Gun Media spills the gory details on Friday the 13th: The Game
We here at Hey Poor Player are gamers to the core, but if you were to split the core with a very large, very sharp machete, you would find a profound love for horror films. When Summer Camp was announced back in 2014, we were extremely excited and eager to get our hands on an axe and swing it deep into a hapless camp counselor’s skull. So, when Gun Media announced via a Kickstarter campaign in October 2015 that they had acquired the license to make a Friday the 13th game, it felt like Christmas day. Needless to say, the Kickstarter campaign was a success, raking in over $120,000 more than its initial $700,000 funding goal, and currently Gun Media are deep into the development of Friday the 13th: The Game. Risking our own bloody demise, we at Hey Poor Player managed to sneak into Camp Crystal Lake and find the cabin where Gun Media have taken refuge and were able ask them a few questions.
HPP: We’ve been closely following the Friday the 13th: The Game since the announcement of Vol 1: Summer Camp and were thrilled when we heard Sean Cunningham had offered the Friday the 13th video game license to you. Could you tell us about the first time Mr. Cunningham reached out to your team and how the relationship built up to the point where he felt comfortable handing over the license?
GM: Well, it’s rather simple; they came to us and said they were interested in the game. We weren’t exactly sure who was contacting us initially, but when we found out it was a heck of an honor. Sean and the Crystal Lake Productions team have been warm and open about making a game and offered us the license without an upfront fee (knowing we didn’t have the funding to outright buy a license from them). We’ve had a great relationship that has given us a lot of creative freedom to make the game we want to make. That can definitely be a major concern for people, but Sean and the team have been working very, very positively on what is now Friday the 13th: The Game. We’re definitely grateful for the opportunity, and so far things have been running incredibly smoothly!
HPP: We’re sure you know that the Friday the 13th fan base is a very loyal group considering you’re fans yourselves, but I’m wondering if you knew how much of a positive response you would get when you first announced the Kickstarter. Have any backers reach out to you with crazy offerings to get this game off the ground?
GM: We were blown away! Friday the 13th has incredibly passionate fans; there are people that can recite without hesitation every single kill in every single movie, or even recall the slightest detail in any of the various Jason costumes. That’s a lot to live up too, so we’re working hard to ensure authenticity and accuracy in everything we do. We need to create the camp from an amalgamation of multiple shooting locations, all of which were given the designation of ‘Camp Crystal Lake,’ (with a few notable additions in areas surrounding the lake, of course.) We get crazy offers all the time, and a lot of people with comments on Jason’s look and gameplay ideas. We’re reading and reacting to everything we get. Trust us, we go through it all!
HPP: We saw the bruises that the godlike creature Mr. Kane Hodder had acquired while doing some motion capture work. Can you tell us how he got the bruises? Anybody else get a bit overzealous? Also how does it feel working with the best Jason of all time, Mr. Hodder?
GM: Kane was doing one of the stunts and pulled himself a bit too much, happens in stunt work. Nothing to worry about, he was completely fine during the session and continues to choke people at conventions. Kane is a hell of a guy, very passionate and incredibly genuine. He’s a hell of a treat to work with and we couldn’t be happier. You just cannot believe how awesome he is as a person in public and when at work. A true stand-up guy in every sense of the word!
HPP: Will any victims or survivors from the Friday the 13th franchise be playable in the game? Any chance we may see Tommy Jarvis or even Pamela Voorhees make an appearance?
GM: We’re currently focusing on archetype characters from the movies; the girl next door, the athletic girl, the preppy guy, etc. Why? Well, there’s a lot of movies and a lot of characters to choose from, but this gives us a chance to let you feel a bit more inclusive in the game as the counselor. We definitely want to get notable characters from the movies in there, and even have both Tommy and Pamela as stretch goals. We’re currently offering pre-orders where all funds are going to help make those stretch goals a reality, so help us out here and it’ll happen!
HPP: Will there be classes, load outs and upgrades to characters that unlock as you play the game?
GM: We aren’t talking about that just yet, but know that we’re bringing some diversity to each character with what they can and can’t do well.
HPP: Will there be environmental hazards that can be used by Jason or the victims/survivors?
GM: Again, not something we’ve talked about just yet, but we’re doing everything we can to make Camp Crystal Lake the way you remember it to be!
HPP: What obstacles are you coming across developing a game that requires 7 players to work with each other? Will there be a way to interact with a counselor that doesn’t have a mic or headset?
GM: The beauty of the design here is that you don’t have to work with anyone if you don’t want to. You can work as a team, as a lone wolf, or in cells that try to save themselves. We’re very conscious of the asymmetric multiplayer gaming atmosphere and believe that a lot of what makes games fun is the ability to choose your own strategy in a world that is open. You should be able to balance risk vs reward and decide for yourself if you want to stick with others or try to survive on your own. We offer multiple ways to end the game, either through escaping or taking out Jason, even waiting for the police or waiting until dawn. How you accomplish that is up to you, and any and all mistakes you make will be on you, which makes you feel less bad when there’s a machete stuck in your head.
HPP: This one is simple. Will there be nudity?
GM: It will be Friday the 13th, like you know and remember.
HPP: We here at HPP are retro gamers at heart and we were wondering if there’d be any chance to play the purple jump-suited Jason designed in the NES game?
GM: We’d have to get through licensing issues to make that happen, but we’d totally love to see Purple Jason.
HPP: Will there be multiple areas and maps in Camp Crystal Lake?
GM: Yep! We haven’t announced everything just yet, but you won’t be seeing just one map. Camp Crystal Lake was a big place, after all!
HPP: What do you think will be more of a challenge for players? Playing as Jason or the camp counselors?
GM: Through playtesting, we’re seeing that both are a challenge in their own way. That’s the basis of good design, after all! We want players to be equally happy trying not to get murdered by Jason as they are murdering people while playing as Jason.
HPP: How can you kill the unkillable? Can you give us an idea or scenario on how Jason can be stopped?
GM: Remember, Jason is usually defeated at the end of every movie, stands to reason he can be defeated in-game.
Thanks so much for your time, and good luck from the staff at Hey Poor Player!
Friday the 13th: The game is currently slated to be released this fall for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.