When the Blair Witch recreation was first introduced, followers of the enduring horror film franchise have been desirous to see what the story could be like. When Layers of Fear studio Bloober Team was confirmed to be on the helm, that pleasure grew. While Blair Witch as a recreation was met with blended reception because of its size and its mechanics meant to confuse the participant, this horror journey carved a singular area of interest for itself inside the style. Now that it’s in VR, these scares are amplified and the in-game selections matter greater than ever.
We sat down with Daniel Engelhardt, Lionsgate Senior VP of Interactive Venture & Games, to speak about how this partnership with Bloober got here to be and why the soar to VR regardless of the blended evaluations. Usually, when two corporations come collectively over an IP, the method is lengthy, difficult, and filled with negotiations. Engelhardt tells us that this wasn’t the case with Blair Witch. In reality, it was espresso and mutual fandom that made this a match made in heaven (or Hell, if we’re speaking horror).
“The idea of a Blair Witch game was really natural, funny enough,” he tells us. “The head of Bloober is a big fan of the Blair Witch motion pictures and I’m an enormous fan of their video games like Layers of Fear. So it grew to become this ‘I’m a fan, you are fan, let’s do that’ kind of scenario. We truly began speaking about this idea simply over a espresso.”
From there, the idea grew to become a actuality and the partnership between Lionsgate and Bloober was quick-acting and easy. “We spent a lot of time with the Bloober team, working together to make this real.” He provides, “It’s really about just aligning with really healthy teams and making great content. In some cases, like Blair Witch, it’s about integrating those teams that have common goals and passion.”
“In terms of making the game for us, it was really about a game where they can tell great stories, and really craft interesting narratives,” Engelhardt tells us. “For us the storyline takes precedence, and so we gave [Bloober] as much creative freedom as we could, which was a lot, to really honor what makes the Blair Witch franchise so special. There were so many amazing elements in the game that were so clever like the camera mechanics or being stuck in a house while having this mind-bending experience within the world around you. For us, we wanted the studio to bring something new to Blair Witch and we wanted to do everything we could to facilitate that.”
With Blair Witch diving into the world of VR, many parts of the sport turn out to be extra elevated. The mechanics meant to make you are feeling misplaced when confronted with the Blair Witch turn out to be much more disorienting and terrifying, and the sensation of being hunted turns into much more life like. Bloober tempered this by tweaking interactions with Bullet, the in-game canine, by giving him all of the pets and treats he can eat, nevertheless it’s nonetheless a horror recreation on the finish of the day; a horror expertise that’s ramped up by the immersive nature of VR.
“Blair Witch is more than just jump scares,” Engelhardt explains when speaking in regards to the soar to digital actuality. “Jumpscares are obvious, right? While Blair Witch has them, that’s not the whole picture. A big part of how we thought about the game, from a VR perspective, was the notion of being able to be unified with someone who is being tormented by the witch and could lose to those outside forces. Going through that experience is really compelling and VR takes it to a whole new level and makes it even more visceral and immersive. When looking at that potential, we knew we had to tell this story again with this medium.”
Interacting with a doorknob clumsily, seeing the delicate shifts in surroundings when deep into the woods sparking hallucinations and paranoia; this all performs an element in how the VR version of Blair Witch ups the ante. To make this much more life like, the event crew needed to go in and rework many elements of the sport to make them work seamlessly in digital actuality. These changes led to enhancements of in-game mechanics and options designed to terrify the participant and make them really feel really doomed.
So what does this recreation imply for the way forward for Blair Witch? Will we be getting a sequel to the sport? A brand new film? The reply: something is feasible! While he could not inform me a tough no for a brand new film, which is one thing in itself, Engelhardt does point out that the long run is fairly open for the place Blair Witch goes subsequent. Seeing how the sport continues to be acquired will play an enormous function in that and Lionsgate additionally simply partnered with the tabletop journey “Hunt a Killer” for a particular Halloween Blair Witch collaboration.
While the sequel motion pictures that adopted after the unique did not pull in the identical numbers, the 1999 movie modified the sport when it got here to horror. Social media wasn’t like how it’s in the present day and when that movie first launched, many thought it was an precise documentary and never a fictional documentary-style film. The movie’s success spawned a brand new wave of documentary-framed fictional tales and altered how administrators and creators approached this style as an entire.
The Blair Witch recreation itself is a very standalone story, not an adaptation of the movie’s narrative. It places the participant within the function of somebody who’s pressured to confront, and survive, in opposition to the dreaded Blair Witch. While the title is pretty quick, normally clocking in at round 5 to 6 hours, it’s distinctive in the way it actually makes the participant really feel disoriented, susceptible, and like they’re in precise hazard. The VR model takes that have to an entire new degree of realism and you’ll test it out for your self as a result of Blair Witch VR is offered now on Oculus Quest.