Indie horror game Wick will launch next week on PlayStation 4. Zoe Flower, Hellbent Games Design Director and- Wick’s Narrative Designer, confirmed the news through a post on the PlayStation.Blog.
Flower detailed everything about Wick’s, from the inspirations behind the game to its very first concept. Better known for its LEGO titles, Hellbent Games weighed in fright-themed titles when a publisher offered the video game developer the chance to make a horror franchise.
The team at Hellbent Games went all in on the idea of making such a game. Initially, Flower and the video game developer wanted to produce a big adventure like an 80’s Babysitting Simulator. They had to narrow the concept, though.
Inspired by indie successes like Creepypastas and survival horror video game Five Nights at Freddy’s, the team focused on developing an environment that paired free-roaming with unpredictable horror and a high tension mechanic.
Creepypastas are copy-and-pasted horror legends or images found on the Internet. The user-generated stories include gruesome tales of murder, suicide, ghosts and aliens. Slender Man is one of the most well-known creepypastas.
Hellbent Games has described Wick as Terror by Candlelight
After long battles against “Can’t be done!” and “Designers are insane!,” a designer from Hellbent named Neal Hallford landed the first concept for Wick. He came up with the idea of players looking for candles and placing them on the level to create safe zones.
However, the candle concept meant designers had to define the radius of safety as well as to figure out what to do next if players hid in corners or how to prevent cheap kills from behind. The team solved these issues by creating a forest level.
Designed by Hellbent Games CEO Christopher Mair, the forest is full of diminishing candles aside from the one players are holding and is running out of light as well. This way, the level forces players to keep moving forward and avoid getting killed off by something in the shadows.
As players can’t see beyond the light of their candle, they tend to run in circles. Only twinkles in the fog hint where to go but don’t give away the exact location of the candles.
System design and Dark Souls heavily influenced Wick’s gameplay
Passionate about system design and Dark Souls, programmer Stephen Spanner created an event system. It guarantees players will get terrorized, punished, or even murdered by a variety of supernatural enemies no matter where they go.
Based on how much they run, how long they stay in the dark, and how quickly they cope with enemies before their candle runs out of light, players can get rewarded, too. Each hour survived gives them access to more clues about the mystery of the children’s disappearance.
In Wick, players must survive the night in a forest haunted by the ghosts of missing children. They only have candles and matches to light their way. Available on Steam since 2015, the horror adventure begins on November 1 for PS4 owners.