Visage is a new horror game coming for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. We were able to interview exclusively Jonathan Vallières and Jonathan Gagné, co–founder of SadSquare Studio, and we present below the complete interview.
Samuele Zaboi (Games.it): You say, describing the game, that Visage was born as a reaction to the evaporation of Silent Hills. How did you feel when you tried P.T.?
Jonathan Vallières (SadSquare): Simply terrified! For the first time in our lives, we were experiencing a genuinely terrifying game that we could feel all the way down into our bones. We were on the edge of our seats the entire time we were playing. We’d never felt nervousness like that before. P.T. had all the elements to give us nightmares for the rest of our lives.
Samuele Zaboi (Games.it): Do you believe that P.T. has opened a new horror genre and Visage can continue it?
Jonathan Vallières (SadSquare): What P.T. did, in our opinion, was pretty much remind everyone of the roots of fear itself. We personally think that P.T. was the missing puzzle piece that horror gamers needed, to discover or maybe rediscover what true horror is supposed to be — a psychological terror that gnaws at you from the inside out, that doesn’t just try to startle you from time to time but gets inside your head and creates a deep, constant, inescapable fear.
Although we have no problem saying that we were inspired by the photorealism of P.T. and the way it used a seemingly ordinary space to become something completely disturbed and terrifying, Visage is not trying to be P.T. 2.0. Visage has its own world, its own characters, its own mysteries and story to tell.
In creating Visage, we took the main elements that are needed to make a good horror game and horror story work, which are: a setting that feels real and credible, realistic graphics, a tense atmosphere, and a family-based story to top it all off. These ingredients are the key to creating a chilling horror experience because they toy with your sense of the everyday and intrude on your sense of what’s normal and what’s safe, until you feel like what’s happening to you in Visage could happen to you in your very own home.
Samuele Zaboi (Games.it): “The player, probabily, will fear his own peaceful house after playing Visage”, you said. Is this your aim with the game :)?
Jonathan Vallières (SadSquare): Considering that Visage takes place in a seemingly normal house in which you should feel safe, but at the same time are feeling stalked, then yes, it could turn out that you start to fear your own house. Our main goal, though, is not to make you move out of your house, but rather to give you a creepy experience. If you do end up moving out of your house, well … everyone has to make those life decisions that feel right for them. 😉
Samuele Zaboi (Games.it): In Visage the player is trapped in a house and he will try to find a way to get out. In the game will there be only the house or also another environment?
Jonathan Vallières (SadSquare): We never said that the protagonist is trapped in the house, did we? Maybe you have to stay in the house for some other reason …?
There will be other places in Visage besides the house. Kind of. It’s complicated. 😉
Samuele Zaboi (Games.it): In the game there is no weapons, no defenses and no sanity tutorials. What is the only hope and the only power for the player?
Jonathan Vallières (SadSquare): Your courage and your determination to find out what’s going on will be the key to making it through.
Samuele Zaboi (Games.it): In the last two years, the horror genre has grown a lot in the videogame. What is the reason in your opinion? Do you believe this will be continue in the feature?
Jonathan Vallières (SadSquare): Over the past several years, the more popular horror games have been moving more toward action horror, which can be a good horror experience if the game is well-executed and well-paced. What’s been lacking, in our view, are more games that deal in psychological horror, where you’re battling against the monsters inside your head rather than the ones in front of you.
For us, we think true horror is born more from your anticipation of what terrible things might happen, rather than from what you actually see or experience. With the phenomenon that was P.T. and the announcement of Silent Hills, you saw a resurgence in interest in psychological horror, as people sort of rediscovered this kind of “mental” rather than action horror.
We hope to see more horror games that try to create this kind of genuine terror. As for whether this trend in psychological horror will continue? It’s hard to say. It’ll be up to the gamers if they want to keep seeing games like Visage, Allison Road, and Layers of Fear. So long as the audience is there for this kind of game, then the games will probably keep coming.
Samuele Zaboi (Games.it): Visage has reached the goal for VR. How about VR? Visage is better with or not VR?
Jonathan Vallières (SadSquare): VR will be the cherry on top of your Visage sundae. It will make your experience of the game more personal and intimate, because you’ll be seeing the world of Visage through the eyes of the protagonist himself.
Your Visage experience will still be just as chilling without a VR headset, but if you want to live the real thing, VR is the way to go.
Samuele Zaboi (Games.it): The release of Visage is now set at for January 2017. Can you confirm it or depend on Kickstarter?
Jonathan Vallières (SadSquare): As of right now, we’re still expecting that Visage will be released in January 2017. But this date is, and has always been, an estimate. We don’t hide it, this is our first game, so there’s the possibility that there might be some hiccups.
Samuele Zaboi (Games.it): And, finally, is there any possibility to see a support for italian language?
Jonathan Vallières (SadSquare): Whether Visage will be translated into other languages depends on if we reach the Kickstarter stretch goal for multilingual support. As of right now, our plans are to offer subtitles in French, Russian, and Spanish. There’s also been high demand for German, so that’s also a likely candidate for support.
We’re received some requests for Italian, along with Arabic, Chinese, and Portuguese, but whether support will be offered for these or other languages depends very much on demand and, of course, on finding the right translator.
A sincere thank you to Jonathan Gagné, Jonathan Vallières and SadSquare for the friendliness and helpfulness. We leave you with the video of the Alpha version of the game gameplay: