-before-touched culture in gaming. The gameplay seems to be a bit derivative, but in an homage sort of way. The overall concept is believable and not forced. On top of all that, DreadOut is certainly worth a look because it comes from a Southeast Asian developer. We are very excited for this project.

OMGeek has reached out to the dev team and we’ll be publishing an interview on Wednesday! In the meantime, here’s a rundown of the game’s offerings from its indiegogo page:

DreadOut is 3D adventure horror game within an authentic local Indonesian setting.

  • Explore the mystical world of a cursed city from a 3rd person perspective.
  • Come face to face with your worst nightmares; terrifying authentic Indonesian ghosts like Tuyul, Pocong, Kunti, etc.
  • Share your ghost photographs through our online integration via facebook.
  • Experience an original and thrilling storyline.
  • Enjoy diverse gameplay elements as you explore the world.

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