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Outlast 2 Interview With Philippe Morin

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Outlast 2 Interview With Philippe Morin

Gaming Instincts got the opportunity to talk to the co-founder of Red Barrel Games Philippe Morin about Outlast 2 and the details of it’s development.

Editors Note – The transcription was done by Luis Valbuena

Leonid Melikhov

Hey guys this is Leo from gaminginstincts.com, I’m the co-founder and journalist and today we are going to be talking about Outlast 2 with

Philippe Morin

Philippe Morin, co-founder and game designer at Red Barrels.

Leonid Melikhov

Sounds great, and so, when did you guys started development on Outlast 2.

Philippe Morin

Right after the DLC so around July 2014.

Leonid Melikhov

Ok so it’s been 2 years now?

Philippe Morin

Yeah, almost 2 years

Leonid Melikhov

When is the game coming out?

Philippe Morin

The game will be done this fall, but depending on when exactly is done, we’ll see if we’ll release it before or after the holidays.

Leonid Melikhov

I see OK, so what is the biggest difference or change from Outlast 1 to Outlast 2.

Philippe Morin

Well, it’s a completely new setting with new characters, it does have a link with the first game and actually we are going to release a comic book series that is going to bridge the gap between Outlast 1 and Outlast 2, but it’s going to be a more varied game in terms of environments and settings, some open spaces, a lot more outdoors and hopefully one hell of a ride.

Leonid Melikhov

I see, is the game taking place after or before Outlast 1.

Philippe Morin

It’s after.

Leonid Melikhov

It’s after, OK so it’s a direct sequel pretty much.

Philippe Morin

Well is because it is a new setting and new characters, it might feel like it’s not totally direct.

Leonid Melikhov

It still follows the story after the events in the first one.

Philippe Morin

Yes.

Leonid Melikhov

Who are you playing as?

Philippe Morin

You are playing as Blake Langermann, a camera man and you and your wife are investigative reporters and so you heard about this woman who was found by the road, almost dead and pregnant, and she was brought to a hospital where she mysteriously died, so you are trying to find the identity of that person and that takes you on a chopper upper above the canyons of Arizona, where something really weird happens in the sky, the chopper goes down and you wake up, wife is missing and you are stuck with these people who’ve been living there in secrecy for 50 or 60 years, kinda like Jonestown Jim Jones kinda thing, and you try to find your wife and you realize this people believe that the end of times will take place before the end of the night.

Leonid Melikhov

I see, so it sounds like a pretty crazy horror story, huh?

Philippe Morin

Yeah! like I said, it’s one hell of a ride and it’s starts in the village but it’s not going to be only the village in the game, and is going to feel more like a journey compared to the first one which was a guy stuck in a place, trying to get out, this one will feel more like a journey.

Leonid Melikhov

OK, will the game be longer than the first one in terms of length?

Philippe Morin

I would say a solid 25 30% longer.

Leonid Melikhov

Ok, that’s a much bigger game, are you guys still gonna have the documents collecting like in the previous games?

Philippe Morin

Yeah, the core gameplay remains the same, we’ve pushed some of the abilities of the player but we’ve mostly worked on the environments and the AI. The AI has been completely re-written and so, it’s not what I would call a gameplay centric game, it’s an emotion centric game.

Leonid Melikhov

It’s more about like the atmosphere.

Philippe Morin

Yeah, being there, being immersed in this environment and be scared.

Leonid Melikhov

Speaking of atmosphere, is the game going to support VR?

Philippe Morin

We are not doing anything VR wise right now, we are a small team of 18 people so we gotta do one thing at a time but once Outlast 2 is done, we’ll see if we decide to move on into VR.

Leonid Melikhov

I see, because I think it’ be one of the best things for that game, personally, because I’m pretty sure you guys have seen Resident Evil 7.

Philippe Morin

Yeah.

Leonid Melikhov

So I think that a game where you literally you are just walking in first person in an abandoned home or whatever it is, it’s probably the best, closest thing you’ll ever come to getting really scared you know (Laughs)

Philippe Morin

Yeah, I think it would be a very interesting experience, the thing is that there’s a lot of stuff you cannot do in VR because it just gives too much motion sickness, so to me, to make the most out of VR, you gotta build something from the ground up for VR even though in our case we could use a lot of the assets and environments but there are a few things we would have to modify or revisit to really make it VR friendly.

Leonid Melikhov

I see, so you guys would do VR assuming this is successful in the future, maybe next project or something like that?

Philippe Morin

Yeah, we have the devkits in the office so we are always thinking about it but it’s just a matter of timing and being able to allow the right amount of resources.

Leonid Melikhov

It’s gonna happen sooner or later.

Philippe Morin

Most probably yeah (Laughs)

Leonid Melikhov

Sounds great, so what was the most challenging thing when developing Outlast 2 compared to Outlast 1?

Philippe Morin

Well, I think the change of setting, the first outlast was taking place mostly inside in corridors and because we wanted variety this time, we had to readjust some of the things to make it work also make the game work outside and the first play test we did about a year ago, some of the things were not working, we had to make some readjustments but that’s what play tests are for, and it seems like now we found the right balance of atmospheric, claustrophobia, and also a sense of openness.

Leonid Melikhov

I see, are there going to be any new enemy types, I mean you’ve had the regular dudes and the big dudes that would always try to find you, are you guys introducing any new types of enemies?

Philippe Morin

Yeah, we are still going to have the main bad guys who are gonna be focusing on you but we really wanted to give the player the feeling of the whole village being after you, so that’s why in the demo, you were at a section in the corn field and you have several enemies. The first Outlast was mostly about one guy chasing you down there in a corridor and this time we’ll still have that but we’ll also have sections were there are lots of enemies after you and you are just trying to find a way out.

Leonid Melikhov

Sounds like you guys are multiplying the scare factor here.

Philippe Morin

Definitely, we want to make it as messed up as we can and to be honest I’m really eager to see how people are going to react to it, because some of the things that we are going to be doing in this game are pretty edgy, so we’ll see how it turns out (Laughs)

Leonid Melikhov

Yeah, I remember there were some edgy things in the other one, would you say that this one is more scary than the first?

Philippe Morin

It’s definitely more messed up, that’s for sure

Leonid Melikhov

In terms of like violence?

Philippe Morin

In terms of perversity (Laughs)

Leonid Melikhov

Oh wow OK then! all right… we’ll see.. ok

Philippe Morin

(Laughs)

Leonid Melikhov

We’ll talk more about that later (Laughs) no talking, we’ll just show it to you. So what engine is it running on?

Philippe Morin

We are still using Unreal 3, but it’s a boost of Unreal 3

Leonid Melikhov

More like Unreal 3.5

Philippe Morin

Yeah, kind of

Leonid Melikhov

I see, OK, did you guys customized it to your liking?

Philippe Morin

Yeah, mostly for the graphics and visuals, we have a graphic programmer who’s making a lot of good stuff and I think it allows us to make a really great looking game, especially for a small team.

Leonid Melikhov

Any reason why you decided not to go with Unreal 4 or it was because it was a little to early for you.

Philippe Morin

Yeah it a bit too early, and it takes some time to get your pipeline in place and our pipeline was in place and we decided to jump right into production so that was the main reason.

Leonid Melikhov

Otherwise it would delay the game and it’s not really a necessary thing, OK, sounds good. So what are you looking forward the most from the people, the reactions or what would you like to see from the fans?

Philippe Morin

Well, I’m really curious to see how people are going to interpret the game, when they reach the end, because, even though ourselves among the team, there are different interpretations, so yeah I’m really curious to see how it’s gonna pan out and who believes what and who believes in which explanations and all that and yeah that’s probably what I’m most excited about.

Leonid Melikhov

Are you guys planning to do DLC like you did with the first Outlast?

Philippe Morin

We have some ideas, but like I was saying earlier, it’s one step at a time and the first thing I think we’ll do after this one is take a long vacation (Laughs)

Leonid Melikhov

Hey man I don’t blame you, how long of a vacation you think?

Philippe Morin

We’ll see, if I have to decide right now, it would be like a solid month but who knows (Laughs)

Leonid Melikhov

That’s good enough, yeah, awesome!. How many people are in the team working on it, because I never knew how big your team is.

Philippe Morin

The first Outlast we were 10, plus a few contractors, this time we are 18.

Leonid Melikhov

So you are outsourcing a couple people

Philippe Morin

It’s mostly for script writing, music and testing, but otherwise everything is done internally inside the team.

Leonid Melikhov

Are you guys doing maybe like a demo before the game comes out, to download on the PSN or Xbox Live.

Philippe Morin

Um, we didn’t do that for the first outlast and so far it’s something what we’ve been discussing from time to time, but so far, there are no plans to release a public demo.

Leonid Melikhov

I see, is there anything else you would like to tell us about Outlast 2 before we head out?

Philippe Morin

Get ready! (Laughs)

Leonid Melikhov

Ok, alright guys you heard it here first so get ready. That’s good, thank you so much and your name was again?

Philippe Morin

Philippe Morin

Leonid Melikhov

Ok, thank you!

Philippe Morin

Thank you!

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